Recent Articles

Confirming Your Appointment

Newcastle Podiatry - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Due to the high demand of appointments and understanding everyone has a busy schedule these days, we endeavour to confirm all appointments 24 hours prior to the appointment. We ask if you could please respond with a Y to your text message as this confirms your appointment for you. If you don’t have a mobile phone we are happy to confirm your appointment via phone call.

Diabetes

Newcastle Podiatry - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

About Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an endocrine condition, whereby the body cannot utilise glucose normally. This is problematic as glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells. It can be further categorised into Type 1 DM or Type 2 DM. Type 1 DM is less common and is generally of juvenile onset. The body, or more specifically, the pancreas does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls Blood Glucose Levels (BGL’s). Therefore, with a lack of insulin secretion BGL’s rise. Type 2 DM is more common and is generally regarded as being a lifestyle disease. The body is unable to use glucose effectively in the presence of insulin. Risk factors include being overweight or having a high body fat percentage (particularly abdominal region), having a sedentary lifestyle, age or having a genetic predisposition.

Diabetes relating to Podiatry
Diabetes has the potential to affect both nerves and blood vessels of the peripheries. There are complex processes that occur for this to happen. Simply, high BGL’s over a period can damage both nerves and blood vessels. Peripheral neuropathy (damage to nerves) can be a complication of poorly controlled Diabetes. This becomes a significant risk factor for the patient in relation to ulceration. An ulcer is a wound on the skin which can take an elevated level of care and expertise to heal. Micro and macrovascular disease (damage to blood vessels) can be complications associated with diabetes. A lack of peripheral blood supply or circulation means that a wound may take longer to heal than it otherwise should. Infection risk therefore increases, which can ultimately further delay the healing process.

How do we help?
Foot disease has a prevalence of 1 in 4 diabetics and therefore it is tremendously important that diabetic patients receive the correct treatment and management. Our podiatrists perform a full neurovascular diabetes assessment of the lower limbs. It is a thorough assessment as well as an interesting educational piece for the patient. A report is sent to the GP of the patient following conclusion of the assessment. A multi-disciplinary approach has better outcomes and when in need patients are referred onto the correct specialists via their GP. It is important that patients are screened for their diabetes at least annually from a lower limb, podiatry perspective. Diabetics should be checking their feet daily for any abrasions or increased callosities, and should contact our podiatrist immediately should this occur.

Physical Education – Enjoy it at your best

Newcastle Podiatry - Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kids in Sport 2014

With access to so many forms of sport, physical and social activities these days it would seem hard to imagine a child that doesn’t get enough exercise purely due to availability. This is perhaps true. Schools have from my experience changed the model under which these activities take place with more focus on motor skills than purely physical education hence allowing a more inclusive environment. 

With the embracement of technology we also see a change in habits in the home that may see our children more sedentary and hence the need for more active physical education programs. Some children purely don’t wish to participate in physical education programs for various reasons. One of the overriding factors I have seen is poor lower limb function and gross motor skills. 

Put simply children who are less stable in there running, walking and playing will be less likely to join in. They may be slower in a running race or less able to catch and pass the football or netball. This may or may not be accompanied by issues regarding obesity, which in my view is often blamed for lack of activity rather the fact that the child will simply find it hard to run due of a flattened foot type or internally rotated hip position. Most children simply want to join in. 

Every child must be comfortable to achieve in an environment in which physical education assists them to develop and grow. But they must also have the right machinery under which to participate. Poor muscle tone (hypotonia), flexibility (hypermobility) and poor biomechanics all create a child that may decline participation and gravitate to activities that can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. Ensuring that our children are comfortable in their play and sport is vitally important. Optimising lower limb function to assist doing this is one of the most pertinent factors to achieve this. Not every child needs an orthotic to do this. I know at our practice hip, core and lower limb rehabilitation are commonly given in isolation as a physical therapy to aid enjoyment in activity. An appropriate podiatric approach and a broad range of experience with biomechanics are important to enable this to happen. 

Physical education continues to be a vital part of our children’s growth and school years, so let’s help them enjoy it at their best.

December Newsletter 2016 now available

Newcastle Podiatry - Friday, December 09, 2016
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Heel Pain in our Children
Calcaneal apophysitis, commonly known as Sever’s disease is an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel of growing children. Bone growth in children occurs in a region called an apophysis (or growth plate) which are present in all bones up to closure in early teens. This region has either a tendon or ligamentous structure inserting into it and this causes traction over the growth plate resulting in frictional movement and subsequent pain.

Whilst it is predominantly a condition that occurs in more active children it commonly occurs in those less active but with poor foot and lower limb function. It is important to differentiate apophysitis from more serious conditions such as tumours or sub talar joint coalitions as a starting point. Further, children do not generally suffer from overuse injuries occurring in adults but are more likely to suffer referred pain from traction over the growth plate.

Primary symptoms are generally experienced along the inside and outside of the back portion of the heel along with centrally on the back of the heel. Externally the heel is almost always normal in appearance and is rarely accompanied with swelling and redness. You may notice your child hobbling in the morning or at activity or complaining of pain after a long day at school. Remember even inactive children can suffer from this condition.

It important to remember;

• Boys between 9 and 14 and girls between 8 and 13 are the common sufferers,
• Soccer and netball are the most common sports but not limited to by any means,
• Loading sports such as increased running, jumping and sidestepping increase the problem,
• Generalised increase in activity or sport or multi sport periods, ie; rugby and cricket or netball and touch football together or combination of both club and representative duties exacerbate,
• It is simply NOT growing pains and inactive children also can suffer this disorder

Treatment options;

Physiotherapy, ultrasound or massage do not offer the vast majority of patients any assistance in resolving pain and normalising childhood activities.
Clear clinical diagnosis is the key. Exclusion of more serious conditions such as coalitions and tumorous lesions is important.
X-rays are not useful in diagnosing this pathology but do exclude tumour if concern is valid.
Appropriate biomechanical measurement and gait assessment and the institution of orthotic therapy utilising prescription orthoses to correct the heel position taking stress of the growth plate offers the most effective resolution time. This is accompanied by stretching where necessary. Remember early assessment is the key.
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Award of Accreditation
We have now been recognised for the quality and safety of service with the award of accreditation for Quality Innovation Performance (QIP) against the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards as applicable to the profession.

QIP is Australia’s most comprehensive not-for-profit accreditation organisation, dedicated to delivering accreditation and support services to a diverse range of organisations including podiatry practices, physiotherapy practices, diagnostic imaging services, optometry practices, dental practices and community services. 

We are continually striving to improve how we can support our patients to achieve the best health outcomes.

Everyone in the practice played a valuable role in ensuring we met the Standards. The recognition of working in an accredited practice gives our dedicated staff a feeling of accomplishment and pride.
 
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Congratulations WILL RYAN!
We congratulate our patient WILL RYAN on his fantastic efforts to secure a Silver Medal 
at the Rio 2016 Olympics for Sailing 
Men's Two Person Dinghy 470.

Congratulations on this amazing achievement. 
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Christmas Closure

From 1pm Thursday 22nd December 2016 and reopen
Tuesday 3rd January 2017 at 8am

Merry Christmas

PRACTICE HOURS

Monday to Thursday 8:00am - 6:00pm

Fridays 8:00am - 5:00pm

One Saturday a Month 8:00am – 11.00am

T: 4961 4411 

www.newcastlepodiatry.com.au

© 2016 Newcastle Podiatry, All Rights Reserved.

Achilles Tendonitis

Eon Digital Labs - Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Achilles Tendonopathy is also known as Achilles Tendonitis.  It is a condition involving pain and swelling of the Achilles tendon just above the heel in particular, but can also occur at the back of the heel.  Whilst it is not true inflammation of the tendon, there can be swelling and pain associated.  This can markedly limit a person's ability to walk, run, play sport and undertake daily activities.

Symptoms may include swelling of the tendon without very much pain, but the majority of people will have significant pain after physical activity or post-rest.  In mild cases the pain may occur after a bout of walking, running or even shopping.  The morning usually involves some stiffness, until the tendon frees up with activity and time.

There are a number of influencing factors to the development of Achilles Tendonopathy.  Age plays a big role and it is more common to see an Achilles Tendonopathy in people under the age of 30 years.  Increased or over-activity and stressing the tendon certainly contributes to the development.  Over training, running and jumping, particularly on hard surfaces or wearing poor footwear can be an issue.  Specifically a flat foot type, over-pronation or certain other bio mechanical factors play a common contributing cause.  Tight muscles also have an effect.

Treating an Achilles Tendonopathy can be complex, early diagnosis is important. Treating the swelling early with rest, ice and the use of specific anti-inflammatory measures  is also important.  Of most importance is assessing the function of the lower limb relative to the injury, particularly over-pronation or poor function. These problems can be addressed using orthotic devices.  Your podiatrist is the best person to see for early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of this injury.

 

Best Practice Procedures for Managing Ingrown Nails

Newcastle Podiatry - Friday, November 18, 2016

Ingrown nails can be very painful, but in addition to that, unsightly and annoying. There are often stories about their painful battles with infection and even a few scary tales of home surgeries. When we see an ingrown nail we weigh up the likely success of two alternative treatments and make the appropriate choice in conjunction with the patient. The first option is to carefully clear the offending piece of nail reducing pain and infection. This may then be reviewed to ensure the ingrown nail will not recur, or if so look at further treatment.

The second option is suited to long standing cases or those nails which cannot be settled. Sometimes this is dictated by the shape of the nail or the infection history. This minor surgical procedure is called a Partial Nail Avulsion with phenolisation, (PNA for short).

Carried out under local anaesthetic and with hospital grade surgical scrub and drape, the offending nail margin is gently removed and procedures put in place to prevent regrowth utilising phenol and with minimal discomfort, with most patients not required post-operative pain relief.

The balance between nail aesthetic and ongoing nail health is carefully considered in pre surgical planning and during the procedure. Commonly as little as an eighth of the nail is removed maintaining a normalised appearance particularly important for our female patients.

This surgical procedure is a highly effective, safe procedure that we frequently administer at our practice. If have concerns or ongoing pain be sure to ask our podiatrists or our friendly front office team.

Podiatric Rehabilitation

Newcastle Podiatry - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Much like physiotherapy, podiatric rehabilitation of the foot and lower limbs are designed to strengthen and return you to your optimal level of both sport and general activity.

Rehabilitation of injuries requires care in structuring and designing specific programs that will suit both the patient and the injury. Some of the common injuries we prescribe rehabilitation programs for include ankle injuries, muscle strains and tears, knee pain/injuries, instability and even lower back pain in certain circumstances.

Programs may also include physical therapy and possible Shockwave therapy or Prolotherapy. Physical therapy may involve massage, taping, joint mobilization and exercises.

It is most important that an accurate diagnosis is made prior to understanding any rehabilitation program. This requires accurate and skilled assessment which will allow us to guide your treatment in the best possible manner.

Finding Time for a Healthy Lifestyle

Newcastle Podiatry - Thursday, September 22, 2016

 Physical activity is an essential part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.  Being physically active has been shown to be positively associated with good mental health. It can help in the management of conditions like depression, anxiety and stress relief.

We all have 24 hours a day and we need to prioritise what we do. Some things we must do, some we'd like to do, and some we know we should do but never get around it. Our time can be taken up entirely with what we regard as necessities, such as work and family commitments - leaving little space for our own wellbeing and fitness.

If you feel you are suffering from any back, lower limb or foot pain that limits any of your activities it is time to consult your podiatrist for early intervention to get you back outdoors and enjoying life pain free.

HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR ORTHOTIC REVIEW

Eon Digital Labs - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Your orthotics are designed to assist you in resolving pain and play a preventative role in your activity and sports.  When your prescribed orthotics it is important that they maintain their support and control to optimise your lower limb function and keep you pain free.

As orthotics are worn most days and sometimes constantly, the wear and tear on them over a 12 month period can be excessive.  This may cause the orthotic to lose some control and not be doing what it is prescribed to do.

Function of your lower limb and foot can change rapidly, irrespective of age.  When this occurs your orthotics can sometimes not be doing all they need to do to keep you symptom free.

Assessing your needs on a yearly basis is a minimum to ensuring good lower limb and foot health and orthotic reviews may include, correcting any angles that may have changed with wear, discussing exercise goals and future injury prevention.  This ensures your orthotics minimise injuries and continue to play their preventative role.

If you're over your 12 month review time, phone our reception staff to arrange an appointment for you on 4961 4411.  This will get you back on track and with your orthotics working the best for you.

A fresh perspective on osteoarthritis management

Newcastle Podiatry - Thursday, December 03, 2015

Osteoarthritis is a wearing of the smooth tissue called cartilage that allows bones to glide on one another when we move our joints. If joints are not aligned well or not functioning correctly often the “wear and tear” is exacerbated, causing pain.

I’m sure that many people can relate to the feeling of morning aches, pains and stiffness in the joints or not having that former spring in their step. Many others especially in their “retirement years” I’m sure will relate to severe and sometimes debilitating joint pain.

Quite often, as practitioners, we have discussions in our rooms about how patients have been told by doctors or surgeons that they have osteoarthritis. These patients frequently comment that there is “nothing that can be done” and tend to present frustrated or dejected by their prognosis and the limited treatment options available to them.

Pharmaceutical analgesics or surgery is regularly suggested, but sometimes isn’t convenient due to family or financial commitments. At other times it is on the surgeon’s advice that patients delay surgery for as long as possible and have to put up with ongoing pain.

In such cases podiatrists may be able to help. Indeed, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, but we can manage symptoms and causative mechanics through the use of prescription foot orthoses. By limiting unwanted movement in joints and allowing optimal movement in corrected directions or planes we can have a positive effect. We can use orthoses to unload certain joints or aspects of joints, particularly those of the toes, mid foot, heel, ankle, knees and hips.

In summary, we can’t fix osteoarthritis. However, we can offer a conservative, relatively cost effective means to manage symptoms and the problem. This is because osteoarthritis is very much a mechanical issue. Orthoses and appropriate footwear may be a means to avoid surgery, limit medication, prevent the condition from worsening or even as a short term measure until surgery is more appropriate or convenient.


email us - 51 Denison St, Hamilton East - 02 4961 4411