Firstly let’s address the difference between a Podiatrist and a Physiotherapist.
A podiatrist role in managing lower limb injuries is based around addressing causative factors through biomechanical analysis, footwear advice or incorporation of orthosis. Whereas a physiotherapist helps patients to restore, maximise and maintain their physical strength and function through identifying potential physical or biomechanical issues. Both professions deal with musculoskeletal injuries hence there can be overlap between the professions regarding the treatment of lower limb injuries.
Being apart of a multidisciplinary practice, there are many benefits to both the health professional and the patients. These include higher quality care, better outcomes from having varied perspectives and enhanced satisfaction for the clients. I feel as if the patient respects the fact that the health professional is looking broadly at the whole picture of their given situation rather then sticking to his or her own area of specialty.
Examples of how we can integrate in patient care
- A physiotherapist might be seeing a patient for an overuse knee injury and might want to liaise with a podiatrist regarding footwear advice or foot function contribution to help alleviate and prevent the condition from worsening.
- A podiatrist could be treating a patient for plantar fasciitis and apart of their rehabilitation will incorporate a physiotherapist to help manage their symptoms through addressing their level of strength or range of motion deficits.
This set up allows each professional to share common thoughts, opinions and work together in order to address as many of the patients needs as possible.
For the best chance to optimise recovery and get the most of your rehabilitation, please seek help from one of our health professionals at OPH.