Tired of orthotics – a strong motivator for change

Tired of orthotics – a strong motivator for change

In the second of our series of podiatry case studies highlighting patient successes, we examine the success Nick has achieved with foot mobilization podiatry. While we focus a lot on women’s foot pain and health, men of all ages achieve great success with our podiatry programs too.

Nick attended our clinic with one motive—to not be dependent on his orthotics anymore. He made it quite clear in his initial assessment that the orthotics kept him pain free while he was wearing them; however when he didn’t wear them for any length of time he experienced the same pain in his back, knees and big toes again. Nick also made it clear he wanted to correct the underlying issues, and to free himself once-and-for-all from devices to minimise his pain. Nick’s case is not an uncommon one, and at Alternative Foot Solutions podiatry our main aim is to help patients with issues such as these, without orthotics.

Establishing the issues

Upon assessing Nick we found most of his issues were being caused by significant misalignment through his lower limbs. Our $25 assessment, which included X-rays (we use bulk-billing radiologists), quickly established this was affecting his knees, and was causing further pain up Nick’s back. Poor leg and pelvis alignment is a leading cause of lower back pain in Australian’s—and lower back pain will affect 4 out of 5 Australians in their lifetime. Adding to Nick’s issues was significant deviation through the big toe bilaterally (sideways), which was concerning.

Following up with Nick after his initial assessment, we jointly decided that a course of foot mobilisation therapy, combined with strengthening the intrinsic foot muscles, would be beneficial and could alleviate his problems.

Patient participation goes a long way

To Nick’s credit he was very compliant with the sessions and exercises that were given. While the podiatry exercises we prescribe are not excessive, it is important that they are followed consistently and properly. Achieving a pain free life is a great motivator, and Nick was certainly enthusiastic about overcoming his symptoms naturally.

The treatments achieved great success

As we worked with Nick through his podiatry program, he began to wear less of his orthotics allowing the structures of his lower limb to adapt to the changes being created. When it came time for the final review of the corrective phase of treatment, Nick was at the point where he could remove the orthotics completely and not experience pain.

And Nick’s bunions were corrected too

We took a follow up X-ray and discovered the treatment and exercises had reduced Nick’s bunions on both feet by over 6 degrees, significantly reducing the angle and straightening the toe. One of the great aspects of foot mobilisation is that the level of alignment in Nick’s toes will continue to improve even with only minimal involvement from us.

A big thanks to Nick

We would like to thank Nick for allowing us to tell his story as an inspiration to other patients. Nick is a resident of the Northern Beaches, is an all-round great guy, and is a director of Northern Beaches Commercial. Northern Beaches Commercial are specialist industrial and commercial real estate consultants:

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