Chiropody - The Science of Footcare

Podiatry or chiropody is a branch of medicine that deals with prevention, treatment and cure of many problems pertaining to foot, ankle and lower leg. They are professionals to help the patient with foot care. They do preventive medicine and help the patients come out of any foreseen problems.  Chiropodists have not got recognition world wide but their service is very useful.
Chiropody is the branch of medical science that deals with foot and nail care. They help us have good foot health and well maintained nails. They also help in diagnosing and problems with the foot and they prevent, treat and cure it. Chiropodists are particularly very interested in foreseeing the possible problems which may occur in the foot and prevent it before any damage is caused. This is why many sports personalities often visit chiropodist and get to know about their foot condition. This helps them from any sort of foot injury, as they are very much prone to it.
UK has a lot of chiropodists and colleges offering courses based on it. UK chiropodists focus mainly on foot alignment, patient management, foot health education, sports injuries, bio mechanics etc.
They are two reasons why people visit chiropodist. Firstly, many will visit to maintain a healthy feet and prevent problems. But, there are people who will be asked to visit a chiropodist due to certain problems. They analyse and identify the problem and provide the patient with the right treatment and practices to come out of that disorder.
Chiropodists have the capabilities to treat from simple verruca or corn to any leg injury. If they find that the problem is complicated they might ask the patients to consult GP or foot specialist for treatment. They will customize and order insoles and orthotic devices and cure the feet. This art of foot care dates back to the Egyptian era in 2400 BC. Until the 20th century chiropodists were separate from the organized medicine system. They were physicians who were given independent licenses to treat ankle, feet and related leg parts. They get all their equipments and products necessary for the treatment from several suppliers whose business is chiropody supply.
As foot professionals chiropodists will be very much interested in listening to all our problems and symptoms and advice us with the right care. They will examine asses and formulate the apt treatment for us through the medical, mechanical and surgical methods that suits us the vest. Chiropodists educate themselves with our problems and then prevent it. NHS chiropodists are available in most part of UK. They provide with free treatment. Availability of their service in all areas depends on the Primary Care Trust.
Feet are the pillars of our bodies. Any sort of imbalance in this part can cause a lot of physical problems. Even the most common corn in the leg will cause imbalance as the leg does a lot of work. This in turn will affect the ankles, hips, back and knees. Sports Medicine, Pathomechanics, Prescription Orthotic/Orthopedic Footwear, Soft Tissue Surgery, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Infection Control, and General Family Foot Care can be provided by the chiropodists.
There are several problems that are caused due to lack of proper foot care. Chiropody can cure all such disorders. Osteoarthritis develops in us as we get older. This is called wear and tear arthritis. The symptoms of such a disorder are pin, stiffness, tenderness, and swelling and reduced motion of that part. This will damage the legs. This causes imbalance and in turn affecting the knees and back. Chiropodists can treat this disorder and bring back the balance and make the legs normal again.
Diabetes related foot problems are one of the major reasons for hospitalization. This causes amputation in lower leg and foot. High sugar levels can cause circulatory problems, heart, skin, eyes disorders and nerve damage. It’s always better to check the feet regularly for hard and smooth skin. Always check with the help of the mirror for any difference in the skin. Cracks and reddishness can also be caused due to diabetic disorders. The precautionary methods will prevent the legs from infections which may lead to amputation. Chiropodists can give the right care for such problems when consulted for it.
Corns and calluses are often cause by ill fitting shoes and structural disorders. We always tend to neglect such problems. This will cause severe pain in the feet. Regular visits to chiropodists can help us come out of such problems by debridement of the area and by maintain comfort through the treatments. Customized orthotics can also be cured by reducing pressure and controlling stress. It’s sad that we neglect corns and calluses until we get unbearable pain. So we should act quickly and consult chiropodists for it.
Bunions are often formed near the side of the greater toe joint. This is caused due to improper fitting of the shoes. Patients complain of having severe pain in their legs due to usage of certain shoes and particular physical strains. This problem is often treated using the conservative means. This may be cured by shoe gear modification, padding or orthosis by the chiropodists. They generally do not go for surgery.
Next disorder is most common. In the world of fashion we tend to wear high heals even for regular use. This causes the heal pain. There are several reasons for this disorder, one of the main reasons being extra stress put on to the foot. Improper shoes stretch the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that supports the arch of the bottom of the foot. This causes inflation and pain. This doesn’t stop here but causes muscle tear and bone spur. Chiropodists have treatments to cure this pain that irritates us early morning.
Inborn toenails are another major issue. They make it very difficult to even walk. This causes a lot of pain and disability to move freely. This occurs due to improper cutting of nails and due to ill footwear usage. As this may cause infection in the nails the help of chiropodists is very important and essential.
Most of us think that when we grow old we do not get foot problems. This is untrue. The problems that are discussed earlier develop over a period of time. These problems do not arise suddenly. Therefore aged section of population is more prone to such disorders. Conditions like the bunions, hammertoes, corns, arthritis, and nail deformities takes years to develop and they worsen as days pass by. Hence, it’s the right time for us to realize the importance of our foot and what foot wear we use and how we maintain our foot. This is also a very important part of our body. Let’s stop neglecting it and consult chiropodists for guiding us in preventing, assessing, treating and curing all our foot problems and disorders.