Podiatry is the branch of medicine that deals with the evaluation and treatment of foot diseases. The podiatrist is a duly accredited professional who has received adequate training in the techniques of physical examination of the foot, in addition to a complete knowledge of common diseases, causes and implementation of corrective measures in each case.
In this sense, this professional has acquired an integral vision that adds biomechanical aspects, both anatomical and physiological, to the classic superficial exploration of the skin and nails. In addition, the podiatrist has the tools to implement preventive measures in individuals at risk, as well as, the correct measures of hygiene and general care of the foot.
Since 1988, podiatry has been accepted as a university career not derived from nursing, as it has been since 1962, when it was incorporated as a division of that career or even before when they were called callistas, a term that is no longer in use today.
Currently, Podiatry covers several areas such as Surgery, Biomechanics, whose study is very important, because it can cause alterations in other areas of the body such as knees, hips or spine. In general, evaluating gait patterns and the balanced distribution of pressure in the different points of the foot is fundamental in many cases.
Another branch is Orthopodology, which focuses on the use of supports and customised insoles for different types of deformities or anatomical alterations.
While Chiropodology, is the traditional or classic area of work of podiatrists since antiquity, responsible for the evaluation and treatment of alterations of the skin and nails. There are also several sub branches: pediatric, geriatric and sports.
In short, it is a more complex discipline that has developed a technical level and knowledge equivalent to other medical branches.
The reasons for consulting a podiatrist vary according to age:
In children, it is more common to consult for flat feet/valves, heel pain (thalalgias) and plantar warts.
It is different in adults:
In men, it is more frequent to consult for mycosis due to frequent use of sports shoes or industrial shoes (work reasons).
In women, structural alterations such as bunions, hammertoes, pes cavus, flat feet and calluses caused by the use of inappropriate footwear are more frequent.
In the elderly: it is considered that 20 to 40% present alterations in the feet keratopathies: nail dystrophies, corns and keratosis.
They also present bone deformities: bunions, digital alterations and muscular alterations such as pronounced feet. They also frequently consult for painful disorders that have multiple causes.
There is a population considered to be at high risk, which should visit the chiropodist regularly for treatment and prevention of injuries:
- People with arthritis: whether it is rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or gout.
- Diabetes: 25% have foot problems, which can be seriously complicated if not treated. They must maintain proper hygiene and take a series of preventive measures.
- Neurological diseases, especially for walking and muscle disorders.
- People with circulatory diseases.
Frequent Chiropodology treatments:
Helomas or corns: which are areas of hyperkeratosis or well circumscribed calluses. They are produced by excessive rubbing, usually by rigid or inflexible shoes or also by some slight gait disorder that must be corrected. They can be soft or hard. Initial stages are easily removed by the chiropodist.
Evaluation of the heloma and removal of the callus
Evaluation of the footprint by means of biomechanical studies, and in some cases templates are needed.
Interdigital helioma: it is a callus that comes out between the toes, it is very painful, and it occurs because of using narrow tip shoes or because of some bony prominence, which causes constant friction at that level. The chiropodist solves the problem by removing the heeloma and giving recommendations for footwear or silicone splints if necessary.
Dryness and fissures of the feet.
Warts or papillomas: these are small tumours of viral origin, totally benign, sometimes with thickened skin around them simulating a callus. They can occur at any age, but are frequent in children and are often acquired in public swimming pools or showers. They have a rounded and rough appearance, with small spots on their surface. They are usually more painful than corns. There are many types of local treatment, which is why the chiropodist, after evaluation, selects the best treatment according to the location and type of skin.
Tinea pedis or athlete’s foot, fungal infections, are very common.
Sweating disorders: hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) or bromhidrosis (bad smell from the feet). In both circumstances, the podiatrist, after a correct diagnosis, implements the treatment and preventive measures for each case.
Blisters, ulcers or wounds
Tinea unguium or onychomycosis
- The podiatrist can help with the diagnosis by taking samples and cultures.
- Topical or surgical treatment.
Onychocryptosis or ingrown nails – where the edge of the nail fits into the surrounding skin. They are very painful and may resolve completely.
Nail thickening or onychodystrophy.
Pathology of the fingers
Digital claw or claw deformity, which is often associated with other forefoot deformities. The treatment of which is special orthoses or insoles, with silicone rings.
Other deformities: 5th varus and clinodactyly: different deviations of the fingers, which can be treated with specialized orthotic products after a previous revision by the podiatrist.
Hallux valgus or bunion: the only effective treatment is surgery. After surgical treatment, further examination by the podiatrist is required for specific plantar supports and silicone protectors. In addition to adapting special post-surgical shoes until recovery.
Open foot: widening of the forefoot with pain at the base of the toes, weakness of the ligaments.
Morton’s Neuromas: is a thickening of the interdigital nerve, between the third and fourth toe, due to compression. There is part of the surgical treatment and another orthopodologic treatment.
Plantar fasciitis and thalalgias (heel pain).
Flatfoot, cavus, clubfoot, equinus.
Our Professional Team can help you solve your foot problems.
At the San Román Clinic we are experts in the comprehensive treatment of the foot and we have been in Alicante for more than 35 years carrying out surgical treatments of the feet. Do not hesitate to contact us on the following telephone numbers: (+34) 965 921 156 / 965 922 105 by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, by means of our web contact form or our online chat.