The health of your feet is important for overall function and wellbeing, and sometimes living with a disability can create additional challenges that require special care to keep your feet happy and in good condition.
Our new podiatry service offers support with:
- Assessment of your feet including skin and nail condition, alignment, function and footwear
- Foot care for people with difficulty reaching or accessing their feet, such as preventing pressure sores and basic nail care
- Assistance with circulation, particularly for customers with diabetes
- Prescribing and fitting customised footwear, orthotics and splints
Rocky Bay’s Advanced Clinician Podiatry, Kylie Gates, shares with us a little more about what her role involves with our below Q&A.
What does your role at Rocky Bay involve?
As the Podiatrist at Rocky Bay, I am responsible for the foot health of our customers. This includes the general care of toenails and hard skin on the feet, or looking at ways of being able to improve balance and gait (the way people walk and run). I can help support gait issues with footwear, customised foot orthotics or ankle foot orthotics.
Often my work relates directly with what other therapists at Rocky Bay offer and we can provide a team approach.
Tell us more about your experience?
I graduated from Curtin University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science. I went straight into private practice, working with elite sporting teams and the general public.
I went on to own two clinics of my own that I sold after 15 years. I then made the move to Mandurah where the WA NDIS was rolling out at the time and really found my niche. So when Rocky Bay were looking for a podiatrist to join the team, it seemed as if the role was made just for me.
What do you love most about your field of work?
I am very passionate about helping people and making their life a little better and more comfortable.
I like to assist people to achieve their goal and can usually find solutions to obstacles preventing their goal from being achieved. Sometimes easing the discomfort of the smallest thing to most people seems to have a positive effect. It is a self-satisfying job when you realise how much better you can make people feel.
WHY DO PEOPLE SEE PODIATRISTS?
Source: Australian Podiatry Association
Your feet house a quarter of the bones in our entire bodies – in addition to various muscles, ligaments and joints. This makes them extremely vulnerable to injury and diseases that can affect the entire body.
A podiatrist will not just look at your foot, but they will carry out a biomechanical assessment to see how your gait can be impacting other parts of your body, such as your hips (your gait is the way you walk).
Podiatrists fully understand the structure and movement of the foot and lower limbs. They are able to diagnose foot conditions, identify systemic overall health conditions that present with foot or lower limb symptoms – and recommend appropriate treatment plans.
When should you see a Podiatrist?
You may be experiencing pain in your feet, ingrown or discoloured skin/nails, corns, skin rashes, foot odour, foot injuries, broader health problems such as diabetes or arthritis, recurrent tripping or falling, problems fitting comfortably in your regular shoes; or if you notice swelling, lumps, or redness on your feet or legs. You might not be able to see or reach your feet to safely cut your toenails. A Podiatrist can assist with this.
It is a common misconception that painful feet are a normal side effect from everyday activities. Yet research shows that only a fraction of individuals suffering from sore feet seek out professional advice.
Just as you would visit your dentist for a toothache, you should visit a podiatrist if you suffer from painful or tired feet and/or lower limbs.
Click here to find out more about Rocky Bay’s podiatry services, or call our friendly team on 08 6282 1900.