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When to visit a podiatrist and when to visit a physiotherapist?

  • Added: 23.04.2024   |   804 readings / views

There are several fields focused on care for our feet that can be crucial in dealing with various problems. Podiatrists and physiotherapists are the most frequently sought after specialisations. But when should we visit a podiatrist and when should we see a physiotherapist? And what do the two fields actually involve? Let's take a look at it together. 

Podiatry as specialised foot care

Don't confuse podiatry with paediatrics. While paediatrics is the science or study of medical care for children, podiatry deals with problems with our feet. For many, podiatry is not a familiar term, but for those suffering from foot pain or deformities, it can be a crucial medical discipline. Podiatry is a discipline that focuses exclusively on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pathologies in the lower limbs. These includes a wide range of problems such as bunions, hammertoes, pain in the legs and feet, swollen feet and other deformities and problems.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialise in treating foot conditions and can provide comprehensive care, ranging from diagnosis to surgical treatment. They are trained to identify the causes of pain and discomfort in the feet and design individual treatment plans to meet the needs of each patient.

When to see a podiatrist?

If you suffer from pain or have any concerns about your legs and feet, it is advisable to see a podiatrist. This is especially true in cases of specific problems, such as the aforementioned bunions and other deformities, or persistent pain or repetitive strain injuries. A podiatrist can carry out a thorough examination, diagnose the problem and suggest appropriate treatment, which may also involve working with a physiotherapist, such as for a course of physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy helps with musculoskeletal recovery

Physiotherapy is a non-medical health discipline that focuses on helping the body's musculoskeletal system to recover, improving overall mobility and function, helping patients return to normal life or sport after an injury, or, for example, ensuring the smooth course of pregnancy, childbirth and the time immediately after birth.

Physiotherapy includes a variety of therapeutic approaches and methods such as exercises, manipulation, massage, kinesiotaping and others that aim to relieve pain, improve muscle and joint strength, flexibility and function, and promote overall health and well-being through movement. Physiotherapy is often recommended for people with various types of pain and problems, including those related to the legs and feet. Physiotherapy takes a comprehensive approach to the musculoskeletal system. Podiatry, on the other hand, focuses purely on the feet.

When to visit a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapy is often recommended for people suffering from various types of pain, especially in the legs and feet. If you have general mobility problems, weak muscles or need to recover after an injury, a physiotherapist can provide an appropriate course of therapy. Physiotherapists are able to assess your needs and design therapy to meet your individual goals and needs.

Collaboration between podiatrists and physiotherapists

It is important to note that collaboration between podiatrists and physiotherapists can be very beneficial for patients with different types of problems. Combining the medical expertise of a podiatrist with the therapeutic approaches of a physiotherapist can provide comprehensive foot and leg care and ensure a more effective outcome from treatment.

When deciding between seeing a podiatrist and a physiotherapist, it is important to consider the nature of your problems and needs. A podiatrist is the ideal choice for specific foot and leg problems, while a physiotherapist may be the best choice for mobility issues as well as helping to prevent injury. In some cases, it may be beneficial to use the services of both professionals to achieve the best treatment or therapy results. It will not be a mistake to see either of them, as each expert can refer you to the appropriate specialist. 

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