Let’s Talk About Feet!
Your mother clapped and cheered you on when you took your first step and helped you up when you fell flat on the floor. You remember running barefoot in the field, chasing butterflies and that moment when you kicked your first ball or did your first Arabesque in your ballet class.
We’ve taken our feet for granted that we hardly acknowledge the adventures this loyal pair gives us. In order to bring back foot awareness, we met the enthusiastic team behind Podiatry Works who were deep with insights and broad with knowledge about how we should treat our feet right.
Dr. Barry Kluner, the head of Podiatry Works, has been a chiropractor in Malaysia for 15 years and with his team of two, Bala Gopal who specializes in biomechanics and Jun Morimoto who specializes in diabetics care, takes on the responsibility to educate Malaysians about the importance of keeping your feet well. Podiatry Works opened its doors in June 2015 and have been saving one pair of feet at a time!
The idea behind Podiatry Works came as an opportunity when Dr. Kluner established Health Works with the concept of opening the community a wide array of services that would restore their mobility and independence. So they came up with a complete principle for all ages that would help everyone get back on their feet. “The body needs balance and it starts with the feet- and everybody has feet. Now Podiatry Works is next door to Health Works and the intention is to grow big and get the information out there.”
He further explains, “It is the same with your spine. I tell everyone there’s no spine transplant so you better keep the one you have. As for feet, they play an important role in making sure the body balances itself when we’re walking, standing and even running. All of this dictates proper movement and balance.”
Bala explains, “When it comes to Podiatry, the Malaysian industry is still at the baby stages. There is not enough exposure and definitely in need of podiatric care here. We want to create awareness about their feet and what they get their feet in. We are looking into more educational works, in terms of how to look after your feet.”
When it comes to looking after their feet for a diabetic patient, Jun explains, “Podiatry also teaches you how to take care of your feet, even after an amputation. Patients need to learn from offload wounds to general care. Podiatry saves you there.”
How exactly does it save you?
Using the latest German technologies, the team studies your foot medical history, biomechanics, and measures your Foot Posture Index (F.P.I.) to better understand your foot function during your walking and running activities. Whether you are a professional or novice runner, your sport is all about motion. Since you move when you walk and run, they further analyze your foot motion and analyze your gait using Dynamic Orthotic Calibration (D.O.C.), which is exclusive to Podiatry Works.
We even tested it out! We strapped one on our team with it. The DOC seemed mindblowingly futuristic with wires connected from her sole to her hips. On the big screen the live scan of her feet appears that as she walks, colours started to appear, indicating her lowest and highest pressure. She then jogged and ran a little, and the colours followed exactly. The room was also armed with video recorders to observe the way a person walks. It was mesmerizing to see how detailed these services are and how the sophisticated readings will actually be able to correct someone’s walking.
“Feet change just like the spine. As runners develop different running patterns or different running styles, their feet change and adapt to it. The problem is we walk a lot on flat surfaces and that is not what the feet are meant to do. So they put on footwear under their feet and develop irregularities and then fight those irregularities—it just becomes a funny little game. This technology helps us bring the natural pattern of the feet,” says Dr. Kluner.
Podiatry Works to your rescue
At Podiatry Works, aids come in for case-specific situations. Dr Kluner adds, “Elite runners who run in dry temperatures are more prone to cracked heels so there are specialized creams to help speed up the process.”
“Your feet, back, legs and buttocks are built with muscles and these muscles are designed to create movement. Runners who run to train don’t get far. You got to train to run to be a better runner. As funny as that sounds, you cannot expect your body to adapt to immediate changes when you start running. Runners do better when they think about their recovery than their action. Hence, aids such as topical creams, toe separators, heel cup come in to the rescue to speed up the recovery process.”
Podiatry Works to Your Rescue Podiatry Works to Your Rescue The team has already begun spreading awareness through educational talks. Their concern for having better feet is contagious and will definitely make you look at your feet differently.
Podiatry Works has a very important message: Your feet are your feet and it is important to know what you’re dealing with—and that’s a good start.
At Podiatry Works, they help you get there. After all, they soothe your sole!