Also known as:

Foot Doctor, Foot Specialist, Podiatry

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Put your best foot forward. Chiropody (or Podiatry) is the practice of studying and treating disorders of the foot and lower leg, and is designed to keep us up and running with optimum mobility and comfort. Whether you are suffering from niggling nail problems or sore soles, a chiropodist will do their best to get you walking tall once more.

How does it work?

Chiropodists train under the NHS or register with the HPC (Health Professions Council) in order to be able to treat a number of conditions including:

Sporting injuries Verrucas Corns and calluses Athlete’s foot Hard skin Ingrown toe nails and other nail conditions Arthritis Diabetes related foot disorders *Instability and gait issues

If you have a long standing medical condition that affects your feet, you will usually be referred to a chiropodist by your GP, but if you are simply looking for a bit of help to keep your feet in tip top shape, a podiatrist can help too.

A chiropody session will usually begin with a consultation, where the practitioner will determine what type of treatment you require based on your condition.

If you are suffering from foot alignment problems or pain that indicates abnormalities in your walk, the chiropodist will examine your feet and posture before carrying out a gait analysis. After observing your feet in motion and analysing the pressure they exert, a podiatrist may recommend that orthotics or insoles be worn in your shoes to relieve strain or may prescribe and help carry out strengthening/flexibity exercises to prevent future problems.

If your problem is more cosmetic, chiropodists are allowed to carry out procedures such as cryotherapy, in which verrucas or other growths are killed using a liquid nitrogen solution, or hard skin reduction, where the skin is filed and products are applied to minimise any discomfort when walking. Nail problems will also be attended to, with all nails being trimmed, filed and cleared. Anti-fungal preparations are also prescribed where needed.

General chiropody treatments are usually finished with the application of an intensely moisturising foot cream to make sure that you skip out of the door with a spring in your step.

Is it for me?

Everyone from heel devotees to health and fitness freaks can benefit from a visit to a chiropodist. We spend so much time dashing about on our feet that it is easy to neglect them, but it is worth remembering that any form of persistent foot pain or discomfort is not normal and could result in reduced mobility in later life.

Chiropodists have the expertise to treat foot and leg problems ranging from childhood growing pains to arthritic problems in old age. If you’re suffering from pain in your feet, shins, ankles, hips, knees or lower back, your GP may refer you to a chiropodist for specialist attention. You can also choose to see one privately, particularly if you have any of the following problems:

  • problems with circulation in your feet (particularly if you’re diabetic)
  • injuries, especially sports injuries, to your feet or legs
  • ingrown or abnormal toenails
  • bunions, corns or cracked heels

If you suffer from diabetes or conditions such as shin splints, then you should really be visiting a chiropodist regularly to keep your feet and lower legs in check. Otherwise, don’t just ignore that tender toe, aching ankle or unsightly instep- hop to it and get your feet sorted with a chiropodist visit. Your feet will be forever grateful!

===Good to know…=== On average, you take about 7500 steps per day (covering the equivalent of approximately 3 miles) without even thinking about it!

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