There seems to be much confusion as to the difference between a chiropodist and podiatrist in the UK and according to both The College of Podiatry and the NHS; there’s no difference between a podiatrist and chiropodist, but podiatrist is a more modern name.
What do chiropodists and podiatrists treat?
Chiropodists/podiatrists are health professionals fully trained to diagnose, treat, prevent and rehabilitate abnormal conditions of the feet and lower limbs. In effect they help to keep people mobile and active by relieving pain and treating infection. Chiropodists/ podiatrists will treat people of all ages and in many different situations.
Common ailments that can be treated by chiropodists/podiatrists:
Fungal infections • In-growing toenails • Corns • Calluses • Bunions • Verruca’s • Athlete’s foot • Dry and cracked heels •Flat feet • Heel pain • Blisters • Gout • Sports injuries
Where do chiropodists and podiatrists work from?
- Health Centres
- GP Surgeries
- Their own private practice
- Home visits
How do you know if your chiropodist/podiatrist is qualified?
Anyone who calls themselves a podiatrist or chiropodist must register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). They must have a podiatry degree recognised by the HCPC which will have taken between 3 and 4 years to complete.
They could also be a member of three separate organisations in the UK:
- The Society of chiropodists and podiatrists
- The Institute of chiropodists and podiatrists
- British Chiropody and Podiatry Association
What happens when you visit a chiropodist/podiatrist?
At your first visit the chiropodist/podiatrist will take a full medical history and do basic tests such as checking the circulation of your blood and feeling in your feet. They could also check the way you walk and movement in your lower leg joint. Following discussions about your concerns they will make a diagnosis and provide a treatment plan. The first visit to a chiropodist could be anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes and is usually painless.
What is the cost of seeing a chiropodists/podiatrist?
The price of a private chiropodist/podiatrist will vary depending on where you live, the experience of your chiropodist and the length of treatment that you need. The price of your treatment should be available to you either online or in the surgery.
Some private practices also offer additional foot care treatments such as warm wax treatment or a therapeutic leg massage which help to make the whole experience an enjoyable. The cost of extra treatments should again be established prior to booking.