For individuals who rely on wheelchairs for mobility, foot health becomes an even greater priority. Reduced sensation, pressure points, and limited ability to inspect your own feet can lead to undetected problems. This is where podiatry clinics that cater specifically to mobility wheelchair users come in.

Why Podiatry Matters for Wheelchair Users

People who use wheelchairs experience unique challenges when it comes to their feet. Here’s why regular podiatric care is crucial:

  • Pressure sores: Constant pressure on the same areas of the foot can lead to pressure sores, which can be painful and slow to heal. Podiatrists can identify areas at risk and recommend preventive measures like pressure-relieving cushions and wheelchair adjustments.
  • Reduced sensation: Nerve damage in the legs and feet is common for wheelchair users. This can make it difficult to feel pain or discomfort, potentially leading to unnoticed injuries or infections. Podiatrists can perform thorough examinations to identify any problems.
  • Nail care: Difficulty reaching and caring for toenails can increase the risk of ingrown nails, fungal infections, and other issues. Podiatrists can provide safe and effective nail care, preventing complications.
  • Biomechanical issues: The way your feet interact with the ground while transferring or propelling your wheelchair can cause imbalances and lead to joint pain in the ankles, knees, and hips. Podiatrists can assess your biomechanics and recommend orthotics or footwear modifications to improve alignment.
  • Footwear selection: Choosing the right shoes is essential for wheelchair users. Podiatrists can help select shoes that offer good support, and pressure distribution, and prevent skin breakdown.

Finding a Wheelchair-Accessible Podiatry Clinic

Not all podiatry clinics are created equal. Here’s what to look for when searching for a clinic that caters to wheelchair users:

  • Accessibility: The clinic should be fully wheelchair accessible, with a ramp, wide doorways, and lowered examination tables.
  • Staff training: Look for a clinic where podiatrists have experience working with wheelchair users. This ensures they understand the specific needs and challenges faced by this population.
  • Transfer assistance: Some clinics may offer transfer assistance to help you move from your wheelchair to the examination table.
  • Equipment: Ideally, the clinic should have specialized equipment for examining and treating feet that are difficult to reach.

What to Expect During Your Appointment

Your first appointment at a wheelchair-accessible podiatry clinic will likely involve:

  • Medical history review: The podiatrist will ask detailed questions regarding your medical history, including any existing foot problems, diabetes, or other conditions that can affect foot health.
  • Physical examination: The podiatrist will carefully examine your feet, checking for pressure sores, skin breakdown, calluses, fungal infections, and any other abnormalities.
  • Biomechanical assessment: The podiatrist may observe your gait while transferring or propelling your wheelchair to assess your biomechanics. This might involve using special equipment to analyze pressure distribution on your feet.
  • Discussion and recommendations: Based on the findings, the podiatrist will discuss your specific needs and recommend a treatment plan that may include:
    • Debridement and wound care for pressure sores.
    • Callus removal and preventative measures.
    • Antifungal treatment if needed.
    • Custom orthotics or shoe modifications.
    • Referral to a physiotherapist for gait training or other specialized care.

Maintaining Healthy Feet Between Appointments

Here are some tips for maintaining healthy feet between podiatry appointments:

  • Inspect your feet regularly: Ask a friend or family member to help you inspect your feet for any signs of problems. Look for redness, swelling, discolouration, or breaks in the skin.
  • Practice good hygiene: Wash your feet daily with warm water and mild soap, dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Moisturize your feet regularly to prevent cracks.
  • Wear proper footwear: Invest in well-fitting shoes with good support and pressure dispersion. Your podiatrist can recommend the right type of shoes for your needs.
  • Move your feet and ankles: Regularly perform simple foot and ankle exercises to improve circulation and prevent stiffness.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can put additional strain on your feet and increase the risk of pressure sores.


By prioritizing regular podiatry care and taking proactive steps to maintain healthy feet, individuals who use wheelchairs can improve their overall well-being and prevent potential complications. Look for a clinic that understands the unique needs of wheelchair users and make foot care a key part of your health routine. Remember, happy feet are essential for a happy and active life, no matter how you get around.

By admin