The Benefits of Podiatry
Have you ever wondered how a Podiatrist or Chiropodist could benefit you? Keep reading for an introduction into this Health Practitioner!
Podiatry, as the name hints at, is the study, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions of the foot, ankle, heel. A chiropodist helps prevent and heal conditions of the feet, especially chronic conditions that many of us struggle with on a day to day basis. Some of the conditions a chiropodist could help with are sports injuries, bunions, blisters, heel problems, and even things like athlete's foot or ingrown toenails.
While both podiatrists and chiropodists can help with such conditions, there are slight differences between the two that may be useful for someone trying to determine who may be best able able to help them:
Education/training background: Podiatrists have a four year post baccalaureate degree in Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), while chiropodists obtain a diploma in chiropody as well as a post baccalaureate degree in science.
Approach: while podiatrists can diagnose and provide surgical care to the feet, ankle, heels, etc., chiropodists may have a more non-surgical approach that involves maintaining and improving mobility, alleviating and preventing pain, educating and informing patients on how to take care of their feet for best outcomes and overall well being.
How Podiatry Can Improve Health
Podiatry and chiropodiatry has many benefits and can be used to improve health in a wide variety of ways:
Prevent pain or other problems of the foot (see point below)
You can learn extensive knowledge on how the foot operates and learn anatomy in layman’s terms (the internal and external make-up of feet and lower limbs)
Gain information on how to take proper care of feet and this will help prevent future foot problems
Specific approach to diagnosing, treating, and prevention as compared to general practitioners
No need for referrals and going around different consultations
Chiropodists especially can provide specific advice for long-term foot health with a more holistic approach
How to Find a Qualified Chiropodist or Podiatrist
There are a few different ways to go about finding the right fit for you. As mentioned, there are different types of healthcare professionals that are qualified to provide foot care.
Also mentioned previously, there are differences in the approach and role that both have. While podiatrists can diagnose and provide surgical care to the feet, ankle, heels, etc., chiropodists may have a more non-surgical approach that involves maintaining and improving mobility, alleviating and preventing pain, educating and informing patients on how to take care of their feet for best outcomes and overall well being.
It may be helpful to take a moment to think about what kind of care you need: do you have a current persisting problem that may require surgery? Or do you need support for a chronic foot condition you struggle with? Based on your answers to those questions, a podiatrist or chiropodist might be able to help you.
Once decided, you may go about your search in a few different ways. If you live in a small town, chances are there are a couple of service providers that are well known already. If you live in a city or a more populated town, checking your surrounding area (either by foot or online) for options and using keywords in an online search will help narrow down options. Then, using the extent of training and other factors you find important will help further narrow down the list until you find a great fit for you!
If you live in a city or more populated area, you may have more options available. In this case, doing an online search, scouring their websites, even checking their business profiles on social media may help. Many provinces also have an online directory as well that may be helpful to utilize.
Most service providers welcome you to reach out to them via email or phone, and you could also check if they offer a quick consultation or meet and greet.
As always, we wish you luck in your search - chiropodists and podiatrists have many benefits to offer!
Think a podiatrist or chiropodist might help you to address a health issue? A Personal Health Plan from Saskatchewan Blue Cross offers coverage for Health Practitioners including Chiropodists and Podiatrists! Our feet carry us all day and take us where we need to go, let us help you take care.