If you suffer from foot pain, particularly chronic pain, you should take note and seek medical help as soon as possible. You can visit either a physiotherapist or a podiatrist. If they have a podoscope, you have a great chance of finding out the cause of your problems and you’ll be able to successfully begin treatment. What can a podoscope reveal about your feet?
What is a podoscope?
A podoscope is a modern diagnostic device that can reveal orthopaedic defects by visualising pressure areas on the soles of your feet. Modern podoscopes work digitally – they use special technology to scan an imprint of the sole of your foot and subsequently transmit this data to computer software. This software displays several types of images depending on the area of the sole being examined, including any deviations from the norm.
The podoscope may also have other accessories such as cameras, which scan foot posture from various directions. This allows very precise diagnostics on the level of the entire lower limb or examination of the patient’s body posture.
What does an examination on a podoscope involve?
Every physiotherapist or podiatrist has their own procedure to detect orthopaedic defects, deformities and the causes of your pain. If a podoscope is part of their diagnostic procedure, they will ask you to remove your shoes and socks. You will then stand barefoot on the podoscope. It is essential to stand on the podoscope as naturally as possible. You should not intentionally transfer your weight to one foot or different parts of your foot.
The podoscope will scan the soles of your feet and send the data to special software, which assesses the condition of your feet. If there are auxiliary cameras, your feet will be examined in detail. The physiotherapist will then determine appropriate further action on the basis of his/her diagnosis using the podoscope combined with further examination.
What does the podoscope reveal?
The special software analyses the scan of your footprint, focusing on where the pressure on the soles of your feet is greater than normal, and may potentially reveal the causes of your problems. This means you will find out whether you are overtaxing any part of your feet. You will also find out whether you have correct foot posture, and whether there is any unwanted pressure or rotation in your joints, such as in your heel or ankle joint. The image from the podoscope also provides information about your body posture and the function of your lower limbs.
There are a number of deformities and defects that can be detected by a podoscope. The imprint of the sole of your foot will immediately reveal if you are flatfooted or have cavus feet, if you have an incorrectly positioned big toe indicating an inward or outward pointing toe, while toe imprints can also reveal the presence of hammer toes. Excess pressure on the ball of your foot may be an indication of Morton’s neuroma and so on.
However, it is important to be aware that the podoscope can only detect the aforementioned defects, but not treat them. Your attending physician or physiotherapist will discuss suitable treatment and you can also use the podoscope to check for changes in your condition during regular check-ups.