What is a podiatrist?
The podiatrist is your healthcare professional, specialized in the treatment of foot diseases and the relief of your 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 goals, the podiatrist can treat your condition. Whether you are a high-performance 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 handle all conditions and diseases that are not systemic (which affect your whole body).
This professional uses various means to treat you:
- Mechanical treatments
Discover their training, the good reasons to consult them, and the many problems they are able to relieve.
What is the training of a podiatrist?
Podiatrists have rigorous and comprehensive training. The 4-year doctorate program 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 ensures 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 the country to offer a doctorate program in podiatric medicine. The program includes advanced courses in human anatomy, biochemistry, neurology, and podiatric surgery. The doctorate program also includes internships in a specialized school in New York and in a hospital center in recent years.
Indeed, podiatrists in training benefit from a partnership between UQTR and the prestigious New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM), which has been open for almost 100 years. This specialized school provides a lot of enriched knowledge to podiatry students in Quebec. It allows them to benefit from concrete training that provides them with a lot of experience. UQTR and NYCPM share their courses, internships, and skills to train future foot professionals.
Thanks to this highly competitive program, podiatrists learn in-depth how to study, evaluate, and treat all types of possible pains and pathologies at the lower limb level. They develop their analytical skills in order to make the right podiatric diagnosis and to establish the most appropriate treatment for your condition. Moreover, they learn to communicate their practice well to their patients.
What problems do podiatrists treat?
Throughout their careers, podiatrists encounter a wide range of patients with multiple issues. Fortunately, they know how to adapt to your reality. They can treat your feet, heels, ankles, legs, knees, hips, or lower back from your feet.
The valuable expertise of podiatrists covers any disease, deformity, infection, inflammation, or other injuries. In some situations, this professional may be required to create custom-made orthotics to stabilize your foot and correct biomechanical problems. Depending on the severity of the case, they may also perform foot surgeries, which can be minor or major.
Consult a podiatrist if you have or think you have any of these conditions:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Lenoir’s spur
- Morton’s neuroma
- Ingrown toenail
- Bunions (hallux valgus)
- Hammer, claw, or mallet toes
- Plantar warts
- Lesions such as calluses, corns, or partridge eyes
- Athlete’s foot
- Flat or hollow feet
- Foot or heel fractures
In addition to treating all of these issues, podiatrists can also relieve the most acute and stubborn pains by performing cortisone injections, sometimes with ultrasound guidance.
This professional has solutions for a wide range of patients, including:
If you are diabetic, you probably know that you are more at risk of developing ulcers or infections in your feet due to a loss of sensitivity in this area. This is called diabetic foot and the podiatrist’s training allows him or her to treat this condition. The podiatrist can also provide you with advice on appropriate maintenance and hygiene for your condition.
Diabetics can count on the podiatrist to ensure rigorous monitoring of their foot and leg condition.
By making an appointment with a podiatrist, you can prevent some problems that may occur as you age. Indeed, your feet and joints can become more vulnerable with age.
In addition, your skin is more fragile, which opens the door to skin problems such as corns and calluses. Your nails become more difficult to maintain as you lose dexterity or mobility. Your toenails also become fragile or thickened over time.
The podiatrist can treat certain cases of osteoarthritis of the foot or ankle and rheumatic problems in the feet, which greatly impede joint mobility.
Babies, children, and adolescents
The podiatrist is trained to help babies, children, and adolescents grow up well. Thanks to their training in pediatric podiatry, they can correct some of their problems such as poor posture, flat feet, or Sever’s disease (heel pain that limits the activities of adolescents).
You can make an appointment with a podiatrist for your child, even if he or she is only a few months old.
Consulting a podiatrist is a good solution for treating certain sports injuries, such as tendinitis, stress fractures, or sprains.
In addition, they can recommend better ways to run or wear shoes. They are thus an excellent professional to help you run safely.
With all these capabilities, there is no doubt that the podiatrist is an indispensable ally for your well-being on a daily basis. Contacting them quickly could prevent many complications that could interfere with your activities.
Why consult a podiatrist?
Consulting a podiatrist is the best way to effectively relieve the pains and pathologies that afflict you. No referral from a physician is necessary. In addition to their great expertise, podiatrists are trained to demonstrate exceptional professionalism. They welcome you, reassure you, and clearly explain your condition and necessary treatments.
Podiatrists are certified professionals who are committed to taking the time necessary for you to feel better. Their practice is regulated by the Ordre des podiatres du Québec (OPQ), which is mandated to protect and regulate podiatric medicine throughout the province.
In addition to their qualifications to treat your feet, muscles, and joints, podiatrists can also properly direct you through the healthcare system to ensure the best possible treatment. They also work in collaboration with other specialists, such as physiotherapists or orthopedists, especially during physical rehabilitation. As a healthcare professional, a podiatrist can also act as an advisor to help you adopt good lifestyle habits.
Since podiatrists must treat many cases among their patients, they must constantly specialize further. Therefore, they are required to stay up-to-date and remember all the best practices in their profession. For this reason, podiatrists regularly undergo continuing education complementary to their practice. They must renew their radiology skills annually to treat you properly.
Trust the vast knowledge and great expertise of a podiatrist to quickly regain the normal course of your life.
Why consult a PiedRéseau podiatrist?
PiedRéseau clinics bring together independent podiatrists from all corners of Quebec to treat you properly wherever you are. More than thirty modern clinics, all members of the Ordre des podiatres du Québec, are united under the same banner to take care of you in the most effective way. This great team spirit among all these foot professionals is the strength of PiedRéseau.
Indeed, combining their skills and specialties allows podiatrists to be better professionals and facilitate innovation in the practice of podiatry. Follow-up is also simplified, which allows you to be properly cared for throughout the province:
- Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean
Keeping up with new technologies, PiedRéseau clinics have the latest tools to improve their practice and offer you the most appropriate treatment. All clinics can make custom-made foot orthotics, perform guided injections, and take or prescribe complementary radiographs and imaging. Whatever your condition, you can count on the expertise of this group of professionals.
Continually improving, the network of these podiatry clinics is constantly expanding to reach as many Quebecers as possible. They are committed to following the best practices to provide comprehensive care for all your foot problems.
Take advantage of courteous reception, outstanding listening, impeccable follow-up, and personalized treatment thanks to the strength of the network. Find the clinic closest to you to enjoy the best care.