Keeping your feet in the best condition possible is a valuable investment in your health. By keeping fit and active and undertaking regular walking you will reduce your risk of all the major chronic ailments we see in our society from arthritis to heart disease, diabetes to depression and weight gain to back pain. Walking is a vital part of our well-being and has been so since the earliest times of mankind. By seeing your podiatrist on a regular basis you are making an investment in not only your current foot health, but also in your future well-being; these tips will help you understand the consultation and treatment process and help you get the most from your time with us.
Following initial introductions you will be asked what the problem with your feet is. The history is vital in getting to the cause of the problem and finding out the best way to help you. It is best to be guided by your podiatrist during the process, but please do write down things that you feel are important and bring them to the consultation.
Your podiatrist may make some notes while they listen to you as you explain your problem. They will also take a medical history that is relevant to you and your foot health.
Your podiatrist will examine your feet carefully in order to continue to assess the problem fully. This may involve you sitting, standing and possibly walking.
Following the assessment your podiatrist will explain the diagnosis of your problem and what they think may have caused it.
Your podiatrist will then discuss the treatment plan with you. Once the treatment plan has been agreed, your podiatrist will start the treatment process addressing the key problems first. You may need to undergo a course of treatment to cure or stabilise your foot problem and your podiatrist will recommend appropriate review or follow up appointments. It is important to keep these appointments to get the best results.
Remember that an allotted appointment time allows time for you to remove and replace your shoes and socks; it also allows time for your podiatrist to clean the treatment area, sort out instruments and write up your treatment notes. Accurate note writing ensures continuity of your care and allows for continual reassessment of your foot health. It is also an integral part of us being awarded Accredited Practice status (the only practice in Wiltshire to hold this) and is an ethical and legal requirement of the HCPC and SCP – our regulatory bodies.
To help us to help you it would be useful to firstly arrive in good time for your appointment. Make a note of any medication you take and medical problems you may have. The enclosed medical questionnaire should be filled in as it will help you and your podiatrist identify relevant problems in your health status.
It is a good idea to leave your coat in the waiting room and wear easy to remove hosiery. Please wear your normal footwear, but bring with you a sample of shoes you may use regularly. That way you will get the maximum time with your podiatrist.
Remember that we are here to help you; many people find that they are embarrassed to talk about their foot problems, but as podiatrists we are fascinated by feet and the stories behind them. So don’t be shy to ask any questions about your feet and we will do our best to answer them and solve your problem as quickly as possible.