Podiatric Biomechanics & Chiropody
I am often asked the question, and the answer is that Podiatrist is the most recent title for a Chiropodist and it reﬂects the increase in both the scope of practice and training, from Diploma level to the current Bsc Hons Degree.
These days the title Chiropodist is used more often than not by clinicians carrying out traditional treatments such as nail cutting, callus removal, ingrowing toe removal and corn removal. Podiatrists tend to have a greater scope of practice relating to disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity and often have a specialist interest in one area in particular such as surgery, wound management, biomechanics and diabetes.
I myself, chose to specialise in surgery, before persuing a career in Biomechanics. In Podiatry, we use an understanding of clinical Biomechanics and musco - skeletal medicine to diagnose and treat pain and pathologies of the lower limb and foot. For instance, an abnormal stance or “gait” (walking pattern) can be the cause of recurrent postural problems and discomfort. These commonly include hip, knee, ankle and foot pain. This is not surprising as our feet take loads of up to 2 1/2 times our body weight, with up to 1,500 impacts per mile! Any malalignment of the lower limb, whether structural or acquired can, and will bring about pathological change. This change can be a simple as foot callus or as complex as hip and back pain, found to be negative on X Ray, but still extremely painful for the patient.
All my patients go through the same process during consultation, whether the issue is chronic (been present for a long time) or acute (very recent traumas etc) A thorough history is taken; a note of any medications (these can affect balance), a physical examination of the relevant musco skeletal system, evaluation of the cardio vascular systems, together with the sensory and motor reﬂex systems. Gait is viewed and often recorded for illustrative purposes. The aim is to achieve a diagnosis, formulate a treatment pathway and provide a guide on the long term prognosis. In some cases the condition can only be managed and some may require surgical intervention or investigation by X Ray or MRI. Where required I make these referrals.
Clinic appointments are available at Milborne Port and Poundbury, Dorchester.
Tel: (01935) 872588