If we view our bodies from a mechanical perspective the skeletal frame and the attached soft structures that provide stability, strength and movement to the frame make up a truly wondrous bio-machine. The interface between the body and the surface on which it stands or moves can then be seen as of critical importance; this is where the rubber hits the road, so to speak and this is the main focus of the Podiatrist.
Podiatry concerns itself with the health, comfort and function of the human foot, for its own integrity and as a foundation for the broader wellbeing of the body it supports and propels. As mammals we are unique in that we depend upon just two supports, the bi-pedal model, making the human foot truly remarkable in its capabilities. Enlightened observers have commented that our feet come second only to the brain when identifying that which sets us apart from other animals. Leonardo Da Vinci described the human foot as ‘a marvel of engineering and a work of art’. Seen in this light it is clear why keeping our feet well maintained ought to be a greater priority than it usually is.
Podiatric treatment covers a broad spectrum from the simple but important debridement of excess superficial dead skin, the art of proper nail trimming, the management of skin and nail infection to the assessment of gait and foot mechanics and the provision of corrective foot orthoses. In extreme cases the specialist skills of the podiatric surgeon may be employed, however earlier conservative treatment can often make this unnecessary.
As the foot cannot be divorced from the rest of the body, best treatment results require a multi-disciplinary approach. Cooperation between podiatrist and sports therapist, for example, will view a condition from wider perspective and as a result, much more likely to produce a satisfactory outcome for the patient.
Podiatry is a constantly developing profession and awareness of its relevance and usefulness is increasing as the knowledge, technology and skills follow a decidedly upward curve.
Stroud Sports Clinic also offer a custom foot orthotics service, to learn more please click here .