As Leonardo da Vinci observed over 500 years ago, “the human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”, and when this masterpiece is working at its full potential, it can offer us the world.
Our feet give us the opportunity to achieve great things like running a marathon or climbing a mountain, as well as enjoy humble delights such as feeling the sand in our toes as we walk along the beach, or kicking a football around the backyard after a barbeque with the family. Stable footing helps us to achieve our greatest, and even our most modest of goals.
However, the reality that many of us face is that over time, our feet don’t always serve us in the way that we desire, or indeed, that we require. With the general wear and tear of time, along with a myriad of external pressures such as injury, sports, or even what we eat, many people find themselves with issues rooted in their feet.
Orthopaedic inserts or orthotics are a common remedy subscribed to a broad range of foot problems, but most frequently the orthopaedic insert method treats the symptoms of an issue, without actually addressing the underlying cause.
“One common example that we see amongst our new clients is the development of bunions. Over time, a bunion slowly forms as a bony bump in the big toe joint. Bunions can be swollen, reddened, painful, and can even become arthritic and affect the mobility of the big toe, depending on the severity of the condition.” says Mark Lin, director of The Footwork Clinic.
Lin adds that “Bunions can be prompted by a variety of factors: such as conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (that causes the swelling of joints), or even the shape of your foot, but often times, bunions are caused by the ongoing use of badly fit shoes. Particularly badly fit shoes that place excess pressure on the toes.” This relation to badly fit shoes has led to many podiatrists fixing on the orthopaedic insert solution, without investigating other potential rehabilitative treatments.
This is a problem for patients for a few reasons. Firstly, Lin explains that “many people don’t find their orthotics effective, as they can find it limiting to their footwear options and daily lifestyle. For orthotic therapy to be effective, it needs to be used consistently.” That is, 24/7. They don’t offer any symptom relief when you are not wearing them, and as orthotic devices require specific, often bulky, shoe types, this means that maintaining even occasional use doesn’t necessarily combine with the individual lifestyle needs of every client.
Secondarily, orthotics are not corrective. That is to say, it is not uncommon that once a client begins to use orthotics, their foot can become reliant on the external support, and they can end up using them for the rest of their life. The loss of this freedom can cause many difficulties as life goes on, such as not being able to don your favourite shoes, run around the backyard barefoot with your niece, or enjoy the tranquillity of wading through the shallow water as the sun sets over the beach.
The Footwork Clinic is committed to protecting the freedom of your feet, and to do this, we offer Functional Foot solutions to rehabilitate and return the ability of the feet of every client to be able to independently support the whole body, as it was designed to.
Each personalised treatment plan is engineered to understand and train the feet, based on the client’s unique lifestyle needs.
We take a hands-on approach to get to know each client’s feet, and we provide them with treatment plans that will help correct joint alignment, improve movement, and increase their overall foot strength and stability.
The Footwork Clinic is situated in Chatswood on Sydney’s North Shore and Sydney CBD. (Ingrown toenail nail bracing only available in Chatswood). Contact them to receive the best treatment advice for your ingrown toenail.
For further information, visit the The Footwork Clinic – Leading Sports, Podiatry, Foot And Lower Limb Corrective Services to book online, or call Mark Lin or his friendly team on +61 2 9131 6891.
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The information contained in this guide is provided in good faith and is not intended to be nor is it to be used as a substitute for any sort of professional, medical or podiatric advice. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a podiatrist. Any users should always seek the advice of their podiatrist, or other qualified healthcare providers before commencing any treatment.