Monthly Archives - April 2020

Pain in the heel | Earlsfield | Wimbledon

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Pain in the heel is a common area of discomfort and at this present moment in time our Podiatrists at South West Podiatry are seeing a rise in patients complaining of heel pain during our video consultations.

What is heel pain?

Heel Pain is an umbrella term which refers to pain under the heel bone. There are approximately 50 different conditions that can affect the heel. Therefore, it should be classed as plantar heel pain until an accurate diagnosis is made by a Podiatrist or health professional. 

Sometimes multiple conditions can co-exist. Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of foot pain in adults.  The term Plantar Fasciitis is interchangeable and may also be referred to as “heel spurs” or “plantar fasciopathy” 

Other causes of Plantar Heel Pain  
Heel fat pad inflammation, bursitis  
Bony conditions such as a stress fracture 
Nerve entrapments 
Inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis  
Surrounding tendon or muscle abnormalities 
Referred pain from lumbar spine such as Sciatica  
Neoplastic tumors or abnormal growths 
Peripheral neuropathy and diabetes  

What are the symptoms?

  • A sharp stabbing pain under the heel or arch
  • Pain when rising from bed, or after a prolonged period of sitting. 
  • Pain which is tolerable and warms up with physical activity, but worsens with fatigue and worsens after activity.  

What is the Cause? 

When the cumulative load in the plantar fascia exceeds what the tissue can tolerate. This is often due to a combination of the following risk factors: 

Intrinsic Risk Factors Extrinsic Risk Factors 
Increased foot pronation (flat feet) Training error (too much too soon)  
Increased foot supination (high arched feet) Inadequate footwear 
Reduced ankle dorsiflexion (stiff ankles)  Working on hard surfaces 
Inefficient big toe function Prolonged standing or walking due to occupation 
Reduced hip stability and gluteal strength Obesity or sudden weight gain 
Reduced foot or calf strength  Age (most common between 40-60) and menopause 
Poor running form or other biomechanical factors Jumping sports 

What does treatment involve? 

Once a diagnosis is established, a treatment plan can be made. This will ensure the quickest possible recovery and reduce the risk of future injury. Based off the duration and severity of your symptoms, plus your goals and expectations, this will typically involve a combination of the following: 

Research estimates that 90-95% of patients will recover from Plantar Fasciitis with appropriate conservative treatment.  However, while recovery is generally good, it can sometimes take 6-12 months for complete resolution. Surgery may be considered for patients who do not improve with conservative treatment after 12 months. This generally involves horizontal excision of the plantar fascia, and an immobilisation boot or cast is required for 4-8 weeks followed by further rehabilitation.  

What should I do? 

Podiatrists are the experts at diagnosing and treating Plantar Fasciitis. An accurate diagnosis can be made on the nature of the symptoms and examination findings. At South West Podiatry, we are often able to use diagnostic ultrasound on site to aid in diagnosis.  If you have been suffering with heel pain for multiple weeks, an initial consultation is recommended.   

An initial consultation may be conducted in person or even online via video. From there we may suggest a biomechanical examination. This involves comprehensive analysis of how you move, and how this may relate to your injury. This involves an array of assessments such as infra-red pressure analysis, treadmill gait analysis and general physical examination. 

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How to treat ingrown toenails at home.

South West Podiatry

Ingrown toenails are on the rise due to the disruption and lifestyle change caused by the COVID-19 virus. This is because people are unable to access Podiatry services and there is an increase in activity levels due to the desire to get out and walk. Due to the changes this is causing a spike in complaints being recieved at South West Podiatry about ingrown toenails.

If left untreated the skin around the nail can become inflamed, putting individuals at risk of infection locally and sepsis if the toe is left untreated for a long period of time. This article has been designed to identify the clinical features of an ingrown toenail, what an infected toe looks like and how to treat at home before an appointment can be made with a Podiatrist.

Ingrown toenails, how are they caused?

Ingrown toenails are caused by a number of factors;

  • Poor fitting footwear
  • Inappropriate nail cutting technique
  • Increased activity
  • Toe and nail deformity
  • Trauma

What does ingrown toenails look and feel like?

Ingrown toenail
Ingrown toenail
  • Redness appears on the skin around the edges of the nail.
  • The end of the toe can become swollen and hot.
  • There is pain at the sides of the nail which is acute when pressure is put upon it.
  • Fluid/Pus can appear at the sides of the nail.
  • Extra skin is produced at the side of the nail that can bleed when trauma occurs to the area.
  • The toe can start to smell usually when infection is present.

How do I treat an ingrown toenail at home?

  • Keep the toe clean and bathe the toe in a warm salt water foot bath for 5-10 minutes once or twice a day.
  • A clean cotton wool bud can be used to wipe away fluid and or puss before a salt water foot bath.
  • If the skin around the nail is intact then gentle massage pushing the skin down and away from the nail can help reduce pain.
  • Apply an anti septic cream or spray to the toe to try and reduce the risk of infection occurring.
  • Keep the area covered with a sterile and breathable dressing

What happens if the pain does not go away?

If you are experiencing pain due to an ingrown toenail and the tips above have not helped to resolve the ingrown toenail then it is always best to consult with a Podiatrist as soon as possible. Due to the current climate Podiatrist are key workers and are still able to treat patients with acute conditions, ingrown toenails being one of them. At South West Podiatry we offer Virtual Video Consultations for patients who are unsure if their condition is urgent enough to be seen.

All our Podiatrists follow the guidance set out by Health England, College of Podiatry and the HCPC in treating patients that are at risk. All of our staff will be wearing full PPE when treating patients and will reduce patient to patient contact by allowing time in between appointments for patient to enter and leave with out breaking social distancing rules.

Book online today to schedule a consultation:

Alternatively, speak to our friendly booking team by calling: 02071646607

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Podiatry Video Consultation – ONLINE – Book Today

Online Podiatry Video Consultation information:

The use of technology is key for our organisation to provide excellent patient care. South West Podiatry use an innovative video consultation platform that brings a specialist to your hands, in the comfort of your own home.

Our technology:

South West Podiatry use the latest video conferencing technology to ensure that we can help you resolve Foot and Ankle pain, around your schedule.  A simple online booking platform is available 24/7 which enables you to schedule your Online Podiatry Video Consultation. A clinical consultation letter is sent to you via email and post detailing your consultation, assessment and treatment plan.

Our partners:

We bring accessible healthcare to you, offering availability around your schedule. We accept self-paying clients and many Private Medical Insurance companies.

How can an Online Video Consultation help you?

  • Affordable and accessible Foot and Ankle specialist consultation in your hands
  • Online booking service available 24/7
  • Saving you travel time
  • Working around your schedule
  • Provide a diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your needs
  • Refer and triage you to health professionals such as Physiotherapists / Orthopaedic surgeons / Rheumatologists / Podiatric Surgery
  • Refer you for appropriate investigations such as x-ray, ultrasound and MRI
  • Ingrown toe nail screening; Advice, Treatment and Surgical planning
  • Offer advice and guidance
  • Latest video conferencing technology
  • Review your home exercise program and discuss exercise progression
  • Monitor your progress, symptoms and management plan

Insurance and Consultation fees:

  • Self-Paying clients are invoiced £64 for each video consultation.  Our accounts team will send you an invoice via email and post following your video consultation.  Invoices are to be paid via BACS / online bank transfer using your name as a reference
  • Private medical insurance companies will be invoiced directly.  Please provide your membership number and authorisation code
  • Please click HERE for further information regarding private medial insurance and consultation fees
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Online Podiatry Video Consultation

Online Podiatry Video Consultation information:

The use of technology is key for our organisation to provide excellent patient care. South West Podiatry use an innovative video consultation platform that brings a specialist to your hands, in the comfort of your own home.

Our technology:

South West Podiatry use the latest video conferencing technology to ensure that we can help you resolve Foot and Ankle pain, around your schedule.  A simple online booking platform is available 24/7 which enables you to schedule your Online Podiatry Video Consultation. A clinical consultation letter is sent to you via email and post detailing your consultation, assessment and treatment plan.

Our partners:

We bring accessible healthcare to you, offering availability around your schedule. We accept self-paying clients and many Private Medical Insurance companies.

How can an Online Video Consultation help you?

  • Affordable and accessible Foot and Ankle specialist consultation in your hands
  • Online booking service available 24/7
  • Saving you travel time
  • Working around your schedule
  • Provide a diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your needs
  • Refer and triage you to health professionals such as Physiotherapists / Orthopaedic surgeons / Rheumatologists / Podiatric Surgery
  • Refer you for appropriate investigations such as x-ray, ultrasound and MRI
  • Ingrown toe nail screening; Advice, Treatment and Surgical planning
  • Offer advice and guidance
  • Latest video conferencing technology
  • Review your home exercise program and discuss exercise progression
  • Monitor your progress, symptoms and management plan

Insurance and Consultation fees:

  • Self-Paying clients are invoiced £64 for each video consultation.  Our accounts team will send you an invoice via email and post following your video consultation.  Invoices are to be paid via BACS / online bank transfer using your name as a reference
  • Private medical insurance companies will be invoiced directly.  Please provide your membership number and authorisation code
  • Please click HERE for further information regarding private medial insurance and consultation fees
Read more...