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Podiatry is a branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower limb.

Podiatrists can specialise in biomechanical assessments, that is, looking in detail at the structure and function of the foot/ankle/lower limb. They do this by examination and sometimes use gait scanning mats and video analysis to look at the way the lower limb works when we walk and run.

Within Sports Medicine, we sometimes refer patients to see a podiatrist for a detailed biomechanical assessment of the patient’s foot, ankle, lower limb and gait. This is done as part of an overall rehabilitation programme that will always involve physiotherapy and sometimes injections and surgery.

The Podiatrist provides a diagnosis, advice on stretches, exercises and sometimes provides orthotics.

Orthotics are insoles that are fitted into your shoes and can be of 2 main types:

  • Off the shelf orthotics – insoles designed to support your foot in a specific way but are not custom built for you. These are instantly available and relatively cheap. However, they are not specifically designed for your foot.
  • Custom built orthotics – insoles that are specifically designed for your foot. They are designed by getting you to walk across a computerised mat or by using a plaster cast to take a mould of your foot. This information is then sent to an orthotic company who make the insoles. These are specific to your foot shape however they can take a while to make and can be expensive.

Why Ulster Sports Medicine Clinic

At the Ulster Sports Medicine Clinic you will have an assessment to determine if your foot biomechanics could be contributing to your condition. Many foot and ankle problems can be corrected with appropriate advice, exercises, physiotherapy and sometimes injections.

Some conditions require a more detailed biomechanical assessment. If this is the case, I have close links with experienced Podiatrists who I can refer you to.

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