Podiatrist and Foot Doctor – What Is the Difference?

A Podiatrist is one of a group of doctors called general practitioners. They are licensed by the American Podiatric Medical Association and have been practicing for almost thirty years. Podiatry or podiatrist medicine is a field of medicine dedicated to the field of foot, ankle and lower limb orthopedic disorders. They treat patients of all ages but primarily to treat people who have orthopedic problems.

The most common disorders treated by a Podiatrist include: Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Paget’s Signs, Bursitis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Stressful Arthritis, Meningitis, and Infections. Most of these conditions will improve on their own, while some will need immediate care from a Podiatrist. Pain, numbness and swelling are the main indications of these disorders. The initial tests that a Podiatrist will perform will include x-rays, lab tests, and diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the pain, numbness and swelling. If it is found that there is a medical problem, the Podiatrist will prescribe pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve the pain. The podiatrist may recommend surgery if there is a problem with the nerves or structural damage to the bone that is causing the pain.

Some podiatrists specialize in treating just the foot. They have many years of experience treating various foot ailments including plantar fasciitis, corns and calluses, hammertoes, bunions, hammer toes, high arches, flat feet, ingrown toenails, corns and calluses and bunionettes. If a person suffers from multiple conditions, they may need to see more than one podiatrist. They may also choose to combine several different treatments to treat a specific ailment.

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A chiropractor is trained as a doctor and is licensed to treat musculoskeletal problems through various methods. Chiropractors are trained to analyze the patient and to decide on the best course of treatment. Chiropractors are also trained to identify the underlying cause of the ailment through laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures. In addition, chiropractors can perform other procedures like applying adjustments and other techniques. Therefore, a chiropractor is the same as a doctor in the way that he or she treats a patient.

A chiropractor uses manipulative devices such as traction, joint mobilizers, energy systems, electrical stimulation and various kinds of diets and nutrition programs to correct spinal problems. They often make use of splints, braces and other worn-out supports to align the bones and the ligaments properly. They also perform therapeutic procedures like heat and ice applications, manual adjustments and massage. There are times when a podiatrist will also refer their patients to an orthopedic specialist for further diagnostic work. For example, a bone scan can help detect injuries that may be causing the problem of weak bones in the feet.

The most common types of ailments treated by a podiatrist include tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, bunionettes, corns and calluses, hammer toe, foot pain resulting from arthritis or a fracture, foot deformities and fractures. The most common kinds of orthopedic services provided by a podiatrist include x-rays, diagnostic evaluations and surgical procedures. X-rays are used to detect bone fractures. If a fracture occurs, the bone will be scanned to determine if it is fractured or not. If a fracture does occur, the orthopedic doctor will use an orthopedic cast to place the broken piece back in its proper place. A cast is also used to prevent pressure from building up on the fractured bone, which weakens it.

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A chiropractor and an orthopedic surgeon are both recognized by the American Podiatric Medical Association (AMDA). Both doctors have specialized training in the field of orthopedics. Before they can perform surgery, podiatrists and chiropractors must acquire a four-year undergraduate degree. They then go on to receive a four-year master’s degree in sports medicine or a medical specialty. Both doctors must pass board certifications from the AMDA to become licensed in their respective states. Aspiring podiatrists and chiropractors can either go on to become full time orthopedic surgeons or chiropractors.

Whether you are looking for a podiatrist to help you with your foot problems or a foot doctor to help you diagnose foot issues, both types of doctors can provide valuable services. A podiatrist specializes in providing a range of services to his or her patients including physical therapy, diagnostic evaluation, preventive care, and surgical management. For more information about podiatrists and foot doctors in your area, check out the AMDA website.

By Colleen