Osteopathy vs. Podiatry: Similarities & Differences

The branches of medicine are diverse and expansive providing different forms of treatment that are able to suit the preferences and needs of an individual. Looking for a suitable form of medicine and treatment can be a bit of a challenge especially to those who are unfamiliar with them. For instance, the field of osteopathy and podiatry is oftentimes associated with each other making it quite a challenge to discern one from the other. Is podiatry just osteopathy for the feet and osteopathy just podiatry for the whole body? Are there any similarities at all? Let us find out.

Osteopathy is considered to be safe, effective, hands-on, natural solution to the treatment and management of acute or chronic pain. This natural form of manual medicine makes it feel less intrusive for their patients reducing the need for them to engage in major operations. It focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework, which includes the joints, muscles and spine.

Treatment involves gentle, manual techniques – easing pain, reducing swelling and improving mobility, allowing you a quick return to normal activity.  They also make use of a wide variety of treatment techniques ranging from joint articulation/mobilisation and manipulation, soft tissue massage/trigger point and myofascial release, muscle energy techniques and cranial osteopathy.

Osteopaths through a rigorous four year degree course become skilled health care professionals that allow them to recognize and treat different sources of pain, from muscles to ligaments and nerves to joints.

In contrast, podiatry is a health-care profession which involves the diagnosis, treatment and management of foot and lower leg problems. It deals with the conditions resulting from bone and joint disorders such as arthritis and soft-tissue and muscular pathologies as well as neurological and circulatory diseases. It is a branch of medicine devoted to the study of diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity. Podiatrists unlike osteopaths, perform reconstructive and microsurgeries. They also administer sedation and anesthetics if the need arises as well as prescribe and fit orthotics, insoles, casts and prosthetics to their patients.

Podiatrists’ roles include dealing with the conditions resulting from bone and joint disorders such as arthritis and soft-tissue and muscular pathologies as well as neurological and circulatory diseases. Podiatrists are also able to diagnose and treat any complications of the above which affect the lower limb, including skin and nail disorders, corns, calluses and ingrown toenails. Foot injuries and infections gained through sport or other activities are also diagnosed and treated by podiatrists.

Both the field of osteopathy and podiatry aim to improve the health patients. They are suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds, ranging from babies, elderly, office workers to amateur and professional athletes which in a way make them noteworthy treatment to pursue.

It is good to hear that the services of both osteopaths and podiatrists are accessible and easy to reach in this present day and age. A number of practitioners have setup and established their services over the internet making it easy to get in touch with them personally. It is a good idea to have both of their services available to you at any given time. For such cases, having a resident podiatrists as well as an osteopath near you allows for easy appointment and checkup. Learn more about them today.