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Hints & Tips

Hints & Tips

From injury prevention, demystifying modern footwear, running techniques & tips, how to improve mobility & restore function, to even help you overcome the Donald duck walk and get you engaging your core through barefoot activation! All that wisdom and more is shared on our Hints & Tips page!

Be sure to drop back to our Hints & Tips page as it will be updated on a regular basis.

The feet are a very complex part of the body, allowing you to perform essential daily activities as well as tackle inspiring physical achievements - so they should not be neglected! Our foot experts, Hayley, Chris and Emma will work with you to address your goals, relieve pain, regain mobility and effectively treat your foot problems.

Do you have sore toes, bunions, or get heel pain when running? Are you wanting to learn more about footwear? Concerned about whether barefoot is good or bad? Interested in injury prevention and improving your performance? Reach out to our Townsville Podiatry team today!

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Plantar Fasciitis REVIEWED
Plantar Fasciitis REVIEWED

Feet play an important role in posture and gait. Foot pathologies are common amongst the adult population, in particular plantar heel pain. Foot pathologies contribute to a negative impact on quality of life. Plantar heel pain (or Plantar Fasciitis) is a common musculoskeletal foot injury and the most common condition presenting to our Townsville Podiatry clinic. Below is a summary of a recent review of the research on plantar heel pain. Learn more about Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Pain here. Review of research on Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Pain Plantar heel pain is most common between 40 and 60 years and may affect both athletic and non-athletic populations, but the incidence is higher among runners (affecting 17.4% of running population). The pathology is characterized by pain in the medial (inside) heel that is exacerbated by weight-bearing activity, as well as after periods of rest. Plantar Heel Pain is often chronic with typical symptoms lasting more than a year. Despite the name “Plantar Fasciitis” – the condition is considered a degenerative pathology rather than a primary inflammatory condition. Therefore, the more correct terms which should be used from now on are fasciosis or fasiopathy or plantar heel pain. Authors found that while Body Mass Index (BMI) was not associated with plantar fasciitis in the athletic population, there was evidence to support such an association in the non-athletic population. Muscle function and muscle size differences between those with and without plantar fasciitis was reviewed in seven studies - and the strength of muscle groups including hallux plantar flexion, lesser toe plantar flexion, ankle dorsiflexion, ankle inversion, and ankle eversion was lower in patients with plantar fasciitis. Studies found that patients with plantar fasciitis were more likely to have increased plantar fascia thickness, hypoechogenicity, and plantar calcaneal spurs. Patients with plantar fasciitis had 2.16 mm thicker plantar fascia than controls and tended to have absolute plantar fascia thickness values exceeding 4.0 mm. Review of Treatments for Plantar Heel Pain Corticosteroid Injections: Corticosteroid injections have been used for the treatment of plantar fasciitis as it can reduce inflammation, fibroblast proliferation and ground substance proteins, which have been thought to play roles in pathogenesis of plantar fasciitis. The review of the literature concluded that compared to placebo, corticosteroid injection was more effective in relieving pain at one month but not over longer intervals. Among 21 trials that reported adverse events, two ruptures of plantar fascia, three injection site infections, and 27 minor adverse events such as post-injection pain were reported. ESWT Extra-Corpeal Shockwave Therapy: The proposed mechanisms for the effect of ESWT include increasing nerve supply, blood supply and collagen synthesis in degenerative tissues. Shockwave reportedly have benefits in pain reduction at 12 weeks, unlike corticosteroid injections. ESWT showed greater reduction in VAS pain scores and success rate of improving heel pain by 60% over placebo when taking first steps and during daily activities. The most recent of studies compared ESWT with other therapies and found greater success rate, greater reduction in VAS pain scores, decreased return to work time, greater overall reduction in plantar fascia thickness up to 6 months post-treatment and less complications in those treated with ESWT compared to other interventions. The 39 studies concluded that while there may be common side effects such as pain during treatment and transient erythema (redness), complications during the first year of follow-up are highly unlikely and concluded that Shockwave Therapy is safe for treating plantar fasciitis. Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): LLLT is a form of photobiomodulation therapy that involves the use of wavelengths ranging from 620 nm to the infrared (820–904 nm) over the surface of patient’s skin. The proposed mechanisms include anti-inflammatory effect as well as stimulation of cell proliferation, microcirculation, vascular neoformation, and collagen production [85]. Fewer studies have been conducted on the efficacy of LLLT in the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis, however the systematic reviews that have been done found that LLLT significantly improved pain and function and decreased plantar fascia thickness compared to other therapies, such as exercise.  In Summary Regarding treatment efficacy for management of plantar fasciitis, outcomes using corticosteroid, PRP, and ESWT may have the largest number of studies and most reviews concluded longer-term outcomes favoured non-corticosteroid interventions. Similar to tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis has been characterized by degeneration of collagen even though inflammation may play an important role in the early disease process. However, this does not mean that inflammation and degeneration represent a continuum of disease but reflect two distinct or often coexisting processes. Therefore, corticosteroids may offer benefits in short term particularly within 1 month following treatment. By Hayley Paterson | Biomechanical Podiatrist A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews on the Epidemiology, Evaluation, and Treatment of Plantar FasciitisHye Chang Rhim 1,† , Jangwon Kwon 2,†, Jewel Park 3, Joanne Borg-Stein 4,5 and Adam S. Tenforde 4,5,*

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Let’s learn a bit about our Biomechanical Podiatrist, avid-traveller, and boss-lady Hayley
Let’s learn a bit about our Biomechanical Podiatrist, avid-traveller, and boss-lady Hayley

Hayley, tell us a little about yourself Hi there! I grew up in sunny Mackay, spending my childhood on either a touch footy or hockey field. I’ve always been involved with sport and physical activity which meant Podiatry was a logical career choice. After completing my degree in Brisbane, I made my way up to Cairns to start my career. After a short stint I jumped at the opportunity to open my own clinic in Townsville, that was 15 years ago! Travelling overseas to diverse countries has always been my passion. I love leaving life behind and immersing myself in the wonder of different cultures, food, people and landscapes. Since Covid I’ve replaced travel with hiking adventures around Aus but can’t wait to get back overseas! I still love to keep fit - mixing things up with yoga, functional training, running and hiking.

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Help us Share the Dignity this August
Help us Share the Dignity this August

Homelessness, poverty, unemployment, domestic violence. These are just a few of the reasons why women are forced to choose between buying food or sanitary items. This is not ok. Foundation Podiatry Townsville is participating in the 'Share the Dignity' again this August. This is an Australia-wide initiative to support women troubled by a range of issues limiting their access to basic hygiene products.                     We were shocked to learn the high rates of homelessness and domestic violence amongst women in Townsville. For these vulnerable and at risk women, each monthly period can be a shameful and traumatic experience, suffering indignities such as having to clean themselves in public toilets and use paper towels or newspaper to create makeshift sanitary pads. The knowledge that many Australian women can not take hygiene for granted during menstruation saddens us. We believe that sanitary items should be a right NOT a privilege! During August, 2022 Foundation Podiatry is a ‘Share the Dignity’ collection point for sanitary items, which will be delivered to Townsville Women’s Shelters. If you would like to help out - please consider popping into our clinic to add some sanitary items to our collection box. (Or make a small cash donation and we will purchase the sanitary items on your behalf!) Want to learn more, check out 'Share the Dignity' here. We hope you can join in on our 'Share the Dignity' mission to ensure every woman has dignity when dealing with her monthly period.

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So who is Chris Weber?
So who is Chris Weber?

Let’s learn a little more about our Biomechanical Podiatrist, Avid Runner and Running Coach Chris Weber   Tell us something we don’t know about Chrissy Weber? I spent 12 months working in the scuba diving industry in my 30’s – it was part of a working holiday with most of the dive work completed in WA.  It was an awesome experience! So you’ve been a Podiatrist now for 15 years – what is it about the profession that keeps you so interested? I have always been fascinated by the human body and how it works.  There is so much we still don’t know or understand.  Therefore, what keeps me interested is the continuous learning, improving our understanding of how the body functions and finding new ways to help people stay active. I’ve spent the last week 18 months completing further study in Sports Medicine with the University of Melbourne.  I have completed the Graduate Certificate in Sports Medicine which provided me with an opportunity to network with other Podiatrists, Physiotherapists and Sports Physicians and to learn the most up to date evidence-based treatments for conditions such as Achilles Tendinopathy, Patellofemoral Joint pain, Femoral Acetabular Impingement and Acute Foot and Ankle injuries to name a few. What is the most rewarding patient outcome you’ve achieved as a Podiatrist? It’s not a specific example but I find it most rewarding when a small, low-cost change or simple advice leads to improved patient outcomes.  For example, when changing from one shoe to another can provide immediate and lasting pain relief.   What do you enjoy most about working at Foundation Podiatry? At Foundation Podiatry we are a small team.  We each play a very important role in providing the best experience for our patients.  I couldn’t do what I do without the support from every member of our team and this is what makes coming to work each day very easy! Favourite Food? Pizza. What is the most risky/vulnerable/perilous experience you’ve had overseas? I’ve not had a perilous experience as such.  I have been scuba diving in Indonesia and Malaysia, cycle touring around the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, trekking above 5000m in Nepal in remote locations – all without incident.  Maybe I’m just lucky??!! Next holiday destination?  Sad to say I don’t have a next holiday adventure.  I am really keen to travel overseas again but don’t have any plans just yet.    

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Townsville Podiatrist Emma Phelps joins the Foundation Podiatry team!
Townsville Podiatrist Emma Phelps joins the Foundation Podiatry team!

Emma has been working as a Podiatrist in Townsville for the last 12 years and joined Foundation Podiatry in November 2021. Let’s get to know more about Emma! Tell us a little about yourself Hi all! I grew up in a rural town in NSW and have always had a strong interest and passion for sport.  I immersed myself in everything possible from running, swimming, athletics through to Netball and Touch football. I moved to Townsville fresh out of university back in 2010 to be closer to my sister and her family with the intention of staying “just a few years”. I have since fallen in love with the town, the people and the opportunities that our great city has to offer.  I enjoy being outdoors and try and do some hiking or waterfall chasing as often as I can. I still have a passion for fitness, currently training Crossfit 5-6 times a week. I have a 2-year-old border Collie, Echo who keeps me active and entertained. She is full of sass and absolutely loves the beach or any swimming opportunity. What made you decide to study Podiatry? When I was around 12-13 and heavily involved in sport, I used to get a lot of foot, knee and hip pain. I had been down multiple avenues to try and find relief and it wasn’t until I got referred to a biomechanical podiatrist that I was able to get some positive results. This was hugely influential for me as my ability to move without pain and continue my active lifestyle was so important!   So, a positive experience with the profession certainly sparked my interest in making Podiatry a career.  Why are you excited about joining the Foundation Podiatry team? I am so excited to be joining the Foundation Podiatry team! Hayley and her team have a reputation for excellent patient care and outcomes. I’m excited to work for a small, locally owned and operated business where we can freely collaborate and share our experience and knowledge. I’m also excited to work with some of the latest technology and therapies available to be able to provide more comprehensive patient care.  What is the most rewarding patient outcome you’ve achieved as a Podiatrist? I believe being able to help any patient achieve a positive outcome whether it be pain reduction, improved mobility or injury rehabilitation is one of the most rewarding experiences as a health care clinician. I recently worked closely with a young lady with a complex medical history who suffered from multiple repeat metatarsal fractures and significant mobility restrictions that were leading to reduced capacity to work and engage in activities that she enjoyed. Using multiple therapies including strengthening, footwear modification and custom foot orthotics, I was able to get her comfortably back on her feet with no further fractures or complications.   Favourite Food? I love Italian food. I have a good friend that makes her own pasta which is to die for! Next holiday destination? Firstly, I’m so excited to head down into NSW to visit some family that I haven’t been able to see in a while due to border closures. I am also very keen to get back out and do some more international travel. I would absolutely love to get over to South America with Machu Picchu on the top of my travel list.  

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All About Running Footwear
All About Running Footwear

Chris Weber - Biomechanical Podiatrist & Runner - shares her insights into Running Footwear Correct Fitting  A comfortable and correct fit is the most important consideration for all shoes. Incorrect fit can be the sole cause of pain or injury. Consider the length, width and depth of the shoe.

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