Around 400 BC the Greek Physician said “Walking is man’s best medicine”

If your daily exercise now involves walking you should be comfortable! Here are some of our common tips and tricks to find a perfect pair of walking shoes:

1)    Buy your shoes at the end of the day when your feet are more likely to be swollen.

2)    Look at your old shoes for hints on the type of foot you have – if you are a pronator/supinator/neutral. This can help with finding your next pair.

3)    Most people benefit from a small heel pitch – we recommend you see a podiatrist, but try a shoe with a 10mm heel pitch and see how you feel.

4)    For a durable shoe you will need a durable upper – that is the part that covers your foot. Soft leather is a good option. The upper should also be flexible and bend easily where your toes bend – the shoe should not bend where your arch is.

5)    It’s best to go and try the shoes on before buying or ensure the online shop offers returns if they are not right. The shoes should be comfortable, and you should be able to press your thumb between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

If you have any pain or discomfort give us a call on 5223 1531


Total Care Podiatry are constantly reviewing our response to  COVID-19.

One of our sources for guidance is the Australian Podiatry Association of which we are a member.

For up to date information from the A.Pod.A Click Here

Our practice at 209 Malop Street, Geelong is a large clinic with four good sized treatment rooms. This has enabled us to implement a process of alternating rooms so that each room can be thoroughly cleaned between patients.

When you arrive please stand behind the taped line on the floor in front of the reception desk and there is a place indicated on the floor in front of the reception desk for you to stand when making payments and appointments. You will also see that the chairs in the waiting room now have the required space between them and we have opened the running lab/multipurpose room for additional waiting area, especially for two or more members of the same family.  Please also make use of the hand sanitiser provided .

Until further notice the clinic will have reduced hours and be open from  Tuesday to Thursday.  Our fortnightly Tuesday late clinic will continue.

Where appropriate, we now have a ‘TELEHEALTH’ option if you are unable to leave your home.

Using the secure Physitrack software our podiatrists will be able to provide online:

  • a video conference for you to explain your concerns and receive advice,  and, if required
  • an exercise and rehabilitation program of video demonstrations within the Physitrack App.

This will enable us to begin or adjust your treatment plan from the comfort of your own home with subsequent face to face appointments occurring as required.

The billing for these will be the same as usual for NDIS and Veterans. For patients with a Chronic Diseases Management plan (for Medicare rebates) we are able to bulk bill with a new Item number provided by Medicare. If you are a private patient please give us a call  on 5223 1531 to discuss your situation.

If you have any questions,  concerns or special requirements please give us a call on 5223 1531 and we’ll do our best to help you.

Updated 3rd  April 2020


Socks provide an interface between our feet and the shoes we choose to wear. Generally, closed in footwear is designed to wear a sock with, so choosing appropriate ones can make a great difference to how the shoe feels!

Understand the pros and cons of different materials, so that when you are looking at the sock ingredients, you know what you’re in for!

  • Merino wool: breathable, can be worn all year round! Soft, cushioned and itch free, moisture wicking. Popular for sports people and hikers.
  • Acrylic: cheaper than wool, dries reasonably fast, not as good at wicking away moisture.
  • Cotton: traps moisture! Not good if you are prone to sweating as you will find yourself blister prone wearing cotton socks.
  • Nylon: often combined with other fabrics to increase sock durability. Also dries very quickly.
  • Stretch fabrics such as elastin, nylon or spandex: allows stretch so socks fit well and snug your foot! Make sure they only comprise of about 2-5% of the fabric.


Injury can really impact you physically and mentally. It is important to take care of yourself when injured and allow your body to heal – be patient and be kind to yourself. If you have a lower leg injury that you cannot bear any weight on, we recommend you visit your local ED or GP as soon as possible.

If you can wait to see your podiatrist,the following points  are very helpful for you to consider and bring to your appointment:

1)    When did the pain start? Were you injured or has this happened over time?

2)    What kind of pain is it i.e. sharp, dull, ache, pins and needles, numbness?

3)    How intense does the pain get? (1-10 /10 scale, 10 being the worst pain)

4)    Where is the pain? Does the location move or are you getting any referred pain?

5)    What aggravates the pain? i.e. increase in walking, first thing in the morning, going up on tip toes?

6)    What is the pain preventing you from doing?

7)    What makes the pain better? i.e. ice, heat, rest

8)    What is your overall goal?

If you can have a think about these questions before seeing your healthcare professional, it can really help us in the consultation. If you need to wait a few days before an appointment, we recommend you keep a pain diary for those three days so we can really knuckle down to why you are in pain and get started on treatment!


Whatever your level of activity or whatever age you are,  EVERYONE will benefit from Calf Raise exercises.

  • Ankle strength and foot stability
  • Lower leg strength to propel us forward in motion
  • Prevent injury particularly for athletes
  • The more explosive the activity – the more crucial calf strength is!

Your calf complex is made up of your soleus and gastrocnemius muscles. They help us in every day activities including simply walking. Strong calf muscles enable us to jump, skip and run with more force and will prevent injury with these activities too!

Some basic calf exercises

Stand with your toes pointing straight ahead and feet slightly apart. Raise onto your toes for a count of 4, hold for a count of 2 and slowly descend for a count of three. Repeat for 2 minutes 3 – 4 times per week.

Stand with your feet at 45 degrees with the heels together. Raise onto your toes for a count of 4, hold for a count of 2 and slowly descend for a count of three. Repeat for 2 minutes 3 – 4 times per week.

Stand with your feet at 45 degrees with the Big toes together. Raise onto your toes for a count of 4, hold for a count of 2 and slowly descend for a count of three. Repeat for 2 minutes 3 – 4 times per week.


For a gold coin donation to Kids Plus, Total Care Podiatry provides a specific Paediatric Clinic that focuses on our little one’s feet and legs: from 6 months – 6 years old.

We have been seeing little people for over 30 years now at Total Care Podiatry and we’ve noticed lately that more and more people are looking for advice regarding their children’s feet and how they crawl or walk. In response, this monthly children’s clinic is designed to answer these questions in a one on one assessment of each child in a child friendly environment.

Children’s feet are designed to change!

There are a lot of changes in the legs and feet during the first 6 years and most of these are perfectly normal. Sometimes, however, there are concerns which will need treatment. The key is understanding what’s normal development and what’s not.

If you are worried your child walks or crawls differently to your friend’s children and are concerned about whether everything looks okay, this 15 minute one on one assessment is very helpful

Every child’s development is different, so if there are any concerns it’s best to check at this young age when simple exercises are often all that are required to address potential long term problems.

Bookings are essential on 5223 1531.


A bunion is a bony malalignment of the first and/or fifth toes. Bunions that form around the base of the fifth toe are commonly called a Tailor’s bunion. If it occurs at the base of the first toe it is called a Hallux Abducto Valgus deformity. This is where the first toe is angulated away from the midline of the body toward the other smaller toes. Bunions are not just found in older people’s feet; sometimes they begin to develop in people who are quite young!

What are the most common problems with bunions?

Symptoms associated with bunions vary from person to person.  They commonly include pain, swelling and redness. Not all bunions become painful, but certain arthritic conditions can cause severe pain.

How do these problems arise?

  1. Abnormal foot mechanics.
  2. Impaired nerve stimulation of the muscles.
  3. Inflammatory disease.
  4. Surgical removal of the big toe joint cartilage.
  5. Hereditary deformities.

How can they be treated?

  1. Strengthening.
  2. Stretching.
  3. Footwear therapy.
  4. Joint mobilization in some situations.
  5. In shoe foot orthotics.
  6. Surgery is used only when other treatment fails.

When should they be checked by a podiatrist?

Bunions are able to be treated, especially if we begin in the early stages, so you should come and see one of our Podiatrists if you are concerned that a bunion may be developing. It’s still a good idea, however, to seek treatment if you already have a bunion which is causing you pain or you have difficulty fitting into footwear.


  • Moving is better for your body than standing still, so if you’re working in an area where you stand rather than walk, take small steps or go for short walks to reduce the incidence of pain
  • Look for shoes that will support your feet – not ‘sock’ style shoes
  • Opt for a shoe with a small heel (around 12 mm)
  • Lace ups are better than slip on shoes
  • Change your footwear twice per year

Nurses have a higher incidence of lower limb pathology due to their working conditions. Walking on hard surfaces in poor footwear provides no relief to your feet so the best thing to do is update your footwear regularly! If you have any pain or aching, come and see us for an assessment early, so we can look at your risk factors and the underlying cause of the pain which will give you the best treatment long term!


Take advantage of our FREE foot check for all students

Problems with your child’s feet could become problems for life if not treated early. Foot conditions have the potential to develop into knee, hip and back pain that can have serious consequences on development and posture. Bones and joints in children are constantly growing and are not fully developed until adulthood.

Every school term there will be some kind of change in growing feet, particularly in the 8-12 age bracket. After the summer break, spent mostly barefoot or in thongs, it’s good to remeasure feet and purchase correct fitting school and sports shoes for the upcoming year.

Tips for purchasing shoes at any age:

  • Choose a store that measures foot length and width to ensure best fit
  • Buy shoes in the afternoon as the foot may be larger at this time
  • Always walk around in the shoes at home on the carpet, checking for comfort and tight spots – if any issues develop take them back!
  • When standing you should be able to wriggle your toes
  • Ensure the sole of the shoe is firm and bends across the ball of the foot
  • The material breathes and is flexible/durable

*Wear hand-me-down shoes with caution. An old shoe belonging to someone else will take on their shape and gait, which will not be the same as the new wearer. Buying a new shoe is recommended.

Every year at Total Care Podiatry we have a Back to School Free Foot check event and mid-year a Free Family Foot check event.

Call 5223 1531 for the next event.


The Dance Assessment at Total Care Podiatry is designed to help prevent injuries and solve any issues which may be limiting your success in reaching your dance goals.
With her in depth knowledge of structure and function of the foot, our Podiatrist Esther Francavilla ensures she creates the best possible plan for each dancers’ individual needs.

Esther started classical ballet at 5 years of age in Melbourne. She learned the methods of Vaganova, Borovansky and R.A.D. She also learnt other styles such as contemporary, jazz and character to name a few. Esther went on to study for one year at the Victorian College of the Arts. During this time Esther wanted to further her studies and realised how important feet are to dancers! This is what inspired her to study Podiatry.

Since graduating, Esther has combined her passion for podiatry with her knowledge of dance to help young dancers achieve their goals. She prides herself on teaching dancers correct technique to help enhance their capabilities and reduce the risk of injuries.

The Dance Assessment of Foot Function has three steps to success:
1. A thorough Initial consultation to assess and address the dancer’s needs.
2. A tailored treatment plan, that combines the condition, treatment, and prevention as well as educating the dancer along the way.
3. A review plan depending on progress.

Conditions this service treats

• Prevention of injuries
• Understanding the individual’s dancing mindset
• Treating dance injury in accordance with the dancer’s goals
• Ensure the dancer is informed and understands the process so that not only current issues are taken care of, but future injuries will be prevented

How does the treatment work?

Initial assessments can help determine a dancer’s structure as well as current mobility and strength.
Each dancer is different and therefore will be provided with unique feedback and tips to help achieve their goals.
Depending on the style of dance, Esther will customise full injury and rehabilitation programs as part of the return to dance and injury prevention.

What are the benefits of this treatment

There are many contributors to dance injury, including poor technique anatomical anomalies, footwear, and surfaces. Our personalised treatment goals will benefit with assisting in preventing these injuries and provide you with tips and tricks to prevent them from occurring in the future.

Pre-Pointe Assessment

A specific pre-pointe assessment is recommended before a dancer progresses to pointe work.

The screening will help develop an awareness about correct and incorrect positions which will help the dancer on her pathway to going en pointe.

During a pre-pointe assessment, Esther will take the following into consideration

  • Basic Ballet Technique
  • Foot, ankle and leg strength
  • Joint range
  • Posture and core control
  • Anatomical structure of the foot and compensations
  • Growth and maturity

Once a pre-pointe dancer can correctly perform the assessments, she is strong enough to commence pointe work with the guidance of her ballet teacher.
The follow up review helps the dancer improve her strength and mobility for pointe work.

A review every six months is recommended if there are no concerns along the way.