FAQs

Antrim Foot Clinic FAQs

What does a Podiatrist do?

Chiropodists or their more modern name of podiatrists, are doctors who specialise in the care and treatment of feet.  They treat everything from bothersome corns and callouses to fractures and infections related to diabetes.  Some podiatrists can prescribe medication, order x-rays and lab tests.  Other services they offer are the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower limb are qualified to treat people with arthritis, diabetes, nail surgery and sports injuries. They work with people of all ages but play a particularly important role in helping older people to stay mobile and therefore independent.

What is the difference between a Chiropodist and a Podiatrist?

Chiropodists or their more modern name of podiatrists, are doctors who specialise in the care and treatment of feet.  They treat everything from bothersome corns and callouses to fractures and infections related to diabetes.  Some podiatrists can prescribe medication, order x-rays and lab tests.  Other services they offer are the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower limb are qualified to treat people with arthritis, diabetes, nail surgery and sports injuries. They work with people of all ages but play a particularly important role in helping older people to stay mobile and therefore independent.

What are Biomechanical Assessments?

The Podiatrist carries out Biomechanical Assessments (the analysis of gait) to observe for any alterations in the optimum sequence of events between the foot, the lower limb, and the rest of the body during the walking (running, cycling, skiing etc) phase. Deviations from the ‘optimum’, can lead to heel pain, foot strain, ankle, knee, hip, lower back and neck pain.

What are Orthotics?

The Podiatrist prescribes and supplies orthotics, which correct any Biomechanical problems. These are prescription inserts for the shoes, which hold and place the foot in the correct position, giving control under the heel and arch of the foot. This stabilises thegait and can prevent the formation of corns and calluses, ankle sprains and knee, hip and back pain. Off-the-shelf devices are best prescribed by the Podiatrist, as they are not suitable for everyone, and may need some adjustments made

Do Podiatrists treat sports injuries?

The Podiatrist also treats various sports injuries with various therapies; muscle stretching exercises, strapping, advice for self-treatments, and orthotic prescription. Where necessary, referrals are made to Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Doctors.

Do Podiatrists carry out Nail Surgery?

The Podiatrist provides Nail Surgery for the individual with recurrent nail problems, infections and pain, due to the nail in-growing. This is a long-term solution carried out under a local anaesthetic.

What is the cause of most foot problems?

Shoes that don’t fit properly are the source of many foot problems – the higher the heel, the worse the problems tend to be. Slip-on shoes are one of the worst culprits, as they cause the foot to slide forward and cramp the toes. Worst of all are court shoes, as they are low-fronted, giving no support to the foot, and tend to be too narrow in the toe box. If you have foot problems, it is important to look at the cause, which is most likely to be your shoes. For frequent, everyday wear, choose a low-heeled shoe – no higher than 4cm – which has a rounded toe.

Are verrucae catching, and can I go swimming if I have one?

A verruca is a viral infection and can be picked up from coming into contact with the virus. To try and avoid catching one try not to come into contact with the changing room floor by wearing something like flip flops in the changing room and to the pool edge. If you already have a verruca, keep it covered. Verruca socks are available, which are slim fit rubber socks that prevent the virus being spread or picked up.

Do corns have roots?

A lot of people think that a corn has a root, and that you need to remove the root in order to get rid of the corn. This is not the case. A corn is simply made up of hard skin that occurs over a bony prominence such as a joint. It is usually the result of pressure or friction to the area. The central area of the corn that appears to go deeper into the toe, isn’t something growing from inside, but is where the area of pressure (usually from the shoe if it is on the toe) is greatest. The skin thickens as a result of too much pressure/trauma and makes it look like there is a core or root that needs removing.

Philip Kenny BSc(Hons) M.Ch.S.