BLOG - REGULAR BLOG BY JANET McGROGGAN - PRINCIPAL PODIATRIST 

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. 
Ok so we hear about bunions a lot, most people think only women get them or only old people or we inherit them from our granny.  
 
But what are they, why do we get them and what can we do about them? 
 
This is a picture of my bunion. Yes, even podiatrists get them.  
 
Mine is not big or painful and mainly this is because of how I manage it and I will go into detail on that later. 
 
A bunion is a bony prominence on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe.  
 
There is always a cause for this and if the cause is treated early enough then the bunion can be prevented, or its progress delayed. 
I bet the average man thinks that women moan about their feet more than men do and maybe they’d be right.  
 
But this is not just because we love our heels or the straps always seem to be in the wrong place.  
 
No – as if it’s not bad enough that we are a rollercoaster of hormones on a monthly basis with the ability to grow, carry and pop out babies.  
 
Now, added to this we can expect to live more than a third of our lives post menopausally!!!  
 
Joy of joys. 
If you have tried supportive footwear and gentle stretching with no success, then it is time to see a podiatrist. 
 
Go to Find a Podiatrist - UK or the HCPC website to find a qualified and regulated podiatrist. 
 
A podiatrist will take a medical history and ask you what treatments you have tried. They may recommend that you undergo a biomechanical assessment. 
There are several first line treatments you can try but remember Plantar Fasciitis is a symptom of a disorder and if home remedies do not work you must see a podiatrist or G.P. 
 
The first thing to do is take a long hard look at your footwear and remember when doing this think support, support, support! 
 
AVOID - Thin soles, flexible soles, high heels, narrow footwear, slip-on shoes. Especially avoid flip-flops (the havaianas style) and ballet pumps. 
The Plantar Fascia [fa-she-a] is a band of fibrous connective tissue in your foot. It is not a ligament, tendon or muscle.  
 
The plantar fascia originates in the calcaneus (heel bone) on the plantar surface (sole) of your foot. It stretches forwards and separates into five slips each one attaching into the plantar surface of each of the five metatarsal heads which make up the ball of your foot. 
 
Adding ‘-itis’ to any anatomical word means ‘inflammation’ E.g. Tendonitis – Inflammation of a tendon. Therefore, plantar fasciitis [fa-she-i-tis] means an inflamed plantar fascia. 
 
The plantar fascia has the unenviable task of supporting our body through our feet. It holds the fore foot to the rearfoot and without it our feet could completely collapse. 
Self-care of your feet and legs is always important but in people with Diabetes this is absolutely crucial. 
 
The key is to establish a daily routine. 
 
1. Clean and moisturise your feet. 
2. Use a mirror or willing family member to check for any cuts, blisters or ingrowing nails and clean and dress these immediately. 
3. Wear socks inside out so seams do not rub. 
4. Always wear well-fitting footwear and never go barefoot or just in sock soles. 
People often know that it is important for people with Diabetes not to cut their own toenails but when I ask they rarely know why this is.  
 
If you do not see a podiatrist regularly e.g. every 6-8 weeks, it is important to go for an annual foot check. There are several reasons why. 
 
Increased blood glucose levels 
 
• can affect the circulation to the feet and legs causing cramps, restless legs and poor oxygen levels to the skin and muscles. 
• can cause damage to the long nerves that reach your feet. This can mean a loss of sensation (peripheral neuropathy) or heightened sensation (painful neuropathy). The longer you are Diabetic the more chance you have of developing neuropathy. 
• cause poor healing and increased chance of bacterial infection. In combination with loss of sensation this means that a minor cut can become infected very quickly. 
• create the perfect environment for fungal skin and nail infections. 
The number of people being diagnosed with diabetes is growing and I know from experience that many people feel that it is inevitable because their mother or grandfather or someone had it, but this is not necessarily true.  
 
Unfortunately, with the increases in diagnoses comes an increase in complacency towards the disease and indeed many people have a limited understanding of diabetes. 
 
So, What Exactly is Diabetes? 
For my first blog of 2018 I would love to tell you about what a person has to do to become a podiatrist…. 
 
My career began when I was 25 years old. I had not yet gone to university as I was really unsure what I wanted to do/be….  
 
I had tried many jobs and still felt a bit lost and then I met a Podiatrist!! 
Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. ACCEPT COOKIES MANAGE SETTINGS