Podiatry, often referred to as chiropody, is the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and lower leg. Podiatrists are responsible for treating these disorders, which are often painful and debilitating. They are also concerned with ensuring that mobility and independence is retained.
As well as the treatment of foot problems, podiatrists also implement risk prevention strategies, provide prophylactic treatment (which delays or minimizes the need for hospitalization and/or invasive treatment), and come up with therapeutic care plans that are designed to maximize mobility and the patient’s level of activity.
Podiatry (or chiropody) can be used in the treatment of the following conditions:
For problems such as corns, calluses, necrotic ulceration, tendonitis, recurring sprains and chronic pain, podiatrists may prescribe foot orthoses as a way of providing a permanent treatment or means of prevention. Foot orthoses generally fit inside the shoe.
A chiropodist is able to work with people of all ages but they play a particularly important role in keeping older people mobile and thus retain their independence. Chiropody is available at no charge to you in most areas of the UK through the NHS, but the availability of a chiropodist in your area will depend on your Primary Care Trust (PCT). Each case is assessed on an individual basis and whether or not your treatment is free will depend on the severity of your condition and how son it needs to be treated. To see a chiropodist / podiatrist, you will need a referral from your GP, practice nurse or health visitor.