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A chiropodist is an outdated term for doctors that specialise in foot problems.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. 

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