Chiropody Fact Sheet
Since most people don’t really think much about their feet until they are causing them pain or soreness, many are unfamiliar with chiropodists and the work they do. In a nutshell, chiropodists are highly-trained medical professionals who specialize in the treatment of ailments affecting the feet and lower extremities.
These specialists treat all types of ailments from minor soft-tissue problems like warts and blisters to more serious muscular-skeletal misalignment issues. Their expertise includes the diagnosis and treatment of just about any ailment of the feet.
Chiropodists And Podiatrists: What’s The Difference?
This is an extremely common question that, in Canada, has a surprisingly complicated answer. In many countries around the world, such as the U.K., Ireland, and the United States, there is no difference between the two and the terms are used interchangeably. In these countries, it’s more a matter of the practitioner’s preference which term they employ for themselves.
Here in Canada, however, it is somewhat more complicated and the differences between the two disciplines are important to distinguish. These differences can be broken down into three categories: Education, OHIP coverage, and the scope of services allowed under the law.
- Education: Podiatrists are required to attain a baccalaureate “Doctor of Podiatric Medicine” degree, also known as a DPM. In Ontario, chiropodists are required to hold a post-secondary diploma in chiropody. Many chiropodists also hold university level degrees or baccalaureate degrees in other scientific fields.
- Coverage By OHIP: Podiatrists have the option of billing OHIP for their services, while chiropodists do not.
- Available Services: Podiatrists are able to perform surgery on the forefoot’s bones and “communicate a diagnosis” to patients or their representatives, while chiropodists may not.Chiropodists tend to focus on improvement or retention of mobility, treating lower body pain through the use of orthotics and exercises, non-surgical treatment of injuries, and educating patients about proper foot care as a form of preventative medicine.
Treatments Available From A Chiropodist
Chiropodists are able to offer non-surgical remedies for an array of foot and lower body ailments. The methods used by chiropodists rely heavily on diagnostic services, therapeutic exercises and the employment of remedial devices such as orthotic inserts, orthopedic shoes, compression stockings, and even laser therapy. Using these methods, chiropodists are able to alleviate or even eliminate the symptoms of many common foot problems.
Using advanced 3-D biomechanical imaging equipment, chiropodists are able to diagnose issues of lower-body alignment, gait, and deformation of the foot. They can then use this information to formulate a plan of treatment tailor-made to your issue and even design custom corrective devices based on the images obtained during the diagnostic process.
Chiropodists are also adept at treating arthritis and can offer solution-based treatments to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with it by prescribing orthotic devices, therapeutic exercises, and/or mobility aids.
How to Tell If You Need A Chiropodist
If you are experiencing any sort of discomfort or pain in your lower body, suffer from corns, warts, or bunions, or find that you are having to change the way you walk to move comfortably or decrease your discomfort, you almost certainly need to see a chiropodist. People suffering from arthritis who haven’t seen a chiropodist should also consider making an appointment because there may be treatments they are unaware of that could vastly improve their quality of life, as well as their mobility.
Many of the problems treated by chiropodists have a tendency to worsen if not treated early. So, it’s important to arrange for an appointment at the first signs of lower-body or foot-related issues you may be experiencing
What To Look For In A Good Chiropodist
Choosing a chiropodist that’s a good fit for you, like choosing any medical practitioner, is an extremely important decision that requires careful thought. It’s important to know what makes a good chiropodist good and what makes a great one great.
As complicated as choosing a chiropodist may seem, the signs to look for in a good chiropodist are actually easily broken down into five categories:
- Accreditation And Associations:
In addition to verifying that your chiropodist holds all of the appropriate degrees and accreditations required, it’s also a good idea to see if your prospective chiropodist is a member of any professional organizations such as the Ontario Society of Chiropodists or the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine.Involvement with professional organizations in the chiropody field shows a chiropodist’s dedication to staying abreast of the latest techniques and technologies and indicates a wider degree of involvement in the field as a whole. This means your chiropodist will be better able to provide cutting-edge diagnostic services and treatments and ensures that you are receiving the most modern healthcare available.
- Accreditation And Associations:
- Patient Satisfaction:
One of the best ways to decide whether or not a prospective chiropodist is worth your time is by seeing what other patients have to say about them. Be sure to take the time to check what people are saying on websites like Yelp! and take a close look at their Google reviews. Be sure to keep an eye out for any reviews that demonstrate that the chiropodist you are considering embodies the desirable qualities listed here.Even more importantly, keep an eye out for any serious red flags or excessive amounts of negative reviews. It’s also important to bear in mind that even the best practitioners will receive a bad review from time to time. After all, nobody can please everyone!
- Patient Satisfaction:
- Personalized Treatment:
Anyone who has ever worn a pair of ill-fitting shoes knows, that when it comes to the foot and its problems, one size does not fit all! A good chiropodist will take the time to review your medical history, consider how it correlates to the problems you are experiencing, take into account other factors such as lifestyle, and really listen to what you, the patient, have to say about their problem.While you are looking at patient reviews of a prospective chiropodist, be sure to look for signs that indicate that the chiropodist being considered is attentive to both the concerns of the patient, as well as the finer details of the patient’s medical history. This will help you find a chiropodist that offers the highest-quality services. Steer clear of “one size fits all” approaches!
- Personalized Treatment:
As with any medical discipline, chiropodists rely very heavily on their equipment to properly diagnose and treat their patients. A chiropodist who is equipped with little more than some hand tools and a few pieces of archaic machinery will have a hard time doing their job as well as one who is fully equipped with all of the modern 3-D imaging and diagnostic and treatment devices.Asking a chiropodist about the equipment they use is a good way to gauge whether or not they will be able to provide the most current treatment and diagnosis methods available. Knowing that a chiropodist is fully equipped is another way of gauging whether or not they are successful in their chosen field because it is unlikely that a sub-par practitioner would be able to pay to purchase and maintain advanced equipment.
We Offer Cutting-Edge Diagnostic And Treatment Services
If you are experiencing lower-body or foot-related issues of pain, discomfort, or difficulty walking properly and think it might be time to seek medical attention, Brampton Foot Clinic is here to help!
We are a fully-equipped, fully-accredited chiropody facility that offers a wide range of cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment services. Though we specialize in custom orthotic devices which we fit and mold in-house, we are fully equipped and capable of the diagnosis and treatment of all foot-related ailments. Contact us today to arrange for your appointment and find out why Brampton Foot Clinic is the area’s most trusted name in foot care!