Podiatry is officially defined as the branch of medicine that deals with treating, studying, and preventing medical conditions in the feet and ankles. This means that, if you have any sort of problem with your foot or ankle, your family doctor or general practitioner should recommend you to a podiatrist.

A Brief History of Podiatry

The treatment of foot problems has been around since the time of the Pharaohs. The Greek physician Hippocrates, known as “The Father of Western Medicine”, saw and recognized the need to take care of foot problems. Several notable people over the centuries have had their own podiatrists, including kings of France, Napoleon, and Abraham Lincoln. Podiatrists were originally called chiropodists. A society dealing with the study of podiatry was established in New York in 1895, and in 1911, the first school was opened to train physicians who wished to learn podiatry.

When Podiatry can help you

If you have any painful or annoying medical problems in your feet, ankles, or lower leg, a podiatrist can diagnose and treat it either surgically or non-surgically. They can also administer anesthesia, prescribe medication, set fractures, do physical therapy, and conduct x-rays or MRIs. It is a huge branch in the medical field and podiatrists help thousands of people with every conceivable problem in their feet, ankles, and lower legs.

A few Specific Branches of Podiatry

-Sport podiatry – Specialists in this category of podiatry do many things for the care and upkeep of the feet and ankles of professional, elite, amateur, and young athletes. They help keep the joints mobilized, treat sports injuries, rehabilitate and exercise the lower extremities of the limbs, and even prescribe the best footwear to wear for maximum performance and the healthiest feet and legs.

-Podopediatrics – This sub-specialty of podiatry deals with treating and preventing problems with children’s feet and ankles. The bones of young children are more delicate and flexible than those of adults, and it is vital to treat any deformities or irregularities they have in their skeletal system as soon as possible.

– Dermatological Podiatry – In this branch of podiatry, problems related to the skin of the feet and ankle are dealt with.

-Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Surgery – After a serious accident or other trauma, if there are brutal injuries in the foot or ankle, a specialist in reconstructive podiatry will be needed.

-Forensic Podiatry – Podiatrists don’t always work with medical problems. In forensic podiatry, they are involved in crime scene investigations and are called upon to examine footprints, footwear, feet, and shoeprints found at the site.