Why you’re not getting better and what you can do about it

Why you’re not getting better and what you can do about it

Why you’re not getting better

and what you can do about it - Its you not me

Why You're Not Getting Better and what you can do about it

Why You're Not Getting Better and what you can do about it

Have you ever wondered why you're not getting better after seeing a therapist, and what you can do about it?  Dr Brenden Brown, the Leading Podiatrist at A Step Ahead Foot and Ankle Care, Penrith, explains that it could be you, not the therapist.

It's Father's Day. I love my dad, and I'm sitting in the entertainment area of my childhood home after cooking my dad his Father's Day breakfast. My brothers are here with their children as well, and we are discussing my parents impending trip to Europe, but more concerning in the discussion is the Back Pain that has my Mum currently in a wheelchair.

Mum has been to see a therapist. She's been given exercises and a treatment plan that she needs to undertake. My dad says, "Oh well. I think from here it's all up to Peter." I look at him, and I ask, "Who is Peter." My dad replies, "Your Mum's therapist. It's up to him whether or not your Mum will get to Europe. Let's hope he can get her better in time."  Pardon?

My head twirled, my eyes roll, and I'm quite sure I probably became the colour of an orange. I reply with all the love I can muster,  "This has very little to do with Peter and a whole stack to do with Mum."

That's right; It's not Peter's responsibility to get my Mum better! Peter has developed a treatment plan, and the biggest participant in that plan is Mum. Peter can show her what to do, tell her when to do it, but in the end, who is the person that is responsible - MUM!

I have no idea who Peter is as I've never met the guy. Still, I know from experience that this is a common expectation of patients that somehow it is the practitioners' responsibility to get patients better. I've got to tell you that while Peter and I have our patients’ best interest in mind and as therapists work hard to help out our patients reach their goals. I think there is very little further from the truth than it's "up to us" to get patients better. Dad... Mum... listening?

If I were to make a list of the most common reason that I see for people not getting better, at least half would be the laid at the feet of the patient themselves. Yes, I know this is a bitter pill to swallow if you are a patient and reading this blog is not going to make me at all popular, but them's the breaks, so to speak.

So what is the on "The list":

  • Not following your treatment plan - broadly speaking
  • Not completing your exercise program as instructed
  • Not Completing exercises as often as required
  • Not wearing the footwear your practitioner suggests
  • Picking and choosing the best bits of your treatment plan
  • Holding your practitioner responsible for your success

Now, of course, other reasons can contribute to your lack of recovery and yes, at times they relate to therapy or perhaps the diagnosis. Yes, practitioners get it wrong but so do patients! As humans, we seem pretty programmed to point the finger at others than recognize that we may be a contributor to our problems.

If you find following your therapist's instructions difficult, let them know, SPEAK UP! Sometimes 13 different stretches in a day is too much. But equally, if they tell you that you need to do this to get better, you've two choices - 1. Get to it or 2. Get a second opinion. But that's it! Choosing not to follow the plan and then blame a therapist for your lack of progress is like not taking your medication the doctor prescribes and returning to them complaining that you're not getting any better.

Why you’re not getting better - Its not ME its YOU

To the therapist who is reading this: Stop being walked over! If your patient isn't following their plan and you know it or they are negotiating not completing vital parts of the program, fricken speak up! Tell them straight! You are in no way helping either of you by following that course. The patient doesn't improve, you look stupid and incapable, and that is a lose-lose for you all! That patient will see someone else and will bad mouth you to their friends, loved ones and the next therapist they see! I know because they see me!

Why You're Not Getting Better - Its not me its you

Why You're Not Getting Better - Its not me its you

Well, after my head stopped twirling like the cast of the Exorcist, I had to make sure my Mum had a clear understanding that Europe was not only physically thousands of kilometres away, but the same distance metaphorically. Unless she stuck to HER part of HER treatment plan, she was not going anywhere.

The result? My Mum is, as I write, jumping on and off buses in Europe enjoying her holiday!

ABOUT DR BRENDEN BROWN

Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist & Shendi Brown

Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist & Shendi Brown

Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.

Follow him on social media:
 instagram.com/askdrfoot
 facebook.com/podiatristsydney
 twitter.com/AStepAheadFAC

Ten-things-to-know-before-choosing-a-podiatrist

Free Report “10 things to know before choosing a Podiatrist”

Choosing your Sydney foot doctor is an important decision and can mean the difference between getting mediocre results and living pain-free. Learn about the top 10 things you should know when choosing your podiatrist in St Marys or Penrith.

Shameless Plug or where to get real help!

Need help? Need another opinion? Just want to get this sorted? Great, we'd love to help you 😊 You can start by calling our wonderfully helpful team on 9673 2987. They are all parents and will be able to help answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

Another option is to use our call back service, pop your details in the very short form and we will call YOU back on a number and times that suits YOU best. 😊

Orthotic Fitting – making it easier and safer!

Orthotic Fitting – making it easier and safer!

Orthotic Fitting

making it easier and safer!

Orthotic Fitting-Preparing the Orthotic Molds

Orthotic Fitting - Preparing the Orthotic Molds

Most likely you have noticed like we have, the large number of people out walking or exercising during this period. Making your orthotic fitting more important than ever.

To help increase your Safety and Decrease risk when picking up your orthotics, we have implemented the following steps Allowing you to have your orthotics fitted safely.

  1. Place the shoes you intend to wear the orthotics in a plastic bag
    NOTE: It is IMPORTANT to ensure the liner/insole originally in the shoe is also included - without this, we can not guarantee a perfect fit
  2. Drop your shoes and insole to our clinic.
    Our team are happy for you to drive into our driveway and meet you at your car door. NO, you don’t even need to get out of your car!
  3. Leave your shoes and insoles with us.

You can either wait in the car, and our team will fit them to your shoes while you wait. OR drop them in, and we will call you through the day to let you know when the fitted orthotics are ready.

Online Orthotic fitting instructions:

We will then book a time for a quick online fitting appointment where one of our Podiatrists will run through the instructions with you.

Our admin team will arrange another online check-up in a month.

If you’re ready to get back to happy healthy and active, our team would love to help please call us on 96732987

 

Orthotic Fitting-Making Orthotics

Orthotic Fitting - Making Orthotics

Ten-things-to-know-before-choosing-a-podiatrist

Free Report “10 things to know before choosing a Podiatrist”

Choosing your Sydney foot doctor is an important decision and can mean the difference between getting mediocre results and living pain-free. Learn about the top 10 things you should know when choosing your podiatrist in St Marys or Penrith.

Shameless Plug or where to get real help!

Need help? Need another opinion? Just want to get this sorted? Great, we'd love to help you 😊 You can start by calling our wonderfully helpful team on 9673 2987. They are all parents and will be able to help answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

Another option is to use our call back service, pop your details in the very short form and we will call YOU back on a number and times that suits YOU best. 😊

Shockwave for Treating Heel Pain

Shockwave for Treating Heel Pain

Shockwave for Treating Heel Pain

Shockwave therapy for heel pain - Western Sydney

Shockwave therapy for heel pain - Western Sydney

Heel pain is one of the most debilitating conditions that our doctors see every single day. Pain in the morning is common for people, first step and OUCH! Only to be relieved or Plateau and return later in the day! This is where Shockwave for Treating Heel Pain comes in.

Is Shockwave for Treating Heel Pain for Me?

Shockwave has become one of the gold standard treatments for heel pain.  As one of the first clinics to adopt shockwave, we have seen a rise in its use across other clinics and sadly not always successfully. The reason is that often well-meaning practitioners who use this, use it as a stand-alone treatment and NOT as part of a treatment plan to beat painful heels!

Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs and Achilles tendinitis will all respond well to shockwave however alone as a therapy shockwave will only provide part of a solution.

Heel pain requires a treatment plan that incorporates multiple areas to be addressed from Footwear to foot posture. Then to also treat both the soft tissue pain and the tissue strength to balance its recovery and get patients back to happy, healthy and active.

Sadly treating heel pain with shockwave alone will rarely see patient recover leading to more pain and frequently frustration!

Can we help?

Our doctors are all qualified and registered Podiatrists. That’s right, foot doctors! Unlike other clinics who look after toenails and callous or dry hard skin. Our team sees sports injuries like heel pain, multiple times a day!

If you’d like to beat heel Pain, we would love to help.

Our clinic is located in Western Sydney just off the M4 in Penrith. Our Doctors are registered with all major health funds. Health fund referrals are not necessary, please contact us for details.

Appointments are NOT BULK BILLED; however, you may be able to claim some money through Medicare if your GP refers you to our team.

If you’re ready to get back to happy healthy and active, our team would love to help please call us on 96732987

Ten-things-to-know-before-choosing-a-podiatrist

Free Report “10 things to know before choosing a Podiatrist”

Choosing your Sydney foot doctor is an important decision and can mean the difference between getting mediocre results and living pain-free. Learn about the top 10 things you should know when choosing your podiatrist in St Marys or Penrith.

Shameless Plug or where to get real help!

Need help? Need another opinion? Just want to get this sorted? Great, we'd love to help you 😊 You can start by calling our wonderfully helpful team on 9673 2987. They are all parents and will be able to help answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

Another option is to use our call back service, pop your details in the very short form and we will call YOU back on a number and times that suits YOU best. 😊

Fallen Arches or Flat Feet and what you need to know

Fallen Arches or Flat Feet and what you need to know

Fallen Arches or Flat Feet

and what you need to know

Fallen Arches or Flat Feet - what are they? What do they look like? And why should you care enough to bother reading this post at all? You’re busy after all, and there’s stuff to do right! Well, what if we told you if you’ve got this and you don’t your tendon will snap straight off the bone? Ahhhh, see now you’re interested!

“Fallen arches” is a bit of an old school term these days. Your Nan may have told you that if you didn’t wear the right shoes, you’d get “Fallen Arches”. Or an Elderly aunt told stories of arthritis and fallen arches. There were no iPhones back then, so you actually listened to people.

What do Fallen Arches or Flat Feet look like?

What do Fallen Arches or Flat Feet look like?

What do Fallen Arches or Flat Feet look like?

Fallen arches is most often the term to describe what feet look like when it develops a condition that sees your Tibialis Posterior (fancy muscle name) stop working as well as it should. It most commonly happens only on ONE foot at a time. This is the difference between fallen arches and flat feet.

Most commonly, we see the arch contour lowers, flattens or drops. You may also develop a bulge on the inside of your ankle. You may also note that the foot splays out particularly at the toes. This can happen very gradually over time. Which means it can sneak up on people on occasions.

After hearing all this, I mean who says podiatry is exciting!

What Do people with fallen arches or flat feet feel?

Most people who experience fallen arches at some stage will develop some pain. It’s most commonly aggravated by increased walking or exercise.

The pain is often in the arch of the foot or around the back of the ankle. However, this will vary in people.

Sometimes the Tibialis tendon will snap from the bone, and this tends to happen to people during activity. Interestingly when this occurs many times people commonly fall over. This leads them to think that they may have twisted an ankle in the fall, as the ankle becomes swollen and bruised. When presented to a GP and fitting the description, it’s often agreed that it’s a run-of-the-mill sprained ankle. It’s not until sometime later that the swelling resides and the lowered arch is noted that it’s realised it’s not a swollen ankle.

Now because I am a responsible Boring Podiatry type person, I have to make sure you understand that this is NOT super common. But is, of course, a risk!

What can you do about Fallen Arches or Flat Feet?

Fallen Arches or Flat Feet

Fallen Arches or Flat Feet: You may see a bulge on the inside of your ankle.

There are stages or grades of these conditions; often this is referred to as, Posterior Tibialis Tendon Dysfunction or PTTD. It will depend on what stage the foot is at the time.

Exercise - Building strength in the muscles and tendon is important and will give value in most stages, BUT this will not suddenly return your arch to its former high arches glory!

Good footwear - Great supportive footwear will help support the foot. It is, of course, dependent on what stage the foot is. Again all stages will gain value from good footwear

Orthotics - Orthotics will support the arch of the foot. This may help the foot from further degeneration. These on most occasions, reduce or eliminate pain. This is again, stage-dependent! Custom orthotics at this stage are most likely to give the best result. Over the counter devices, May provide limited relief however often don’t provide enough support

Surgery - typically left for the end stages of PTTD or fallen arches; the times where this is at its worst or As described above has torn from the bone - oh Ouchie Mumma!

My suggestion is if you notice any symptoms, get to a foot doctor type person quickly. Prevention is oodles better than cure. My formula for success for most cases (stage dependent) is Footwear, Orthotics and muscle rehab to build strength.

All this leads me to suggest you probably Should have listened to your great Aunt Bess! She was in the know and while at the time the stories of her rheumatism weren’t illuminating they, if you ever go through this, will become stories you well and truly recall!

Written by Dr Brenden Brown Podiatrist aka DrFoot,  Principal Podiatrist at A Step Ahead Foot and Ankle Care.

Ten-things-to-know-before-choosing-a-podiatrist

Free Report “10 things to know before choosing a Podiatrist”

Choosing your Sydney foot doctor is an important decision and can mean the difference between getting mediocre results and living pain-free. Learn about the top 10 things you should know when choosing your podiatrist in St Marys or Penrith.

Shameless Plug or where to get real help!

Need help? Need another opinion? Just want to get this sorted? Great, we'd love to help you 😊 You can start by calling our wonderfully helpful team on 9673 2987. They are all parents and will be able to help answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

Another option is to use our call back service, pop your details in the very short form and we will call YOU back on a number and times that suits YOU best. 😊

Growing Pains and Questions Parents Should Ask

Growing Pains and Questions Parents Should Ask

Growing Pains and Questions Parents Should Ask

Growing Pains and Questions Parents Should Ask

Growing Pains and Questions Parents Should Ask. Will they grow out of it? Are Growing Pains Real?

"Growing pains" is a common description but is it really a diagnosis? Let's talk about a few questions parents can ponder, that may help you decide

"Growing pains" is often a description used for kids who get pain in their feet ankles or legs.

Many times this pain can become so horrible that the pain can wake kids at night. Parents often describe their children waking in tears.

At other times parents report foot ankle or leg pain when their child has been active, sometimes during or shortly after the activity. But at other times it can be the next day or even the day after that! Now that can be super confusing. This leads to confusion, so you ...

Head to "the Doctor"

It's the internet age, so parents pretty soon head to Dr google and seek results. Boom you're in an information storm. With suggestions from adding magnesium to your kid's diet to your kid should try barefoot running while chanting positive affirmations.

Then you head to your local health professional, and many times it can be just as frustrating. You're told by this well-meaning health practitioner that all is ok and that it's simply "Growing Pains" hmmmm and that they will simply "Grow out of it."

Now, most parents are pretty clever, and they leave the office of their humble health practitioner a little confused and some frustrated.

With this in mind, we thought it might be worth prepping you with some questions you can ask your health practitioner. Ask these if you're not sure it is merely magical "Growing pains."

Q. Is it possible that the pain is from your kid's muscles not working well?  

Is the pain from muscles that are having to overwork to compensate for other underworking structures?

Pain mostly comes from muscles overworking. This is often a result of other muscles no longer doing their job or structures in a body, not doing what they are designed to do. Kids are no different! Look for structures that are not working and why these muscles are having to overwork.

Q. Is the pain like other muscle pain people get that occurs because something is out of alignment?

If not, why not? Why wouldn't kids get this? This is something that has been observed in both adults and children for centuries. It's commonly understood in medicine across the world. Why would it be any different in your child?

Q. How is it that pain from Growing is associated with my child being active?

Why is it that pain from growing happens when my child plays soccer or goes for long walks?

It seems quite strange that active kids suddenly have growth spurts really close to their activity. These growth spurts somehow caused pain? Does it seem Logical to you? No, it doesn't seem logical to us either.

Q. If pain from simply "growing" why don't all kids get it?

All kids grow, right? Yup, we are pretty confident that they do! So it stands to reason that If the pain is simply from your kid's body "Growing" all kids should get the same pain as a result. But hang on, not all kids do. Do you see a pattern yet?

Q. If the pain is from "growing", why is the pain almost universally only localised in feet ankles and legs?

Do kids shoulders, arms, spines, heads not grow? Of course they do yet no pain there!

Q.How much does a kid have to "grow" for the pain to develop as a result?

When bones grow, they grow less than a millimetre a day. Try grabbing your finger and pulling it outwards. Are you in excruciating pain? NO! Hang on?? You've just stretched your tendon far more than 1 mm! How is it that you're not in pain? If growing less than a millimetre causes children to wake in unbearable pain?

Answers we all need answers!

These are all questions we encourage parents to ask themselves when considering or being told by well-meaning health practitioners that the pain their child is suffering is simply from them growing.

Hey, parents a quick tip. When your practitioner tells you "they'll grow out of it" It's ok to ask that practitioner for their mobile phone number so you can call them and then they can comfort and calm your child when they are complaining or worse crying late in the evening or waking you around 1:30 am due to pain. Kids at 1:30 am get way better when you tell them that "they will just grow out of it."  

However, if this doesn't work and you'd like some more practical information on this Dr Brenden our principal Podiatrist has written a short ebook on kids growing pains. We will provide a link below if you would like to download this. (Yes this is a shameless plug)

Here is the link to the ebook! 

In our belief, kids should not have pain! Pain in the kids after activity -  IS NOT NORMAL!

Part of growing up should be running jumping, scrapping your knee once or twice and at times getting ridiculously dirty! But the most crucial part is that kids should be able to be active without pain!

FREE Growing Pain Report by Dr Brenden Brown

Is it really growing pains?

 

7 simple signs every parent should know!

Are you worried about pain in your child feet? Not sure whats normal and whats not? Try accessing Dr Brenden’s helpful report on the “Growing pains - 7 simple signs every parent should know!” As a recognised expert in lower limb health with over 20 years’ experience, A past advisor for Clarks Kids footwear and lecturer on growing pains. Dr Brenden outlines what every Parent should know about Growing Pains and gives you fast ways to identify the “what and when” you need to know!

Shameless Plug or where to get real help!

Need help? Need another opinion? Just want to get this sorted? Great, we'd love to help you 😊 You can start by calling our wonderfully helpful team on 9673 2987. They are all parents and will be able to help answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

Another option is to use our call back service, pop your details in the very short form and we will call YOU back on a number and times that suits YOU best. 😊