Throughout our lifetime, our feet will endure great wear and tear, including overuse, neglect, infection, injury, and disease; however, seeing a podiatrist can help us remain on our feet for life. Assure Health Podiatry clinics are conveniently located in central St Albans at St Albans train station and central Geelong at 77-79 Swanston Street.
All of our staff members are university-trained, with years of experience.
Whether you have diabetes, flat feet, heel pain, dry skin, ingrown or painful nails, itchy feet, plantar fasciitis, require orthotics, need nail bracing, or even have warts on your feet, we can help! Assure Health Podiatrists provide comprehensive foot care. No matter what your foot issue is, we can help.
Book an appointment with us today!
Nothing is more important to us than your health and comfort. We strive to provide quality and care to every member of the community.
Assure Health Podiatry
Our podiatrists specialises in diagnosing and treating foot, lower limb and postural problems.
At Assure Health, podiatrists use cutting-edge treatment methods to treat a range of foot and ankle issues, including:
- General foot care of skin and nails
- Common sports injuries
- Biomechanical complaints sometimes requiring orthotics
- Complications arising from diabetes
We provide comprehensive and up-to-date information, management recommendations, and treatments on foot problems, foot pain, and other lower limb conditions, as well as guidance on footwear selection, skin health, and wound care.
We have a team of university-trained podiatrists that have experience with the latest management protocols and techniques. Our foot specialists will provide you with the best care possible.
Common Foot Problem
You only get one pair of feet in your lifetime…
Healthier feet are essential to a person’s overall well being no matter what their age.
Several common foot problems can be managed by treating their symptoms.
The Assure Health Podiatry service at St Albans and Geelong can assist with any ongoing issues with your feet or footwear.
Injury to the ankle can result in fractures as well as strains or sprains. You should seek immediate treatment for a fracture that is detected by an x-ray from your General Practitioner or from your hospital’s emergency department and fracture clinic.
It is advisable to consult your doctor first to arrange an x-ray and appropriate management post-x-ray depending on the severity of the fracture which may require referring to the Emergency Department.
The difference between a sprain and a strain is that a sprain injures the bands of tissue that connect two bones together, while a strain involves an injury to a muscle or to the band of tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone.
Swelling of the ankle, bruising, and stiffness are expected if you suffer an ankle sprain. Pain may range from mild to intense.
Sprains require immediate attention; treat an acute sprain as soon as possible!
In general, rest the injured ankle as much as possible, apply an ice pack for as long as swelling persists, compress the ankle and foot firmly (not tightly) with an elastic bandage, and elevate the foot to minimise bruising and swelling.
Whenever you are concerned about your injury or if the pain and swelling haven’t significantly gone down within 48 hours, consult a podiatrist directly or through your physician.
A correct diagnosis is essential for a successful rehabilitation of moderate-severe injuries.
Have you sprained or have a tendency for your ankle?
Whether you suffer from ankle instability or have a sprained ankle, Assure Health Podiatry can give you advice on footwear, shoe-lacing techniques, stretching and strengthening of the ankle and surrounding muscles, as well as if orthotic therapy may help to provide greater ankle stability as a preventative measure.
An inflammatory condition characterised by inflammation of the cartilage and thus of the lining of the joints, there are more than 100 kinds of arthritis.
Arthritis affects many parts of the body. However, feet are especially vulnerable as there are 33 joints that bear weight and pressure of the body, making standing and movement uncomfortable when effected.
Your joints could also be stiff early within the morning, have limited movement, inflammation, pain, bony swelling and deformity round the joint
There are many factors that increase the likelihood of arthritis, they include – age, gender, increased weight, injury, genetics and infection within the joint.
Joint deformity caused by arthritis may create increased pressure and cause skin lesions like corns and callus. It is important to not let the hard skin build up because it often causes pressure and discomfort.
We can provide foot care and management for people with arthritic feet!
Podiatrists at Assure Health understand the effects of inflammatory and degenerative changes to the joints in the feet. With our expertise, we can reduce arthritis-related discomfort.
Our foot health professionals can advise you on supportive shoes that will cushion your joints and absorb shock.
Personalised orthotics can be prescribed after a foot assessment to relieve pressure on more sensitive areas of your feet and make walking easier.
In our comfortable and modern podiatrist office, your podiatrist can perform an easy and painless procedure to eliminate calluses and corns.
Foot Infection with Tinea (Athlete's Foot)
An athlete’s foot, also known as “tinea”, is a microscopic fungus that lives on dead skin cells, toenails, and hair.
Warm, moist, dark environments are favourable for growth of this fungus. Most often, it occurs in warmer weather and in shoes made of synthetic materials. People who sweat excessively or wear shoes with synthetic materials are most at risk. It’s not only athletic people who get tinea.
Itching, peeling, and redness of the skin on the sole of the foot and between the toes are the hallmarks of tinea. The skin can sometimes form small blisters, and it can sometimes smell unpleasant. Toenails are also susceptible to being infected by this fungus.
When it comes to tinea, prevention is better than cure!
Assure Health podiatrists will be able to diagnose you and give you the appropriate advice. Though an athlete’s foot can be persistent, it can be easily treated and should not be ignored.
In most cases, an antifungal agent over-the-counter and advice about appropriate footwear are prescribed. Early treatment usually results in the best outcomes, before the fungus establishes itself firmly.
In order to protect itself, the body produces blisters as a response.
In cases of hot, sweaty feet, friction, rubbing, or an increase in pressure against the skin can cause blisters.
It results in a lump of clear fluid filled with a raised surface. Blood may or may not be present, and often the surrounding skin will be red and tender.
The risk of infection increases if blisters break, are severe, or occur in people at risk of foot problems such as those with diabetes or PVD (peripheral vascular disease).
Assure Health podiatrists can treat blisters, apply protective dressings, and give advice on how to prevent blisters from forming.
Our team can help if you are having problems with blisters or have recurring blisters.
Bunions most often result from poor foot mechanics, can be hereditary, and may be exacerbated by footwear or activities that increase the pressure on the big toe joint. Physial changes and stiffness can develop around the big toe joint as the big toe deviates from the midline of the body.
In addition to corns and calluses, other problems can develop under the big toe and around the ball of the foot. It is also possible that a bunion will affect the big toe nail, causing pain around the nail or in-growth of the nail. Bunion-affected feet are unstable.
Assure Health podiatry can assess your bunion’s severity and advise you on the best possible treatment. Unfortunately you will never be able to get rid of a bunion without surgery, but if you require treatment for the secondary issues or would like to know more about slowing the progression of your bunion and stabilising your feet Assure Health podiatrist are more than happy to assist.
Calluses and corns
Whenever there is a lot of pressure and friction on your foot, it will thicken up in order to protect itself. Corns and calluses can form as a result.
Corns and calluses typically develop when your footwear is too tight or when you have deformities, bony prominences or biomechanical abnormalities.
Calluses are generally a larger area of thickened skin and are often found around the ball of the big toe and back of the heels and can sometimes be painful.
Unlike a callus, a corn is a more compact area of hardened skin; it does not have a root, but a focal point deep in the skin, usually over bony structures. In addition to being uncomfortable, corns can even cause underlying infection if left untreated, especially in clients with diabetes or reduced circulation in the feet (PVD). In some cases, this can be a serious problem leading to an ulcer which can be difficult to treat.
Additionally, there are soft corn varieties. These find their way between the toes because of too much squeezing between the toes, typically from tight footwear or from not letting the toes dry.
Calluses and corns can be removed without any pain.
Corns and calluses are treated by Assure Health podiatrists by removing the hard skin; the procedure is painless and it will provide immediate relief. The procedure can even be done the same day as your appointment.
If the friction or pressure is not taken away, the corn or callus will return. We will also provide advice on preventing recurrences of corns and calluses.
Treatment may include:
- An examination of the feet and footwear is required to determine the cause of the corns or calluses
- Advice for wearing shoes
- Foot biomechanics assessment and custom orthotic fabrication to reduce friction and pressure
- Maintain regular appointments to reduce corns and calluses
- Preventing pressure points with padding
- If appropriate, surgical correction of bony prominences is recommended, if they cannot be managed conservatively
It is not recommended to use remedies such as corn paint, cure, or plaster because these will only treat the symptoms and not cure the underlying problem. People with diabetes and reduced blood flow (PVD) are at risk of having worse problems in some circumstances.
People with diabetes may suffer from foot problems, but by getting regular foot assessments, following appropriate advice, and taking simple measures every day, many of these issues can be addressed.
Our podiatrists at Assure Health can assist you in the following ways:
- Conducting an examination to assess circulation, nerves, bones, and joints for signs of decreased function
- We provide our clients with advice on footwear, insoles, socks, and devices for relieving pressure and pain at abnormally sensitive foot sites
- Maintaining a trim on your nails to prevent thickening and ingrowing
- Keeping corns and calluses at bay
- Preventing blisters, cuts, and sores from becoming infected or ulcerated
- Ensure that any infection or wound on the foot, or any sign of a foreign object, is addressed promptly and appropriately
If you are experiencing any of these conditions – arch pain, cracked heels, dry skin, fungal nails, or tinea – we will also provide you with advice.
A person with diabetes should seek advice when they notice anything abnormal with their feet, prevention is simple.
First Aid Management for Diabetics
Clean the affected area with saline solution, apply an iodine based antiseptic* and cover with a hypoallergenic dressing. Repeat this daily until healed, if there are no signs of healing within 48 hours seek professional advice. *Some people have allergy to iodine based products.
If the cut or sore becomes red, inflamed or is infected, seek advice immediately.
If you have had a cut or sore for a while and you have ignored it, seek professional advice immediately as the above instructions may not be the appropriate management for you.
It is possible to experience pain in the foot, ankle, lower leg, knee and lower back due to a flat foot. Some patients experience weakness in their lower legs or swelling on the inside of their ankles, as well as uneven wear on their shoes.
People with flat feet (pes planus) suffer from a variety of health issues that are generally caused by lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, occupation, shoe selection, and factors associated with weight, or it can be hereditary, where they are born with flat bony arches.
People with flat feet can have foot complications prevented and managed by Assure Health podiatrists by discussing symptoms, performing a gait analysis and biomechanical examination, assessing footwear and possibly fitting custom or off-the-shelf orthotics. Occasionally, we may refer you for a surgical opinion.
In young children, flat arches are normal, and they will develop arches as they grow.
The child should be examined if he or she begins to walk weirdly, trips often, limps or complains about calf muscle pain or other issues around the foot area. Early treatment can prevent more serious problems from occurring.
It is recommended to seek a professional opinion if you are unsure or concerned about your child.
Fungal Nail Infections
An infection of the fungus under the nail is rarely caused by personal habits, such as cleanliness. Simple trauma such as banging your toe or finger, trimming your nails too closely or wearing tight shoes can weaken your nail and cause infection to develop.
As shoes and socks keep feet warm, dark, and moist, toenails are the most susceptible to fungal infections.
The infection typically starts as a white or yellow spot that develops under your toenail. You may notice that your nail becomes discoloured, thicker, and crumbles as the nail fungus spreads. In addition to experiencing pain in your toes, you may detect an unpleasant smell.
It is particularly difficult for those with thick toenails to wear shoes and may even make standing and walking uncomfortable.
It is important to seek treatment as soon as you think you may have a fungal infection, as it can spread to other nails and possibly to other people.
A podiatrist at Assure Health can diagnose and identify the fungus, and treat the toenail(s) to manage its thickness and shape. During the session, we’ll discuss footwear and offer treatment solutions for eradicating the fungus and preventing its spread.
Getting rid of nail fungus is not an overnight process, and it will not disappear on its own. However, with persistence and the right treatment, it can be resolved.
Nail fungus is more common in some people. In addition to decreased circulation, diabetes and ageing may increase nail susceptibility because the nails grow slower with age and become thicker, making these factors common risk factors.
In addition to tinea on the feet, heavy perspiration, synthetic footwear, and frequent exposure to damp environments such as swimming pools, gyms, and shower rooms, you can also develop nail fungus.
When a hammer toe develops, the toe becomes bent and can become painful or stiff when you move it.
Muscles malfunction and bend the toe joints into a hammer shape when they do not work in harmony. Muscles and tendons supporting them become tight and remain that way if they remain in this position. Over the course of time, this can result in permanent damage.
In general, hammer toe is most commonly found on the second toe, but can occur on any toe.
The development of hammer toes can be caused by a number of factors, including diabetes and nerve and muscle damage from arthritis. Genetic factors can also cause hammer toes.
Generally speaking, people with hammer toes develop painful corns on the tops of their toes from rubbing against their shoes, as well as painful calluses under their toes from pressure.
By removing corns, calluses, providing the right type of support to balance and strengthening your toes, Assure Health podiatrists can slow the progression of hammer toe, corns, or calluses. We may recommend orthotic therapy or, if appropriate, refer you for surgical advice.
How do we treat heel pain?
A podiatrist at Assure Health podiatry will generally examine the foot and lower limb biomechanically and may recommend one or more of the following treatments depending on the diagnosis of your problem.
- Modifications to activities
- Shoe selection that is appropriate
- Ice packs are used for cooling
- Providing cushioning
- Massage of the foot
- Strengthening the muscles
- Anti-inflammatory tablets for oral administration
- Treatment with orthotics
- A referral for an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI may be needed
- Stretching exercises
- Referral to a surgeon, if needed
- Ankle and heel taping
An ingrown toenail can appear differently depending on its severity. The corner of the nail or the small spike of the nail penetrate the skin. A deep nail penetration will make the surrounding skin red, inflamed, painful, and pus may also appear. If the nail penetrates deeply into the skin, it can cause pain, although pain usually starts out as mild discomfort and gradually increases. An ingrown toenail does not necessarily indicate an infection, but it may develop if the nail penetrates deep into the skin.
There are a number of factors that may cause ingrown toenails.
- Too short toenails can cause the skin around them to fold over the nail.
- Tight and small size shoes
- The toe being stabbed by something or falling on the toe.
- Activities such as bushwalking or running that repeatedly place pressure on the toes.
- Besides these conditions, other conditions may increase risk, such as a toenail fungal infection or loss of a nail due to trauma.
Treating ingrown toenails
- In early cases, it may be possible to remove the nail spike without pain.
- It is recommended for people with diabetes and circulation problems to undergo regular treatment as a conservative measure to prevent further ingrown nails.
- Antibiotics administered orally. Upon a doctor’s recommendation, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed if an infection is present.
- A surgical procedure to remove the ingrown toenail . A portion of the nail may need to be removed, or the entire nail may need to be removed. A simple procedure performed in the clinic is commonly needed to ease the pain and remove the offending nail.
- Sometimes, if partial removal of an ingrowing toe nail does not work, surgery to remove the entire nail may be warranted. Anaesthesia is applied to the toe and the nail is completely removed. Recurrences of ingrown toenails can be prevented by permanent removal.
An aftercare bandage will be applied following nail surgery. It is not unusual for people to experience very little pain following surgery, and they may resume normal activities within a few days
Inflammation and neuroma development can result from anything that causes irritation or compression of the nerve. Usually occurring between the base of the second, third or fourth toe is Morton’s neuroma, which is the most common neuroma in the foot.
Neuromas are primarily caused by wearing footwear that is too narrow at the forefoot or on too steep of an angle for a stable foot. People with certain foot deformities, such as a bunion or hammer-toe, may have an increased risk of developing neuromas.
Neuromas may also develop as a result of injuries to the foot or other types of trauma to the area.
Early diagnosis of neuromas usually lessens the need for invasive treatments and can avoid surgery.
In some cases, the symptoms may subside temporarily if the foot is massaged or if aggravating shoes are avoided.
Symptoms become more persistent if Neuromas continue to grow and the temporary changes in the nerve are permanent, increasing the intensity of the pain.
Symptoms may include:
- A dull, aching pain
- Sharp pains shooting into your toes
- Pain every time you put on shoes
Our podiatrist can offer treatment recommendations based on the severity of the condition. We recommend wearing lower heels. You may also wish to wear supportive, wide-toed shoes. This can be determined by consulting our podiatrist at Assure Health for an assessment and shoe inserts/orthotics.
When more conservative treatments have not been effective, surgery may be considered. An affected nerve may be removed surgically or released surgically based on the type of neuroma.
“The pain is sharp, stabbing, and goes right through my foot.”
“I get the stabbing pain when I get out of bed in the morning, but it subsides after a few steps.”
Is this you? The podiatry service at Assure Health can help you with this agonising pain.
Inflammation of the fascia or connective tissue between the heel and the ball of the foot, referred to as Plantar Fasciitis, can be caused by many factors, including foot type, footwear, or trauma such as jumping and landing too hard on the heel.
Plantar fasciitis that is not treated early can become chronic and take a very long time to recover. The heel may have a bony spur, but it may or may not be painful.
A podiatric doctor at Assure Health will usually recommend one or more of the following treatments based on the results of a biomechanical examination of the foot:
- Using ice packs
- Massaging the foot
- Oral anti-inflammatory tablets
- Stretching exercises
- Muscle strengthening
- Appropriate footwear
- Orthotic therapy – the most effective treatment for this type of condition
- Referral for X-Ray, Ultrasound or MRI
- Surgical referral if required
Foot care during pregnancy
It is possible that the feet may turn out in the latter stages of pregnancy to get better stability. This may result in increased pressure on the lower back, knees, and feet. Changing gait or walking pattern can result in a change in the pressure applied to the big toenails, which can result in them growing in if not seen promptly.
Pregnant women commonly experience foot pain when their tendons, muscles and ligaments are under greater strain than usual. During pregnancy, you will likely need to switch to better-fitting footwear for greater support.
In case of any concern about changes in the way your feet feel, we recommend a consultation and advice at Assure Health podiatry.
In Sever’s Disease, rapidly growing bones in the legs pull on the calf muscles and tendons as they travel down the back of the calf to the point of attachment of the Achilles tendon to the heel bone, resulting in pain at either the back or underside of the heel bone.
Children who are active and in the middle of a rapid growth spurt are often affected by this overuse injury. Children will complain of pain or discomfort after participating in sports, usually after running or jumping. This can result in tripping or falling onto the court.
Does this sound like your child?
Assure Health Podiatrists are trained in managing your child’s condition.
In addition to our biomechanical assessment, we can also provide footwear advice based on the biomechanical analysis of your child’s feet. In some cases, orthotic therapy may be necessary.
Within six to twelve months, this condition usually resolves. While addressing these issues is important, long-term damage to the growth plate of the heel bone can occur if left unaddressed.
A fracture develops over days, weeks, or months as a result of excessive stress on the bones.
A biochemical imbalance in the bone (eg.osteoporosis), use of steroids for a long time, low body weight, and nutrition problems contribute to stress fractures. Also, high intensity training causes physical stress on ligaments and bones, which results in biomechanical stress fracture. Stress fractures may also be more common in athletes who partake in multiple sports.
Stress fractures frequently show gradual and hardly noticeable signs at first, and the pain and swelling decline with rest and become worse with increased exertion. To avoid the non-union of stress fractures, it’s important to properly identify and manage stress fractures and their symptoms
Consult a podiatrist or GP if you’re worried about the injury, or the pain or lump has not gone down significantly within 48 hours. May need x-ray and in some cases bone scan to find the stress fracture not visible on x-ray initially and if the pain still continues with conservative operation.
Follow standard operation, rest the injured area as much as possible, apply an ice pack intermittently as long as swelling persists, compress the ankle and bottom firmly (not tightly) wrapped waffle/ elastic girth and elevate the bottom to minimise swelling.
An accurate diagnosis is essential for proper rehabilitation of moderate to severe injuries Assure Health can support you with diagnosis, management of symptoms and rehabilitation for gradual return to your activities.
Warts / Papilloma
Verruca plantaris and Verruca myrmecia are both common names for plantar warts.
Over time, warts grow into hard, rough lesions covered in tiny red, brown, or black spots. Additionally, they can appear spongy, and are sometimes mistaken for corns or calluses.
The warts typically form on the bottom of the foot, but they can also appear anywhere on the body. Although they’re generally harmless, they’re often painful and annoying, and if left untreated they can grow larger and form mosaic warts.
When people touch, scratch, or bleed on them, warts can spread, persist for times, and sometimes spontaneously disappear, only to reappear in the same place. Children, teens, and people with allergies or weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to warts (HPV). Public places like locker rooms, showers, and gyms are also believed to be high- risk zones for HPV transmission.
Assure Health podiatry offers Cryopen B technology to treat warts and HPV viruses.
Your feet will be assessed to make sure that you have a wart, and it’ll be determined which treatment is the most effective based on its size and location.
A wart preparation sold over the counter is marginally effective and has a strict application regime with varied results and takes a long time to remove, and can also be dangerous if you have diabetes or peripheral vascular disease (PVD) which might cause non healing ulcers. The podiatry clinic at Assure Health offers more effective treatments, including cryotherapy with Cryopen B and surgical removal in more severe cases. All of these treatments are performed in our podiatry clinic with experienced podiatrists.
Whether you would like to remove a wart or seek professional advice on how to do so, we can help!