What are Podiatrists?
A podiatrist is a health professional, trained and educated to assess, diagnose and treat problems of the foot and lower limb. Podiatrists can advise on foot care, health education, gait analysis, footwear advice and come up with therapeutic care plans that are designed to maximize mobility and the patient’s level of activity.
What is the difference between a Podiatrists and a Chiropodists?
There is no difference between a chiropodist and a podiatrist. The term chiropodist has been traditionally used in the United Kingdom, but the term podiatrist is recognised and used more internationally. In the late 1960s, chiropodists in the United States renamed chiropody to ‘podiatry’, meaning ‘physician of the foot’, mainly to avoid confusion with the chiropractic industry. The terms ‘podiatry’ and ‘chiropody’ are used interchangeably in the United Kingdom. In 2005, the terms were protected so that only practitioners registered with the Health Professions Council can refer to themselves as chiropodists or podiatrists.
Both chiropodist and podiatrist are protected titles and can only be used by people registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC regulates the chiropody and podiatry profession and ensures that all of its members meet their standards for training, professional skills, behaviour and health.
Conditions treated by a Podiatrist:
- Assessment and routine care of common foot complaints such as corns and verrucae (Common foot problems)
- Assessment of the structure, alignment and function of the feet and legs with appropriate treatment such as orthoses (insoles) to correct any abnormality (biomechanics and orthotics)
- Nail surgery using local anaesthetics for ingrown toenails
- Management of patients at high risk of foot problems such as diabetes, arthritis, and peripheral vascular disease (Diabetes, Arthritis)
- Advice on prevention of foot problems and how to keep your feet in good health (Tips to healthy feet)