What is a Podiatrist and What Does a Podiatrist Do?
Podiatry’s existence dates back to 2400 BC in ancient Egypt: in fact, the first foot doctors are thought to have served under Pharaoh Ankmahor. Hippocrates, an ancient Greek philosopher, was the first to write of the importance of podiatric care and invented a tool to remove corns and calluses from the bottom of his feet. Throughout history, podiatric medicine has been utilized by remarkable leaders of nations—Napoleon and Abraham Lincoln are both said to have sought medical attention from foot specialists, known then as chiropodists—though the practice wasn’t formally recognized by organized medicine until the early twentieth century. Like most other medicine, podiatry has evolved through the centuries and looks very different today than it did in its beginning. Foot doctors, like the ones at The Foot and Ankle Center in St. Louis, MO wear many different hats—or rather, many different shoes.
What is Podiatry?
Podiatric medicine encompasses a range of diagnoses and treatments, but essentially, is the branch of medicine dedicated to the care and keeping of feet and ankles. Because these parts of our bodies are so important but often go neglected when it comes to proper care, podiatrists are here to help us learn about the conditions that affect feet and help us treat those conditions when our feet just aren’t at their healthiest.
How Can Podiatrist Doctor Help Me?
Foot doctors serve several different functions in the realm of podiatry. At Maryland Podiatry Center, our staff is highly trained and dedicated to serving you in the following ways:
- As physicians: A podiatrist’s first and perhaps most urgent role is to be the help you seek when you experience pain in your feet or ankles. Any sort of pain or discomfort in the feet is abnormal and should be brought to the attention of a doctor. A podiatrist will be able to diagnose your condition, treat your pain, and offer helpful advice on how to prevent its return. For more chronic conditions, further action may become necessary.
- As surgeons: Podiatric medicine isn’t just about minor foot ailments. Many podiatrists are also licensed surgeons and are able to perform procedures to treat more chronic conditions that occur in the feet, like Morton’s Neuroma, a disorder that causes nerve pain in the forefoot.
- As educators: Last, but certainly not least, your podiatrist is the most valuable source of information about foot care and health. They can perform general wellness exams and make you more aware of your own foot structure, which can help you plan a fitness regimen for your feet. Caring for your feet is essential to a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to recognize the signs and symptoms of serious foot conditions.
Start walking toward a better future. Call (314) 487-9300 and schedule an appointment at The Foot and Ankle Center today.