Health and Fitness Professionals we often work with
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If you have found this blog post by clicking on a link in the podipedia.co.uk conditions section then you can look below at the list of health and fitness professionals who regularly work closely with Podiatrists to find out more about what each of them does.
As the UK’s leading professionals in all things foot and ankle, Podiatrists have the pleasure of working with many other health and fitness professionals on a regular basis.
If you work in one of the fields below, why not guide your clients to podipedia.co.uk to help them find an expert Podiatrist near them?
Click on the healthcare professional you would like to know more about.
A GP is a doctor who is trained in General Practice. GPs form the backbone of healthcare in the UK. You should be registered with a GP so that you can access health care and services that you may need.
Many GPs send patients with foot problems to see a Podiatrist and the Podiatrist will often feed back to the GP with their findings. Your GP is also the first person a Podiatrist will usually contact if they are concerned about any aspects of your health which are out of our scope of practice to treat.
Physiotherapists focus on restoring and maintaining people’s health, mobility and function when they are affected by disability, injury or illness. Within physiotherapy, there are sub specialities.
The most common type of Physiotherapists that we interact with in Podiatry are probably Musculoskeletal (MSK) Physiotherapists. They may liaise with us to help manage patients knee, hip and back problems for example, and similarly, Podiatrists will often refer to Physiotherapists to offer their patients a multidisciplinary approach to their problems.
There is cross over with the work Podiatrists and Physiotherapists do on the foot and ankle, however the range of foot and ankle problems physiotherapists treat is far less than we manage in Podiatry.
Much like Podiatrists, Physiotherapists have the opportunity to learn many specialist skills and earn additional qualifications such as independent prescribing.
There are many different types and sub specialities of nurses.
The most common type of nurses we interact with in Podiatry are district nurses and practice nurses. District nurses are usually based in community health centres or GP surgeries and travel to patient’s homes to attend to their medical needs. Practice nurses tend to work in a GP surgery.
Nurses are highly skilled medical professionals and the range of assessments and treatments they carry out, as well as the scope of conditions that they manage is constantly rising.
The largest cross over with Podiatry is probably focused on ulcer and wound care and diabetes.
A Podiatric Surgeon is an experienced Podiatrist who has gone on to study surgery of the foot, ankle and associated structures to the highest levels.
They are experts in the surgical management of podiatric problems and can also draw on their experience as Podiatrists to help in the appropriate management of the conditions they treat.
They will often refer to Podiatrists for non surgical treatments and similarly Podiatrists will refer to them as appropriate.
An Orthopaedic Surgeon is a doctor who has specialised in the surgical management of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and other associated structures.
Some generalise, but others specialise in specific areas of the body. In Podiatry, we often see patients who have been under foot, ankle, knee and hip surgeons and want advice on possible foot orthoses (insoles).
Orthotists / Prosthetists are allied health professionals who assess patients with illnesses and disabilities. They design and prescribe orthotic medical devices such as braces and splints, and prosthetic devices such as prosthetic limbs for amputees.
This profession is extremely broad and many practitioners are very creative with the things they can do.
Podiatrists often work closely with Orthotists in helping patients with prescription footwear, braces and callpiers.
Occupational Therapists are health professionals who specialise in assessing and helping people maintain activities of daily living as well as other activities in their lifestyles.
Some Podiatry patients may have had contact with an Occupational Therapist in their home or in a health centre setting for help, advice and if needed, adjustments to their home such as hand rails to help improve safety and keep them mobile.
Dermatologists are doctors who have specialised in the diagnosis and management of conditions of the skin, nail and hair as well as other associated tissues.
Podiatrists will often refer to a Dermatologist for diagnosis and management of skin or nail conditions if we are concerned about them, or they are beyond our scope of practice to treat.
An Osteopath specialises in the management of bone, joint and soft tissue problems and the spine, amongst other things.
Similarly to Osteopaths, Chiropractors specialise in bones, joints and the soft tissues. There seems to be more focus on purely the spine and pelvis in Chiropractics.
There are significant difference in the training and in many of the techniques used by Osteopaths and Chiropractors which we are not best placed to discuss, however if you have a look at the respective professional bodies, you can find out more information.
Both professions often refer patients to see Podiatrists due to, for example chronic back pain which may be coming from the way the person runs or walks and many Podiatrists in the UK have great working relationships with Osteopaths and Chiropractors.
Radiographers are health professionals who specialise in imaging human anatomy using radiation based techniques such as X-ray to help with diagnosis and treatment.
There will be more information about types of imaging used in podiatry on a post we will be publishing soon.
A Sonographer uses ultrasound techniques to image human anatomy to help with diagnosis and treatment. More and more Podiatrists are becoming trained in how to use these techniques so that they can offer ultrasound scanning and ultrasound guided techniques such as injections in clinic.
A radiologist is a medical doctor who specialises in diagnosis and treatment of conditions based on a multitude of imaging techniques available to them. They will work closely with Radiographers and Sonographers as well as all other health professionals.
There are many different massage and sports massage qualifications available in the UK so it is a good idea to check the individual’s qualifications and professional accreditations as appropriate.
Massage therapists use a variety of techniques to help improve the function and healing of soft tissues.
Often massage and sports massage therapists will refer patients to Podiatrists if the patient has a foot or ankle problem which needs further assessment, or if they have issues that may be related to gait (the way you walk or run) or their foot and lower limb mechanics.
Personal trainers create and help people complete training plans based around improving fitness and health, amongst other things.
Personal trainers will often refer patients with foot and ankle problems to Podiatrists, and similarly, Podiatrist will recommend a personal trainer if they have a patient who need help improving their fitness and health and want to work on fitness and exercise training.
Sports coaches tend to have qualifications specific to the sports or activity they coach, for example a tennis coach, football coach or rugby coach. Because the people they coach may become injured, many of them know a Podiatrist who they can refer to.
Hopefully this post has some useful information on it for you. Many of these professions have their own governing bodies and professional regulation, so searching for these online will enable you to find out more.
Keep your feet healthy,
The PodiPedia Team