Over the past year we have written several articles on the costs (physical, emotional & financial) of treating various foot-related conditions, and you will find all those on our website blog page. We hope you found them interesting & informative. But for this article we invite you to look at financial costs from a different perspective.
Did you know that 77% of households own a car. According to online insurer NimbleFins, UK car owners spend over £3000 on average to run their cars each year. This amount includes depreciation, fuel, insurance, repairs & servicing, but not the cost of financing the initial purchase. Kwik-fit (the car servicing & repairs company) allocates an additional average figure of over £2700 per year for this, taking the annual total to over £5700 (or £475 per month). Again according to NimbleFins, our cars cover 7400 miles on average in a year. Using these figures, we can calculate the average cost per mile by car is £1.30, and this is for a mode of transport to take us from A to B.
Now lets compare that to walking. We are encouraged to walk 10000 steps per day which equates to 5 miles per day (using average step length). This equals 1825 miles per year. At my clinic in the past 12 months, the average spend per Podiatry patient to “repair & service” their foot-related problems to keep them walking was approximately £365. This equates to just 20p per mile. Even if we triple that amount to cover the annual cost of footwear, over-the-counter treatments, and other health care professionals they may have seen before coming to us, it still only amounts to 60p per mile which is less than half the amount spent to run a car. And that is not really a true average as it is only based on those who pay for treatments, and does not include all those who only invest in footwear and simple home treatments.
Yet our feet do so much more than transport us from A to B. If you enjoyed watching the Olympics, you will have seen the vital role feet play in enabling the competitors to run, jump, cycle, box, dive, & swim their way to sporting success. Our feet enable us to enjoy our own sporting & leisure activities that bring us pleasure, even just playing with our children/grandchildren. They also enable us to work to earn money to pay for our car!
So why don’t we invest more in our feet? Well many people do invest in them and we have some 7000 registered patients who have done so. We offer high quality, cost-effective care for foot-related problems, yet we sometimes get told that our appointments are expensive compared to others who treat feet, even though they have not compared outcomes, knowledge, services or equipment. Running a professional private Podiatry clinic is not cheap (ours costs approximately £4000 per month to run, not including the Podiatrists’ salaries). Yet those same people who berate our fees also visit their hairdresser every 2 weeks, and/or their beautician every month, and/or their dental hygienist every 3 months and/or go on nice holidays sometimes several times a year (now with the added costs of Covid testing for travel abroad), and/or replace their car every 2-3 years; all of which generally cost much more than Podiatry fees. Instead they choose lower cost care for their feet often to their own detriment, so at best they don’t end up with their foot-related problem being fixed, and at worse endure prolonged unnecessary care for complications or non-resolution. This just doesn’t make sense to me especially as all-too-often we see the consequences of sub-optimal care. Hence our attempts to inform you about feet, the problems they can develop, and the costs of resolving those.
So next time you decide to seek treatment for a foot-related problem, think about what your feet are worth to you, how you would cope without them, what they enable you to do, and then consider that average cost mentioned earlier of £475 per month for your useful mechanical locomotor devices (your car!). Then find someone you can trust with your essential biomechanical locomotor devices (your feet!) and invest in getting the best care available for them, not the cheapest care for them. Even if you think your car spending is lower than average, just look at what you last paid to get your car serviced and compare that to what you last spent on your feet!
To finish, here’s one of our many great reviews we receive:
“Referred by my usual Chiropodist to Jonathan as she was hesitant of doing surgery on my ingrown toe nail, as I am on medication following a kidney transplant and heart attack. So off I trotted to Southam, circa 15 mins from Leamington. Found it straight away car park and pub 😉 right on the corner! Nice chap, 30 years experience, didn’t feel a thing. Beg or borrow the money, you will be pleased you did my friends. Highly recommend.” Mr Toepain, Leamington Spa
So remember you only get one pair of feet to last you a lifetime – look after them, invest in them, and value them. Book an appointment now to enable us to help you get wherever you are going.