Podiatry deals with the diagnosis, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of your ankles, feet and lower leg. Podiatry is a regulated and registered health professional. A podiatrist must complete college study in a bachelor of podiatry or even higher.
In diagnosis and assessing the health of your feet, a podiatrist will consider your injury and medical history, occupation and lifestyle and your footwear. The management of foot problems varies but may include, application of ointments, physical therapies, prescription of shoe inserts and the use of tools and instruments.
Podiatrists also provide you with health education for prevention of foot problems and self-care, especially to diabetics, athletes, disabled and older people. They work in many places such as hospitals, private practice, community health centres, sports medical clinics and nursing homes.
Usually, you do not have to obtain a referral to visit them.
Which are the conditions that can e treated by podiatrists?
Podiatrists can help you improve your independence and mobility through management and prevention of foot problems.
The conditions that podiatrists can treat include joint and bone disorders, circulatory or neurological diseases and muscular issues. Some of the conditions that podiatrist can treat include:
- Children’s foot problems
- Corns and calluses
- Cracked heels, aching feet and heel spurs
- Ingrown and thick toenails
- Plantar warts and fungal problems
- Athletes foot, shin splints and foot injuries
Podiatrists can also help you with safety and occupational safety and health issues and even advice you on athletic footwear to use.
In addition to what podiatrists treat, they also prescribe orthotics, which is a non- surgical approach to foot issues or as a control method after some types of foot surgery. Orthotics are some type of shoe inserts which are meant to correct foot problems through gently repositioning and supporting the arches, heels, tendons, muscles, ligaments and bones in your feet.
They usually alter angles at the feet strikes a walking or a running surface. This makes walking, standing or running more efficient and comfortable.
Orthotics are made using different types of materials, but they can be designed to fit in athletics shoes and boots and also fit in dress shoes and other clothes. Orthotics provide weight-bearing ligaments, which help in improving foot function and also minimises forces that could cause pain and damage to your feet.
In conclusion, seeing a podiatrist is an excellent way of maintaining the general health of your feet. The feet are vulnerable to all kinds of disorders and illness, which are likely to affect your general health and movement.
For example, there are diseases which affect your feet, and they need to be addressed and diagnosed early enough before they cause you more damage.
Also, there are some embarrassing conditions which affect your feet, for example, bad odour from the feet and cracked heels. All these conditions, however, can be treated by a podiatrist allowing you to live a healthy life.
When you visit a podiatrist, they will diagnose and treat these conditions early enough even before they start appearing.