The role of a foot doctor is to treat and alleviate common foot problems that can hinder mobility and cause pain. People of all ages and health can seek chiropody treatment. A foot doctor will provide general foot care knowledge to help them maintain healthy feet in the future. With the right care and advice, patients can learn to take better care of their feet and avoid further problems.
Many chiropodists choose to specialise in specific areas of foot care. This means they can supply a range of treatment options and foot health advice. For example, some are trained in biochemical analysis. This involves the study of feet alignment and structure and how these elements affect posture and motion.
Chiropodists with this expertise will assess patients for common foot problems such as flat foot, heel pain, knee pain and bunions. They will then implement treatment typically known as orthotics. This involves the provision of tailor-made insoles or padding. These orthotic devices can be inserted into shoes to re-align feet and relieve arch or heel pain. They will improve mobility, provide comfort and reduce the development of further foot problems. A chiropodist may also recommend special chiropody shoes to provide extra support.
In addition to orthotics, foot doctors may also specialise in:
- Diabetic care – Due to restricted blood supply to the feet, diabetics can be prone to foot problems. These can escalate rapidly but will take longer to heal. Chiropodists can help diabetics to maintain foot health and prevent the development of serious problems.
- Sports injuries – Overexertion can put feet at risk of injury such as muscle pull, ankle sprain, and blisters. Chiropodists can identify these and provide appropriate treatment to facilitate speedy recovery.
- Paediatrics – Treating common foot problems in children.
- Geriatrics –Treating common foot problems in the elderly.
- Podiatric Soft Tissue Surgery – A chiropodist can remove minor skin problems of the foot such as verrucas and corns. Using sterile instruments, they will cut them out while the patient is under local anaesthetic.
- Wound healing – A foot doctor will tackle wounds that can damage the skin. These include abrasions, lacerations and punctures. Treatment is designed to prevent complications and preserve function.
- Rheumatology – Caring for patients with conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. These include joint diseases such as arthritis, bone and muscle diseases, and conditions affecting soft tissues.