Off to conference!

It was both excited and very tired ‘4am-to-rise’ eyes which greeted one another as our team gathered early last Thursday. We flew at the crack of dawn from Heathrow to Glasgow for the Centenary Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists conference.

And what a conference it was…

For Des the conference started with a bang (literally) with a keynote address from the hugely popular particle physicist and BBC television presenter, Professor Brian Cox OBE. He spoke about a number of things (many of which went over our heads!), but of particular interest was The Pale Blue Dot. This was a photograph taken in 1990 by the spacecraft Voyager 1 which at the time was 4 billion miles from earth. It was literally awe inspiring. When Professor Cox was asked at the end of his address, “If we could discover one thing in your lifetime what would it be?”, he answered “that we discover that we are not alone in the universe”. Need we say more!

After that the main conference began with various streams on different areas of podiatry and practice.

Stuart says “I always come back from the conference inspired. Last month I blogged about diabetes and it was so wonderful to develop and enhance our learning through inspirational speakers so we can better serve our patients living with and learning to live with this disease and the foot complications associated with it.
Some additional information released by Diabetes UK since my last blog is available here

Franc says “I had a thoroughly enjoyable 2 days in Glasgow – highlights for me would have been the lecture given by David Armstrong on his work with the Diabetic Foot. Dr Armstrong is a leader in his field and very interestingly and charismatically once again stressed the importance of monitoring and caring for the feet in the diabetic patient. A valuable reminder for both us as practitioners and our patients alike.”

David was interested by a sports medicine lecture and part of this was focused on Achilles Tendinopathy. He relays that recent evidence shows that inflammation was indeed part of the process and not just degeneration of the tendon alone as previously thought. This evidence is suggesting the old term of Achilles Tendonitis was not far from the truth…A recent study carried out by a Scandinavian Rheumatologist has seen the use of Anti-TNF therapies (Biological drugs used in autoimmune inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis) be successful in the treatment of this condition. Further research is to be carried out over the next two years and will be presented at International Scientific Tendinopathy Symposium in 2014.
We will watch this space, since with hopefully significant results from these studies further treatment modalities may be available which then can be incorporated into our treatment plans here at The Footcare Centre.

For Nick, this year’s podiatry conference presented a wonderful opportunity for learning that could not be missed! “It was a great chance to spend time with the Footcare Centre team and to catch up with many former colleagues,” Nick says, “I was able to share ideas with other podiatrists and learn about some of the exciting new developments in the field.” Highlights of the exhibition were an excellent poster section, which included some of the latest research findings, and meeting some of the Footcare Centre’s major suppliers in person.
I also attended fantastic lectures on diabetes, rheumatology and sports medicine – I found listening to such highly-esteemed speakers inspirational and I am really looking forward to transferring my new knowledge into practice.

Nick sums our experience of the conference up well – “attending events like the podiatry conference ensures that we continue to provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based services for our patients.”

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