Chiropody vs. Chiropractic – Understanding the Differences and Benefits

When it comes to caring for your body, you have numerous options, and sometimes, the terminology can get a bit confusing. Chiropody and Chiropractic are two fields which sound like they might be similar, but are actually quite different. While the names may sound similar and they can both help with a few similar issues, they are distinct practices with different goals, techniques, and applications. This week, let’s clear up any confusion!


What is Chiropody?

Chiropody, often referred to as podiatry in some regions, is a branch of medicine that specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the feet, ankles, and lower limbs. Chiropodists are healthcare professionals who focus on maintaining and improving foot health. They are trained to address various issues related to the feet and provide non-invasive treatments to enhance overall well-being.

Chiropodists assess the condition of your feet, looking for any abnormalities, deformities, or signs of injury. They provide nail care, which includes treatments for ingrown toenails, fungal infections, and other nail-related problems. Moreover, they can safely remove painful calluses and corns, preventing discomfort and complications. Chiropodists may also prescribe custom orthotic devices to improve foot alignment, reduce pain, and enhance mobility. For those with diabetes, specialized foot care is necessary to prevent complications like diabetic ulcers, and chiropodists are well-equipped for this. Additionally, they can diagnose and treat various types of foot pain, including plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, and are trained to manage foot wounds and promote proper healing. Lastly, chiropodists offer valuable advice on maintaining proper foot hygiene and care at home.


What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic care focuses on the musculoskeletal system, primarily the spine. Chiropractors are trained to assess and treat problems related to the alignment of the spine and the nervous system – so, although we can help with issues relating to the legs (often things like sciatica) we deal with these issues more as they related back to the spine and its function.

While Chiropodists work mainly with the feet, chiropractic care is mainly based around spinal adjustments using manual or instrument-assisted techniques to adjust the spine, relieving pain and promoting overall wellness. Many individuals seek chiropractic care for relief from chronic neck and back pain, but Chiropractors are also known for helping manage chronic headaches and migraines. The adjustments performed by chiropractors can enhance joint mobility and reduce stiffness, benefiting those with mobility issues or discomfort – this may well include people with leg or foot pain but for a chiropractor, this is more interesting as a symptom of a deeper-rooted issue with spinal alignment.

Athletes often also look to chiropractic to manage sports-related injuries and enhance their performance, not least because Chiropractors also address posture-related problems, working on improving overall posture – as part of this effort we also offer advice on lifestyle changes, including exercise and nutrition, to support overall health, taking a holistic approach to wellness.


Key Differences

Although both approaches are designed to help people overcome issues which can be surprisingly liming, the primary difference between chiropody and chiropractic care is their focus. Chiropodists are specialists in foot and lower limb care, while chiropractors focus on spinal and musculoskeletal health. Chiropody largely involves non-invasive treatments, including examinations, nail care, and orthotics, whereas chiropractic care often includes spinal adjustments that are more hands-on and direct. Chiropodists typically treat foot conditions, while chiropractors address a broader range of musculoskeletal issues.


When to choose Chiropody

Chiropodists are experts in foot health, making them the best choice for addressing specific foot problems. They provide preventative care, helping to prevent issues like ingrown toenails, fungal infections, and foot pain. They can also help with custom orthotic devices which may help to address specific alignment and comfort issues – actually this is an area which chiropractors may also be able to help with, so there’s certainly some cross over! For those with diabetes, chiropodists are well-equipped to manage diabetic foot health, which is the kind of area chiropractic can’t really assist with.

Therefore, If you’re experiencing foot pain, nail problems, or lower limb conditions, consulting a chiropodist can offer relief through various treatments. If you’re struggling specifically with sciatica, or a postural problem, a Chiropractor could be a good choice though.


When to choose Chiropractic

Chiropractic care aims to improve overall health by addressing the spine’s role in the nervous system and musculoskeletal health. It provides natural pain relief through chiropractic adjustments, often without the need for medication or surgery. While most people do (At least initially) visit a chiropractor because of back, neck or shoulder pain, Chiropractic patients frequently report enhanced joint mobility and reduced stiffness, contributing to improved overall mobility in general. Chiropractors may offer guidance on exercise, nutrition, and other lifestyle changes to support long-term well-being. Additionally, chiropractors can help individuals correct poor posture, which can alleviate a variety of issues.


Chiropody vs. Chiropractic

Chiropody and Chiropractic care are distinct healthcare fields with their own areas of expertise and focus. Chiropodists specialize in foot and lower limb care, offering a range of services to address specific conditions and promote foot health. In contrast, chiropractors concentrate on spinal and musculoskeletal health, providing spinal adjustments to improve overall well-being.

The choice between chiropody and chiropractic care depends on your specific health needs. If you are experiencing foot pain, nail problems, or lower limb conditions, consulting a chiropodist is the best option. However, if you have issues related to your spine, joints, or musculoskeletal system – or a specific leg or foot condition related to the spine, like sciatica seeking chiropractic care may be more appropriate.


Blog by / October 10, 2023 / Blog

Dr. Paul Irvine is a doctor of chiropractic who graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of NSW and in 1996, attained his Master of Chiropractic degree from Macquarie University in Australia. He practised in North Sydney for 5 years before he left Australia to travel and practise in the UK. He joined Complete Chiropractic in 2003 (est 1999) and took over the clinic in 2007