Blog / What is a podiatrist or chiropodist?

It is a fact that people that play sport, whether it's professional or amateur experience a higher amount of foot related injuries. Jumping, sprinting, twisting and the impact of collisions serve to increase pressure on the foot by as a much as three to seven times body weight.


Chiropodists and podiatrists,  specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower limb and understand sports injuries.


Feet play an important role in the biomechanics of the body and problems here can manifest themselves as pain elsewhere. Chiropodists and podiatrists are specialists in biomechanics and through assessments and gait analysis they can identity problems and develop tailored treatment and rehabilitation strategies. 


In the UK there is no difference between the terms chiropodist and podiatrist.  In many other English-speaking countries, however, only the term ‘podiatrist’ is employed and this refers to the fully-trained professional. 


The terms chiropodist and podiatrist are protected terms meaning they can only be used by an individual registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) which regulates 16 different professions.


Each profession regulated by the HCPC has at least one professional body and/or association who do work such as promoting the profession, education and training, representing members and continuing professional development. For example the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (IOCP) was formed in 1955 having been renamed from the former organisation est. 1938. It's members have to adhere to a strict code of professional conduct providing greater peace of mind as to who you are seeing. 


When this article was discussed with the IOCP they provided the following comment.

"It is a priority of the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists that our members adhere to our code of conduct and that we are able to provide our members with the support they require, through ongoing training, peer discussion and education to continue their professional development. Ensuring that the latest treatments and the greatest care is being provided. It is also our mission to inform the public and sportspeople of ways in which podiatrists can provide treatment and information on all medical problems of the feet, as well as showing ways to manage foot health and how to prevent common problems or injury."


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