Podiatry & Chiropody:
There is a professional chiropody surgery in the practice, with all the latest technology and equipment, which I use to diagnose and treat a broad range of conditions effecting the feet. Here is a quick summary of the kind of treatments that I provide:
- I carry out routine foot care such as nail cutting, corn, hard skin (callus) removal and treatment for cracked (fissured) heels.
- I can help with painful ingrowing toenails, which can be treated under local anaesthesia, using minor surgical procedures, know as a partial nail avulsion or a total nail ablation.
- I treat stubborn fungal nail infections through a highly effective method that get’s right to the source of the problem.
- I use a number of methods, including laser therapy, to initiate an immune response, that attacks the viral infection that causes verruca’s.
- I provide diabetic foot care, including treatment of plantar ulceration and diagnostic testing for neuropathy and circulatory issues associated with diabetes mellitus.
- I offer expert advise and treatment for people suffering from heel pain and use shockwave therapy, tool assisted massage and foot manipulation to treat this condition.
- I prescribe special insoles (orthotics) that provide support to the feet and help to make walking more comfortable.
- I carry out in depth assessments or biomechanical analysis to diagnose the underlying causes of foot problems and dysfunction of the lower limb and the body as a whole.
Biomechanics & Gait Analysis:
Biomechanics is concerned with the study of the structure, function and motion of the mechanical aspects of biological systems. In podiatric medicine, biomechanics is a specialised field that is used to analyse the way in which the muscles, bones and joints of the feet and lower limb interact and move. It is also used as a way to diagnose and treat disorders of the lower limb by providing an insight into the underlying causes of injury and the predisposing factors that occur due to faulty patterns of gait.
A biomechanical assessment involves looking at the body as a whole. This would include an examination of posture and the spinal column.
The other main function of the clinic is to provide osteopathic treatment for patients with a wide spectrum of musculoskeletal (MSK) problems. This includes treatment for all the common aches and pains effecting spinal column, the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints of the body. Osteopathy is a gentle ‘hands on’ approach, that views the patient from a holistic perspective, treating the body as a whole and not just a collection of isolated parts.
Here is a brief summary of some of the types of problems I can help with:
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Sciatica and trapped nerves
- Headaches & migraines
- Peripheral joint problems, such as shoulder, elbow, hip & knee pain
- Sports injuries
- Pulled muscles, tendons and ligaments
I also use dry needling and laser acupuncture, to help resolve pain and tension in the muscles and connective tissues of the body. This is very effective in targeting specific areas in muscles that can develop acutely tender, taut bands of fibrotic tissue, otherwise known as ‘trigger points.’
Tool Assisted Massage
Another method I use to treat tight muscles is called ‘Tool Assisted Massage.’ These instruments are great for ironing out knots in muscles and for breaking down adhesions within fascia and other connective tissues. The tools act as useful diagnostic devices, similar in some ways to the needle on a record player, as they magnify the feeling of tension and drag from the underlying tissues.
Patients often complain of ‘knots’ in the muscle (Trapezius) that sits over the back of the shoulders and in between the shoulder blades (scapulae). This is an area of the body that is prone to ‘postural strain,’ due to sitting at a desk for long periods, with hunched up, rounded shoulders. This can lead to areas of hypertonicity in the Trapezius muscle, with very tender trigger points or knotted areas in the soft tissues. In fact the real cause of this problem is the myofascial tissues and the muscular tendinous junction the Levator Scapulae muscle, which inserts onto the top of the shoulder blade.
The fascia is connective tissue that runs throughout the body, a bit like a spiders web. It is a continuum of every structure within the body and envelopes muscles, bones and organs. When we think of the body, we tend to think of separate structures, such as bone, muscles or tendons but in reality it is all one interconnected structure and the fascia is the connecting tissue that binds and holds it all together. The network of myofascial tissues provide form to the whole body & it is an excellent example of the osteopathic principle of ‘the body as one unit.’
Specific exercises can also be prescribed to help manage chronic back pain, to improve range of motion in the joints and to maintain flexibility throughout the body. However, very often the best medicine is rest, to allow the body to repair and clean. Most of us spend to much time rushing around, stressed out and with busy lives; the ‘fight or flight’ response is switched permanently on, with the Sympathetic nervous system on maximum overdrive. The stress hormone, Cortisol, which is realised from the top of the kidney, has the negative effect of suppressing vital functions such as cleaning and repair. So in fact exercise can be detrimental to recovery and that is why it may well be best to rest…, something that busy people often struggle with!