Who is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a health professional who deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of feet and lower limbs.
diagnosis and management of sporting injuries of the foot and lower limb.
- general foot care (corns/callus/ingrown toe nails/cracked heels)
- diabetes management
- children’s foot care
- clinical biomechanics and gait analysis
- orthotic therapy and footwear prescription
- treatment for acute foot problems.
As systemic diseases such as arthritis affect the joints in the foot, podiatrists monitor feet for any degenerative changes. The effects of these diseases and the medications often used in their treatment can predispose sufferers to circulatory pathology and/or peripheral neuropathies. This can result in nail an skin lesions, deformity of the feet and the increased incidence of ulceration.
The multiplicity of possible causes and complications demands a comprehensive method of examination in order to establish a sound diagnosis as a basis of treatment. The podiatrist’s role entails much more than merely attaching a label to a condition. It often includes the monitoring of circulation and neurological examination, using methods such as Doppler assessment and motor and sensory tests.
The manufacture of palliative and functional orthoses also aids in the prevention and treatment of pressure lesions or deformities, enabling individuals to maintain a more normal, active lifestyle.
Some occupations are more prone than others to foot problems which can arise as the result of standing on hard surfaces for long periods. Hairdressers, factory workers and nurses are examples of those from professionals likely to develop long-term problems unless preventative measures are taken. Podiatrists seek to address some of the issues responsible for foot problems and can advise on occupational foot health and safety. This can sometimes involve the prescription of orthoses, or surgical advice.
Podiatrists are qualified to perform both nail and cutaneous surgery, but some have undertaken further education to perform additional foot surgery.
Who is Physio?
A Physiotherapist is a healthcare profession that assesses, diagnoses, treats, and works to prevent disease and disability through physical means. Physiotherapists are experts in movement and function who work in partnership with their patients, assisting them to overcome movement disorders, which may have been present from birth, acquired through accident or injury, or are the result of ageing or life-changing events.
Physiotherapy can help recover from injury, reduce pain and stiffness, and increase mobility. A physiotherapist can also help you prevent further injury by listening to your needs and working with you to plan the most appropriate treatment for your condition, including setting goals and treatment outcomes.
What sort of treatment do physiotherapists use?
Physiotherapists are trained to assess your condition, diagnose the problem, and help you understand what’s wrong. Your treatment plan will take into account your lifestyle, activities, and general health.
The following are common treatment methods physiotherapists may use:
- exercise programs to improve mobility and strengthen muscles
- joint manipulation and mobilisation to reduce pain and stiffness
- muscle re-education to improve control
- airway clearance techniques and breathing exercises
- soft tissue mobilisation (massage)
- assistance with use of aids, splints, crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs.
Physiotherapists draw upon a wide range of therapies, tailored to suit your individual needs. Some of these therapies include:
- Manual therapies – such as massage, stretching, manual resistance training, and joint mobilisation and manipulation, including spinal mobilisation.
- Exercise programs – such as posture retraining, muscle strengthening, cardiovascular training and stretching.
- Other services – taping and splinting, correcting flawed sporting techniques, and providing information on equipment aids such as wheelchairs and walking frames.
Who is an OT?
Occupational therapy (OT) is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and wellbeing through improving function in activities meaningful to the client. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life.
Community Occupational Therapists within their role at OzPol All Aged Care can promote functional independence by:
- Assessing and modifying the clients’ home and community environments to improve their safety and independence.
- Prescribing and educating clients and carers in the use of adaptive equipment to assist function.
- Providing education to help change functional task technique to improve safety and function.
- Educating clients on energy conservation techniques and ways to ensure they have energy to complete activities which are most meaningful to them.