Podiatry is an area of medicine dedicated to the study, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the feet, ankle and lower limb. It includes diagnosis, prevention and treatment of such disorders as arthritis, bursitis, hammer toe, calluses, corns and calluses, hammer foot, gout, impetigo, podositis, psoriatic arthritis, rhinitis, stiffness, soreness and swelling of the legs, feet, or ankles. Podiatry also treats conditions such as fractures of the bones, sports injuries, fractures of the wrist and fingers, and nerve injuries. The patient who has a disability which limits him/her from performing ordinary or daily activities may seek the help of a podiatrist for the diagnosis, management, treatment and correction of such conditions.
Some of the typical disorders that podiatry deals with are pain in the foot caused by calluses or corns, foot problems such as flat foot, high arched feet, hammer toes, high heels, orthotic devices, foot deformities, foot surgery, foot deformities due to genetic disorders, foot abnormalities related to aging, plantar fasciitis, plantar warts, ingrown toenails, patellar arthrombosis, patellar tendonitis, rash around the heel, sciatica, nerve damage, nerve injuries and fracture. podiatry doctors also treat conditions related to the neurological system such as stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, head injuries, whiplash, head injuries resulting from sports accidents and falls, eye problems, vision problems, ear infections, sinusitis, ear infections, meniere’s disease, migraines, thyroid dysfunction, chronic pain, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis, kidney problems and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Podiatry also treats neurological disorders related to the gastrointestinal tract and reproductive organs such as endometriosis, infertility, gall bladder disease, uterine prolapsed, chronic diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, infertility and pelvic pain. Podiatry doctors can diagnose and treat many of these conditions as well as a variety of neuromuscular and circulatory disorders. Podiatry can provide essential rehabilitation services to patients who have been physically injured or sickened.
To become certified as a podiatrist, you need to complete a two-year undergraduate degree at an accredited university and two years of graduate medical training at an approved Podiatry School. You will also need to complete a test that will evaluate your cognitive, motor and sensory skills. In addition to attending the Podiatry School, you will need to participate in a year of supervised experience at a regional or national Podiatry Show. These shows will allow you to network with other podiatrists and gain knowledge from other podiatry doctors. After completing this extensive course of study and becoming a licensed Podiatrist, you will be able to treat virtually all of the musculoskeletal conditions listed above.
There are a few things you should consider before choosing a Podiatry school. Make sure the Podiatry School you choose has several years of experience providing hands-on surgery and that they have board certifications which verify their competence. You may want to consider if the Podiatry School has had success in creating a program of continuing education to help continue to educate their practitioners on the latest surgical techniques. Finally, make sure the podiatry school has been accredited by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine. After you have attended the podiatry school and gained admission, you will then need to attend a week of intensive physical therapy, followed by a week of laboratory work and a final exam before you are given a license to practice.
The goal of a successful career as a podiatrist is to alleviate pain and suffering, restore mobility and function, prevent injury and disease and correct deformities. Podiatry doctors play a vital role in the treatment of those who suffer from a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders. A person who has completed an accredited Podiatry degree is qualified to diagnose, treat and prevent injury or disease in almost all areas of the body. A person with a Podiatry degree is qualified to perform non-surgical therapeutic procedures like nerve root blocks, endoscopic foot diagnosis, prophylaxis of intervertebral disk disease, sclerotherapy, orthopedic procedures, arthroscopic surgery, mammography, orthopedic laser treatment, elective surgeries, vascular laser, rheumatoid laser, shunt technique, VASER surgery, chemosurgery and more.