As an introduction to our new friends in the Hill’s, we sat down with Monbulk podiatrist Laura Ward to ask the hard hitting questions.
So Laura, a question that podiatrists often get asked, why podiatry?
I chose podiatry because growing up I had my fair share of sports injuries.
From medial tibial stress syndrome to hip and hamstring injuries due to my biomechanics, I’ve required podiatric care from a young age.
As such, I have experienced first-hand the positive impact podiatry can bring to our quality of life.
This journey inspired me to help others with their foot care so that I can make a positive impact in other people’s lives.
How does your personal academic, family and sporting history influence your podiatry practice?
Over the years I have been a part of many different sporting teams including Athletics, Soccer, Futsal, Dancing and Equestrian.
As a result of my high intensity activity, I have experienced a multitude of different injuries across the various sports.
I am fully aware of the impact injury can have on your life and mental health.
Due to this, personally I have been through a comprehensive strengthening regime along with custom orthotic treatment.
This opened my eyes to the benefits that podiatric treatment can provide to improve overall well being.
Therefore, I bring that knowledge into my practice and always strive to put my clients beliefs and values first.
At PridePlus Health in Monbulk we see many of our valued clients from diverse population groups, with many different problems. How do you personalise your service?
I love meeting new, interesting and amazing people.
As a podiatrist I like to treat every client differently and individually.
I always find things to talk about with my clients from horses, football, family, to current world events and of course podiatry related content.
I aim to put the clients beliefs and values first and thus base my treatment around those to the best of my ability.
I enjoy spending time getting to know my clients and building a strong rapport with them over time.
We only have scroll through instagram or facebook and see that almost daily our favourite sports stars suffer injuries limiting their play. Is there anything that we can do as sub-elite and weekend warrior level sports women and men to help reduce our own injury risks?
Regardless of what sports you play or how active you are it is very important to avoid or prevent future injuries from occurring. There are a range of different things you can do to help.
Just to name a few:
It is important to have a varied exercise program that also works on overall strength and stability in order to strengthen the specific and surrounding muscles you use within your sport to ensure they will be able to withstand the amount of load you place on them.
You should also ensure you allocate an adequate amount of time to warm up and cool down your muscles before and after activity. A dynamic full body warm up is important as it will slowly warm up your body to help prepare for aerobic and anaerobic activity by gradually increasing your heart rate, oxygen and blood flow to your muscles, and the opposite goes for cooling down, to help gradually decrease your heart rate and help prevent muscle stiffness after activity.
Without an appropriate warm up and cool down plan you can increase your risk of potential injury.
It is very common among athletes to continue training through the pain they may be experiencing. This can/will cause further damage and may increase your overall rehab and recovery period in the long term. Therefore It is imperative that you change things up and seek help when you feel like something is quite right.
Ensuring you have the correct equipment such as footwear also plays a role in preventing causing injury. If you have old worn down shoes that no longer provide much support or shock absorption then you are further increasing your chances of injury.
All these aspects and more can all play a part in helping to prevent current/ future injuries from occurring.
And at the risk of alienating the majority of our audience, favourite team(s)?
My favorite AFL team is Essendon however I also have a sweet spot for the Tigers. They would have to be my second team.
I also follow Watford Football Club as my mother grew up in Watford, England.
Thanks Laura; I’m sure our new friends around Monbulk are looking forward to their podiatry sessions with you.
If you need a podiatry session?
You can book online here, or call our friendly reception team to secure your podiatry appointment today.
📞 (03) 9068 0966