Chiropody (also termed podiatry) is that part of medical science which is concerned with the health of the feet. Its practitioners are specialists capable of providing a fully comprehensive foot-health service. This includes the palliation of established deformities and dysfunction, both as short-term treatment for immediate relief of painful symptoms and as long-term management to secure optimum results. This requires the backing of eﬀective appliances and footwear services. It also involves curative foot-care, including the use of various therapeutic techniques, including minor surgery and the prescription and provision of specialised and individual appliances.
Among conditions routinely treated are walking disorders in children, injuries to the feet of joggers and athletes, corns, bunions and hammer toes, ulcers and foot infections. Chiropody also has a preventative role which includes inspection of children’s feet and the detection of foot conditions requiring treatment and advice and also foot-health education. The chiropodist is trained to recognise medical conditions which manifest themselves in the feet, such as circulatory disorders, DIABETES MELLITUS and diseases causing ulceration.
The only course of training in the United Kingdom recognised for the purpose of state registration by the Health Professionals Council is the Society of Chiropodists’ three-year full-time course. The course includes instruction and examination in the relevant aspects of anatomy and physiology, local analgesia, medicine and surgery, as well as in podology and therapeutics. The Council holds the register of podiatrists. (See APPENDIX 2: ADDRESSES: SOURCES OF INFORMATION, ADVICE, SUPPORT AND SELFHELP.)