Put Your Best Foot Forward at your Podiatry Appointment
From sprained ankles to black toenails, corns, calluses and shin pain – your local podiatrist can help you with problems affecting your feet and lower limbs.
In most cases, a referral is not required as consultations generally aren’t covered by Medicare. The exception may be if you have a chronic condition and your GP has provided you with an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan.
Preparing for your Appointment
While most of us brush and floss our teeth before a trip to the dentist, there is such a thing as being too prepared to see your podiatrist!
Although we much prefer it if you wash your feet and wear clean socks, it’s best if you don’t cut your toenails. Your podiatrist may want to show you the correct way to do it (for example, if you have an ingrown toenail); or send clippings to the pathology lab.
Women in particular can make a point of shaving their legs or even plucking the hairs from their big toes. Again, it is best if you don’t – being able to see your hair growth can help your podiatrist to identify problems such as poor blood flow.
What to Bring to Your Appointment
Make sure you bring along any x-rays or CT scans you may have, and a list of your questions and concerns – it’s amazing how many of us have a mental blank when sitting in a medical consulting room!
And while it may be embarrassing to bring along your smelly old trainers, or other everyday shoes, they can be an important diagnostic tool. By observing the wear patterns, your podiatrist can gain valuable insight into your walking style and any gait problems.
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
At your first podiatry visit, you can expect to be asked about your overall medical history. Although lower back pain or diabetes may seem unrelated to your feet, surprisingly, both may benefit from podiatry care.
And finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions – your podiatrist is there to help you keep your feet sweet!
This article was written by Trevor Lane, a Brisbane podiatrist qualified in Foot Mobilisation Technique (FMT), and with a special interest in the treatment of sports injuries.
If you need to see a podiatrist, you can find one near you by using the doctors.com.au search for a podiatrist.