What is a podiatrist?
The podiatrist is your healthcare professional, specialized in the treatment of foot diseases and the relief of foot, muscle or joint pain. They are also a trusted professional who can provide you with the best advice and take good care of your feet.
Regardless of your age, condition, medical history or objectives, the podiatrist can treat your condition. Whether you are a top-level athlete, a young adult, a diabetic or an elderly person, this doctor of podiatric medicine is trained to protect your feet and ensure your comfort. They can manage all the conditions and diseases that are not systemic (affecting your entire body).
This healthcare professional uses various methods to treat you:
- medicinal products
- surgical interventions
- mechanical procedures
Learn more about their training, the right reasons to consult them and the many issues they are capable of relieving.
What training does a podiatrist receive?
Every podiatrist receives rigorous and complete training. The 4-year doctorate required to become a podiatrist includes more than 1,700 hours of theoretical training and 2,000 hours of clinical practice. These professionals go through a very demanding selection process, which guarantees that you can count on an extremely competent professional.
In Quebec, most podiatrists are trained at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), the first university in Canada to offer a doctoral program in podiatric medicine. The university offers advanced courses in human anatomy, biochemistry, neurology and podiatric surgery. For the past several years, the doctorate program has also offered internships in a specialized school in New York and in a hospital center.
Actually, podiatrists in training benefit from a partnership between UQTR and the prestigious New York of College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM), which has been in operation for almost 100 years. This specialized school provides a lot of advanced knowledge to podiatry students in Quebec. It allows them to benefit from practical training that gives them a lot of experience. UQTR and NYCPM share their courses, internships and skills to train future footcare professionals.
Thanks to this highly limited program, podiatrists learn how to study, evaluate and treat all types of pain and pathologies that can occur in the lower limbs. They develop their analytical skills in order to make the right podiatric diagnosis and to establish the most appropriate treatment for your condition. In addition, they learn how to properly communicate their treatment efforts to their patients.
What problems does a podiatrist treat?
Throughout their career, the podiatrist is called upon to meet very many types of patients with multiple issues. Fortunately, they know how to adapt to your specific case. They can treat your feet, heels, ankles, legs, knees, hips or lower back from your feet.
A podiatrist’s valuable expertise covers any disease, deformity, infection, inflammation or other injury. In some cases, this professional may be called upon to manufacture custom plantar orthotics to stabilize your foot and correct any biomechanical problems. Depending on the severity of the case, they may also perform foot surgery, which may be minor or invasive.
Consult a podiatrist if you have, or think you may have any of these conditions:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spur
- Morton’s neuroma
- Ingrown toenail treatment and surgery
- Bunions (Hallux abductovalgus)
- Hammer toe, claw toe or mallet toe
- Plantar wart
- Foot lesions, like corns, calluses and severe corns
- Athlete’s foot
- Flat or hollow feet
- Heel or foot fractures
In addition to treating all these problems, the podiatrist is also able to relieve the most acute and persistent pain, by giving cortisone injections, including ultrasound-guided injections.
This professional has the solutions for a wide range of patients, including:
If you have diabetes, you probably already know that you have a higher risk of developing ulcers or foot infections due to a loss of sensitivity in this area. You have a diabetic foot and the podiatrist’s training allows them to treat this condition. They can also provide you with maintenance and hygiene advice specific to your condition.
When you make an appointment with a podiatry clinic, you can prevent some of the problems that can occur as you get older. Your feet and joints may become more vulnerable with age.
What’s more, your skin becomes more fragile, which opens the door to skin issues like corns and calluses. Your nails become more difficult to maintain as you lose dexterity or mobility. Your toenails also become more fragile or may thicken over time.
infants, children and adolescents
The podiatrist is trained to help infants, children and adolescents grow up healthy. Thanks to their training in pediatric podiatry, they can correct various problems such as poor posture, difficulty walking with flat feet or Sever’s disease (heel pain that limits adolescents’ activities).
It is a good idea to consult a podiatrist to treat certain sports injuries, such as tendonitis, a stress fracture or sprain.
What’s more, they can recommend better ways to run or how to select the proper shoes, making them an excellent resource to keep you running safely.
With all these abilities, there is no doubt that the podiatrist is an essential ally for your daily well-being. Contacting your podiatrist quickly could help avoid many complications that could affect your activities.
Why consult a podiatrist?
The best way to effectively relieve the pain and pathologies that afflict you is to consult a podiatrist. No doctor’s referral is required. In addition to their extensive expertise, podiatrists are trained to demonstrate exceptional professionalism. The podiatrist welcomes you, makes you comfortable, and clearly explains your condition and any required treatments.
The podiatrist is a certified professional who is committed to investing the time required to make you feel better. Every podiatrist’s practice is regulated by the Ordre des podiatres du Québec (OPQ), whose mandate is to protect you and regulate podiatry throughout the province.
In addition to being qualified to treat your feet, muscles and joints, the podiatrist can also steer you in the right direction through the healthcare system to ensure you receive the best possible treatment. They also work in conjunction with other specialists, such as a physiotherapist or orthopaedist, particularly during physical rehabilitation. As a healthcare professional, the podiatrist can also act as an advisor to help you adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Since the podiatrist has to treat very many cases with their patients, they must constantly upgrade their skills. Therefore, they must keep up to date with the latest discoveries and remember all the best practices of their profession. For this reason, the podiatrist regularly receives continuing education, complementary to their practice. In particular, they must refresh their radiology skills on an annual basis in order to properly treat you.
Trust the in-depth, extensive knowledge of the podiatrist to help you quickly return to your normal daily activities.
Why consult a PiedRéseau podiatrist?
The network of PiedRéseau clinics brings together independent podiatrists throughout the province of Quebec to treat you properly, wherever you are located. More than thirty modern clinics, all members of the Ordre des podiatres du Québec, are united under the same banner to manage your care in the most efficient way possible. This great team spirit shared by all these foot specialists is the strength of PiedRéseau.
In fact, combining their skills and specialties allows podiatrists to become better professionals and facilitate innovation in the practice of podiatry. The follow-up process is also simplified, allowing you to be properly managed throughout the province:
- Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean
Always on the lookout for new technologies, PiedRéseau clinics are equipped with the latest tools needed to improve their practice and offer you the most appropriate treatment. All our clinics can make custom-made foot orthotics, perform ultrasound-guided injections and take or prescribe radiographs and complementary images. Regardless of your condition, you can put your trust in the expertise of this group of professionals.
This network of podiatry clinics is constantly improving and expanding its membership to assist as many Quebecers as possible. Every clinic in the network is committed to adhering to best practices to provide comprehensive care for all your foot problems.
The extensive PiedRéseau family is constantly specializing thanks to its team of incomparable podiatrists.
Enjoy a courteous welcome, attentive service, an impeccable follow-up and personalized treatment, thanks to the strength of the network. Find a clinic near you to ensure you receive the best care.