Podiatry & Mental Health – Ace Health Centre, Gold Coast

There has always been a significant correlation between foot pain and mental health issues.

Several risk factors for foot pain have been identified, including increased age, female sex,and obesity. Although poor mental health has been identified as a predictor of chronic joint pain, the association between mental health and foot pain has only been shown in cross‐sectional analyses.

There are a number of possible mechanisms that may link mental health and foot pain. First, chronic pain may be a symptom or a manifestation of mental health disorders, such as depression. Alternatively, muscle atrophy may be associated with negative affect (e.g., activity avoidance) and chronic joint pain. The “avoidance of pain‐related activity” theory suggests that people with osteoarthritis avoid activity that induces short‐term pain. As a consequence of avoiding activity, patients develop muscle atrophy and subsequent joint instability, leading to increased tissue stress and chronic pain.

Mental health affects physiological health.

Depression is a very real condition and is becoming increasingly common in the general population; approximately one in four people will experience depression some time in their adult life. For people who live with diabetes, this figure is even higher. Up to 50% of people with diabetes are thought to also have a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. People with depression and diabetes may find it hard to maintain daily diabetes care. This can result in obvious foot health issues such as ulceration and amputation. This will then facilitate more mental health issues.

For these reasons along it is important to refer patients with

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