Foot care can take many forms. For example, therapeutic massages, callus debridement and Shockwave treatments are all types of foot care. Chiropodists offer a wide range of foot care. Let’s look into the world of foot care and why foot care is essential.
What is foot care?
Foot care is a term used to describe any treatment that helps to heal a condition that creates pain or discomfort. These ailments can be related to bones, joints, internal soft tissue, skin, and nails. Depending on the area affected, treatment may consist of manipulating the patient’s foot or prescribing medication. But that’s not all: a chiropodist can also treat pathologies with orthotics.
The most common chiropodist treatments
When a patient’s condition lends itself to it, chiropodists favour non-invasive care. Physical foot care, such as rehabilitation exercises or manual therapies, is the most widely spread treatment. However, there are times when medication is required. This information is particularly accurate for skin and nail infections, lesions, or pain relief. This treatment can be combined with debridement (removing dead tissue) or nail care (filing and cutting).
Physical foot care
Manual therapy is part of physical foot care that a chiropodist offers to relieve pain and restore the musculoskeletal structure. This treatment is provided when a patient suffers from a dislocation of the ulna bone or a sprain. It is also effective in helping to soften the tissues, which makes it an excellent method to relieve plantar fasciitis or tendonitis. The application of a therapeutic tape often accompanies these manipulations. Several types of therapeutic tapings are used for a patient’s recovery or as a preventive measure (e.g. to protect the feet of athletes). These foot tapes relieve pressure on overworked areas of the foot to allow for proper recovery. They help stabilize the foot and improve blood circulation. Finally, physical foot care includes rehabilitation exercises and stretches prescribed by chiropodists. These exercises are essential to prolonging the effects of the healthcare professional’s manipulations and should be performed by the patient at home regularly.
Pharmacological foot care
Chiropodists are professionals authorized to prescribe medication. A patient suffering from severe pain following an injury, inflammation or surgery may benefit from analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, treating certain conditions may require the application of antifungal creams and ointments, which will prevent the spread of infection, which is the case for diseases such as nail fungus, caused by a fungus on the nail. Medicated creams also reduce damaged tissue inflammation and prevent or cure infections. Infected ingrown toenails, poorly treated ulcers, or plantar warts can be treated by applying them to the skin or taking them orally.
The chiropodist can offer a cortisone injection for patients with pain resistant to previous treatments. However, this treatment requires that the patient be eligible for it and undergo a complete podiatric assessment, sometimes including X-rays and ultrasounds. Diabetic foot care requires extra attention; Why do people with diabetes need foot care? If a foot is injured, it can be difficult to heal. A wound that does not heal well should be the subject of a consultation. The healthcare professional can then advise the patient on what painkillers or antibiotics to take for remission. Diabetic foot care should not be taken lightly, as foot problems can lead to more severe consequences.
Orthopedic foot care
Orthopedic foot care is designed to correct the biomechanics of the foot. In the long term, the benefits of orthopedic foot care impact back and leg pain, which can be reduced or eliminated. These foot care treatments will target the alignment of the joints and work on the musculoskeletal structure of the foot and lower limbs. An ankle that has been sprained, for example, can be supported in its recovery with a splint.
Custom-made orthotics are an important part of the orthopedic care package. People who suffer from foot deformities or soft tissue inflammation can accelerate their healing by wearing custom foot orthotics. Orthotics are easily slipped into the shoe and adapt perfectly to the patient’s morphology. They mitigate stress, adjust the alignment of the foot bones, and absorb impact, allowing the patient to remain active during the healing process. Orthopedic shoes are also available. Their role is like that of custom orthotics. They can be adapted for workers who must stand for long periods, athletes, and even people who want comfortable street shoes.
Chiropodists are trained to perform minor surgery on the foot’s soft tissues. Corns can form on areas of the foot that are under pressure. Not very annoying at first, they can become uncomfortable and even painful if left unattended. Calluses are also problematic but occupy a larger surface area. A visit to the chiropodist can help you get rid of them and get advice on caring for your feet to prevent them from forming again. Finally, a foot care professional can take care of your nails. Nails can be deformed and thickened by infection (called nail fungus). Nail issues can be difficult to care for yourself. Filing can be done in a clinic, as well as an appropriate treatment to thicken the nail and prevent it from breaking.
Meet with a chiropodist for foot care
It’s essential to keep your feet healthy! You do not need to be referred by a doctor to benefit from a chiropodist consultation. If your feet or ankles are hurting, simply contact the FootNetwork clinic nearest you to make an appointment. A general practitioner is the best resource for your overall health needs. However, a chiropodist is still the go-to professional for problems related to your feet. Whether for skin care, pain, injury, or deformity, a chiropodist knows to assess your condition and prescribe treatment. In the case of rehabilitation or fractures, the chiropodist may involve another healthcare professional (such as a physiotherapist) to complete the treatment plan.