Podiatry goes beyond the basic definition of the art of taking care of feet; it has become the art of healing foot complaints.
The playing field for podiatrists has expanded in the last few years; they now treat patients with static concerns, affecting joints above the feet, such as the ankle, knee, hip or spinal column. For example, today, it is recognised that there could be links between poor foot function and "backache".
Sports enthusiasts consult podiatrists for problems of overuse of the feet, and abnormal loads on the foot and lower legs. These phenomena may lead to tendonitis, periostitis and other inflammatory conditions.
If the sportsperson is suffering from various pains as a result of
running, an analysis of foot support on the ground must be carried out both during exercise and at rest. This analysis means that the foot's biomechanics can be studied closely.
In addition to medical treatments, physiotherapy and/or rest from sports, most diseases can be improved by wearing thermo-moulded plantar ortheses. In order to complete the treatment, the podiatrist will endeavour to correct a misaligned axis, to re-establish better foot position, to relax an over-used muscle compartment or to achieve the correct position when the foot lands on the ground.
The podiatrist's work is also to treat epidermal complaints and disorders of the nail bed. The podiatrist does not stop at palliative treatment, but seeks out the cause and endeavours to apply etiological therapy.
Last modified on December 18th, 2015.
Interview by Eduardo Agudo, Podiatrist.