We see many people come through the doors of our North Oakville Clinic for Physio or Massage who have never heard the professional title of “Chiropodist”. When they hear about the scope of practice a Chiropodist (Podiatric Foot Care Specialist) has, they are often surprised at how broad it is. The 3 year post-graduate education pf a Chiropodist focuses on the foot and toenails and health care specifically involving the lower limb. Many people are also surprised to discover that their insurance benefits cover not only Custom Orthotics and Orthopaedic Footwear, but also (usually under a separate umbrella) foot and toenail care. Like other bodily issues our Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists see, many people wait until something is a serious problem and affecting their quality of life before seeking attention. Don’t wait until there is a large issue before seeking foot care assessment and treatment from a Chiropodist, healthy feet are happy feet!
Below are 5 reasons you should seek Chiropodist Foot Care:
1. You have Diabetes
A Chiropodist is a vital person to have on your team of health care professionals. As diabetes progresses many people experience diabetic neuropathy and decreased sensation as well as decreased healing capacity. It important to have your foot screened for these signs of numbness as well as to find areas of high pressure. Foot Care by a Chiropodist will be done using medically sterile methods and clean methods to prevent infection. In some cases Custom Orthotics are vital in unloading pressure points that may have infection or breakdown under the surface. Having a trained eye in these cases can help treat and prevent infections before they get out of hand.
2. You can’t reach or feel your feet
If you can’t feel your feet or legs as is the case with many paraplegics or those with a peripheral neuropathy, a Chiropodist will safely look after your skin and toenails. They will also check for skin breakdown and signs of infection that you may not be feeling. If you can’t reach your feet due to mobility or hand dexterity issues a Chiropodist will also ensure your feet and toenails are properly and safely taken care of. Examples of this are people you have hip arthritis, and those you have impaired use of their fingers or hands such people who have had strokes or those who have Rheumatoid Arthritis.
3. Your Toenails are Thick, Discoloured or Painful
Having thick or discoloured toenails doesn’t have to be something you just live with. It is
often a sign of a fungal infection. Fungus is something that can be identified by a Chiropodist as well as treated through topical or oral medications provided by a Chiropodist. You should not leave discoloured toenails as it may be a sign of something more serious. It important to have them assessed. Ingrown toenails can cause painful infection. A Chiropodist can treat ingrown toenails conservatively or with a soft tissue surgical procedure. Some people prefer to have conservative routine treatment of their ingrown toenails and some people just want to have the root cause dealt with through the surgical procedure. Either way a Chiropodist will asses your foot and toenails and discuss the best treatment options for you based on your foot, your goals and your foot.
4. You have Corns or Calluses
Some people are more prone to areas of build up whether it is a small or large area. This can be a sign of wear or pressure and gives an indication of weight bearing patterns. A Chiropodist can address this build up through treatment of the soft tissues as well as advise the most appropriate footwear. Depending on the cause of the issue you may also benefit from Custom Orthotics to help relieve pressure points and accommodate stiff joints.
5. You have Warts
Sometimes people mistake warts for corns or vice versa. A Chiropodist will not only diagnose your foot issue but also advise on your treatment options. There are many possible treatments for warts on the feet from more to less aggressive. Your Chiropodist will discuss the different treatment options with you in order to get rid of warts.