That’s a really good question that we often get asked when doing the rounds meeting prospective clients. I remember way back hearing from a podiatrist friend of mine whose answer was always, “Just bring your two feet, we’ll go from there” or something along those lines. This podiatrist friend, who shall remain nameless for fear of embarrassment (you know who you are) had the misfortune to say that to a chap with a below-knee-amputation and state of the art prosthesis on one leg, and some very urgent, high risk podiatry needs on the other leg. Lucky for my podiatrist friend, his soon to be new client had a wicked sense of humour and immediately asked for a half price consultation and with a big laugh all was forgiven. So after booking your pride podiatry appointment, what should you bring to get the most out of your expert consultation?
After a quick run around asking a group of experienced podiatrists what they like to see their new clients walk in with, the following themes emerged:
We spend most of our lives with some type of footwear on our feet, and they can tell an experienced podiatrist a lot about the person wearing them. Now I do not claim to have any psychic powers, nor the ability to deduce everything about a person from their Size 9’s, but there is some really helpful knowledge strapped on to our feet down there. For instance, shoes can be broadly grouped into shoes that make our feet work harder, and shoes which do some of the work on behalf of our feet (there is a big cross over here to, lots of shoes make some parts of our feet work harder, while other parts get to have a rest).
When we see our clients walking in with a bagful of their favourite or most worn shoes it is a great insight into the demands that they put on their feet, and how we can reduce pain, pathology and disability. So bring in a shoe bag, not show bag to kickstart your assessment.
As undergraduate students podiatrists have to learn about the pharmacology of many common medications. We must know the interactions, the dosing and side effects of all sorts of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, disease modifying agents and anticoagulants. A simple print out of your medications from your GP or just typed up yourself at home will tell your podiatrist about your overall health, and potential effects on your feet of these drugs.
We understand that podiatry is not always the first point of contact when suffering from a sore foot. Often the family doctor is the first point of contact for that runny nose and aching heel, and many GP’s will start their investigations with an X-ray or ultrasound while arranging an assessment or referral with an expert like the team at Pride Podiatry. While your Pride Podiatrist can refer for appropriate imaging modalities such as MRI, CT scans, dynamic musculoskeletal ultrasound or weight bearing X-rays if you have already started the investigative process, bring them along! Any extra information at the start of the consultation process is a great help, even if the films show no pathology or fracture, there are many long term degenerative changes which may be hidden from inexperienced eyes which can identify tissue overload.
In saying that any imaging is helpful, there are cases we have seen where poor clients have been given the run around and had scan after scan to investigate chronic pain which does not show many times on imaging. Also, if you need to see a podiatrist, do not rush to get imaging prior as it’s often not needed to diagnose many common complaints.
The take home message here, if you have a recent scan, bring it in, if you don’t, don’t worry.
Now this is much more subjective, but still incredibly important. Many of the painful complaints which affect the feet are the result of chronic overload, essentially some tissue being squished more than it would like, or being stretched more than it likes. The most simple answer to reduce squishing and stretching is to change something/anything which affects how we get squished or stretched. This can be shoes, this can be activities, this can be innersoles and this can be exercises. What your Pride Podiatrist cannot do is change all of these things without some eagerness to change on your behalf.
How we can get these changes happening and still fit into your busy lifestyle is the balancing act of any good podiatrist, and honestly it is the most rewarding part of my work. An example of this eager-attitude in action comes in to see us every day in our clinics. I love to see a smile on our clients faces after first diagnosing the what and the why they are in pain, and then educating and implementing a plan that still allows them to play football, netball, bocce or just walk up the stairs at work again instead of taking the lift. Then following this plan to it’s fulfilment of pain free living, or whatever your goals are which you set out to achieve.
Now you know what to bring to your pride podiatry appointment, your two feet (or one), some shoes, any scans, medications but above all else, an attitude eager to get better. If you do not have any of these, then do not fear, your Pride Podiatrist will still work with you to determine what it is we need to do as a team, and together we will get you back there. Let us take pride in your feet.
To book your Pride Podiatry appointment call us or book online for our Pascoe Vale clinic here:
We look forward to seeing you, your shoes and your smile at a Pride Podiatry clinic soon.