Podiatry and Coronavirus: Foot Health is Still Important
OUR PRACTICE CONTINUES TO BE OPEN FOR PATIENT CARE
Podiatry services will be available to the public unless we are otherwise informed by the government.
Whilst the functioning of society, on a national and international basis, appears to be changing on a daily basis with the impact of Coronavirus, certain essential services will be available for access by the public.
The health care sector is one such area, which will in most part continue, to be accessible to the public.
Foot health is important and people should continue to do their up-most to maintain this.
If you are a patient with a potential for foot complications (ie-diabetic) it is important you maintain as much as possible your usual routine (including consultations) to maintain your foot health.
It is important to understand the course of Coronavirus could take many months and so many latent health concerns may become a problem, should they be left unattended.
Foot Health Issues Should Not be Left Unattended
Foot and lower limb issues concerns which should not be left without professional advice:
1) Infection: Foot infection is very common and of course requires immediate treatment. In-growing toe nails are a common source of infection, causing significant pain and disability for the patient. Any infection has the potential to spread from a local area to involve more of the body. Immediate attention is required. Cellulitis a soft tissue infection is also common and again can develop to the foot, but can also involve or spread to the lower limb. Antibiotic therapy is almost always necessary. The maintenance of good foot health via primary foot care, is an important means of preventing infection and should be maintained consistently. Dr Clayton Clews can provide a script for antibiotic therapy in cases of foot and lower limb infection.
2) Current Foot Pain: Pain in any part of the body should not be left unattended. There are many sources of foot pain. Pain can be associated with infection (above), tendinopathies (tendon pain), neuropathies (nerve pain), joint pain (arthritis), vascular/venous pain (arteries and veins), trauma (impact injury) and associated with multiple structures because of poor function (ie- poor foot mechanics such as hyperpronation). Children can experience pain associated with growth (heel pain) and certain conditions such as inflammatory arthritis and gout are strongly associated with pain in the feet. Skin complaints, such as thickened and curved nails and callouses can cause foot pain.
3) Reduced Function and Mobility: Foot health is important for mobility and a functional life. A reduction in function and mobility associated with foot and lower limb health should be attended to. There are many foot and lower limb causes, which limit mobility and function, many of which require profession attention. During the coming months it is important people remain active to achieve and optimal physical and mental health. If your feet are restricting your mobility, it is important you seek podiatric care.
4) The High-Risk Foot: The diabetic foot is strongly associated with complications. Prolonged hospital stays are strongly associated with diabetic foot complications. This is associated with foot infection and non-healing wounds (ulceration). Any skin break or lesion on the foot or lower limb of a person with diabetes should be taken seriously. The blood supply and sensation to the feet are often compromised in people with diabetes, which predisposes them to an increased risk of tissue trauma to their feet and infection.
Patient suffering from auto-immune disease are also more likely to be subject to a foot complication.
Considerable measures are currently being undertaking to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Such measures include social distancing, hygiene practices and the closure of institutions where communal contact is present (ie – schools, certain government agencies, sporting clubs, social clubs etc).
Health practices, as essential services remain open. As such, people should be utilising these services when and should they require them.
It is important not to compromise one’s immediate health… by protecting one’s health risk, with regards to the Coronavirus. Good judgment is of course required here.
No person should unnecessarily increase their risk of contracting Coronavirus, such as exposing themselves to others who have the potential to have the infection. But nor should they fail to maintain their physical and mental health, where the risk of the risk of contracting the virus is very low.
Our practice is aware of the concept of social distancing and good hygiene practices. Our staff have also completed an online course to develop an understanding of Coronavirus, so we can introduce these and other measures, to be part of a community process to prevent the spread. We have also been briefed on the actions required, should we have exposure to the virus.
To date, we have had no direct exposure to the virus and will continue to keep the public informed.
Thank-you for reading. And please remember to wash your hands!