Podiatry/Chiropody

We offer a full range of treatments for all your foot problems, between us we have 100’s of years experience in looking after feet.

Medical Pedicure/Chiropody

We offer a comprehensive foot assesment and treatment for all foot problems.  We will provide you with sensible advice and a treatment plan.

Corns, Calluses, Dry cracking skin, Difficult toenails.
These are common foot problems that may become painful they can be easily and painlessly treated relieving discomfort almost instantly. A long term management plan can then be put in place to resolve or control the problem.

Fungal skin infections, Verrucae

Common Foot conditions
These are generally picked up in communal areas they can be chronic or aggressive.

Verrucae

Verrucae are caused by a virus ( Human Papilloma or Wart Virus) which invades the surface layers of the skin.

Elsewhere on your body they look typically like warts but on your feet you squash them by walking and they form hardened lumps of hard skin which may or may not be painful.

Verrucae are picked up in communal areas such as swimming pools gym’s etc. so if you have strange areas of hard skin appearing and possibly spreading you should have them examined.

They are treated individually according to their site and how long you have had them, the common treatments are chemicals and cryotherapy (freezing).

We also offer Verruca Needling under local Anaesthesia.

Biomechanics

In the broadest terms, ‘Biomechanics’ is the study of how living things move.  In Podiatry, Biomechanics is the study of how humans move with a specific interest in how we walk, run and stand.  Everything in nature is beautiful, but nothing in nature is simple and the arguments about how we first came to find ourselves on two feet still rage on in universities across the world.   But we do understand the how, even if we don’t know about the why?  With this knowledge, when things go wrong we have various options to help us put things right.

When we perform any kind of movement, from climbing a mountain to clicking a mouse; what takes place is an intricate cascade of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves all working together to carry out our desires and impulses.  Sometimes we are aware of this happening but when it comes to our feet and legs, most of the time we are not.  Because of this we usually don’t realise when something is going wrong.

What can go wrong?
There are hundreds of different structures that are involved in even the most basic of movements.  Getting up from a chair might seem simple, but it doesn’t take much for this to become quite a challenging task.  If you have a painful knee or hip for example, your body has to adjust to avoid putting stress on the painful joint, which means everything has to change.  Quite commonly, small adjustments like this become amplified as muscles which are used to working become weaker and other ones become stronger.  Just like any system, even the slightest change causes ripples which, given enough time, can cause other problems to develop.

Walking and standing are not ‘automatic,’ they are things which we learn to do, even if we don’t remember doing it.  Just like learning to play a musical instrument, it’s a complicated process which takes a lot of time and practice.  But unlike a musical instrument, it’s very difficult to know when things are being done badly.  We use our brain to tell our body to move from the chair to the door and we get up and go.  But no two people will do this in exactly the same way.  Some people will use their arms to help them up, some people will lean a long way forwards then use their back muscles to pull them-selves straight, some people will slide off of the chair and use their knees to ‘bounce’ forwards, some people will keep their feet flat on the floor, some people with stand up on their toes then put their heels down once they’ve got going… There is huge variety of physical options at our disposal, but we don’t choose which one to use and that is the problem.

Quite commonly, we don’t use the most efficient method to move and so problems ‘build up’ in areas which end up working too hard or not enough.  Muscles which are overloaded can become strained or muscles which are underused can become weak or tight. In time, this causes a ‘drag’ on the system as a whole and ‘slow injuries’ can start to manifest.  Because it is a system which is going wrong, pain or problems don’t necessarily occur around the problem area.  An ankle which is working badly can, for example, cause one of the knees to hurt.

When we walk, run or stand, we use our entire body so we also sometimes find that an old injury that seems to have healed well can cause problems to build up in other areas.  If, for example, you have a shoulder injury it is difficult to properly swing your arms whilst walking.  This means that your back and leg muscles have to adjust the way they work.  If not ‘put right’ after the shoulder has healed this process can continue to happen but at the same time as the arm starts to swing again.  A ‘clash’ will occur within the system and cause a problem in any number of places.

Everything happens for a reason, but when it comes to body pains those reasons can be difficult to work out unless you have a definite starting point.  If you suffer a broken bone in your foot, for example, it’s easy to know where to start looking if it continues to be painful after the break has healed but often it’s not that simple.  When you have an unexplained pain, depending on where it is and how long it’s been there, some obvious things can be ruled out quickly; which is why doctors take X-rays and carry out blood tests to look for disease or pathologies in the painful area.  When these come back as negative it can be quite challenging to know where to go next.  This is usually the point when Podiatric Biomechanics is so useful because we can assess how you do things and how you’ve done then for some time and work out if the pain might be part of a ‘system failure.’  In the modern worlds, our musculoskeletal system is more at risk of failure than you might think.

Modern problems in a modern world.
In the modern world, the way in which we use our body is very different from how we would have used it just a few decades ago.  Public transport, affordable cars, living and working in cities are all wonderful things, but they all tend to add to one thing; we don’t walk enough.  This might sound fairly harmless, but it is a serious problem.

The human body only tend to maintain the level of strength and fitness it requires on a day to day level, which is why athletes have to train carefully and regularly to stay at their best.  If you only walk from your house to the bus-stop or station and then to work at the other end; most people won’t average much more than a five to ten minute walk.  It doesn’t really matter now many times you do this as the muscles of your body need to warm up before they can gain fitness.  It takes about ten minutes of brisk walking for this to happen so for most people, by the time your body is about ready to go, you stop and rest.  Regular short walks and ‘steps-per-day’ are good methods of maintaining your cario-vascular health and help to control weight gain, but they do little to improve or maintain the fitness of your legs or feet.

We should all be capable of walking 15-20 miles suffering only mild fatigue towards the end, but how many of us really could?  Our ancestors are thought to have able to run huge distances over hours and hours without needing to stop.  Our bodies have not changed all that much since then, but our lifestyle is entirely different.  It is inevitable that some part of our body will pay the price, but there are things that can be done to help.

The Biomechanics Specialist is Chris Hadaway.

Sports Podiatry and Biomechanics

Why do even very fit feet hurt?
As discussed in Biomechanics Explained there are a variety of ways in which our body can achieve what our brain asks of it.  Unfortunately, we don’t always do things in the best possible way as far as our anatomy is concerned and sometimes this can result in injury and pain.  Even if you keep your body very fit, it doesn’t necessarily follow that that your muscles and bones are working at optimum efficiency.

Injuries, quick and slow.
There are lots of different injuries that sporting people can suffer from, some of them are obvious, like a twisted ankle, but others can be much more subtle and difficult to spot.  For example; it is very common for people to under use the muscles inside their feet (wearing shoes and walking on flat surfaces does little to increase or maintain foot strength) but this doesn’t hurt during day-to-day activities.  If you start a new sport you suddenly require these muscles to work and they can’t cope so they strain, this is a very common reason that sporting feet burn or ache in certain places.  Furthermore, we find that this principle can be applied pretty much anywhere in the body and we often find that back ground pains or dull aches can be traced back over quite a long time period.  Generally, pain is the last thing that happens; it’s the end of a process that may have been going on for ages.

Quick injuries such as twists, sprains and strains are usually the result of bad luck, a slip, stumble or fall.  The ability of the body to properly heal following an injury also depends on the way in which that body is working before the injury happened.  If, for example, you had been using your ankle poorly for years and years, even if you were unaware of the problem, if that ankle were injured it would be very difficult for it to heal properly.  This is why injury sites can become weak areas; because they always were only now there is scar tissue and damage to make matters worse.

A huge number of common sporting pains and problems can be investigated in these terms.  Problems such as:

  • Shin splints
  • Leg pain
  • Back pain
  • Sore ankles
  • Weak ankles
  • Painful Feet
  • Runners Bunions
  • Hard skin
  • Knee pains

Pains like these have to start somewhere and even if there was seemingly obvious beginning, if it still hurts they be a longer story than you realise.

Happily, our biomechanics specialist at the Mackenzie Practice is highly experienced in this field and can both assess and advise you on what the best course of action is.

My coach thinks I might need Orthotics.
How can Orthotics enhance my natural ability?

Our body is only ever as good as the modern world and our lifestyle allows it to be.  Very few people are perfect in the anatomical sense and small defects in structure and ability are very common.  For most of us, if we’re honest, we don’t do enough exercise for any of these defects to ever bother us.  Most of us never even know they’re there.  When we get fitter, however, little things can become amplified and we encounter limits to our physicality that simply don’t make sense.

Think in terms of cars; if you have a twenty-year-old, unkempt, diesel hatch-back that struggles up hills but none-the-less gets you where you want to go; you can do pretty much whatever you want to the engine, tyres and tracking, it’s still going to splutter and struggle but it will get there in the end.  Now think of a top-spec, hugely expensive Italian sports car; in this case even the slightest change to the slightest thing requires a laptop and a technician because the car is a balance of high performance systems that all interact and affect each-other.

In the modern world, some of us are hatch-backs and some of us are sports cars.  The fitter you become the more important little defects in position and power become.  If these things are addressed, limiting factors are removed and you can progress towards your true potential.

Orthotics

In a Podiatry Clinic, ‘Orthotic’ is a term we use for any device we put inside your shoes to can the way in which your foot works. Sometimes these devices are very basic and temporary, sometimes they are very soft and used for comfort and other times they are powerful, specially made devices to change the way you walk.

How do I know if I need Orthotics?
Because Orthotics can be used for so many different things and because so many problems turn out to have a biomechanical component, almost everyone can benefit form going through a course of Orthotic treatment.  The only way to know for sure is to come and visit our Biomechanical Specialist and undergo a Biomechanical assessment to find out what’s really going on.

Nail Surgery

Ingrown or thickened nails
Nails become ingrown for a variety of reasons. They can become infected swollen and very painful.

We offer a full range Nail Surgery Procedures using Local Anaesthesia when this is the case.

Sometimes nails are thickened and don’t appear to grow properly this maybe from injury or due to fungal infections we can advise you on their care and management.

Diabetic Foot Screen

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause serious problems to occur in your feet.

We offer check ups for Diabetic patients assessing blood flow and sensation, provide treatment and advise on long term care.

We recommend low risk Diabetic patients to be screened annually,  for those who are a higher risk we will advise you individually how often you should have your feet checked.

We are happy to share findings with your GP or Diabetes Specialists if you so wish.

Sean Lyons and Liz Daffey are Diabetes Specialist Podiatrists

House Calls

We offer a service to those patients for whom coming into the Clinic is difficult.

Please note the service we can offer at home is not as comphrehensive as the service we can offer in the clinic. So if it is possible for you to come into the clinic we would encurage you to do so. We have level access and disabled facilities.

Children’s Feet

Because standing and walking are things that we learn rather than things we do instinctively, and because all children and families are different; every child develops in their own, individual way.  Some children walk very early, some quite late and there is a very wide range of what can be considered ‘normal’ as this takes place.  When we are born our feet are not yet complete and still have a long way to go before they are finished.  We are born with more bones then we end up with because as we grow, small bones fuse into single larger bones.  In the foot, this process is on-going until we are around eight years old.  Because of this, very young feet are incapable of form a true ‘arch’ and so can often appear to be flat, which can be perfectly normal.  When problems do occur they are usually fairly easy to spot if you know what to look for.

What should I look for?

Usually, your child will let you know if something is wrong because it will hurt and they will tell you about it.  A single episode of pain is usually nothing to worry about but if a pain becomes regular or consistent then there may be something wrong.  Watch out for patterns; do they always complain when they have been walking for a certain distance, do they complain if you walk a certain route, do stairs seem to aggravate the pain, is there a time of day when they seem to complain more often?  Pain patterns can tell us a lot about what might be going on.

If, for example, your child is fine when they are walking on a pavement but seem to have trouble or complain when walking over rough ground, it could mean their feet are a little weak and find it difficult to make constant adjustments to the changing shape and texture of the ground (this sometimes happens if they don’t spend enough time without shoes on as this can delay the development of strength in the foot muscles).

Sometimes a problem might not be painful but might cause a change in the way your child moves or behaves.  If, for example, they seem to be falling over more than usual or seem to having trouble balancing during play.  Often this is perfectly normal but sometimes it can be a sign that they are favouring a certain way of walking and therefore not generating an all-round fitness in their feet and legs (it is not uncommon for children to get into the habit of walking up on their toes which means they are not using all of their foot and thus not ‘gathering enough information’ about the ground, in this situation the body can’t make quick adjustments to the foot and therefore balance can appear to be a problem).

At other times it can look like there is a problem, but everything seems to be normal and nothing hurts.  Often shoe-shops are the first people to raise concerns about potential problems or relatives that don’t see your child very regularly can see something that may have happened quite gradually and therefore gone unnoticed.  Usually this involves one side behaving differently from the other side (as in a very mild left sided limp) or looking different compared to the other side (one foot might appear slightly flat and the other side normal).  This too can be very common and is often perfectly normal, it is when the difference seems to be causing a problem that it might need addressing.

Developmental Problems

These are probably the most common set of problems and most of them are transient.  Because each child develops at a different speed and in different ways, sometimes if your child stands out from their piers it can be quite a worry but often it is just because they are taking their time.  Some people, for example, can never hop on one leg; some can from a very young age, some not until they are ten.  Some people can hop on either foot, some people on only one.  It is just one of those individual things.

Other types of developmental problems relate to the different type of tissues our body is made from.  Bone, for example, can grow up to three times more quickly then muscle does; so if you have a growth spurt and your leg bones shoot out, it will take time for your muscle to catch-up and where the muscle attaches to the bone (usually near a joint) it can become sore due to the extra tension.  This is probably the most common cause of ‘growing pains.’  Children that have growth spurts can be particularly prone to these sorts of problems.

Depending on how old your child is, this is also important.  During adolescence, for example, bones become denser and heavier as well as longer.  If this happens quickly over a relatively short period of time, it is a difficult thing to live with.  Teenagers that ‘gangle’ or bounce on their toes with their arms hanging limply at their sides are often going through such a phase.

These sorts of issues are not usually a problem until they start to cause other problems.  If the pain from muscle tightness becomes too uncomfortable then treatment is indicated in order to make them more comfortable.  The only way to know for sure whether this is required is to have them checked by your GP or a specialist Podiatrist or Physiotherapist.

Structural or Hereditary Problems

These are problems caused by the way an individual’s body can develop, when there is an issue that is handed down through the generations.  These problems are very common but quite often what the family will think of as the problem is actually the final stages of the problem.  Because people don’t tend to be screened, or checked for problems, nothing is seen in it’s early stages.  It might be known, for example, that in a family everyone develops a bad hip when they get older; but we don’t always think about when these things start.

A common cause of hip pain is because one leg might me longer than the other and because of the way this causes the hip of the loner leg to work, it get worn out more quickly than the other side.  The process of wearing away is quite normal but the fact it happens on one side more quickly is actually quite unusual; it’s very common so we don’t tend to question it, but if the musculoskeletal system is well balanced then all the joints to wear at the same rate.  It is therefore a biomechanical problem.

Leg length differences are extremely common and nothing within themselves to worry about; but the way in which the body comes to cope with a leg length difference is important and settles in, sometimes, at quite a young age.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture, is an ancient system of holistic medicine that has been practiced for over 2000 years in the East.

Our Acupuncturist is a specialist in her field with many years of experience in Clinical Practice and University Teaching.

Acupuncture

Problems that may be helped by acupuncture

The following is a list of the problems that are most likely to be helped by acupuncture.

The list is not exhaustive but includes the conditions most commonly treated by medical acupuncturists.

Painful musculo-skeletal conditions

• Muscle pain
• Strains and sprains
• Low back pain
• Neck pain
• Tennis elbow
• Shoulder pain
• Sports injuries
• Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
• Arthritis

Female problems

• Period pains
• Menopausal symptoms
• Infertility
• Polycystic ovaries
• Premenstrual symptoms

Conditions related to pregnancy

• Morning sickness
• Breech presentation
• Dyspepsia of pregnancy
• Low back and pelvic pain

Allergic conditions

• Hay fever
• Asthma
• Urticaria
• Sinus problems and catarrh

Addictions

• Acupuncture may be used to support smoking cessation provided the smoker already has the willpower to stop
• Acupuncture is also used to treat other addictionsand to help overweight people lose weight

Other conditions

• Anxiety
• Headaches
• Migraine
• Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• Inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
• Cystitis
• Insomnia
• Stress
• High blood pressure
• Skin conditions
• Stroke
• Male infertility
• Depression

Chiropractic

A Chiropractor is a health care professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of Neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and or manipulation of the spine.

Chiropractic

Chiropractors use their hands to treat disorders of the bones, muscles and joints. Treatments that involve using the hands in this way are called “manual therapies”. Chiropractors use a range of techniques, with an emphasis on manipulation of the spine.