What do Podiatrists do?
Podiatrists have the ability to diagnose and treat problems from the hip down to the feet.
The list of conditions are extensive some of these include:
General Podiatry: Ingrown nails, corns, callous, warts, fungal nails etc.
Biomechanics: Heel spurs, shin splints, knee pain, back pain, achilles tenonditis, plantar fasciitis.
Children: Pigeon toed, out toed, knock knee, flat feet, osgood slatters disease, severs disease, growing pains.
What Is the difference between a Podiatrist and a Chiropodist?
A Chiropodist treats corns, callous and ingrown nails and the maintence of your feet. Podiatrists have increased levels of education and are able to treat biomechanical problems as well.
Do I need a referral
No, you do not require a referral to see a Podiatrist. However, if you are a veteran affairs gold card holder or a workers compensation client you will need to get a referral from you G.P
Does medicare cover Podiatry?
Only if you have an enhanced primary health care plan from your G.P. This cover is for those patients with long term chronic conditions, such as diabetes, long term arthritis, or vascular disease etc.
There is limit to 5 visits a year. When you receive treatment, you pay the bill and take the receipt to a medicare office and they will refund you $48.95.
Do private health funds cover Podiatry?
Yes , all major Australian health funds cover podiatry. It is important you check your level of cover with your fund.
What is an Orthotic?
Orthoses are devices put inside your footwear to provide your foot with the most efficient and correct way for your foot to function. In the past orthoses have been known as arch supports, insole or inserts. Although these all may share some of the characteristics with orthoses, things have progressed a great deal.
There are generally two types of orthoses: over the counter devices such as those sold in shoe shops or at a chemist and secondly, custom made devices.Generally, these are far more complex and made from a mould of your feet.
So what is the difference between custom made devices and over the counter devices?
Over the counter (OTC) devices generally come in 3 or 4 sizes (small to extra large). They do not come in different arch heights. Are your feet the same as your best friends?
Over the counter devices are generally made from fairly cheap materials, and have a much shorter life span, than custom-made devices. They do no cope well with body weight or pressure from walking.
These devices are generally excellent at quick and short term pain relief. In fact some heel pain conditions, for example, resolve well with over the counter devices as part of the treatment regime. Others however do not !
Custom made devices are made from a mould of your feet in combination with a long list of biomechanical measurements, which reveal your feet, legs and body’s best way of running, walking or playing.
Materials for custom-made devices are more hard wearing and will last for an average of 2 –3 years.
Custom made devices are exactly that “custom made”, so they may be designed to be accommodated in your footwear more precisely, to suit your chosen sport and activity levels.
Will My Child Grow Out Of Flat Feet?
Children are born with flat chubby feet, and this is part of normal development. As your child gets older there are many changes to their feet and lower limbs. At approximately 6 years of age, whilst still changing, you would expect to see an arch in their foot.
A more important indicator than the appearance of your child’s foot is function. Do they trip more regularly than children their age? Look for bruised and battered knees, pay attention when visiting children their own age. Do they complain of pain?
Do not fall into the common trap of being told “It's just growing pains”. Children should not have pain. If you are concerned, a Podiatrist’s consultation fee is a small price to pay for peace of mind. A final word on growing out of flat feet. If every child “grew out of flat feet”, why do so many adults have them??