February 15, 2020
When faced with injury or pain affecting the lower limbs, there is often confusion about which practitioner you should go to – a physiotherapist or a podiatrist?
There is no competition, really. Both disciplines have certain specialties that are dedicated to helping you perform at your best. More so, at some point in the patient’s care plan, it is most likely that the two professions will overlap.
Physiotherapy covers a wide range of health conditions and is not specialized in one area of the body. It aims to restore and maintain an individual’s mobility, function, and well-being.
Physiotherapists manage injuries, illnesses, and disabilities through movement and exercise, manual therapies (e.g. massage, joint mobilization), and patient education. A general practitioner may refer you to a physiotherapist if you have an injury that affects how you function every day. Here are some examples:
Physiotherapy takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health so it involves a patient’s lifestyle in general. It promotes awareness, empowerment, and participation of the individual in their treatment. When you go to a physiotherapist, you can expect the practitioner to review your medical history, do an assessment and diagnosis, and set a treatment plan.
Podiatrists specialize in treating conditions that affect the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. They are the so-called ‘foot doctors”.
Your feet are complex anatomical structures, which is why they require expert care. Each normal foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles, and 107 ligaments. A podiatrist will help with the following:
A session with a podiatrist involves a thorough assessment to pinpoint the underlying cause. The doctor will then explain the treatment options available and home care to prevent the same problem from occurring again.
Nevertheless, physiotherapists and podiatrists will often work together when necessary in order to manage and plan your rehabilitation. For instance, a patient with lower back pain related to postural overload will most likely need a physiotherapist to loosen the lower back and hips. But will be referred to a podiatrist for a more specific lower limb strengthening.
If you’re looking for foot physiotherapy, therapeutic massage, osteopathy, foot orthotics, and other related services in UAE, you can trust the health team at Scandinavian Physiotherapy Center. Schedule a session today by calling +971 56 366 7904 or leave them a message here.