Treatments and tests

Podiatry

Podiatry is the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the feet and lower limbs.

Some of the common conditions affecting the feet include:

  • arthritis
  • balance issues
  • bunions
  • corns and calluses
  • diabetes
  • fungal or ingrown toenails
  • plantar warts
  • soft tissue injury.

What does a podiatrist do?

A podiatrist is trained to help you maintain healthy feet. They do this by:

  • helping with your walking difficulties
  • providing foot and leg exercises for you
  • massaging problem areas in your feet and lower limbs
  • advising on footwear and orthoses (custom-made inserts for your shoes)
  • working on your rehabilitation after surgery
  • prevention and management of foot problems
  • investigating and treating toenail conditions.

Examples of treatment provided by podiatrists

If you have diabetes, a podiatrist can help with foot and leg exercises and massage to encourage circulation. This may reduce the risk of amputation of your limb, which is a potential problem in people with diabetes.

Podiatry while you’re in hospital

Podiatry services are available in hospital. Podiatrists focus their care on patients who have conditions such as:

  • diabetes
  • blood disorders
  • kidney problems
  • arthritis.

Patients with these health conditions have a high risk of:

  • ulceration
  • infection
  • amputation.

Podiatry outside of hospital

You may be able to visit the hospital as an outpatient, but you will need a written referral from your doctor. These services may be restricted to high risk patients.

Can I access a podiatrist privately?

You do not need a referral to visit a podiatrist.

A visit to your podiatrist can be claimed from your private health insurance.

To find a podiatrist in your area, visit The Australian Podiatry Council (external site).

More information

Some allied health services are offered to people with chronic conditions and complex care needs. Speak to your doctor to find out what service you might be able to access.


Acknowledgements

Chief Health Professions Office


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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