BLOG - FORTNIGHTLY BLOG BY JANET McGROGGAN - PRINCIPAL PODIATRIST 

Many people have lost or damaged toenails and this can be unsightly and embarrassing. There are a variety of causes. 
 
• Missing due to nail surgery 
• Damaged through fungal nail infection 
• Missing due to trauma 
• Missing or incomplete due to nail pathology 
• Damaged through medication 
 
The first picture here is from a female patient (permission granted). Three and a half years ago a horse stood on her right big toe causing a lot of trauma resulting in the nail coming off completely. 
Why, oh, why do we have foot problems? I mean aren’t we just doing what nature intended? Your gait is as unique as your fingerprint.  
 
We do not all walk about perfectly upright, arms swinging symmetrically at our sides, head forward like the synths in Humans. Just stop in your main street or my personal favourite, the airport and look around you. Limps, striding, sloping… just look at this guy  
But what is the root of it all? Why the individuality? This is not an exhaustive list, but a taster, and some lucky people will never have a problem, but a recent survey found that 66% of people in the UK say that foot or lower leg pain has stopped them from exercising at some point. 
Let’s face it, sometimes feet are not great at being feet. They get lumps and bumps, limps and pains.  
 
Why? Well at the end of the day the way we, humans, stand upright, stacking our leg bones perpendicular to our foot bones and our pelvis, spine and head on top of that.  
 
Also, in western society, we shove them into man made, often unstructured, footwear and walk on flat hard surfaces like concrete or wooden panels, also man made. 
 
But isn’t that what feet are for? 
 
Ultimately feet like the rest of our bodies have evolved from chimpanzee like ancestors. Our closest living ancestors are bonobo apes. 
My daughter is heading to Creamfields later this summer and as a podiatrist this is when I can really get into annoying parent mode.  
 
So, while she is worrying how close she can get to The Chainsmokers I am wandering round mumbling words like Welly Legs and Immersion Feet. 
 
Online there are several weird and wonderful items to make your festival life ‘erm easier (shoe covers that look like giant trainers!!!) it really is not complicated.  
 
So, when you are packing items to bundle into your wheelbarrow or whatever think of your feet. All other clothes items can get wet and muddy, but your feet are the things that can make or break your crazy jumping about at the gig and after the whole thing is over. 
Varicose Vein surgery has been named in a list of 17 procedures that NHS England has deemed unnecessary as it aims to save money and even out the current postcode lottery for some treatments.  
 
This has probably got varicose vein sufferers in a panic but let’s take a look at what varicose veins are and what non-surgical treatment options are out there. 
 
There are many factors that would make you prone to various veins and wouldn’t you know it being female is one, as is being pregnant.  
 
Family history, being overweight, age and prolonged periods of standing for example as part of your job all contribute and the more boxes you tick the more likely you are to develop varicose veins. 
Photo by Eirik Skarstein on Unsplash 

Our Principal Podiatrist, Janet McGroggan was interviewed by Tanya Pearey from Woman's Weekly Magazine.   Publication date 19th June 2018.  Click the image or 'Read More' for the full article. 

Last blog I wrote a bit about who we are, what we do… that’s podiatrists, not some alien species, and how to look after your feet.  
 
In this sequel (lol) I want to explain a wee bit more about conditions we treat and why podiatrists are the go to guys when it comes to lower limb conditions. 
 
People walk lots and wear shoes, or don’t wear shoes, or wear the wrong shoes. FACT 
 
People get foot problems or knee problems or hip problems and hope there is an instant cure. FACT 
 
These two facts are related funny enough and when people get problems generally we are too busy to do anything or aren’t sure who to go to. 
 
Most podiatrists are knowledgeable and approachable and if we feel that we are not the right professional for you we will refer you to the right one. 
June is Foot Health Month and this year podiatrists want to let you know how amazing your feet are and let you know how to keep them that way!  
 
Julia Bradbury who is passionate about walking is The College of Podiatry’s sponsor for this special event.  
 
She is quoted in Podiatry Now (our monthly magazine) as saying ‘A visit to my podiatrist is a part of my health and fitness routine and helps me keep my feet in prime condition.’ 
 
Right we know what a bunion is, and we know that there can be many different reasons for them but what do we do to treat them?  
 
Before you book in for major surgery there are several ways to deal with bunions on a day to day basis. 
 
First is your bunion painful? Several people have bunions and they are not painful and in this case you may choose to totally ignore them or you may will to preserve the joint as best you can and prevent further deterioration. 
Like most things in life there are very few people with what we perceive to be a normal or perfect foot.  
 
Occasionally you hear of a person, often married to someone who has terrible feet ‘my husband’s feet are perfect…’ but much like new-born babies that sleep through the night, I have never seen one. 
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