PODIATRY / CHIROPODY
Suitable for people of all ages this specialist discipline is concerned with the overall health of the foot and lower leg. Often a Podiatrist can detect conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and circulatory conditions that may otherwise go unnoticed until the disease has escalated. There is some confusion as to the difference between Chiropody and Podiatry. In reality there is no difference, Podiatry is simply the international term for Chiropody that the profession in the UK is now adopting.
Individual treatment all depends on the presenting problem but can involved a lower limb assessment, cutting of nails, reduction of calluses and corns, trimming down thicken nails, advice on dry skin and general foot health as well as padding and strapping, which can provide relief from certain conditions.
Within the discipline of Podiatry there are different areas of specialism as follows:
Routine Treatment (what is still associated with the term Chiropody)
This focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and preventative care of lower limb and foot problems. It is concerned with skin, nails, pain and general health of feet and toes to ensure they are maintained in excellent condition. It can also include foot health education and homecare advice for skin, the lower limb and feet.
Biomechanics (what was previously referred to as Podiatry)
This area is concerned with a person’s gait, or the way in which they walk, and the effect this has on how the body works as a whole. To correct any imbalances within the gait ‘orthotics’ (innersoles), which may be corrective or palliative, are sometimes prescribed and are placed within a person’s shoe to help the foot to perform its job more efficiently. This in turn can help with knee, hip or back pain.
Dry Needling for Verrucas
Dry needling is reported to be an effective method for treating stubborn or multiple verrucas. Used for over 40 years, dry needling and was first described in an American medical journal in 1969. The procedure, carried out painlessly under local anaesthetic, involves disrupting the verruca tissue with a sterile needle. This encourages the body to initiate an immune response allowing the body to destroy the verruca naturally. In the case of multiple verrucas only one lesion is treated as this can lead to a spontaneous resolution of all verrucas. Unlike treatments using acids, dry needling usually only requires one application.
Some Podiatrists will perform surgery on certain nail conditions.