Orthotist VS Podiatrist

Orthotist VS Podiatrist

Anyone who has suffered from foot problems or deformities may benefit from the service of both an orthotist and a podiatrist. Although they have differences, both specialists are usually found working alongside each other with the common goal of helping to treat patients with foot, ankle and lower limb problems. Both professions must register with the Health Professionals Council (HPC) and both are found working in their own clinics and practices as well as in rehabilitation centres and hospitals in both adult and paediatric units. The article will focus on Orthotist VS Podiatrist to detail some of the differences between the two professions.

Orthotist

The first part of orthotist VS podiatrist will focus on the role of the orthotist. An orthotist is a person who works through every stage of the production of an orthotic device and provides after care assistance and servicing to the patient wearing the orthotic to make sure the device functions in the way it should. Orthotists are responsible for:

  • Measurements
  • Designs
  • Fabrication
  • Fitting

They produce the orthotics needed by prescription to suit the exact requirements of the patient; this will usually be with instructions from the patient's doctor or podiatrist. Orthotists will receive casts and impressions of a patient`s foot and design and sculpt the orthotic device to aid in helping the patients injury.

Orthotics are devices that help to aid and support a person with control, movement, posture and ease pain and pressure on a persons' joints or bones. They can come in many forms to help different areas of the body, these can be:

  • Insoles- for helping to realign the foot
  • Shoes- to help feet and aid in rehabilitation
  • Braces- for the knee to support and control movement
  • Back- for spinal injuries to help ease pain and support
  • Ankle- to improve balance and gait and help with injury

Although this article is focussed on orthotist VS podiatrist it is important to remember that the two tend to work hand in hand with each other.

Podiatrist

The second part of orthotist VS podiatrist focuses on the podiatrist. While the orthotist is responsible for designing and making the orthotic device, this could not be down without first knowing what the orthotic is for and what type is needed. Podiatrists are qualified professionals who are trained in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of injuries and deformities of the foot, ankle and lower leg. They can work to treat minor problems such as athlete`s foot, verruca`s and corns and callouses to major problems that are caused the poor mechanics of the lower limbs. Biomechanical problems such as joint misalignment, especially in the feet can lead to problems in posture and gait and cause stress to the foot, ankle, hip, knee and lower back. Podiatrists work to discover the problem through assessments of the motion of joints in the hip, knee, ankle and foot and assess how posture and gait is affected. An orthotic will be prescribed and instructions passed to the orthotist for manufacture.