My most asked questions as a Podiatrist

My most asked questions as a Podiatrist

Alexa answers your top 5 questions 

We see thousands of patients in clinic every year. From children, to athletes, to our elders, we’ve seen it all.

But have you ever wondered what we get asked?

As part of our brand new Q&A, this series gives you practical advice and tips on prevention and pain management, as well as a glimpse of life behind the clinic curtain! 

Kicking off our first Q&A is Podiatrist, Alexa who shares her most commonly asked questions in clinic since joining us earlier this year.

1. Is it a heel spur? Is it plantar fasciitis? 

A long time ago it was thought the cause of heel pain was from a ‘heel spur’, where there was a bony growth in the heel that caused pain with each step. This then progressed to ‘plantar fasciitis’ where there was believed to be inflammation of the plantar fascia (tissue from the sole of the heel to the toes). These days we refer to this as plantar fasciopathy, where it is believed that recurrent tissue stress leads to low level inflammation and degeneration of the plantar fascia. Symptoms include pain on the heel or sole of the foot with the first few steps in the morning and after rest, which dissipates when warmed up. 

The first thing you can do at home is make sure you’re wearing supportive shoes, gel heel cups and stretch your calf muscles. If pain persists with these changes, it’s important to see a Podiatrist for treatment as plantar fasciopathy can last for 12 months.

2. When I have pain in my feet, why doesn’t it go away when I rest?

There are some injuries where rest is really important – think stress fractures or muscle tears. However, most soft tissue injuries, such as tendon injuries (Achilles tendon and ‘shin splints’) will often not improve or may even get worse with rest. That is because tendons need to be loaded, the key is finding the sweet spot! 

Underload (rest) = deconditioning of the muscles /tendons

Overload (too much activity) = irritation of the tendon/flare in painful symptoms

The ‘sweet spot’ = mild pain symptoms, which reduce within 24 hours of the activity, which allow the tissue to get stronger and reduce pain.

3. Why did I get this injury?

Some injuries are very clear – there is an incident or ‘trauma’, however some injuries sneak up on us, particularly as we get older. Tissues in the body (muscles and tendons) are elastic and resilient when they are loaded, however sometimes we increase the demands (load) on our body, without allowing the body time to rest and adapt before we increase this load again.

This repeated increase can cause low level inflammation and degeneration of tissue, which over time may lead to pain. 

If you trained consistently for 6 months and could do a 20KG bicep curl, then didn’t go to the gym for 3 months, you wouldn’t go back to the gym and start trying to do 20KG bicep curls because you know you might injure yourself and be sore. It’s the same for our feet and legs!

4. Is it a verruca or is it a corn?

It is common to confuse a corn and verruca but here are some tips on how to differentiate between the two. A corn is a hard piece of skin with a glass like appearance, which will hurt when direct pressure is applied. A verruca often has a cauliflower-like appearance sometimes with little black dots and is sore when squeezed from the sides. 

Both conditions are treated by a Podiatrist. Corns are very easily removed using a scalpel, but will return over time if the pressure that caused the corn to form in the first place is not addressed.

A verruca is a virus that is often picked up in public areas (e.g. swimming pools) and requires a number of treatments using cryotherapy, strong acids or needling procedures to clear the verruca.

5. How did I get a fungal nail infection?

Fungal infections are spread through fungal spores in public settings, e.g. nail spas, swim pools, public bathrooms. Usually there is a fungal infection of the skin, called tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), which thrives in damp, dark and warm environments (inside our shoes).

If left untreated, the fungal infection can then spread to the nail, which may appear with white powdery spots or yellow-brown discolouration of the nail. It’s important to treat this ASAP, as the longer you leave the infection the harder it will be to treat it in the long term.  

A final word of advice…

Visit a podiatrist for regular check-ups, especially if you notice any changes or experience foot pain. Early intervention can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.

Our feet play an important role in our overall health. By paying attention to foot health, we can prevent a host of other health issues, maintain our mobility and independence, and improve our quality of life. Remember, happy feet make for a happier, healthier you! 

 Take a step towards a healthy, active life by giving your feet the care and attention they deserve. 

Visit our booking page or call our team on 020 7381 6682 to book your appointment in our Fulham or Putney clinics today.


We are here to help you to #TakeSteps

  • To an active recovery following injury
  • To active, healthy feet for your family
  • To a personal best
  • To an Active Life

Join the Active Life Podiatry team

Join the Active Life Podiatry team

Are you our next Podiatrist?

Active Life podiatry are proud to be setting the gold standard for London’s podiatry care. 

We also continually invest in the latest technology and equipment to provide our patients with the highest quality care. 

Opportunities often arise to work with our growing team, so please get in touch to ensure you’re front of mind.  

Experience doesn’t always matter, if you have the right ingredients, we invest in our people along with our service. 

We’re open to Podiatrist’s who:

  • Are commitment to continued learning and takes pride in their work
  • Passionate individuals with a genuine love for podiatry and patient care
  • Is an excellent communicator and enjoys working with patients and colleagues alike
  • Can work calmly under pressure and deal with issues arising in a timely and effective manner 

About us:

  • Operating since 1991, we’re one of London’s most advanced and established podiatry clinics
  • We have two sites based in Fulham and Putney 
  • We offer a flexible schedule and days can be negotiated upon application 
  • Competitive salary and benefits 

If you believe you’d be a great addition to the Active Life Podiatry team apply now by submitting your CV to



    If you’d like to apply or find out more about joining the team, please submit your CV by emailing us.

    #TakeSteps to look after your feet

    Active Life have invested in high-tech specialist equipment and combined with their expert knowledge and technology can provide useful advice on your personal running style and how to improve.

    A Podiatrist’s guide to choosing the right running shoes 

    A Podiatrist’s guide to choosing the right running shoes 

    Choosing the right running shoes is essential for comfort, performance and injury prevention. There are many things to consider including your running surface (for example cross-country versus pavement or trail running) and distance can also play a factor too.

    With so many choices available, it can be overwhelming and hard to know where to start. 

    We’ve put together these handy tips to consider when you’re buying your next pair of running trainers.

    1. Understand your foot type

    Your first step is to book a running assessment with us. We will determine if you have a neutral, overpronation, or underpronation (supination) foot type and advise on the best type of running shoe and cushioning for you. 

    We do this by observing your gait and form n the clinic with 3D technology to track your movements on our treadmill.

    Book your gait analysis here.

    2. Lean into expert advice 

    Be fussy and take your time when choosing running shoes. The experts in running shoes at your local store can guide you to the right pair based on your needs and running style.

    3. Try on shoes later in the day

    This will ensure the fit is right and accounts for any foot swelling. 

    Different socks can affect how the shoes feel so stick to your usual pair for an accurate assessment.

    4. Use the ‘thumb-width’ rule

    Aim for a finger’s width between your longest toe and the shoe end. This prevents cramping, nail damage and allows natural foot movement.

    5. Don’t skip local retails for online deals

    Supporting local keeps expertise alive and you’ll often get a much better service. Cheap, online deals may seem tempting but local shops provide invaluable knowledge for your foot health. 

    Shopping local also supports the community, creates jobs and often has a smaller environmental impact. 

    There are plenty of great local retailers near Active Life Poditry’s clinic in Fulham and Putney. Or, if you’re venturing a little further out – give our friends at Up and Running in Richmond a visit. Active Life Podiatry customers will get 10% off in-store by quoting ALP10

    Book your gait analysis as a standalone assessment or an add-on to your routine appointment by calling our team on 020 7381 6682


    View our services or head over to the booking page to book your appointment today.

    We are here to help you to #TakeSteps

    • To an active recovery following injury
    • To active, healthy feet for your family
    • To a personal best
    • To an Active Life

    Activate your personal best

    Activate your personal best

    Activate your personal best

    We have two clinics, our flagship in Parsons Green and our second clinic in Fulham. Lots of our patients are keen runners and many enjoy the challenge of local running clubs and races.

    We’ve helped thousands of patients overcome injury and get back on their feet, as well as supporting many on their performance journey; with biomechanical assessments, gait analysis and more.

    Will this be the year your activate your personal best?

    We’ve shared a few of our favourite races and running clubs, but there a lots more available. If you’d like to add your favourite to the recommendations, please email us at


    Join a running club

    Whether you’re looking for a serious sweat, scenic river runs or a light jog to a different coffee shop, we’re spoilt for choice in the Fulham, Putney and surrounding areas.

    Clubs have members of all speeds and abilities, so you’ll always be able to find someone at a similar ability or just a little bit faster to work towards. Even if you don’t want to enter races, simply improving your fitness and being a part of something is a great way to stay active.

    Spending time with people that share your goals can be hugely motivating and help foster great new friendships.

    Our top picks:


    Running in a race

    There’s nothing like a hard deadline to get you motivated! Whether you’re a first time runner or an esteemed athlete – there’s a race for you.

    If you’re in a running club already, you’ll more than likely be taking part in races with people you already know so you’ll have you’re you’ll own personal squad of cheerleaders.

    Here are our top picks for upcoming local races:








    Whether it’s a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis or a pain management plan, our experts are on hand to help. You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go. Let us help you get there.

    #TakeSteps to look after your feet

    Active Life have invested in high-tech specialist equipment and combined with their expert knowledge and technology can provide useful advice on your personal running style and how to improve.