I find clients are still a little confused about the perceived difference between the two terms, when in fact they are the same discipline. Chiropody underwent a name change in 1993 and is now known as Podiatry.
The reason for this? A Podiatrist is internationally recognised as a foot specialist, so it makes sense for all practitioners to be under the same name umbrella.
In my opinion it was a positive change, as the science of Podiatry is continually evolving. Podiatrists diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases of the foot – but are also specialists of lower limb disorders.
The training of Podiatrists is constantly evolving, and is now an accepted medical based discipline. An intense 4 year degree course, followed by post graduation continuing education enables Podiatrists to treat a vast array of foot and lower limb conditions.
Some Podiatrists choose to specialise in the area they find most rewarding whilst others practice general podiatry. Some specialist areas:
Biomechanics – joint alignment
Orthotics – custom made insoles/shoes
Podopaediatrics – lower limb disorders in children
Surgery – an increasing amount of foot surgery is performed by specialist Podiatrists
Sports injuries – Podiatrists often work alongside physiotherapists
Personally, I am passionate about technological advances that have impacted on podiatry. Laser science is the most dramatic, offering massive benefits to those suffering from nail infections of all kinds. The ‘cold’ Lunula Laser is revolutionising nail fungus treatment and, by using variable light energy, the procedure is both pain free and effective – a very exciting development!
No longer an enclave of the elderly, men and women of all ages consult Podiatrists for a variety of conditions. As with most medical problems, prevention is better than cure so make sure you look after yourself – and your feet!