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Top tips for safe foot care and treatment

foot-health

Our feet go through a lot. It’s important to care for them from birth and throughout each phase of your life, whether you are a fitness fanatic, a busy professional or enjoying retirement.

It’s just as important to make sure that your foot healthcare or treatment is undertaken by a registered practitioner who you can trust to care for and treat your feet safely.

Who should treat me?

Imagine foot healthcare as a range of treatments on a spectrum. Simple tasks like corn removals sit at one end, while something more complex and invasive, such as the treatment of an infected wound would sit at the other end. 

Similarly, the professionals who work in foot healthcare will be qualified to perform different tasks on this spectrum.

Podiatrists and chiropodists can diagnose conditions and prescribe medication. They are also trained to deliver specialist treatment when it is needed.

Foot health practitioners work on a wide range of less specialist and invasive procedures, as well as observe general foot health. They will refer you to a podiatrist or chiropodist where necessary.

How do I know I am in safe hands?

That’s where the Professional Standards Authority can help. We oversee the work of the regulators which register professionals regulated by law, such as chiropodists and podiatrists.

We also run a Government-backed programme called Accredited Registers which lists professionals not regulated by law, such as foot health practitioners.

The most important thing to remember is to check that whoever is treating you is regulated or on an Accredited Register.

If anyone else offers you treatment, be aware that they may not be adequately trained.

 

Did you know?

Up to 10% of people in the UK will suffer from plantar fasciitis at some point during their lifetime [1]

Up to 10% of people with diabetes develop a foot ulcer at some point 

[2]

1/4 children in the UK wear poorly fitting shoes that could be damaging their feet

[3]

Here are our five top tips for making sure your feet are always in the best hands.

  1. Ask for a consultation and use this session to make sure you feel comfortable with the advice and care you’re given. If anything feels unprofessional, check who your practitioner is registered with (see below for the two main bodies which carry out this function). 
  2. Is the consulting room and all equipment clean and in good condition? Lack of hygiene in this environment can have repercussions for your health. 
  3. Foot problems can indicate or be caused by serious underlying medical conditions like diabetes – and can lead to major complications if left untreated. Make sure whoever treats you has the right expertise and skills. 
  4. If you believe your condition is not being treated appropriately, or has worsened over time, speak to your practitioner and make sure they are the right person to treat you. 
  5. Finally, don’t be nervous of asking your practitioner about their experience and for examples of similar cases that they have successfully treated. 

 

Check a practitioner on these Registers.

Run by the Alliance for Private Sector Practitioners which promotes foot health practitioners working in the private sector and supports safe delivery of service to the public through accredited registration, education, and skill-enhancement.

The Health and Care Professions Council is a UK-wide organisation which regulates health, psychological and care professionals including chiropodists and podiatrists. They set standards, hold a register, quality assure education and investigate complaints.