Taking the right steps to better foot health with City Centre Chiropody

Since graduating with a BSc Hons in Podiatric Medicine in 2001, Karen Scowcroft, the owner of City Centre Chiropody, has successfully treated thousands of patients.

At their spacious, Royal Parade clinic, she and her team of HCPC registered podiatrists regularly help patients suffering from common ailments like hard and cracked skin; ingrown toenail and fungal nail; bunions and corns. High-risk patients, like those who also have diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, receive specialist care appropriate to their conditions.

“We treat the whole person, not just the problem they have with their feet,” said Karen. “Often the presenting ailment has an underlying cause, so as well as aiming to reduce pain and discomfort in the short term, we look for those causes and prescribe further treatment to improve long term foot health.”

Karen added: “The way we stand and walk can have knock effects to knee, hip and back pain which we are able to assess with often surprising results to our patients.”

Each patient at the clinic has a thirty-minute screening, including a full medical history, current medications, pulse check and nerve check. “People often remark that they have not had pulse or nerve checks before,” said Karen, “but these are very important. It’s not unusual for us to detect heart related conditions at this stage. If we do, we make a referral to the patient’s GP.”

Following the screening, simple conditions such as hard skin, calluses and corns are treated immediately. “Quite often, these can be a result of the footwear or the way people walk,” said Karen, “so we make a point of advising our clients on these causes to reduce or eliminate the need to come back.”

Should the need arise, Karen’s team is qualified and experienced to be able to carry out a full biomechanical assessment during a further appointment.

City Centre Chiropody is ideally placed upstairs from Foot Solutions store, which is a comfort shoe shop. Where appropriate, referrals are made to Foot Solutions with a prescription for further expert advice on appropriate fit and styles of shoes, often with long-lasting results.

Correctly recommended footwear combined with City Centre Chiropody’s clinical expertise is a unique offering and patients travel from the far reaches of the region to take advantage of it.

Karen’s team has grown to become the largest dedicated private podiatry clinic in the South West. Their city centre location has helped access but this growth is also due to the increasing pressures on the NHS. Karen explained: “We are seeing a lot of clients through our doors who cannot get free treatment or do not want to be placed on a very long waiting list. Most patients know they have foot health problems and now see a visit to us as important as seeing their dentist”.

Some of these ailments, particularly for those of us who consider ourselves otherwise healthy and active, are the kind of things we ‘just live with’. But really, we ignore them at our peril, said Karen. “Cracked heels will not heal on their own because the skin is too hard. This can lead to infection, which is harder to treat and may give rise to more complicated issues in your feet and lower limbs. Fungal nail infection too – it won’t go away, and it will only get worse until it’s treated.”

Karen recommends that we get our foot health checked at least once a year, and bi-monthly for high risk patients. “Our aims are to reduce pain and discomfort; to improve gait and mobility; to provide information for patients to make choices; and to improve our patients’ overall quality of life. I consider it as important as having a regular dental check-up, and significantly helpful in promoting long term health.”

If you have foot health problems or would like to find out more, or to arrange an appointment, visit www.citycentrechiropody.co.uk or call 01752 250900. They are open 9:30am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday, at 34 Royal Parade, opposite the Guildhall, above Foot Solutions.

 

First published in the Plymouth Magazine– June 2018

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