WHEN DID YOU LAST HAVE YOUR FEET CHECKED?
If like me the answer is “Never!” it wouldn’t come as a surprise to Christine Stiles of the Marlborough Podiatry Clinic. “Ideally everyone should have their feet checked regularly – every 6 months or so, from the day they are born. However, education and knowledge about Foot Health is pretty poor in this country, so even though feet are so important it rarely occurs to people that regular maintenance may help to prevent problems later in life, as well as screening for various medical conditions such as Diabetes”.
I went along to the Clinic for my first ever check to see what is involved.
After filling in a brief questionnaire, and answering various medical history questions, Christine examined my feet. She pointed out a mole on my left foot that I didn’t’ even know was there, and advised me to keep an eye on it.
I mentioned that when I was small my mother took me to the doctor because the two outer toes on each foot bent inwards, and that the doctor had told her there was nothing to worry about, everyone’s feet were different and bendy toes were normal. Imagine my surprise when Christine told me that it was more likely that my bendy toes were caused by the fact that I have an increased angle of tilt to my foot, so that whey I’m standing my feet tend to roll in slightly (over pronate) in compensation.
Apparently, this could have been helped if treated when I was a child, but now would be difficult to “correct”, although stretching the toes regularly could improve the amount of bend. “orthotics (specially shaped insoles for the shoes) are an option, but not particularly indicated in your case as an adult without pain or other major symptoms” Christine advised, “but you can see where the skin at the back of the toes has become foreshortened, so you couldn’t straighten the toe completely even if you wanted to, despite the fact that the joints are perfectly flexible. Over time, stretching will improve that”.
Christine next pointed out that the nails on my big toes and little toes were slightly thickened, (due to shoe/ground pressure) and that because the two outer toes were effectively overlapping, ridges of hard skin were developing under the toes. The hard skin was dealt with using a scalpel (not painful at all), and what is effectively a mini sanding machine. The thickened nails were sorted with a small drill attachment to the same machine. She also told me to be extra careful about drying between the toes, as the skin in between can become ‘waterlogged’ which can encourage athlete’s foot, and may contribute to smelly feet!
Finally, once my feet had had their MOT and service, Christine recommended suitable ongoing footcare – synthetic pumice stone for hard skin, emollient cream to moisturise (but not between the toes), and the use of antiseptic tea tree oil between the toes. Also she showed me a couple of calf stretches which are good to keep the Achilles tendons flexible, and how to stretch my bendy toes to improve them!
Christine advises that feet should be checked every six months, and will also do a free 10-minute check on children’s feet with any adult appointment (you need to let her know in advance). I was glad that I had had mine checked, and fully intend to have them given the once over regularly from now on.
(article from p.18 Marlborough Newsletter)
Marlborough Podiatry Clinic
10 The Parade, Marlborough, SN8 1NE
10 The Parade, Marlborough SN8 1NE
No referral is necessary to attend the Clinic.
For information regarding appointment availability, fees and claiming on your health insurance, please ring the Clinic.
8.30am - 6pm Monday to Friday
9am - 1pm on Saturdays.
Tel: 01672 514581
Mobile: 07910 525376
There are 3 steps up within the clinic entrance