What is a Podiatrist?

Apr 27, 2023

Podiatrists are experts when it comes to the care of everything related to your feet. You may not always consider how important podiatry may be in your life and the benefits that can be gained from seeing one sooner than later, especially when you start to feel discomfort, aches or pains in your foot area. Podiatry and chiropody are important for good foot help, so if you live in the York area, you should visit your local podiatry clinic to get expert assistance and services.  

What to know about Podiatrists 

A podiatrist is a health professional, trained and educated to assess, diagnose and treat problems of the foot and lower limb. Many people also think, what are podiatrists if not just foot experts? However, they also specialise in diagnosing and rectifying issues with your ankles and lower legs as well and focus on the mobility and care of your complicated system in the area. 

All podiatrists operating on the NHS or privately are required by law to be registered. Upon completion of a three-year, full-time Bachelor of Science in podiatry from a recognised institution, podiatrists are designated as registered podiatrists or chiropodists and are granted this privilege. 

In addition, especially within the UK area, you’ll hear the term Chiropody referenced more often than Podiatry. However, keep in mind that they both serve the same purpose and you can use them interchangeably.  

A podiatrist will also closely work with other medical professionals when they handle a patient to ensure complete alignment with the overall treatment plan presented.  

What is a Podiatrist?

What does a podiatrist do exactly?   

Podiatrists are highly trained professionals who specialise in preventing, diagnosing, and treating foot-related problems. By addressing a wide range of foot conditions, they can help to enhance mobility and activity levels, alleviate pain, and even prevent infections. 

Podiatrists play a crucial role in managing certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. If left undiagnosed and untreated, these chronic conditions can cause significant foot problems due to damage to blood vessels as well as nerves. 

By working with podiatrists, patients with chronic conditions can receive comprehensive care to mitigate these risks and promote better overall health. 

If you are experiencing painful feet, cracks or cuts in the skin, skin growths like verrucas, scaling or peeling on the soles, or any other foot-related issue, consulting with a podiatrist can provide valuable advice and treatment. Additionally, podiatrists can offer custom insoles, padding, and arch supports to relieve discomfort and reduce pressure on vulnerable areas of the foot. 

Podiatrists can also guide proper foot care and recommend appropriate footwear. They can help with the removal of hard skin from the feet as well as the treatment of conditions such as athlete’s foot, blisters, and dry heels. With the help of a podiatrist, patients can achieve optimal foot health and enjoy an improved quality of life. 

Podiatrists can also treat numerous common foot conditions, such as: 

  • Flat feet 
  • Heel pain 
  • Corns and calluses 
  • Bunions 
  • Verrucas 
  • Toenail problems 

Additionally, podiatrists can help with more complicated foot issues brought on by sports or other activities. 

Biomechanics and gait analysis 

The way you move your body while walking is referred to as your gait. Pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back may be caused by issues with the way you move.  

Analyzing your locomotion can assist in identifying and treating a variety of complex and significant conditions.  

This contains: 

  • Assisting in the treatment of back or leg discomfort caused by your gait. 
  • Rehabilitation following an injury. 
  • Enhancing athletic performance 

The evaluation can include various examinations, such as a trained professional observing how you walk or run, video analysis, and even more advanced techniques, such as measuring the pressure on various portions of your foot when walking or running (foot pressure plate analysis). 

Partial nail avulsion (PNA) 

PNA is a minor surgical procedure that involves removing a tiny strip from the side of the toenail. Initially, a local anaesthetic is injected into the root of your toe to numb it.  

PNA is an effective treatment for ingrown toenails. Often, the exposed portion of the nail bed is treated with a chemical called phenol, which destroys the nail bed and prevents the recurrence of ingrown toenails. PNA is an alternative to total nail avulsion (the removal of the entire nail). 

Swift Verruca treatment 

Swift verruca treatment is approved for the treatment of warts and verrucas. Microwave energy is delivered through a special probe applied to the epidermis to treat the affected tissue.  

During the procedure, you may experience an intense sensation similar to an injection. However, any discomfort felt during the treatment is rapidly eliminated. 

What is a podiatrist specialist?  

It’s important not just that you’re aware of what to know about podiatrists but also their specialities. For example, some focus on sports medicine and rehabilitation for those needing physical therapy and recovery. Then some focus on wound management or podiatric-related surgeries, which is normal considering just how many moving and delicate parts there are in the foot, ankle and lower legs.  

Some podiatrists may specialise in early childhood or elder care as both demographics typically have different issues to handle.