Podiatry

Good Health Centre houses the Leeds Podiatry Clinic, one of the most experienced and dedicated podiatry practices in Leeds, Yorkshire. Our Podiatrists headed by Bob Longworth and Lee Short can help you keep mobile, fit, and active with their specialist musculoskeletal knowledge and treatment of foot, ankle and associated lower limb pathology.

Nearly half of people over the age of 50 complain of ongoing foot and ankle pain, the majority of which impacts on their daily activities. In all adults between 20% and 40% have had some type of foot pain in the last month. Nearly 75% of these cases will be musculoskeletal pain as a result of muscle strains, ligament injuries, tendon degeneration and arthritis. Foot pains and dysfunction often co-exist with other lower limb and back pains.

Podiatrists trained in musculoskeletal practice are able to identify the cause and origins of lower limb dysfunction to resolve a multitude of conditions that can make walking, running and standing an unpleasant experience. Treatment can involve manipulation, mobilisations, exercise programmes, strappings, ankle braces, shoe advice, shoe adaptations and foot orthoses (including insoles).

Our podiatrists frequently liaise closely with other health practitioners for a multi-disciplinary approach, which is often an essential part of long term management, for example to help spinal posture, or advising on, and helping to arrange appropriate surgery or medical care if required.

Our podiatrists also offer chiropody and advice on your general foot health, as well as offering expertise in rheumatology and musculoskeletal medicine.

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What can musculoskeletal podiatry help?

Podiatry can provide symptom relief in many situations by improving foot function thereby improving walking, standing, dancing and sport injuries. Podiatrists can advise and assist with all foot symptoms. Common conditions that can be helped by a podiatrist include:

  • Heel pains including plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinopathies
  • Shin splints (exercise induced leg pain)
  • Knee compartmental degeneration
  • Runners’ and jumpers’ knee (iliotibial band syndrome & patellofemoral joint pains)
  • Metatarsalgias (including Morton’s neuralgia)
  • Stress fractures
  • Trochanteric bursitis
  • Tibialis posterior injuries.

Biomechanics
Clinical biomechanics is the study of how biological materials behave under stress and strain – the clinical application of this knowledge is an area of particular expertise. The foot is the only human body part that recurrently impacts the ground, making it a rather unique structure. The foot often has to compensate for poor function or posture higher up the body, causing abnormal motions in the foot and ankle. These compensations can result in over strains and injuries. Equally, foot dysfunction can cause other joints of the spine, pelvis, hip and knee to work in poor alignment creating pathologies within these joints as well as in the foot.

Gait analysis
Gait analysis examines motions of the body in walking or running looking for abnormalities. Taking pressure from one foot in one step is not adequate, as research has clearly shown, and standing static on a pressure mat offers little benefit. Whole body observation in motion by a trained podiatrist is a good starting point. We therefore use slow motion Templo video analysis software. For pressure analysis we use an in-shoe system known as the F-Scan. To date this is one of the most advanced gait laboratories in a private facility in Yorkshire.

The podiatry treatment

Podiatrists can often diagnose your pathology by carefully taking details of your medical history and thorough clinical examination with gait and stance analysis. However, sometimes it is necessary to arrange diagnostic images. Our podiatrists work closely with foot surgeons and doctors who specialise in musculoskeletal pain to arrange such images.

Your podiatry treatment can involve mobilisation, which involves joint thrusts, muscle and tissue stretches, and pressure and massage techniques. Mobilisation can often produce a ‘cracking’ or ‘popping’ noise, which is just the joint fluid expanding into the space released by treatment.

Treatments often involve the use of insoles to realign, support, cushion, or offload structures. These are commonly, but incorrectly known as orthotics. Stretching and strengthening exercises are often essential to correct or overcome dysfunction. Making sure the right footwear is worn for the right occasion is often a key issue. Initial podiatry consultations are for 50 minutes.

What to expect

At your first appointment we will try and establish the pathology and mechanism of your problem. We will examine your feet, legs, pelvis and spine alignment while standing and walking.

Ideally we like to see runners actually running naturally and this usually means outside. Therefore, please wear clothes that allow us to access and see clearly your feet, legs and pelvis. (Avoid long skirts and dresses.) Runners should bring or wear jogging pants or shorts as well as bringing their running shoes.

Initial consultations last approximately 60 minutes, at the end of which we should have tailored a treatment plan, some of which we can start straight away. Most treatment plans will need between four and six visits, but some conditions may need long-term care.

Sometimes after manipulation and stretches you can feel a little sore and stiff, although this tends to last no more that 24 to 48 hours. If you are given insoles and other supports to wear, these can feel odd for a few days and can initially cause a few minor new symptoms. This rarely lasts more than a few days. More advise on treatment and what to expect is given at consultation.

Podiatry for children

Known as podopaediatrics, our podiatrists are experienced in dealing with childhood conditions such as Sever’s, Osgood-Schlatter’s, and other growth pains, and poor foot posture issues. We can examine and advise parents about:

  • childhood walking patterns.
  • in-toe and out-toe gaits.
  • persistent toe walking.
  • foot postures such as flat feet.
  • Sports injuries

In most cases childhood problems do not need extensive treatment. However, knowing when and when not to treat children is very important. Commonly, simple advice can help children grow with good posture and help avoid musculoskeletal pains in the future.

The chiropody treatment

Chiropody treatment can include managing deformed and thickened toenails, in-grown toenails, callouses and corns, and treatment for other foot ailments such as athlete’s foot, or cracking dry skin.

Many skin lesions such as corns and callus can be resolved using biomechanical principles. Our podiatrists are also equipped to give advice on appropriate footwear to improve your condition and reduce the need for repeat chiropody treatments.
Diabetics or people with toe deformities in particular may require regular professional chiropody treatment. Initial chiropody treatment is for 30 minutes.

Our practitioners

The Health and Care Professions Council regulates all podiatrists. The term ‘podiatrist’ can only be used by practitioners registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, who keep a list of registered podiatrists that can be checked by anyone online.

Find out more about our podiatrists by clicking on their name:

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