A chiropodist is someone trained in the treatment of minor foot disorders and who also provides general footcare advice.
A chiropody treatment includes cutting of the toenails, the removal of in-grown toenails, callouses and corns and treatment for foot ailments such as plantar warts (verrucae), athlete’s foot, sweaty feet, foot odour and dry / cracked heels.
Padding and strapping are provided where necessary. The person receiving treatment may also be referred to a podiatrist for prescription orthotics, or in-sole foot support.
In addition, a chiropodist trained in biomechanics (the study of posture and walking) is able to provide biomechanic assessment to check for flat foot, heel pain, knee pain, bunions, and other problems.
The treatment is for people of all ages. In particular, diabetics may require professional chiropody foot care.
How can a podiatrist help?
You may want to see a podiatrist for advice and treatment if you have painful feet, thickened or discoloured toenails, cracks or cuts in the skin, growths such as warts, scaling or peeling on the soles, or any other foot-related problem.
Podiatrists can also supply orthotics, which are tailor-made insoles, padding and arch supports to relieve arch or heel pain. You put the orthotic device into your shoe to re-align your foot, take pressure off vulnerable areas of your foot, or simply to make your shoes more comfortable.
Even if your feet are generally in good condition, you might consider having a single session of podiatry to have the hard skin on your feet removed, toenails clipped, to find out if you’re wearing the right shoes (take your shoes with you for specific advice on footwear) or just to check that you’re looking after your feet properly.
Podiatrists can also help with more complex foot problems including preventing, diagnosing and treating injuries related to sports and/or exercise.
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