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Tai chi

Tai chi – exercise therapy: Part 1

Tai chi

Tai chi ( short for T’ai chi ch’üan or Tàijí quán ) is one of the most useful movement therapies in the management of lower limb injuries. When you suffer an ankle, hip or knee injury the nervous system is involved and you need an exercise that helps the muscles, tendons, ligaments as well as the nervous system.We use Tai chi exercises extensively in the early stages of recovery to give the nervous system time to heal.

Common conditions that may benefit from Tai Chi exercises

  • Ankle sprains and instability
  • Knee pain
    • injury rehabilitation
    • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
    • Osteoarthritis
  • Hip pain
    • Tendinitis
    • Muscle or tendon strain
    • Osteoarthritis
  • Pelvic instability
  • Balance (Falls prevention)

How to fit all your exercises in a busy day

Everyone struggles with exercises that are given to them by their therapist. If you are given too many new exercises you get confused or overwhelmed. You feel bad that you haven’t done them as much as you should and you may even cancel your next appointment for fear of getting in trouble.You want to get better but you just don’t know how to fit everything in your day.

Our Tai chi therapy solves a lot of your worries about how to fit more exercise into a busy day. We give you short simple Tai chi exercises that are easy to remember. We build on these exercises by starting simple and increasing the difficulty as you progress. Same exercise… just made a little more complex as you grow stronger. The bonus being that many of these exercises have the advantage of replacing multiple “normal” exercises.

Tai chi exercise habits

We believe if your podiatrist gives you an exercise program they should also teach you how to fit it into your busy life. Based on current research in behaviour design we have developed our exercise habit tool to make fitting exercise into an already busy life a little easier for when your motivation fades. This tool is based around adding (anchoring) your new exercise around a simple habit that you already do…like putting the kettle on.

We have found that curiosity and motivation seem to go hand in hand when it comes to a successful exercise program. People are very curious when we offer to design them an exercise program based on Tai chi movements and we love seeing them have fun with a little bit of Tai chi.

Tai chi for balance after ankle and knee injuries

Our sense of balance is often reduced after ankle and knee injuries no matter what our age. Slowing down a movement is when we challenge our sense of balance in a safe way. This is when the nervous system has time to reassess and repair. Tai chi has a very controlled pace that allows the neurological system to take note of where your body is positioned and where the loads are placed upon joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Changing direction in sport is when many injuries occur and you need to work at regaining this ability after injury with very controlled movements and postures. The ability to safely change direction is challenged in your Tai chi exercises whilst giving your nervous system time to reeducate and learn. Once you have safely improved your balance and directional change you need to increase the pace if you want to return to sport.

Tai chi is not all slow

As you recover from an injury or weakness there comes a time when things need to speed up. Contrary to popular belief Tai chi is not all slow and made for old people. Our Tai chi instructor / Podiatrist Colin Power has been trained in the “Old ways” of Tai chi when Tai chi had both slow and explosive (plyometric) movements.

We use Tai chi exercises from the old training methods used in the martial art of Tai chi when you are ready for explosive (plyometric) movements. You are still doing therapy…just with the flavour of Tai chi to make it more memorable.

We have a vast system of exercises to safely build strength and get you back to the sport of your choice. Many of these Tai chi exercises have been extensively researched for health benefits and we offer them to make your exercises more enjoyable than most prescription exercises.

Who knows it may even spark your interest in learning more about the art of Tai chi.

Categories
Orthotics Patient information

Orthotics Cost – Orthotics Price Guide

The complete guide to the total cost of orthotics in Australia

Orthotics cost
Orthotics

The guide is intended for you to understand the different types of orthotics as well as the process that your podiatrist may go through to dispense a pair of orthotics and arrive at a total price. Many podiatry clinics do not publish the total price of their orthotics for various reasons and this makes it difficult for you to make an informed choice about the cost of orthotics. We believe it is more of an industry norm rather than a plan to deceive the general public.

We used the Australian Podiatry Association (APodA) fee survey of 2020 to develop this price guide. Power Podiatry has been manufacturing and prescribing orthotics for over 30 yrs and we feel that we are qualified to discuss the cost of prescribing orthotics. We will give the most common price range for orthotics and the highest price range charged by podiatrists for comparison so that you can have an idea of the broad range of fees that are being charged around the country.

Orthotic cost range in Australia :Summary

  • Custom Orthotics: $400 – $1000+
  • Off the shelf Orthotics: $100 – 500+

*The total costs could be significantly more

To avoid an unpleasant surprise we have broken down the total cost of foot orthotics for you below which includes the cost of podiatry visits.

Types of Orthotics

The podiatry association and many health funds divide orthotics into 5 categories that have different price ranges.

  • Custom Functional Orthotics – made from cast, impression or scan of the foot
  • Moulded Cast Orthotics – may be a pre-form moulded to a cast or a non-functional design moulded to a cast
  • Moulded Non-cast Orthotics – may be directly moulded to the foot and customised
  • Off the Shelf Orthotics – may be customised or not
  • Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFO) – orthotic for the foot and above ankle

In the fee survey a majority of the podiatrists did not prescribe moulded orthotics or AFO’s in any great number. The most common prescribed orthotics were custom and off the shelf orthotics with the custom orthotics being the most prescribed.

To make this article more relevant to the Australian customer we will only breakdown the costs of custom and off the shelf orthotics.

What is the real cost of orthotics?

If you rang a podiatry clinic and asked for the cost of orthotics you would be told that there is a range of prices depending on the type of orthotic and the amount of consultations that were required. The consultations make up a significant portion of the total expense of an orthotic and should be taken into consideration. Power Podiatry has always quoted on an inclusive price so that you know exactly how much you are going to pay including consultations.

You should also ask about the policy for adjustment of orthotics that are not performing as required. In other words do you have to keep on paying a consultation fee for adjustments and aftercare. Do they offer an inclusive aftercare period and what happens at the end of this period if you are not happy with the orthotics.

Inclusive Total cost of orthotics

The number of consultations that you pay for may vary from clinic to clinic. For comparison we are going to assume that you are a new patient to the clinic and will have an initial consultation before proceeding to the series of consultations required to end up with a pair of orthotics.

  • Initial comprehensive consultation
  • Biomechanical assessment
  • Cast, impression or scan (not required for off the shelf)
  • Orthotics (pair)
  • Subsequent consultation for fitting and education

Some clinics may include the fitting into the price of the orthotics and others may not so we have included one subsequent consultation.

Custom Orthotics

ConsultationItem No.Cost
(most responses)
Highest Cost
InitialF004$80 – 89$140+
BiomechanicalF118$80 – 89$150+
Cast/scan x2F301 x2$120 – 138$240+
Custom Orthotic x2F221 x2$400 – 498$1000+
Subsequent (fitting)F012$70 – 79$120+
TOTAL$750 – 893$1650+
Total cost of custom foot orthotics 2020

Costs may vary greatly from clinic to clinic as you can see from the price range.

Off the shelf Orthotics

ConsultationItem no.Cost
(most responses)
Highest Cost
InitialF004$80 – 89$140+
BiomechanicalF118$80 – 89$150+
Off the shelf orthotic
(customisable)
F246 x2$100 – 198
$200 – 298*
$500+
Subsequent
(follow-up)
F012$70 – 79$120+
TOTAL$330 – 455
$430 – 555*
$780+
Total cost of Off the Shelf orthotics 2020

*The 2nd most common price response was included for your information because it had nearly as many responses.

Orthotic guarantee

Some clinics will offer you an orthotic guarantee and will happily refund you the cost of the orthotics only if you are not satisfied with the product. The consultation fees are not included in the guarantee and as you can see from the above breakdown of the total cost of the orthotic package this may amount to 50% or more of the total cost. The “Orthotic Guarantee” is often used in marketing of orthotic services by some clinics so take this into consideration if this has swayed you to select their clinic over another.

Conclusion…

We hope that this helps you understand the total cost of providing an orthotic solution for a foot condition. We have tried to give you the information that you need to make an informed decision and help you ask the right questions. Your podiatrist will be happy to explain the best choice of orthotic for your needs or even give you a treatment plan that does not require an orthotic if possible.

How much does a podiatry visit cost?

Orthotics are they really no better than a sham

Categories
Patient information

How much does a Podiatry visit cost?

Podiatry visit cost
Podiatry visit

“How much does a Podiatry visit cost” must be one of the most common questions for our podiatry clinic. To save you time and effort we are going to answer that question and more.

Many clinics do not give out the cost of a podiatry visit on there website for various reasons. We don’t have a “Price” page because we want you to understand how we decide on the prices that we charge.

Some people are only looking for the cheapest podiatrist in Hervey Bay and we understand about being on a budget. It would be nice if you would read a little further to get to know us…

For those that just can’t wait – the current cost of a podiatry visit at our Hervey Bay clinic is:

Podiatry initial consultation

  • Comprehensive initial podiatry consultation – $80.00
    • Up to 60 min with an advanced podiatrist

Compare Podiatry Costs across Australia

To help you compare the price of a podiatry visit in Hervey Bay we are going to use the Australian Podiatry Association (APodA) 2020 survey of fees. In the survey podiatrists from across Australia were asked to supply the price they charged for various podiatry services. The price range of $80 – $89 for an initial comprehensive podiatry visit had the most responses from podiatrists around Australia. The price range of $70 – $79 had the most responses for a Subsequent podiatry consultation.

Do you Bulk Bill Podiatry visits?

This is another common question we are asked in our Hervey Bay podiatry clinic. No is the short answer to that question with the long answer being that we charge more than the bulk billing fee.

In Australia certain podiatry consultations are eligible for a medicare rebate only if you have a referral from your GP under a Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDMP). The current medicare rebate is $54.60 and the number of rebated visits is limited to 5 per calendar year. You are limited to 5 visits in total across all allied health professionals (not 5 visits each). Your GP will allocate the number of visits to each health professional after considering what care is best suited to your condition.

For example, if you have diabetes your GP may decide that you need to see a podiatrist, dietician and a physiotherapist to assist with the management of your diabetes. He has a total of 5 visits to allocate and may choose to refer you for 1 visit to the podiatrist for an annual foot check, 1 visit to the physiotherapist to help with mobility and exercise with 3 visits to the dietician to help with weight management and control of blood sugar levels…Total of 5 visits.

Many people ask their GP to allocate 4 to 5 visits to the podiatrist if they need more regular podiatry care and see other health professionals outside of the care plan.

We do accept referrals for Medicare care plans

Power Podiatry is very happy to receive a referral from your GP under the Chronic Disease Management Plan. We will provide detailed reports back to your GP in a very timely manner and discuss what goes into these reports with you prior to sending them. Your consultation will not be rushed or shortened and you will be given every opportunity to help us help you. You are at the centre of the consultation and we will listen to your concerns so that we can tailor a plan for you.

We don’t Bulk Bill and this is why

To Bulk Bill your podiatry visit the podiatry clinics that do needs to find a way to make this financially viable if not they soon go out of business and you need to find another podiatrist. Many clinics will shorten the consultation time and speed you through so that they can Bulk Bill. Medicare is a little worried about this practice of short consultations and has indicated that they expect at least a 20min consultation. Power Podiatry provides longer than average consultations across all of our services.

Another way that some podiatry clinics are able to provide a bulk billed service is by having a podiatry assistant provide general foot care under supervision of a registered podiatrist. This reduces the labour cost to the clinic owner and some public podiatry clinics have been using this model of care to reduce the cost of podiatry services to the government. At Power Podiatry you receive care from an advanced podiatrist with over 30yrs clinical experience for all consultations.

Other clinics relegate all care plans to junior podiatrists or new graduates to reduce the cost of providing a bulk billed service. If they are supervised by an advanced podiatrist this can be a great way for them to gain experience and for you to get the attention of 2 podiatrists for the price of one. Sadly this rarely happens and I have in the past been approached by new graduates to provide a mentoring program because the clinic owner fails to do so. Power Podiatry is a one man show and you only get the owner and advanced podiatrist for all your consultations.

How much is the gap if you don’t Bulk Bill?

Medicare requires the podiatrist to charge the full price of the podiatry visit if they do not bulk bill prior to processing a claim for a medicare rebate. What this means is that we have to charge you the full amount before making a medicare claim. We can then make an on the spot claim for you and the medicare rebate is deposited back into your medicare-linked bank account.

This is how it would work for an initial podiatry consultation at our Hervey Bay Podiatry clinic.

  1. You pay $80.00 (cash, credit or debit card) for initial podiatry visit
  2. If you have an eligible referral from your GP and have not exceeded your 5 annual visits
  3. We process on the spot medicare claim and medicare deposits $54.60 back into your account
  4. The gap is $25.40 which means that you end up paying only $25.40 for a comprehensive consultation. The gap on the subsequent visit will be $20.40 if you require more than one visit

What about the cost of Orthotics?

The cost of orthotics is not covered under Medicare. We have written a comprehensive guide to the cost of orthotics to help you understand the price of orthotics in Australia.

Orthotics cost guide

If you require orthotic therapy your podiatrist will discuss the most cost effective type of orthotic for your conditon. We always strive for an orthotic-free treatment plan if possible. If you need orthotics then we also plan for a transition out of orthotics at some time in the future when appropriate.

Hopefully this answered all your questions on the cost of a podiatry visit. If we can be of further help give us a call at Power Podiatry.

Categories
News

Power Podiatry and our response to COVID-19

Preparing for the future of Power Podiatry

Keeping our “family” safe

When I read the advertising of many Allied Health professions and it comes across as “Business as usual” it makes me a little sad. Business should not be as usual if you are keeping your family of patients / staff and yourself safe. This is a time when we have to make tough decisions and I am no different in my anxiety in relation to these decisions.

Every health business must assess their ability to keep everyone as safe as possible. I have assessed my ability to do this and have made significant changes to the way we run Power Podiatry. Some businesses may be better prepared and have the resources (PPE, cleaning products etc) to manage a business as usual approach for an extended period of time. I came up with a list of things I could do to keep my extended family as safe as possible.

Our list of business changes

  • People that work in essential services (Health, Emergency etc) are given priority
  • People over the age of 70 rescheduled if possible
  • Cleaning time of 30min between patients
  • No waiting at all
  • Non-essential treatment deferred to May at this point
  • Emergency treatment only if required

Limiting the impact on our family

We are trying to limit the impact of this pandemic on our community as much as we possibly can so we have restricted our business significantly. Business will not be as usual and most likely will never be the same again. I am lucky enough to have treated patients that have fought in many conflicts including the Boer war, WW One and Two, Korea,Vietnam and many others. From this I learnt that we must stick together even when times are grim and have a little laugh (at a distance) with our mates. We are really all in this together…all the human race.

What about Telehealth?

I recently finished managing a pilot Telehealth program for QLD Health so I definitely have the experience and skill to offer this service if anyone wishes. Most clinicians without the training and experience will struggle to provide this service. It will be beneficial for some patients, mainly with musculoskeletal conditions and those that need wound care reviews. It is an interesting area to consider if social isolation continues for an extended time.

Preparing for the future

I’m trying not to go out unless I really have to so I have started a few projects. The first one on the list makes my wife very happy.

  • Prepare the house for painting on the outside
  • Tidy the garden and plant new areas
  • Have some me time
  • Have some partner time
  • Practice my Tai chi
  • Write an article for an international martial arts magazine
  • Do some research to help my patients in the future
Sanding the garage beside the practice

Stay safe and if you need to contact us please do so even if it to ask a few friendly questions.

Categories
Orthotics

Orthotics are they really no better than a sham

The media has attacked the use of orthotics

Expensive orthotics no better than sham

Media shouts out “Expensive orthotics no better than a sham”. Yes orthotic therapy took a bit of a bashing in the media when new studies came out suggesting that they may not be as good as they say. Does this have some truth behind it or more media misinformation?

Researchers clarified that expert podiatrists do not use orthotics alone when treating a condition and it is often in combination with other therapies. All studies have to be pulled apart so that we can learn from them and possibly change our ways. Orthotic therapy should continue to be studied to find out when it is appropriate and when it is not. Sadly some clinicians over prescribe orthotics and give orthotics a bad name. So is this study going to be the end of orthotic therapy? 

Do you need orthotics?

Orthotic Assessment

The main fault with these studies is that they don’t customise the orthotics being studied so it is not a true reflection of what an expert podiatrist does in the real world. Yes there is a good chance that many people will not need orthotics but some still may benefit and shouldn’t be disadvantaged by media hype and poorly designed studies. New studies will look at how an expert podiatrist would use orthotics in real world situations and we will get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. We will have to wait to see the results of these studies before we throw out the baby (orthotics) with the bath water.

Are Orthotics worth it?

I believe that orthotics are a useful tool if prescribed for the right condition from an expert podiatrist. When orthotic therapy may be of benefit it is often worth trying off-the-shelf orthotics that have been customised by an expert podiatrist to reduce the cost. Your podiatrist should give you treatment options other than orthotics to compare the benefits.

What we do know about Orthotics?

  • Many foot and ankle conditions get better with time
  • Orthotics are useful to reduce load and stress on tissues
  • For orthotics to work they need to be worn for a reasonable amount of time
  • Orthotics are often over-prescribed
  • Custom orthotics should not be the first or only treatment
  • Off-the shelf orthotics (customised) are a cost effective option
  • If unsure about the benefit of orthotics, ask for more information
  • If you are still unsure get a second opinion