Karina Gajjar, shares her valuable knowledge on Podiatry health, some great advice, as we often take our feet for granted, wear the most uncomfortable shoes, sometimes shoes that don’t fit correctly.
A brief introduction from Karina:
Karina recently qualified from the University of Johannesburg as a podiatrist.
The University of Johannesburg is the only University in Africa that offers podiatry. Podiatry is a four year course, during the course students are required to starts seeing patients from their second year of studying at various academic hospitals and clinics in Johannesburg.
• Your motivation to studying podiatry?
There is major need for podiatrists in South Africa.
Podiatry plays a major role in preventing lower limb and foot complications, especially in diabetic patients. Podiatry is interesting as the scope is broad. Podiatrists can treat any conditions such as dermatological conditions, sports injuries and conditions presenting in paediatrics and geriatrics.
• How to manage sore feet?
There are many causes of sore feet. It is therefore important to visit your podiatrist as he/she can address the underlying cause of your painful feet. Your podiatrist will most likely assess the painful areas and perform the necessary examinations.
A biomechanical examination is often required, this means the podiatrist will look at the way you walk and address and discuss any anomalies they may have found. Based on the findings of the examinations performed, a simple innersole or orthotic device may be manufactured.
An orthotic/simple innersole aims to reduce and redistribute abnormal pressure placed on muscles and tendons within lower limbs and feet. Therefore, reducing pain experienced in your feet.
How often is recommended to visit a podiatrist?
You should visit a podiatrist if you experience any lower limb or foot problems. However, it is extremely important for patients suffering from diabetes to visit their podiatrist at least twice a year. Podiatrists play an extremely important role on the prevention of foot and lower limb ulcerations in diabetic patients. The majority of amputations can be prevented by regular foot examinations and treatment by a podiatrist. Management includes identifying and managing high risk patients and educating patients on foot health and footwear.
• Benefits of visiting a podiatrist?
Podiatry is a branch of medicine that involves the treatment, management and prevention of lower limb and foot conditions. Podiatrists treat and manage conditions such as ingrown toenails, thickened nails, fungal infections, warts, corns, callous, sprains, fractures, bunions, heel pain and much more. Podiatrists can give advice regarding the best way in which one should take care of feet. This may involve advice on correct footwear and designing and prescribing customized orthoses.
• How can you improve self care with your feet?
Check your feet daily! Especially if you are diabetic, get to know your feet well and what is normal.
Wear sensible footwear. (well cushioned, supportive and must have a wide toe box)
Always cut your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails.
Always practice good foot hygiene.
Wear slip slops in communal showers and pool areas.
Apply moisturizer daily if you have dry skin to prevent cracking.
Look after your feet it does carry your whole
body after all!