Chatswood Sydney Podiatrist Foot Care Clinic Arthritis Treatment Sports Podiatry

Foot pain is often one of the first indications that a person is suffering from arthritis, says Mark Lin, a Sydney podiatrist who often is in a position where he’s first to diagnose the problem.

Arthritis: Sydney Podiatrist explains how the Footwork Clinic can help.

With 26 bones and 33 joints in each foot, it’s not surprising that the feet are often the first parts of the body where arthritis manifests itself. Foot pain is often one of the first indications that a person is suffering from arthritis, says Mark Lin, a Sydney podiatrist who often finds himself in a position where he’s the first to diagnose the problem.

There are many different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is by far the most common. The cartilage which cushions all those joints deteriorates and with the bones grinding away at one another, the resulting pain warns patients that something’s wrong. There’s no cure for arthritis, but, says Mark, there are ways to slow its progression, limiting damage that could ultimately lead to joints becoming completely immobile. “Regardless of the type of arthritis, podiatry can make a difference,” says Mark. “It’s not the only healthcare intervention that people living with arthritis will access, but it’s nonetheless among the most important.”

The usual basics attended to by podiatrists could include general foot care – looking after deformed nails, treating corns and calluses, treating wounds or ulcers, educating patients on footwear choices, or prescribing orthoses that keep the feet aligned and cushion the vulnerable joints. Traditionally, podiatrists also recommend specialised exercises that strengthen the muscles, taking strain off the joints – and they might even inform the patient of surgical options that could help them.

But Mark Lin likes to take things to the next level, offering far more the basics. “There are therapies backed by scientific evidence that are nevertheless not generally offered,” says Lin. Laser therapy is among these, and Mark is pleased to be among the few podiatrists able to offer this option. “Researchers believe that laser therapy reduces pain, inflammation, and swelling of the joints,” he says. “The medical trials are convincing enough to make trying this therapy worthwhile, even though some aspects are still being investigated in trials.

To clarify this, Mark points to research that seems conclusive regarding the benefits of laser therapy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a far more serious condition than the more common osteoarthritis.

“Most of the research work has focused on rheumatoid arthritis,” says Mark. However, there’s an interesting case study detailing remarkable recovery in an osteoarthritis patient treated with a combination of therapies which included laser therapy and medical acupuncture, which is also offered at the Footwork Clinic. “In this case study,” says Mark, “the patient reported that laser therapy seemed to offer the greatest benefits, but it is believed that acupuncture and herbal medicine may also have contributed.

While research into the use of laser therapy to treat arthritis is still underway, Mark Lin believes that there’s sufficient research and anecdotal evidence to make it worth trying. “It’s safe and non-invasive,” he says. “Patients generally do report improvements and these are consistent with the use of laser therapy to reduce pain and inflammation and promote healing in other forms of injury.”

For further information, visit the The Footwork Clinic – Leading Sports, Podiatry, Foot And Lower Limb Corrective Services to book online, or call Mark Lin or his friendly team on +61 2 9131 6891.

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The information contained in this guide is provided in good faith and is not intended to be nor is it to be used as a substitute for any sort of professional, medical or podiatric advice. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a podiatrist. Any users should always seek the advice of their podiatrist, or other qualified healthcare providers before commencing any treatment.

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