Why Podiatrists and Physiotherapist work well together to help patients
Why Podiatrists and Physiotherapist work well together to help patients – opinion – Aleks Baruksopulo (SportsMed Podiatry)
In the almost 14 years I have been working within Physiotherapy clinics I cannot believe I have not written a blog on this. It is a great relationship which truly works well together for best patient care but also best outcomes especially in the case of treating running related injuries or lower limb running injuries. I feel that it actually garners more respect from the patient in regards to the practitioner looking at the whole patient picture instead of just their area of speciality.
An example of an ideal situation in the clinics that I work within is if a patient is seeing a Physiotherapist for a re-occurring knee overuse injury then they are at some stage, once ready to return to running, seeing me to check off on a potential contribution from foot function and inappropriate footwear set-up including work and casual shoes.
On that note apart from small group of runners, most of us run in shoes and in my opinion it is wise to seek advice on which is the correct type of running shoe for your training or racing situation. Despite a lack of strong evidence that certain types of footwear actually make a difference in terms of preventing injuries there are definitely associations with foot strike patterns that could be influenced by the type of shoes you are wearing. Thinking minimalist shoes putting more weight on the forefoot vs traditional more through the heel if used accordingly. Discussions around this and even small changes which I like to call 5 percenters (small contributors), such as wearing joggers around more often instead of flip flops or thongs could make a difference in terms of helping recover quicker before the next running session and therefore hopefully reducing the risk of injury.
Another example of an ideal situation this time the other way around, is if I am treating a patient for Plantar fasciitis (the most common condition I see) then I would as part of my patient return to running plan refer to a Physiotherapist to complete the picture in regards to addressing overall running strength including core strength. Depending on the expertise of the treating Podiatrist the referral may also include lower leg/foot strength and a return to running program/plan.
In an ideal situation with no barriers in regards to patient budget then by using each type of practitioner expertise you can see how this would lead to best patient care and outcomes. Not only to help get the patient back up and running sooner but also to help prevent future injuries.In an ideal situation with no barriers in regards to patient budget then by using each type of practitioner expertise you can see how this would lead to best patient care and outcomes. #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet
I must admit I could definitely do better in this area even after almost 14 years and I am even lucky to work directly alone side Physiotherapists to make this process easier. At least having a system (which I am now further refining) where the topic of referring to allied health is brought up and then emphasis placed on educating the patient to why and the importance of ticking off all bases to complete their rehabilitation picture.
BSc (Biomed), BHlthSc (Pod)
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