What Is A Foot Doctor: Everything You Need To Know
A foot doctor can go by many names, but their work is vital. You might have heard of a podiatrist, a chiropodist, a physiotherapist – but what is the difference, and what does a foot doctor do? Here’s everything you need to know.
What Does ‘Foot Doctor’ Mean?
When you think of a foot doctor, you probably think of someone who treats verrucas, calluses and foot pain. This is a podiatrist, but their role actually encompasses so much more than this. Poor foot health can lead to poor general health, and a podiatrist can help with a huge range of conditions.
A podiatrist generally treats problems such as:
- Ingrown toenails
- Balance issues
- Foot problems arising from conditions such as diabetes and arthritis
However, a podiatrist will happily investigate any type of foot, lower limb or posture issue, and it is recommended to visit a podiatrist even if your feet seem healthy. The podiatrist will be able to check for any hidden issues that might develop into bigger problems later in life.
What Do Chiropodists And Physiotherapists Do?
Chiropody is the old fashioned term for podiatry, so the two terms can be used interchangeably. However, a physiotherapist has a very different role. A physiotherapist can help with:
- Musculo-skeletal issues
This involves providing advice and treatment for problems with joints, muscles and tendons to reduce pain and encourage healing. Examples of conditions addressed with this method of physiotherapy include back pain, strains and arthritis.
Neurological physiotherapy can help with balance and stability, which is particularly useful as we get older. This is an excellent therapy for people with a range of conditions such as Parkinson’s and MS, or those who have suffered from a stroke.
- Paediatric concerns
Physiotherapists can provide help and support to children with all manner of conditions, from muscular dystrophy to cerebral palsy. This can really improve the quality of life for children with these conditions.
You’ll notice that the main difference is that physiotherapists can treat conditions not just in the feet and lower limbs but throughout the body. The therapy helps to build strength, flexibility and improve the quality of life. On the other hand, podiatrists – or chiropodists – deal with all kinds of foot problems.
When Should I Visit A Foot Doctor?
If you have any concerns about your feet, it is a good idea to visit a foot doctor. They will be able to investigate the cause of the issue and treat it, helping you to avoid any future problems.
Here at Northwich Foot Clinic and Physio, we offer both podiatry and physiotherapy, so it doesn’t matter where your pain is – we should be able to help. We offer podiatry and physiotherapy services in Northwich and are easily accessible for people across the North West. We have a simple online booking service, so you can get your appointment booked today!