So you’ve been turning up the heat in your training and you noticed a niggling ache in your knee. Or maybe you're finding yourself dreading the thought of walking the length of the shopping centre as you know how sore you're feet are going to be by the end? “Finding someone you can trust and who understands your goals is part of a successful patient- doctor relationship”, says Phil Marshman, owner and practice principle of Pioneer Podiatry. As a long-time resident of the Mackay area with an interest in living a healthy lifestyle, Phil knows the rewards and challenges that come with pushing yourself in the pursuit of fitness.
"This time of year I tend to see those people training for the numerous sports events on the local calendar, such as the Mackay Marina Run, as well as those participating in the sports leagues that start getting serious around this time. Once you start pushing yourself, your likelihood of injury is drastically increased. And when you do, you need to make sure you've got the right team of health professionals you can trust to play their parts in getting you back on track."
Podiatrists are university trained from day one of their education to specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and leg injuries. However the value of this specialisation is best seen when working within a medical and training team. "When I work alongside the many doctors and therapists in my network, we all understand our strengths and limitations. I might know all about how and why your foot is sore, but I'm also looking for cues that tell me you'll need help from another therapist. It's all about getting the right people on the job at the right time for the best result for you."
The study of human movement and locomotion is a science called biomechanics, and this field of study is of particular interest to Mr Marshman, as he has equipped his clinics with advanced equipment for high speed gait analysis and 3D optical foot scanners for orthotic design. When it comes to orthotic materials, Phil says the options are limitless. "I have patients often ask me, 'Do you make hard orthotics or soft orthotics?'. For me, it always depends on what we are trying to achieve. Some people need a harder orthotic to fix their problem, and others will need softer ones, however I will always make sure they are comfortable and are suitable for the kinds of footwear you like to wear. If you're not happy, I'm not happy."