Australians are being urged to head to the podiatrist to check any issues in their feet before hitting the ground this spring running season.
New claims data from HCF has revealed that the number of members claiming podiatry services almost triples in the summer months.
The data shows a 173 per cent increase in members claiming podiatry services last January (2022) compared with August 2021. This is a regular trend as it was up 148 per cent the summer before, and 168 per cent the summer before that.
In addition, a survey of more than 2,500 Australians conducted on behalf of HCF revealed that two-thirds of Australians own a pair of sports shoes but that just 5 per cent replace them at the start of every season.
HCF chief officer member health Julie Andrews said the company offers no-gap podiatry programs with participating providers.
“The More for Feet program is a fantastic way for otherwise fit and healthy members to make sure they’re getting access to affordable, quality care to help them stay fit and healthy,” said Ms Andrews.
“We want to make sure that cost of living pressures don’t affect our members ability to access the care they need when they start to notice a niggle that could otherwise cause more serious health issues down the track.”
Podiatrist Sarah Sweeney said it was important people book into a podiatrist the moment they start feeling pain.
“Chronic injuries are much more difficult to treat,” she said, adding, “Before hitting the pavement and getting into the gym to get that Summer body, remember to ease yourself slowly into exercise. The number one reason people injure themselves is going from zero to 100, increasing their activity too quickly without giving their body time to adjust and without slowly loading their muscles and tendons to be able to handle the activity."