What you need to know about podiatry
Podiatry is a branch of medicine that focuses on the study, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that relate to the feet and legs. Medical professionals in this field are called podiatrists or, more traditionally, chiropodists, and their role is to provide advice and treatment for all sorts of relevant conditions.
Medical conditions and day-to-day problems that podiatrists help patients with include verrucas, athlete’s foot, cracked heels, flat feet, bunions, persistent foot pain, gout, and sports injuries. They’re also able to provide specialist advice for problems with the feet or legs stemming from conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
An appointment with a podiatrist will typically start with a consultation period where they ask questions about your medical history and more detail about the problem you’re suffering with. They may carry out a range of diagnostic tests, ranging from inspecting how you stand and walk to checking your range of motion, before making a treatment recommendation.
Further treatments that podiatrists might recommend or carry out themselves include physical therapy, a course of pain-relief medication, or removal of ingrown toenails, corns, or callouses using minor surgery or cryotherapy. It’s also relatively common for a referral to be made to an orthotist if musculoskeletal support is needed.
And, while it’s conventional to visit a podiatrist at their clinic, some professionals will also provide a home assessment service for patients who have difficulty walking.
If you’re dealing with a medical problem that is causing you pain or discomfort in your feet or legs, you can find a suitable podiatrist near you with My Health Assistant. Search for professionals in your area and book an appointment today.