Foot care is a critical aspect for individuals with Parkinson’s, a condition that can significantly affect foot health. This blog explores the challenges and solutions for foot care in Parkinson’s, offering professional advice and tips from Louisa Seymour Podiatry.
Parkinson’s and Foot Care Challenges
Parkinson’s disease can lead to various foot-related issues, including swelling (oedema), dystonia, and toe curling. These conditions may impact mobility and foot comfort, necessitating specialised care.
Role of Podiatrists and Physiotherapists
Podiatrists play a crucial role in managing foot health in Parkinson’s. They provide valuable advice on managing foot problems and collaborate with physiotherapists to enhance mobility and prevent falls. Tailor-made insoles and orthoses are among the interventions used to address foot and leg pain, improve walking patterns, and assist in balancing.
Managing Swelling and Dystonia
Swelling in the feet, ankles, and lower legs is common in Parkinson’s, especially for those with limited movement. Management strategies include wearing adjustable footwear, engaging in specific exercises, and, in some cases, using diuretic medications. Dystonia, causing muscle contractions and toe curling, can be addressed through medication adjustments and the use of toe splints.
Choosing the Right Footwear
Proper footwear is essential for foot health in Parkinson’s. Shoes should be well-fitting, offer support, and be suitable for the individual’s condition, especially if they experience oedema or dystonia. Avoiding leather-soled shoes and opting for trainers made from natural or breathable fibers can provide better support and reduce the risk of trips and falls.
Exercise and Foot Care
Regular exercise is beneficial for managing Parkinson’s symptoms and maintaining foot health. Activities should be appropriate for the individual’s condition, focusing on foot and ankle exercises to enhance balance and prevent falls. Custom-made insoles can distribute the impact of walking evenly across the foot, improving gait and muscle function.
Accessing Podiatry Services
Podiatrists are available through various settings, including health centers, surgeries, and hospitals. Referrals from GPs may be required for NHS services, but private podiatrists can be consulted without referrals. It’s important to schedule appointments considering the individual’s symptoms, and to bring a comprehensive list of medications to the initial appointment.
Foot care is a vital component of managing Parkinson’s. Through the expertise of podiatrists and physiotherapists, individuals can effectively address foot-related issues, enhance mobility, and improve their quality of life. Regular exercise, appropriate footwear, and specialised interventions like orthoses play a significant role in maintaining foot health in Parkinson’s.