What is podiatry?

Podiatry is one of the allied health professions and is performed by podiatrists. Podiatrists specialise in the biomechanics of the foot, ankle and leg and they are particularly interested in how that can affect the way you move. Podiatrists use their manual examination skills, and training in movement pattern assessment alongside a thorough case history, to diagnose, manage and treat patients with issues of the lower limb that are due to alterations in biomechanics. The podiatry service at CSPC provides a biomechanical assessment and prescription of orthotic insoles where required.
Hannah Watkinson holds monthly clinics at CSPC physiotherapy in Leeds and is a biomechanical podiatrist. She is a specialist in the biomechanics of the foot and lower limb and will primarily look at the way in which the foot functions with the lower limb during standing, walking and running. If this is dysfunctional due to the structure of the feet, she will prescribe bespoke orthotics to help improve foot function.

Poor foot function can cause overload in the joints and soft tissues of the lower limb, potentially causing pain and affecting performance. Hannah will work closely with your CSPC physiotherapist to achieve optimum results.

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What are orthotics? How can they can help?

Orthotics are specialist insoles that are worn in all your shoes. After a thorough assessment of your feet, orthotics may be prescribed to address issues in foot function caused by the alignment of joints in the feet. Some injuries are caused by the feet not working as well as they could, and orthotics can really help certain conditions. These can be custom made or off the shelf, depending on your needs.

What conditions can podiatry help with?

The majority of problems seen tend to be more chronic long term problems to tendons, ligaments, bones and joints. The injured structure will be identified and the aim of the assessment is to identify if there are excessive forces being placed on those structures as a result of the way someone moves through their feet.

Although a podiatrist is a specialist in the foot and ankle, they can also help problems further up the leg such as the Achilles tendon, shin, knee, hip and back pain. Back pain can often occur as a result of a leg length difference, which can also be addressed by an orthotic.

Hannah also has extensive experience at treating nasty trauma injuries to the foot and ankle with her work at DMRC Headley Court when treating injured forces personnel from recent conflicts. Neurological gait problems can also be helped by orthoses and special braces.

Hannah Watkinson has her own clinic in Buckinghamshire, as well as running other clinics around the country. You can read more about Hannah here.

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Clinical Interests and Expertise



Initial Consultation


Review (half hour)


Off-the-shelf orthotics


Bespoke orthotics (Including plaster cast and 15 min fitting appointment)



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