What is Podiatry?
A Podiatrist is a medical specialist trained in the treatment of the lower limb. Podiatrists carry out all the treatments which are usually associated with Chiropodists, with the important difference that Podiatrists treat the entire lower limb (from the hip down) rather than just the foot. This includes a large field termed “biomechanics”, which is concerned with the alignment of the bones in the foot and the relationship between “misaligned” bony architecture and its resulting symptoms. For instance, if someones foot flattens excessively when they walk, the leg tends to twist inwards, putting excessive strain on the inside edge of the knee joint which can become painful. For more information on this topic, see our “Biomechanics” page.
Most practitioners who were previously know as “Chiropodists” are now using the term “Podiatrist” instead of, or in addition to, the term “Chiropodist”. However, practitioners who qualified several years ago may not practice biomechanics along with the traditional forms of chiropody, so it is important to check that your practitioner is not only fully qualified, but also keeps up to date with new developments in treatment. For more information on this topic, you may find the web site of our professional body, The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists helpful.