Common Foot Problems
These mainly occur down the sides of the big toe, but can also occur in smaller toes as well.
The problem is when the the side of the toe nail causes pressure directly on the toe itself. This can cause intense pain, inflammation and even infection. This condition can easily be remedied through conservative means, or minor surgical intervention.
A corn is hard skin with a deeper, denser cone of harder skin in the middle. It occurs in areas of the foot subject to increased friction or pressure - like the toes or the underside of the foot. Corns can be painlessly treated conservatively.
Usually caused by sudden trauma to the nail or microtrauma over years of wear and tear. Thick toenails can increase pressure to the toes and therefore cause pain. This condition can easily be treated either conservatively by reducing the nail, or by minor surgical intervention.
Pain around the bottom surface of the heel - can be very difficult to live with and may take some time to settle. We treat this kind of pain conservatively through correct footwear, orthotics (foot supports), exercises and manual therpaies.
What is ‘Podiatry’?
‘Podiatry’‚ is the modern word for ‘Chiropody’‚ & it is carried out by ‘Podiatrists’. The modern podiatrist will assess‚ diagnose and treat‚ many simple & complex conditions. Such conditions that not only relate to the foot‚ but the whole of the lower limb. Many conditions treated by podiatrists are on the surface of the foot. Simple examples of such conditions are; skin calluses‚ corns and ingrowing toenails. Other conditions treated by podiatrists‚ are not always visible on the surface of the foot‚ but involve the internal structures of the foot‚ for example; Plantar fasciitis‚ tendonitis, heel spurs‚ Metatarsalgia & Morton’s neuroma‚ to name but a few.
Podiatrists also provide specialist treatment and advice for people with ‘Diabetes’ & ‘Foot arthritis’.
Minor surgery can also be performed (under local anaesthesia) to resolve ingrowing toenail problems permanently.
‘Gait anomilies’ can also be assessed and successfully treated with ‘Foot orthotics’ (in shoe foot supports). Foot orthotics are prescribed‚ manufactured & fitted to improve foot function. This approach often reduces pain in the leg and lumbar regions. Leg and lumbar pain is often caused by poor foot alignment and leg length discrepancies.
History in New Zealand:
Chiropody, became a registered profession in New Zealand in 1969 with the requirement that all applicants take a recognized three-year course of training.
Soon after the professional title was changed from Chiropody to Podiatry and The New Zealand School of Podiatry was established in 1970 at Petone under the direction of John Gallocher. Later the school moved to the Central Institute of Technology, Upper Hutt, Wellington.
In 1976 the profession gained the legal right to use a local anaesthetic and began to introduce minor surgical ingrown toenail procedures as part of the scope of practice.
In 1986, the profession undertook a needs analysis in conjunction with the Central Institute of Technology to identify competencies for podiatry in 2000.
A Bachelor of Health Science was introduced in 1993. Auckland University of Technology is now the only provider of podiatry training in New Zealand.