What does a Podiatrist do?

Podiatrists are autonomous healthcare professionals who aim to improve the mobility, independence and quality of life for their patients. Although they are autonomous professionals they often work as part of a team in the health care setting. Podiatrists use a wide range of practical skills and treatments to help patients, often providing immediate relief of pain in a single treatment which is rewarding for both patient and podiatrist. Some examples of types of treatment they provide are:

• Essential foot care, for an elderly or disabled person unable to reach their own feet.
• Removal of painful corns/calluses and sometimes employing chemical therapy.
• Vascular and neurological assessment, and wound management for a patient with diabetes and/or an ulcer under their foot.
• Nail surgery using a local anaesthetic, e.g. for a teenager with an ingrown toe nail.
• Physical therapy to a person with flexible foot joints who has an inflamed heel.
• Palliative care, to a patient with rheumatoid arthritis who has severe pains in their feet and finds wearing shoes difficult.
• Rehabilitation planning, for an athlete with a recurring knee problem.
• Measuring and ordering of prescription footwear.
• Gait analysis and prescription of orthotic devices.