An important part of healthcare is podiatric medicine such as you find somewhere like the Ivanhoe podiatry centre. It treats any illness, infection, pain or injury that happens to the lower leg, ankle and feet, though commonly they are called foot doctors. Some of the more common concerns they help with include Achilles tendonitis, flat foot, diabetes foot problems, heel pain, arthritis and plantar fasciitis. A podiatrist has gone through years of training and then specialisation so they are the exact people you should talk to when there is something wrong with those areas.
How do people become a podiatrist?
In order to become a podiatrist in Australia, also known as a chiropodist, a person needs to complete either an undergraduate podiatry degree or a degree that is related such as a Bachelor of Health and then major in Podiatry. If they already have an undergraduate degree you could do a master’s in Podiatry. From there they might then specialise further in children, foot surgery, or orthopedics for example. Some work in hospitals and government agencies but a lot work privately.
Finding an expert
Depending on where you are, finding a podiatrist might be harder than you would imagine. While there are more in main cities and larger towns, there are fewer in rural areas. Compared to a skin or a heart doctor, a foot doctor is more rare. However, there are more than there used to be as demand grows. One thing that has added to that demand is the increase in obesity. People who are obese have more foot problems, they are more likely to be diabetic and have foot problems for that reason, and they suffer from carrying more weight too. An Ivanhoe podiatry expert can help. While there are some things you can deal with yourself, and some that your GP can help you with, in certain situations having access to a good podiatrist is important.
Treatments depend on the condition and patient
How people are treated depends on the specialist, the cause of the problem, their medical history and more. At somewhere like East Ivanhoe podiatry centre you can see a professional who will be able to very accurately diagnose you, and then be more able to treat you successfully. In some situations a medication might be appropriate, a pill, a cream, and in others custom shoes might be needed. They often also will prescribe certain types of exercises and stretches, give pads, braces or splints or other supports as needed, refer patients if they need it or use physical manipulation such as physical therapy or massage.
If you have found several Ivanhoe podiatry experts then visit them and see which you are more comfortable with. It is always easier to see your doctor and listen to their advice when you are comfortable talking to them. Look for modern rooms and equipment, friendly staff and check they have a good reputation. The internet is a great place to do some homework and ask some important questions.