What is a Podiatrist and how do they differ from a Chiropodist?

What is a Podiatrist and how do they differ from a Chiropodist?

One of the most common questions we’re asked in clinic is this: what is a podiatrist and how do they differ from a chiropodist? Find out in today’s post1

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is someone who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of foot problems, and conditions related to the lower legs. A podiatrist will usually be your best port of call if you have a foot injury or condition.  

Being specialist healthcare professionals, podiatrists are experts in the studies of the foot and ankle.

What is a Chiropodist?

A chiropodist is an outdated term for doctors that specialise in foot problems. A podiatrist and a chiropodist is actually the exact same thing. 

Why did the term change?

There were two main reasons said to be behind the change. Firstly, in the 1950’s and 1960’s, chiropractic medicine was beginning to become popular. However, with this popularity came confusion between the two terms ‘chiropodists’ and ‘chiropractors’. 

Secondly, the word ‘chiropody’ is made up of both ‘chiro’ and ‘pod’, which means hand and foot in Greek. However, the origins of ‘podiatry’ come from ‘pod’ and ‘jatros’ – meaning physician in Greek. By changing the term to podiatry, it allowed better embracement of the modern practice when it became a recognised branch of modern medical care.

What can a podiatrist treat?

A podiatrist can treat many conditions ranging through from general chiropody (like the cutting and filing of nails, and treatment or corns and calluses) to biochemical assessment and the provision of orthotics. You can view our list of services here.

How do I find a podiatrist I can trust?

Make sure your podiatrist is fully qualified. Check the HCPC (the Health & Care Professions Council) registry here, and ask to see your podiatrists certifications.

Ready to make an appointment? 
Call us today on 01226 759660 or contact us here for help and advice. 

women's feet on a brown rock

Answering your FAQ’s on Plantar Fasciitis

Today we’re going to be answering your FAQ’s on Plantar Fasciitis to conclude our mini series on this bothersome issue that so many of us have and will experience. 

Missed any of our last posts? Don’t worry! You can find them all here:
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
5 tips to get relief from Plantar Fasciitis at home
How a Podiatrist can treat Plantar Fasciitis

women's feet on a brown rock

Let’s begin answering your FAQ’s on Plantar Fasciitis.

Why have I got Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis can be caused by a number of reasons. Some of which include: standing or sitting for long periods of time, exercising on hard surfaces, being overweight and wearing poorly-fitting footwear. 

How can I prevent Plantar Fasciitis?

First and foremost, consider your footwear carefully. You need to make sure you’re wearing well cushioned footwear that support your foot and arch. 

Before exercising, make sure you warm up and stretch properly to avoid injury, and try to do low-impact exercises like swimming over running.

How long will Plantar Fasciitis last?

Usually, Plantar Fasciitis resolves by itself within 6-18 months with self-care at home. However, it can last much longer and become a chronic condition. It’s important to speak to your Podiatrist if you’re struggling with Plantar Fasciitis – you may need specialist care which will help you get the relief you deserve.

Should I lose weight to get relief?

If you’re overweight, it’s always a great idea to healthily lose the extra weight. This reduces the pressure on your Plantar Fascia, which will in turn give you some relief.  

What is the best painkiller to take?

Ibuprofen is a great over the counter medication for Plantar Fasciitis pain. NSAIDs like this (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) work by blocking your body’s production of certain natural substances that cause inflammation. In turn, this decreases swelling and eases pain.

Alternatively, your GP may prescribe a medication called Naproxen which is also an NSAID.

Can I still exercise if I have Plantar Fasciitis?

Yes! It’s as important to keep moving as it is to rest when it comes to Plantar Fasciitis. As we mentioned above, go for low impact exercises like swimming. Also, make sure you do your stretches as recommended by your Podiatrist (you can find them in this post here.)

I’ve got back pain – is this caused by my Plantar Fasciitis?

Sometimes, perhaps, due to the change in your posture (as you try to avoid the pain), you can experience back pain with Plantar Fasciitis.

What’s the best thing to do if I think I have Plantar Fasciitis?

Call your Podiatrist and arrange an appointment to go see them. They’ll be able to offer you a diagnosis and treatment options. 

We really hope you’ve enjoyed our mini post series on Plantar Fasciitis and that it’s been helpful.

Don’t forget that we’re always here for you if you need us. Give us a call today on 01226 759 660 or contact us here to book your appointment.

Girl standing on painted yellow smiley face with arrow pointing to the smiley face

How a Podiatrist can treat Plantar Fasciitis

Welcome back to our blog! We hope you’ve been enjoying our mini post series all about Plantar Fasciitis. In today’s post, we’ll be telling you all about how a Podiatrist can treat Plantar Fasciitis.

If you’ve missed our previous posts, you can find them here to catch up:
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
5 tips to get relief from Plantar Fasciitis at home

So, now you’re all clued up on what Plantar Fasciitis is, and how you can treat it at home – what happens if you still can’t seem to get any relief?

This is where your local Podiatrist will become your new best friend!

A healthcare professional, a Podiatrist is a specialist in diagnosing and helping to treat conditions and issues of the feet and lower limbs. So whether you’re struggling with a verruca, have an ingrown toenail or have Plantar Fasciitis, a Podiatrist will help get your feet feeling fabulous again. 

Girl standing on painted yellow smiley face with arrow pointing to the smiley face

Here’s how a Podiatrist can treat Plantar Fasciitis.

1. Giving you a diagnosis

Your Podiatrist will usually be able to diagnose Plantar Fasciitis by asking you about your symptoms, and giving you a foot examination. Sometimes they might check your BMI to ensure you’re within a healthy weight (as obesity can make you more likely to experience Plantar Fasciitis). They may also refer you to have an X-ray, or an ultrasound to rule out any other causes.

2. Recommending the best at-home self care to try

Podiatrists are true experts in all things feet, and have plenty of home-care tips and tricks to help you get the pain relief you deserve. Click here to read our previous post to check out five of our top tips for at-home relief. 

3. Showing you pain-relieving exercises

Along with the tips above, your Podiatrist will show you the most effective exercises to help you find relief. 

A great source of information for effective exercises comes from BUPA:

Achilles tendon and plantar fascia stretch
Keep a towel by your bed. Before you get up, loop a long towel around the ball of your foot and pull it. Keep your leg straight. Hold this for 30 seconds. Repeat this three times for each foot.

Wall push
Stand facing a wall, with one foot in front of the other. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and facing the wall, with your front knee bent and your back knee straight.

Place both your hands on the wall, shoulder width apart. Lean towards the wall by bending your front knee. You’ll feel the stretch through your calf in the back leg. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds, then relax. Repeat three to four times, two to three times a day.

The further the back leg is from the wall, the greater the stretch. So, you should start closer to the wall to begin and over time move the back leg further way from the wall.

Stair stretch
Stand on a stair, facing upstairs and holding onto the rail for support. Position your feet so that your heels hang over the end of the step, and your legs are slightly apart. Lower your heels, until you feel tightening in your calves. Hold this position for 20 to 60 seconds, then relax. Repeat six times.

Plantar fascia stretch
While you’re sitting down, roll your foot over a round object – such as a rolling pin, drinks can or tennis ball. Allow your foot and ankle to move in all directions. Carry on for a few minutes or until you feel discomfort. Repeat at least twice a day.

Another way to stretch your plantar fascia is to sit down, crossing one foot over your knee. Then, grab your toes and pull them back towards your body. Hold this for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat three times.”

4. Making custom-made orthoses

From insoles to heel and arch supports: did you know that Podiatrists can actually make custom-made orthoses for you? This gives you the perfect support within your footwear and helps to give you relief. Additionally, your Podiatrist might suggest taping your foot or even wearing a splint during the night. 

5. Referring you for further treatment 

Sometimes, further treatment for Plantar Fasciitis is needed. From steroid injections to shockwave therapy. If your Podiatrist feels this is necessary, they’ll refer you for further treatment and help you get the relief that you need. In extreme cases, surgery is sometimes offered as a very last resort.

Need a little help or advice for your Plantar Fasciitis? Give us a call today on 01226 759 660 or contact us here to book your appointment.

Woman holding massage oil beside foot

5 tips to get relief from Plantar Fasciitis at home

Welcome back to our blog! In today’s post we’re going to be sharing our 5 tips to get relief from Plantar Fasciitis at home.

If you missed our first blog post where we explained exactly what Plantar Fasciitis is, and who is most likely to get it, click here to have a read.

Now, put your feet up and get comfy, it’s time to get into into our top 5 tips.

Woman holding massage oil beside foot

1. Make the most of massage

There’s nothing more relaxing than a massage, so treat yourself to a little ‘you’ time whilst you work the aches and pains away. Better yet, ask a family member or friend to massage your foot for you – paying extra attention to the heel.

2. Ice up

Using cool packs can really help to ease the inflammation caused by Plantar Fasciitis. Plus, a cool compress feels great on painful, heavy feet. Use your compress three to four times a day for around 10-15 minutes at a time for the best results.

3. Self medicate

Over the counter medication like Ibuprofen is helpful for conditions that cause pain through inflammation. NSAIDs like this (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) work by blocking your body’s production of certain natural substances that cause inflammation. In turn, this decreases swelling and eases pain.

4. Give your footwear a health check

Guilty of squeezing into skyscraper heels that look absolutely gorgeous but leave your feet feeling battered and bruised? Or perhaps you’re besotted by ballet flats and flip flips? Either way, if your shoes don’t have built in arch support and are sturdy and well-cushioned, it’s a one way street towards foot pain.

5. Limit activity (and inactivity)

We know it’s tricky to find a balance here, but it’s crucial that you don’t do too much, or too little. If you work in an office and have to be seated for longer periods of time, make sure to get up often and have a little walk around. Work in retail where you’re constantly on your feet? Ensure to sit down for rest periods to ease the pain and discomfort.

The best way to get relief from Plantar Fasciitis is with the help of a Podiatrist. We understand the pain this condition causes, and have treatments available to help get you back on your feet again and feeling fabulous.

Give us a call today on 01226 759 660 or contact us here to book your appointment.

Join us next week for a new post on how we can help you to get relief from Plantar Fasciitis with our specialist treatments.

Two pairs of feet on a beach with sandy toes

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

In today’s blog post we’ll be answering a common question: what is Plantar Fasciitis?

With summer just around the corner, our thoughts are turning to those beach holidays with long sunset walks along the shore. Summer is certainly a time for getting out and about and having fun in the sun, but if you’re currently dealing with Plantar Fasciitis, it can really take that sparkly summertime feeling away.

With pain whether you’re resting or active, it can feel tricky to know what to do to get a little relief. But the good news is, we’re here to help you to feel more comfortable again.

Over the next few weeks we’re going to be taking a deeper look at Plantar Fasciitis to bring you our top tips on how to help prevent, treat, and get relief from this common orthopaedic issue.

Two pairs of feet on a beach with sandy toes

So, what is Plantar Fasciitis?

In short, Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia – a part of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes.

When this is inflamed, you’ll feel pain around the heel and arch of the foot, which may feel worse in the morning, or after resting for a long period of time.

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Often, it’s caused by repetitive motion or anything that puts a lot pressure on the arch of your foot. So, activities like running, jogging and walking, or consistent long periods of standing or being on your feet, can lead to Plantar Fasciitis.

You’re more likely to get it if:

  • You’re an athlete – particularly runners or jumpers
  • You exercise on hard surfaces
  • You stand for long periods of time
  • You’re wearing unsupportive footwear
  • You have high-arched, or flat feet

What are the main symptoms?

Symptoms can vary from patient to patient. Some of our patients feel a duller, milder pain that they can cope with. But some patients struggle with relentless pain that really hinders their day to day activities.

The most common symptoms include:

  • A dull and/or stabbing pain on the bottom of the heel
  • A dull and/or stabbing pain in the arch of the foot
  • A swollen heel
  • Tight Achilles tendon
  • Increased pain after exercise
  • Increased pain after longer periods of rest

How long does it last?

Plantar Fasciitis usually resolves on its own within 6-18 months without medical treatment. However, for some people, it can become a chronic condition that requires medical intervention.

What should I do if I get Plantar Fasciitis?

Luckily, there are lots of things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms which we’ll be sharing with you in next weeks post. But one of the best things you can do is to book an appointment with your local Podiatrist. We understand how terribly painful it is, and we have treatments available to help you get back up on your feet again.

Struggling with foot pain? Contact us today to book an appointment.