Foot Health Week sheds light on lower limbs

Published:15 October 2020

It is important to maintain foot and lower limb health, according to CQUniversity Podiatry experts

When people think of podiatry, feet immediately spring to mind, but CQUniversity Podiatry lecturer Angela Wilczek has used 2020 Foot Health Week (12-18 Oct) to shed light on the fact that podiatry is more than just about feet.

“Feet are just one part of Podiatry,” Ms Wilczek said.

“Podiatrists treat all sorts of lower limb conditions such as leg, knee, ankle - and yes foot -  problems.

“We are also involved in managing the effects of medical conditions, such as diabetes, arthritic conditions, vascular and neurological conditions. Podiatrists treat people of all ages, from little kids, teenagers, all the way through to the elderly.”

Ms Wilczek said Podiatrists were skilled in many treatment areas such as footwear modifications, insole/orthotic therapy, padding and strapping, exercise prescription, shockwave and ultrasound therapy, foot mobilisation, dry needling, surgery for ingrown toenails, wound management for lower limb ulcers and treating plantar warts, corns and callous.

“I was drawn to podiatry for a number of reasons including its 100 percent employment rate!

“Not to mention the variety of cases we get to treat and also the job satisfaction that comes from people walking in with pain and walking out feeling so much better.”

Dancer and CQUniversity fourth year Bachelor of Podiatry Practice (Honours) student Alesha Stehbens said she was drawn to a career in podiatry as a young teenager.

“I injured myself when dancing eight years ago and I went to my GP and he said it would be fine,” she explained.

“I didn’t know about podiatrists who could have helped me at the time, but I knew that I wanted to one day work in the health field. I then read about podiatry and explored the types of podiatry and decided that was the career for me.

“As a dancer and qualified dance teacher, I have a passion for helping athletes and I want to raise awareness and promote injury prevention strategies.”

With feet containing 25 percent of the bones in the entire body, Ms Wilczek said people often don’t think of their feet until something goes wrong.

“When it does, it really affects how we move, and so it has a significant impact on our life,” she explained.

“Foot care, and preventing foot problems, is therefore a really important part of looking after ourselves.”

As Foot Health Week 2020 draws to an end, Ms Wilczek said we should play greater consideration to our lower limbs more regularly and the fact that they bear the brunt of everything.

“Feet and the lower limbs are responsible for carrying us all throughout our life,” she said.

“Healthy feet allow us to move and do all the things we want to do. When our feet are painful or not functioning properly, it can have a detrimental effect on our mobility, comfort, and life in general.”

Alesha agreed.

“Everyone needs to take good care of their feet as you only get two and they get you to and from everywhere,” she said.

“I love how our feet function and accommodate for our whole-body weight. They are truly the most important part of as body, and I guess we cannot walk without them.”