Podiatry Guide

There are very many specialist branches of medicine concerned with focussing on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of specific afflictions. In the past few decades our knowledge of medicine has evolved, and with so much knowledge and understanding, the best way to address medical issues is by splitting the practice of medicine into specific, specialist areas. In this article we look at the practice of podiatry.

An introduction to podiatry

Podiatry is also known as the specialism of podiatric medicine, and is an area focussing on medical issues pertaining to the lower leg, more specifically, the foot and ankle. As a specialty podiatric medicine has existed since the early 1900s, and while initially practiced in the US, it has now expanded to many parts of the world including the UK.

The foot is an extremely important structure, and its health and function is vital to an active and productive lifestyle. Issues affecting the foot not only cause gait issues, but extend further up the body and can affect spinal alignment and posture. Problems with the ankle or foot can exacerbate or cause hip or knee problems, and so need to be addressed professionally and efficiently.

The importance of the foot stems from the fact that is the structure upon which we rely for all of our mobility. Be it for running or walking, we depend on a fully functioning foot. Injury and disease to the lower limb can ultimately have serious repercussions on quality of life, and this is where podiatric practice can play an important part.

Who practices podiatry?

A practitioner of podiatric medicine is known as a podiatrist, and requires particular qualifications to practice podiatry. In the UK, a degree in podiatry grants a practitioner the rights to provide prescription medications, non-invasive surgeries, and certain injectable therapies. One of the requirements of podiatrists in the UK is the completion of 1,000 clinical hours under the supervision of an experienced podiatrist. This is meant to ensure that all podiatrists qualified in the UK have received extensive training and experience in their field.

Podiatrists can continue with their qualifications to extend their scope of practice and perform more procedures and treatments. Podiatrists in the UK come under the jurisdiction of their own professional body, The Health and Care Professions Council.

Podiatry in the UK

Podiatry has been integrated into medical practice in the UK, and is available on the NHs as well as from private institutions. If you are looking for private podiatry, then treatment can be arranged at your request if you contact an appropriate clinic. If you would like to receive podiatric care on the NHS, then the first step is to speak to your GP who can then arrange the necessary referral to your nearest podiatric department.

Who are Podiatrists? »


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