Everyone’s feet vary in terms of the kind of problems they may present. However, in general, a treatment will involve :
Checking the health of nails, and, where necessary, advising on and treating any kind of disease or physical problems the nails may have, with your consent.
Checking the health of the skin of the lower limb. It is common to find a certain amount of yellow hard skin (or callus) on areas of the feet that experience persistent overloading and pressure. Often this callus, when removed, reveals an underlying corn, which will also be removed. Positions where corns and calluses are commonly found are on the balls of the feet, under and around the heels, the tips and tops of the toes and in between the toes. Sometimes corns can develop under or around the area of a toe nail. Other possible dermatological conditions are also checked for
Checking the general bone-anatomy of the foot and explaining reasons why any discomfort might be occurring.
Offering general foot care and footwear advice.
If appropriate, I can make insoles, specifically tailored to your feet, designed to improve their comfort and mechanical efficiency.
This will vary depending on the number of foot health issues a patient has at the time. The length of time since their last treatment is also a factor. For example, if it is a patient’s first treatment, or treatment after a period of more than 12 months, it is likely to require more time.
In general, I tend to spend from 60 to 90 minutes on a treatment.
An initial treatment also involves taking registration details and a full medical history and performing annual one-off foot tests. These tests are necessary to ensure that lower limb sensation, reflexes and circulation are all normal.
This is a matter for debate amongst both professionals and the public. My own opinion is that there is no difference. The term podiatrist has come into use in the past twenty years in the UK, in an attempt to replace the term chiropodist. The term podiatrist has been in use in the USA for more than 50 years, where podiatrists have the same status of specialist doctors rather than just allied health care professionals.
Following this example in the UK, I think the term podiatry is now being adopted to denote that we have been and are continually becoming more skilled and highly trained members of the medical and health care group of professions. The essential skills of the job, while evolving, broadening and deepening, have always had same fundamental objectives — promoting the health and individual awareness of the lower limb and demonstrating it’s connection with general health.