Say the words “sports podiatry” and images of ripped pro athletes are the first thing to spring to mind. But it’s not just the professionals that enjoy walking or running, and a lot of us play sports for fun – until we start experiencing problems.
When we don’t use our feet properly, we become prone to injury says Mark Lin, a sports podiatrist operating in the Sydney area. “Foot problems mean added strain to the lower limbs which, in turn, affects the hips and back. As soon as we make demands on our bodies, these problems come to the fore, making us more likely to sustain a variety of injuries,” he explains.
“A lot of my sports podiatry patients aren’t professional athletes. They’re just active folks that experience pain, discomfort, or frequent injuries.”
More Than Just Treatment
There are many ways to treat pain and inflammation, but while a podiatrist can help with these short-term aches and pains, it’s only the beginning. “We want to prevent people from sustaining the same injuries over and over again,” says Mr Lin. “We do help to relieve the initial pain, but our aim is the long-term correction of issues that are affecting people’s mobility.”
The initial consultation includes a focus on gait – the way we walk and the way we use our feet to carry our bodies along. Footwear also comes under the spotlight, since choosing the wrong shoes for any activity will magnify any pre-existing problems with gait.
There are various ways to go about correcting gait problems says Mr Lin: “As podiatrists, we may decide that orthotics will help in the short-term, but in the long-term, we don’t want people to be dependant on orthotics in order to enjoy the freedom of mobility. We will use foot mobilisation techniques to unlock the range of movement that feet should have, and we’re looking for a solution that goes far beyond treating a current injury.”
“Unlike most podiatrists, we don’t stop at interventions that help people to use their muscles and joints properly. We also use Trigenics to help with neural reprogramming. Simply put, that means persuading the nervous system to trigger movements in a different way. Adding Trigenics to my treatment programs has fast-tracked results and has contributed to the long-term benefits my clients enjoy.”
Walking and Running the Way Nature Intended
Although sportspeople push the limits of what they can do further than most, sports podiatry techniques can help just about anybody who has problems with pain and discomfort originating in the feet.
“Many people experiencing frequent injuries don’t realise that the way they use their feet could be to blame. Podiatry techniques can free them from ongoing or recurring pain and allow them to enjoy being mobile again. To me, this is the number one reward my profession offers me. Yes, I like to see pro athletes realising their true potential, but I’m as happy to see ordinary people regaining the ability to enjoy a barefoot walk on the beach.”
If you’re experiencing pain in your feet, lower limbs, hips, or back, sports podiatry may hold the answers you’ve been looking for – even if you aren’t an athlete. You don’t need a referral from a doctor. Podiatrists are happy to help anyone who would like to have his or her gait assessed to promote wellness and physical performance.
For further information, visit the The Footwork Clinic – Leading Sports, Podiatry, Foot And Lower Limb Corrective Services to book online, or call Mark Lin or his friendly team on +61 2 9131 6891.
Want a faster response or ask us a quick question? Click here to chat with The Footwork Clinic LIVE on Facebook Messenger.
The information contained in this guide is provided in good faith and is not intended to be nor is it to be used as a substitute for any sort of professional, medical or podiatric advice. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a podiatrist. Any users should always seek the advice of their podiatrist, or other qualified healthcare providers before commencing any treatment.