Podiatry is a branch of medicine devoted to the study, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg.

 

 

Podiatrists require to be degree qualified, completing a full-time course of 3 or 4 years duration.   During training, there is particular focus on medical conditions which can affect the feet such as diabetes, arthritis and also circulatory, respiratory and neurological disorders. Qualified Podiatrists are registered with the Health Care Professions Council and are bound by their professional code of conduct.

If your feet are uncomfortable, this can have a significant impact on the rest of your body. Your body automatically compensates for your painful feet, affecting your gait and causing problems elsewhere in your frame e.g. knees, hips, back, shoulders or neck. It's well worth sorting out foot problems as they occur and continuing to manage them with professional care, so as to maximise comfort and minimise any negative impact elsewhere in the body.

Chiropody covers the superficial aspects of the feet - skin and nails.   A treatment covers nail cutting, nail problems (such as painful, ingrown or thickened nails), corns, calluses and verrucae. Specialist assessment of the diabetic foot is also available.

Acupuncture is a method of treating certain disorders by inserting needles into various parts of the body.   Podiatric acupuncture focuses on disorders of the lower limb.   Experience shows that podiatric acupuncture can be used to treat a number of disorders that Podiatrists see frequently, causing knee, calf, shin, ankle and foot pain. These include plantar fasciitis, hallux limitus/rigidus, metatarsalgia, morton's neuroma and other digital neuritis, restless leg syndrome, intermittent claudication, cramps, painful scars, osteoarthritis, non-specific aching feet and sports injuries such as shin splints and achilles tendinopathy. 

Biomechanics is the study of human gait and movement. An assessment will focus on gait, joint mobility and foot function and is useful in cases of foot and lower limb discomfort, as well as cases of hip, back, shoulder and neck pain. The results of the assessment will determine if an orthotic prescription would be helpful.   Orthoses are corrective insoles designed to place the feet towards the optimum position, thereby increasing comfort and reducing pain.