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.


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