Tina has secret to happy feet
FEET — smelly, nobbly and often neglected.
For those of us who are lucky enough not to have any problems with our feet, we tend to treat them as something to get us from A to B or things to cram into skyscraper heels before a night out.
But feet can also be crucial indicators of serious health problems and the source of a lot of pain.
Tina Service is a podiatrist and has more than 20 years experience of dealing with foot disorders.
After working for the NHS for 21 years — including 18 months at the Royal Bolton Hospital — Tina has set up her own podiatry practice called Feet First Clinic in Chorley Old Road and says it is important that people look after their feet.
Podiatry is a relatively new term for the treatment of foot disorders.
Pod is Greek for foot and iatros for doctor — hence the name podiatrist or foot doctor. It is the health care field that specialises in conditions and functions of the human foot and ankle.
It includes examination, diagnosis and treatment by medical and surgical methods.
So how do you know if you need to see a podiatrist? Well if your feet hurt, something is probably wrong. Whether it’s a pressure point, sore spot or toe nail, a podiatrist can usually help.
Tina treats all foot problems from ingrowing toe nails, corns, callus, nail problems, heel and foot pain.
She also performs nail surgery, provides insoles and diabetic foot care.
Tina, aged 45, from Heaton, said: “I think sometimes people are embarrassed about foot problems — but I’ve seen it all over the years.
“Your feet can be affected by all sorts of other health issues such as arthritis, neurological problems, diabetes and poor circulation.
“Quite often, people’s feet problems are nothing too serious and I can help with the use of insoles to relieve the pain.
“If you don’t have your feet seen to, it can result in a higher risk of injury.
“A podiatrist can help treat and rehabilitate abnormal conditions of the feet and lower limbs.
“They also prevent and correct deformity, relieve pain and treat infections.”
It is especially important for people with diabetes to look after their feet.
This is because the condition can limit the blood supply to the feet and cause a loss of feeling. As a result, foot injuries do not heal well, and the lack of feeling means diabetes sufferers may not notice if their foot is sore or injured.
Diabetes sufferers are also 15 times more likely to have a limb amputated due to gangrene.
Smokers are also more likely to have problems with their feet due to poor circulation, which can also lead to sores and injuries.
Tina added: “When I worked on the wards at the NHS, I dealt with more serious podiatry cases because people with low immune systems find it more difficult to fight off infection.
“In my own practice it tends to be more day to day problems that can be dealt with in the practice.
“Common issues we see include fungal infections or in-growing toe nails, which can be extremely painful.
“We also deal with biomechanical problems. For example, if you have a bad back that can affect where you place your body weight on the sole of your feet.”
Tina says it is also important for elderly people to take care of their feet.
“Sometimes older people are embarrassed about the state of their feet because they either can’t reach to cut their toenails or look after their feet themselves.
“This is why they may need help from a relative or from a podiatrist.
“If someone comes to me with a problem that is a bit more serious, I can signpost them to a GP for appropriate treatment.” she explained.
Next up, shoes. What kind of footwear will be kind to your feet?
Given the appearance of Victoria Beckham’s feet, you would assume Louboutin heels, no matter how good they look, are not good for your toes But Tina says heels are okay — as long as you don’t wear them every day.
“Heels are fine as long as you don’t wear them all the time.
“If you do, all of body weight is constantly on your toes, which is why they develop a claw-like appearance. The worst types of heels you can wear are the ones with a tapered or pointy toe.
“They can cause a lot of damage.
“In general, shoes with a rounded toe are better for your feet and lace-ups are also good.
“Trainers or shoes with a spongy sole will also support your feet well.”
All podiatrists should be registered with the Health Professionals Council (HPC).
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