What is a Podiatrist?



The difference between a Podiatrist and a Chiropodist

Initially ‘Chiropodist’ was the term given to a person who treated nail problems, corns and calluses. The training for this was as little as 6 weeks (an un-registered Chiropodist) to 3 years (a State Registered Chiropodist). For many years the programme of learning has advanced to that of Degree level, a course spanning 3 years, encompassing the entirety of the foot and lower limb and medical conditions affecting the entire body, orthopaedics, pharmacy and mechanics.  The titles of Podiatrist and Chiropodist are protected by law and regulated by the Health Professions Council.

Chiropody and Podiatry are the same and there is no differentiation between the two and indeed the term chiropody is being phased out.

What do Podiatrists treat?

Podiatry focuses on the diagnosis, advice and treatment of foot problems. These concerns can involve the skin (corns, hard skin, verruca and rashes) nails (in-growing toenails, fungal nails, thickening of the nails) and general foot pain / health.

This includes nail cutting and shaping, the removal of corns and callouses (hard skin), the management and treatment of ingrown nails, we offer various verrucae treatment options and foot massage.

Options to maintain and improve foot health are encouraged and there is an emphasis on preventive podiatry too – for example wearing good shoes to prevent problems later in life.

With Podiatry, attention is also directed towards walking and sporting injuries involving the foot, ankle, knee, hip and back. ‘Biomechanics and gait analysis’ observe the dynamics of walking (running, cycling, skiing etc) and recognise areas which may be causing problems. These problems are then treated, alleviating the pain.

Podiatry services include: Ingrown nail surgery, biomechanical gait analysis (also called Musculoskeletal MSK Podiatry), custom orthotic or shoe insoles, Pedique cosmetic toenail reconstruction and  fungal nail laser treatment to treating fungal nails. Some podiatrists may also use ultrasound, shockwave, acupuncture, manipulation or conduct surgical orthopaedic procedures on the foot – depending on their specialism and area of practice.

We are very child friendly giving treatment, care and advise to the parents of our younger patients, including Verrucae, Hyper mobility and shoe fitting advice.  (See Children’ section)

Nail surgery (a permanent solution to recurring nail pain and infections) is carried out with very little discomfort and is aesthetically pleasing! (see Nail Surgery)