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The Role of a Podiatrist in Professional Sports Teams

One of the more favorite sports activities in Australia is Australian Rules Football (AFL). To those outside Australia it is regarded as relatively strange because they may see no sport similar to it, but are in awe of what marvelous athletes that those who participate in the sport at the professional high level are. It is a totally professional men's league of Australian rules football and it has been competed for over a hundred years. It started in the state of Victoria, but now other states have teams in what is now considered a nationwide league. The eighteen professional teams that compete in the AFL spend greatly in the sports sciences and sports medicine to get the best from the players in each club. The sports medicine staff with each team has a podiatrist included to help look after the foot injury and shoes needs of the athletes. The role of Podiatrists in the AFL in Australia is considered a template of how podiatry practitioners could be linked to professional squads around the world.

For one of the episodes of the podiatry related livestream, PodChatLive the hosts chatted with five of the podiatrists related to Australian Rules Football clubs to examine the world leading model for Podiatry within an elite sports competition and also the developing role of the recently formed, AFL Podiatry Association. The Podiatry practitioners which were on this event had been Ben Holland with the North Melbourne Kangaroos, Emma Poynton with the Western Bulldogs, Nicki Quigley with the Hawthorn Hawks, Todd Brown from the Geelong Cats and Tom May with the Adelaide Crows. They discussed the needs of AFL and how this has an effect on the athletes along with what the frequent injuries treated. There was a great discussion around the shoes used as well as the difficulties that can bring. There was additionally a chat with the preseason testing method that is normally adopted within the 44-man squads. The episode was broadcast live on Facebook, however is also available today on YouTube.

How did PodChatLive get started?

PodChatLive is a monthly livestream for ongoing education of Podiatrists. PodChatLive is live on Facebook and then is later uploaded to You tube. Each livestream has a different person or group of guests to talk about a different theme each episode. Requests are responded to live by the hosts and guests through the livestream on Facebook. Additionally there is a PodCast audio version of each episode available on iTunes and Spotify as well as the other usual podcast websites. PodChatLive have grown a large following which is growing. The series can be regarded as one of the ways in which podiatrists will get free continuing education points.

In the 1st stream which started it all, it turned out totally unplanned and a unexpected move to make. One of the hosts, Craig Payne from MelbourneMelbourne found himself in England for 2 days whilst on the way back home from meetings in Spain and Portugal without much to do. Whilst there he called in at Ian Griffith’s home and whilst discussing after dinner they realized none of them had actually streamed a Facebook Live so they decided to give it a go and see what happens. They did a livestream discussion from Ian’s house. Regardless of the pretty “amateur” and entirely “unrehearsed” character of the live stream, it was met with interestingly positive comments and they got some deep thinking requests through the livestream. So that they started questioning if there was some mileage in doing something like this with greater regularity. And thus a regular show was developed to eventually be called, PodChatLive. In this PodChatLive, Craig shares about and reveals which was the research study that modified his thinking the most, and they also discuss junk science, pseudoscience, research translation. Other topics come up were issues on what is incorrect with cuboid syndrome – we all know it when we view it, however its hard to define. In addition, they talked about Craig’s most liked airport terminal to eat breakfast at.

Do Rheumatology Coniditons Affect the Feet?

The feet are just like every other part of our body and can be afflicted with any one of the many different types of arthritis. Rheumatology is the medical speciality which manages those various arthritis ailments. In regards to the feet there are several podiatrists who've a specialised interest in rheumatology or the arthritis conditions that impact the foot. One of these specialists is Professor Debbie Turner, PhD who is the Director of Academic Program for Podiatric Medicine at the Western Sydney University. Debbie was not too long ago a guest on the Facebook livestream, PodChatLive to go over podiatry and rheumatology. PodChatLive is the weekly live show that has on a number of different experts to go over a number of issues of significance to podiatry and the foot. In the episode with Debbie Turner she offered the audience a flavor with precisely what the role of a Podiatrist inside a specialist Rheumatology program really should be structured. Debbie reviewed the disorders typically seen in the feet in rheumatology services and her way of the examination and handling of these types of conidtions. Debbie also gave some great information for podiatrists who don’t work within Rheumatology, but may very well be losing conditions due to their ability to mimic as musculoskeletal problems.

Debbie Turner first qualified as a podiatrist in 1996 and has always practiced clinically as well as developed a specialist range of clinical practice within the aspects of gait evaluation and imaging. Debbie was awarded an Arthritis Research UK academic fellowship in 2007 and then commenced training in musculoskeletal ultrasound and also injection therapy of the foot. The effective use of an integrated imaging and alignment approach to managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes mellitus and inflamation related joint disease continues to be the target of her investigation activity. Debbie has published substantially in the field of rheumatology and has assisted to improve capacity in podiatry investigation via Doctor of Philosophy oversight.

How to become a podiatrist in Australia

A podiatrist is an Allied Health professional who specializes in dealing with problems of the feet. Podiatrists can manage disorders such as toe infections, ingrown toenails, corns, calluses, bunions, skin infections and foot injuries. Podiatrists can perform ingrown nail surgery under a local anaesthetic. They may also take care of diabetic and arthritic patients, who may need the expertise of a podiatrist to cut their toenails the right way or to check any kind of changes in their feet. Podiatrists additionally look at the blood pressure to a patient’s feet to figure out if the client has an adequate amount of blood flowing through to the toes. They might also treat ulcers and dress the ulcerated wounds. In the sports medicine field, they could check the fitness of an athlete’s foot, treat any overuse injuries which can have happened, find out how the athlete runs, and can advise on the most effective footwear. Sports injuries that a podiatrist might manage include heel spurs, shin splints, a sprained ankle, stress fractures or Achilles tendonitis. They could also prescribe and produce orthotic inserts for athletes. From time to time a patient needs extra support in their shoes to assist them to walk without pain. A podiatrist will evaluate and diagnose whether an support insert is likely to make an impact. If so, the podiatrist will make a model of the feet and then create the suitable insert, regardless of whether it’s for functional or palliative factors.  A biomechanical support is a shoe insert that can help the client to walk better and is generally made from a thermoplastic material. A palliative support consists of rubber or foam and is made to assist people who have painful feet or who suffer from wounds to be able to wear footwear comfortably. Patients whose feet are misshaped can probably experience relief when using accomodative orthoses. Podiatrists can work in private practice, in hospitals, rest homes, sports medicine practices or in community health clinics.  

How do you become a podiatrist?

You need to complete a four year Bachelor of Science/Master of Podiatric Practice degree or a four year Bachelor of Podiatry degree to become a Podiatrist. This is a full time program and is offered by several educational facilities in Australia, which includes La Trobe University in Melbourne and also Charles Sturt University in Nsw. The courses include theoretical and clinical lessons, as well as clinical placements. When you have become a qualified podiatrist, you have got to register with the podiatry board. If you’re interested in the biomechanics of the foot and the number of medical ailments that might affect the feet, then a vocation as a podiatrist is extremely fulfilling.