What is Chiropody and Foot Health Care?
A visit to a chiropodist or foot health professional can alleviate discomfort of many foot disorders.
The foot is a complex structure, consisting of 26 bones, supported by a network of ligaments, muscles and tendons.
Everyday abuse, long periods of standing, wearing shoes which restrict the movement, or which do not support the foot, combined with fashion for heeled shoes and hereditary factors all contribute to foot problems.
Many foot problems can be prevented with correct footwear and regular care. Our feet too often, get neglected... until they start to hurt!
What can we treat?
CORNS Symptoms: These commonly develop upon prominent joints, such as the toes and the ball of the foot (due to a dropped metatarsal). Soft corns (heloma molle) can appear between the toes. Corns are often described as feeling like walking on a stone.
Treatments: Ensure there is room in the shoe to take away pressure from the part. The use of acid treatments is not recommended. Application of surgical spirit or vinegar may help ease a soft corn. A visit to the chiropodist is recommended for removal of the corn.
VERRUCA Symptoms: Often mistaken for corns, these can appear anywhere on the foot and may be flat or raised. They may have little blacks dots (blood vessels) visible. They are a papilloma virus and are usually caught when the skin is moist and wet i.e. swimming pools. It can give a sharp pain which shoots through the foot, but sometimes are symptom free. A verruca will often disappear of its own accord, but this may take several years.
Treatments: Application of a caustic solution such as Salicylic acid may be used if there is no impairment of circulation or neuropathy of the foot (i.e. diabetes). Using neat tea tree oil, Thuja tincture or application of duct tape is useful for young children. Cover the area with a pad or collodion to prevent cross infection. Cryotherapy may be used to freeze the verruca.
CRACKED HEELS Symptoms: These most often occur on the heels, during the warmer months. 'A bit like a muddy field that dries up and cracks' Partly due to the dry weather or lack of moisture in the skin, but also wearing sling back sandals creates a 'slap' effect with each step, also being overweight can create more strain for the foot in general.
Treatments: Keep the feet moisturised to enable flexibility of the skin. Use a 'foot file' to reduce the hard skin. Be aware of cracks, to prevent infection gaining entry. Regular chiropody treatment will help to maintain condition of your feet.
ATHLETES FOOT. Symptoms: A fungal infection, 'Tinea', the first signs of which often occurs between the toes, with a moist white appearance. However, it can occur anywhere on the foot and may spread to the nails. It may cause itchiness around the area, but may be symptom free. If the nails are affected, they often look yellowish or brown with thickening or crumbling of the nail.
Treatments: If slight, applications of tea tree oil may be sufficient. Application of Athletes foot cream such as Daktarin or Lamisil can be very effective. If the nails are affected, nail clippings should be sent for analysis. Footwear should also be treated, to prevent re-infection.
Going for treatment
Appointments take around 30 minutes, your medical & general health will be recorded, and an initial treatment will help to provide, in most instances, immediate relief.
Prescription orthotics may also be recommended to assist with the proper function of the foot and body alignment or we may recommend you to receive a biomechanical assessment and custom made orthotics... when your feet hurt, you hurt all over
How many treatments will I need?
This very much depends on the individual, a corn may be removed in one session, whereas a verruca may need a course of 5-6 treatments and recurring problems can be helped with regular maintenance along with palliative care. Unless the cause of the problem is established and dealt with, many conditions will return.
Many people come at regular intervals to maintain the condition of their feet, whereas some prefer to come only when they are experiencing pain.
What will it all cost?
The initial cost of chiropody is £38.00 and follow up treatments are £33.00.