Ankle and Feet Issues and Care Tips: A Podiatry Blog

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Ways Your Podiatrist Can Help Improve Your Mobility

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When a condition or injury affects your lower legs, it has the potential to disrupt your mobility. Depending on your physical state, you may need to visit a mobility shop to find aids. Before you do, though, it's important to consult with your podiatrist so they can offer advice. Here are some ways yours can help.

Gait Trainers

Gait trainers are essential pieces of equipment for adults and children who have a disability that affects how they walk. They look like walkers, but one of their key aims is to promote postural alignment. Your podiatrist may perform a biomechanical assessment that identifies whether you need help with your gait. If you can't fully bear weight on your legs, your gait trainer will help you learn how to do so. Consistent contribution to using a gait trainer can help your brain learn the motor functions needed to walk independently. After seeking advice from your podiatrist, you can visit a mobility equipment shop to purchase a trainer that works for you.

Orthotic Inserts

A number of foot conditions can cause you to struggle with walking. For example, if you suffer from peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes, walking may feel painful. Or, if you have plantar fasciitis, you might experience shooting pains when you walk. Arthritis can also be problematic and may affect your balance. Orthotic inserts are inserts that rest inside your usual shoes. They can help you walk comfortably and should improve your quality of life. When you're able to walk comfortably, you can address balance issues and reduce the risk of muscle wastage. Make sure you seek professional advice from your podiatrist before purchasing inserts, as having the wrong fit can feel uncomfortable.

Balance Equipment

If you're suffering from poor balance, your podiatrist may recommend certain exercises to address it. Balance problems can arise following foot drop, peripheral nerve damage, and lots of other conditions. Although your podiatrist will guide you through your exercises while you're at their office, you'll need to try them at home too. Trying them at home might require you to use balance equipment, such as bars. While you're waiting for the exercises to take effect, you may also want to use balance equipment in certain areas of your home. For example, anywhere where you need to take the stairs or lift yourself up. Using such equipment can help you maintain your independence while you work towards getting your balance back. 

For more info, visit a local mobility shop