Podiatry also called (Chiropody) –

The branch of medical science, that deals with the care of the human foot – the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of non-surgical foot disorders.

Podiatry is a university qualification at the Bachelor’s degree level, with the course being offered at University of Western Australia (www.uwa,edu.au) at the post graduate level. All podiatrists are required to be registered with the Podiatry Board of Australia (www.podiatryboard.gov.au). They must complete professional development and first aid annually to maintain their registration.

Podiatrist / Chiropodist

A specialist in conditions and diseases related to the foot that is qualified to diagnose and treat foot disorders.


There are many reasons why people have problems with their feet, ranging from simple changes that happen as we get older, to more complex issues that relate to conditions such as diabetes and arthritis which can make walking painful and difficult. Children may also experience problems with their feet so it isn’t just age-related but can be simply a matter of genetics and your environment.

A podiatrist can assist with assessing and providing recommendations to help you with any issues you may be experiencing including:

  • toenails – ingrown and affected by fungi
  • biomechanics – your gait may be affecting your feet, causing pain and irregular show wearing; it can even affect your knees, hips and lower back, so it is a good idea to check with a podiatrist first as part of looking for reasons for foot and limb pain affecting your legs, hips and your lower back.
  • bunions and other ill-formed foot problems
  • corns and calluses – where your shoes and footwear are rubbing and causing you pain and irritation.
  • gait and running issues – sports people, including those who are keen runners and sports players at a non-elite level, can experience pain from poor shoe fit and bio-mechanical problems

Of course, there are many problems with your feet that can be causing a problem that we haven’t listed, so if you are concerned, why not check with your local podiatrist (you can find one close to you on this site by checking the Find a Podiatrist section).

You don’t need a referral from a GP and your podiatrist will write to your medical practitioner with any issues that require attention.

Podiatrists can also conduct foot health checks for diabetics, which every diabetic should have at least once a year to make sure their feet are in optimum health.