As Foot Health Week draws to a close, the Australian Podiatry Association are issuing a stark reminder to get your feet checked by a podiatrist. They say it could save your life.
New research by the APA shows almost 2 out of 5 Australians (39%) had life-threatening health issues identified by their podiatrist. They say there’s a lack of awareness about the risks of foot problems if they go unaddressed.
The research showed Australians who had visited a podiatrist for foot pain were unexpectedly found to have a range of other life-threatening health issues, including:
- 33% circulatory issues
- 11% heart problems
- 25% diabetes (including risk of amputation)
- 23% gout
- 7% other health issues
Foot pain can indicate other issues
Charlotte Bodell, podiatrist, and member of the Australian Podiatry Association says that foot pain can be symptomatic of a much more serious health issue that podiatrists are trained to assess.
‘Seeing a podiatrist could ultimately save your life, as our recent research shows,’ she said. ‘We often see patients who have no idea they have an underlying health issue, other than experiencing foot pain.
‘People may not realise just how powerful the foot is when it comes to assessing serious underlying health conditions,’ said Ms Bodell.
She is urging members of the public to get their foot health checked out by a podiatrist, since they are the foot health experts who are university trained to run a range of assessments.
‘Our research showed that 1 out of 5 (20%) of Australians see a GP for foot pain, despite podiatrists being the foot health experts and available via Medicare to all Australians,’ said Ms Bodell.
‘Podiatrists are experts in foot health, they know and help you understand and manage your feet so they can support you in leading a happy and healthy life.’
Are you putting your best foot forward?
The Australian Podiatry Association says Foot Health Week is about bringing foot health to the forefront, to encourage better health outcomes for all Australians.
They say now is a great time to stand up for your health by finding out where your feet fit in to your overall health and wellbeing. With your feet literally underpinning your entire well-being, they can influence everything about your health.
For further information visit: www.foothealthaustralia.org.au.
More research, by the numbers
- Pain is the number one reason (59%) Australians would visit a podiatrist.
- 93% of people who saw a podiatrist were satisfied or extremely satisfied with their care.
- 85% of people who saw a podiatrist would recommend to their friends or family based on their positive experience.
- 91% of Australians said their condition and/or movement improved through seeing a podiatrist.
- There has been an increase in Australians seeing a podiatrist according to 2018 and 2020 survey data (65% of Australians, up from 47% in 2018).
- Over half of Australians (55%) have never received advice on correct footwear.