What's the difference between a Chiropodist and a Podiatrist?
In the UK podiatry is simply the new name for chiropody. The name was changed to podiatry in 1993 as it's the international recognised name for a foot specialist
It's not just the name that has changed though. Podiatry is a constantly evolving profession, the extensive training given to students over the 3 or 4 years of their full time course and the continuing education after graduation enable Podiatrists to treat a vast array of foot and lower limb problems. Along with the most obvious treatments for corns and hard skin, specialities exist within the profession for almost any lower limb problem.
What is a Foot Health Practitioner? and why should i care?
Many of those previously using the titles Chiropodist or Podiatrist who have not gained HPC registration, either through choice or because they were not eligible, have now adopted the title 'Foot Health Practitioner' to replace Chiropodist/Podiatrist which they can no longer use.
the title "Foot Health Practitioner" is not protected in law which effectively means anyone can use it regardless of training levels. you may have seen advertisements offering training that that offer a total of only a few days practical tuition and the rest by correspondence. After completing the course which can last around 6 months students will call themselves "Fully trained and qualified Foot Health Practitioners"
They advertise the same medical treatments as those offered by Podiatrist in places like Yellow Pages, and offer chiropody services; this is actually an offence and may incur a heavy fine. Clearly a Foot Health Practitioner course is not to be confused with the 3 years of full time training needed to become a Podiatrist.
Q. What do Podiatrists do?
A. More than just cutting nails!
A common area of practice within podiatry, this deals with problems arising from the wayyour joints are aligned and your muscles function. Pain from poor alignment can affect not just your feet but your knees, hips and lower back.
This deals with the diagnosis and treatment of lower limb disorders in children many of which are biomechanically related.
We provide toenail surgery here at The Foot Care Clinic, but if you need more invasive procedures we can refer you to one of our colleagues. An increasing amount of foot surgery is being performed by specially trained Podiatrists, (podiatric surgeons) usually on a day care basis under local anaesthetic, this means no over night stays in hospital and minimal disruption to your everyday life. Paediatric surgeons train for many years to become experts in performing foot surgery.
These are custom made insoles that aim to reduce the symptoms resulting from biomechanical problems. Often these are used for controlling excessive pronation, commonlyknown as flat feet or fallen arches, but they can be useful for many other conditions.
High risk patient management
The largest group is patients with diabetes who benefit greatly from regular foot care and advice, but also those with arthritis, neurological or vascular conditions tend to have 'high risk' feet and should see a Podiatrist regularly.
Often working alongside physiotherapists the Podiatrist's knowledge of lower limb function and orthotic treatments are put to good use in diagnosing and treating many lower limb sports injuries.
Podiatry should be your first port of call if you have a foot problem & you do not need a referral from your GP to seek a private consultation.