What is Podiatry?
Podiatrists are health care professionals who provide preventative care, diagnosis and treatment of patients with foot and lower limb injuries. They are highly skilled health professionals who have been trained to assess and treat the lower limb for biomechanical deformities and musculoskeletal injuries. At Achilles Heel Clinic all our podiatrists are registered with the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This means that they have undertaken and passed a full time degree in podiatry and met with stringent entrance criteria set by the HCPC so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands!
Below is a brief list of some conditions that podiatry can help with:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinosis
- Ankle/Hip/Knee pain
- Back pain
- Foot pain
- Toe pain
What to expect on your first visit
At your first appointment your podiatrist will perform an initial assessment taking a detailed history of your condition together with any relevant past medical history. A physical assessment will then be undertaken to determine the clinical diagnosis of your problem which will be explained to you by your clinician. This will probably involve removing your socks and shoes and performing a short walk up and down the corridor to allow the podiatrist to perform a gait assessment.
The initial consultation lasts approximately 1 hour. During this time your podiatrist will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have and you will be given lots of advice about your condition.
Following the assessment your podiatrist may deem it necessary to provide you with an insole or orthotic. Insoles and orthotics are foot supports that are placed in the shoes to help improve foot function and to alleviate symptoms. There are a wide variety of insoles and orthotics available ranging from off the shelf insoles to custom-made orthotics. The type of insole that you require depends entirely on your specific needs which will be determined by your podiatrist.
Your podiatrist can provide various types of insoles whether it's for everyday footwear, a running shoe or a golf shoe. Should a custom made insole be required your podiatrist will take a Plaster of Paris impression (cast) of your feet. This then gets sent off to a laboratory to be manufactured according to your individual needs. The orthotics can be made available within a week if necessary and your podiatrist will ask you to return for a follow up appointment in order to allow the insoles to be fitted correctly as well as providing you with any relevant advice and information. Sometimes one or more adjustments need to be made to the orthotics to improve their efficiency, improve their comfort or improve fit. Your podiatrist will then suggest that you make a follow up appointment to allow for this if required.
What's the difference between a Podiatrist and a Chiropodist?
In the UK podiatry is simply the new name for chiropody. The name was changed to podiatry in 1993 as it's the international recognised name for a foot specialist and also as it's slightly more appropriate; 'podiatry' refers just to feet while 'chiropody' refers to both feet and hands. However some podiatrists (or chiropodists) specialise in certain areas of podiatry. So if you are suffering from symptoms in your body which you think are being caused by faulty body mechanics then you are probably in need of seeing a podiatrist who specialises in providing custom made orthotics. When you phone to make an appointment at the clinic be sure to state this to the receptionist so that we can book you in with the correct person.
Confused? Please don't be! Feel free to contact the clinic and one of our team will be happy to discuss your condition and what you will need to alleviate your symptoms.