You might not have come across the term ‘podiatrist’ before, but they’re extremely important for your health. So what is a podiatrist, and when should you visit one?

What is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a medical specialist who can help with problems with your feet or lower legs. Podiatrists need to have completed a podiatry degree which is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). During their training, they will undertake a large amount of practical training with patients. When they have finished their training, a podiatrist needs to continuously update their knowledge and skills throughout their career and stay registered with the HCPC.

A podiatrist can treat a huge variety of problems with your feet and lower legs, including but not limited to:

  • Toenail reconstruction – the restoration of a previously damaged nail for cosmetic purposes.
  • Verruca and wart removal.
  • Nail surgery – perhaps to correct ingrowing toenails or to remove damaged/diseased toenails.
  • Corns, verrucas, fungal infections.
  • Orthotics – these are custom made insoles that reduce symptoms from biomechanical problems.

What’s The Difference Between A Podiatrist And A Chiropodist?

There is no difference! ‘Podiatrist’ is the most common and up-to-date term. The name was changed in the UK in 1993 because podiatry is the internationally recognised name for a foot specialist. That being said there are variations within the specialty, such as the difference between a podiatrist and a podologist. There are also sub specialties of podiatry, including. biomechanical podiatrists, sports podiatrists, and children’s podiatrists

When should you visit a podiatrist?

A podiatrist can treat any number of foot health issues, so whether you have pain while walking or smelly feet, an appointment with one is sure to help you! You don’t need a referral from a GP to seek a private consultation, so you can book an appointment at your leisure. It’s worthwhile to book an appointment even if you don’t think you have any issues – just like you would with a dentist. The podiatrist will be able to check your general foot health and recommend any treatments or therapies to keep them in tip-top condition.

Your feet can tell you a lot about your health. It’s not only for the sake of your feet that it’s important to visit a podiatrist if you notice something concerning your feet. Many other conditions, such as diabetes, affect and manifest in your feet. 

How can I be sure I’ll get the correct treatment?

Because many podiatrists are private practices rather than part of the NHS, it can seem tricky to tell whether you’re going to get quality treatment. Don’t worry, though – all you need to look out for is if the podiatrist is registered with the HCPC. You can check the register online. To be registered, the podiatrist will need to have proven that they completed the correct qualifications and are continually updating their skills. It’s important to find an accredited podiatrist so you can be confident your feet are in good hands. 

Additionally, you can check whether they are accredited by the College of Podiatry. This is the ‘gold standard’ for podiatry practices because gaining accreditation is a rigorous process. We’ve been accredited for years, and all our podiatrists are fully registered and qualified.

What Type Of Podiatry Appointment Do You Need?

One big question when you first visit a podiatrist is what kind of appointment you should book. We offer different lengths of appointments in order to cater to different conditions. An initial appointment when you’re visiting us for the first time will usually be a standard podiatry appointment. This will allow us to assess your needs, treat basic issues, deliver routine podiatry services, or devise a treatment plan. 

Following on from your initial visit to the podiatrist you may need to return for an extended podiatry appointment, or a series of appointments, if the issue you’re dealing with requires more time to treat. For tough conditions, you may need a complex podiatry appointment. If you initially book a standard appointment your podiatrist will be able to advise you on what’s needed from there.

Latest Advances in Podiatry

In the ever-evolving field of podiatry, staying abreast of the latest advancements is crucial for providing top-tier foot care. Our clinic is committed to integrating these innovations to ensure the best outcomes for our patients. Here’s a glimpse into some of the cutting-edge developments that are reshaping podiatric care:

New Treatment Techniques

Recent years have seen remarkable progress in treatment methods for various foot and ankle disorders. Minimally invasive surgery techniques are now more prevalent, significantly reducing recovery times and improving surgical precision. This means less discomfort for patients and a quicker return to their daily activities.

Revolutionary Orthotic Designs

Custom orthotics have always been a cornerstone of podiatric care. However, the introduction of 3D printing technology has revolutionized their design and manufacturing. With 3D-printed orthotics, we can achieve unparalleled precision in foot support, tailored specifically to the contours and needs of each patient’s foot. This bespoke approach not only enhances comfort but also significantly improves treatment outcomes.

Cutting-Edge Technology in Foot Care

We’re also embracing technological advancements such as digital gait analysis and pressure mapping systems. These tools allow us to accurately assess how patients walk and stand, enabling us to identify underlying issues that might go unnoticed with traditional examination methods. By understanding the biomechanics of your feet in greater detail, we can provide more effective treatments and preventative strategies.

Telemedicine in Podiatry

The rise of telemedicine has also made a significant impact. Virtual consultations have become a viable option for those unable to visit the clinic in person. This approach ensures continued care and guidance, especially crucial for follow-up appointments or for patients with mobility constraints.

Ready to book your appointment?

You can do so today! Either use our online booking form, or give us a call on 01606 45077 and we can discuss all of your foot health needs. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Podiatry

Can children benefit from seeing a podiatrist?

Absolutely! Children can experience a range of foot issues, from developmental concerns to injuries. A podiatrist specializing in pediatric care can assess, diagnose, and treat these conditions, ensuring proper foot development and function.

How often should I replace my orthotics?

The lifespan of orthotics varies depending on their material, your daily activity level, and foot conditions. Generally, it’s recommended to replace them every 1-2 years. However, if you notice changes in comfort or support, it might be time for a new pair.

Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to improve foot health?

Yes, lifestyle plays a crucial role in maintaining foot health. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, wearing properly fitted shoes, and practicing good foot hygiene can all help prevent foot problems.

Can podiatry help with sports-related injuries?

Podiatrists are experts in treating sports-related foot and ankle injuries. They can provide injury treatment, preventive advice, and help optimize your foot function to enhance athletic performance.

What’s the difference between over-the-counter and custom orthotics?

Over-the-counter orthotics offer general support and cushioning and can be effective for minor discomforts. Custom orthotics, on the other hand, are tailor-made to address specific foot issues and provide precise support based on your foot structure and condition.

Do podiatrists treat skin conditions of the feet?

Yes, podiatrists handle a variety of skin conditions affecting the feet such as athlete’s foot, calluses, and dry or cracked skin. They can offer effective treatments and advice on preventing recurrence.

Can a podiatrist help with foot odor?

Foot odor is often caused by bacteria, and a podiatrist can offer solutions to reduce this, including advice on foot hygiene, recommendations for antifungal/antibacterial treatments, and tips on selecting the right footwear.

Is there a difference in foot care for diabetics?

Diabetic patients require special foot care due to their increased risk of foot complications. Regular podiatry visits are important for early detection and management of potential issues like neuropathy or ulcers.

What should I do to prepare for a podiatry appointment?

Bring a list of your current medications, any relevant medical history, and wear shoes that you frequently use. It’s also helpful to have a list of symptoms or concerns you want to discuss.

Categories: Podiatry