By Mohammed Chams D.Ch., Chiropodist (Foot Specialist)
Published July, 2011

Each foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and a network of more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments, and a vast network of blood vessels and nerves. Such an intricate mechanism deserves specialized attention through Chiropody, the treatment and prevention of diseases or disorders of the foot. Chiropodist can use therapeutic, surgical, orthotic and palliative means to treat foot problems.

Chiropodists/Podiatrists are the only health care professionals trained exclusively to assess and treat foot problems. Other health professionals may provide some foot care but only those who are licensed by the College of Chiropodists of Ontario may use the title Chiropodist (pronounced KER-RAH-PO-DIST) or Podiatrist (pronounced PO-DIE-AH-TRIST).

Since July 1993, the province of Ontario has registered only Chiropodists and imposed a cap on new podiatrists. If registered podiatrists from America, the British Isles or any other country immigrate to Ontario, they must register and practice as a chiropodist.

Diabetes and your Feet
Routine foot care is very important for patients with diabetes. Diabetes can cause damage to nerves (neuropathy) in the feet, which may cause a loss of sensation making them more prone to injury. Diabetic patients with neuropathy may not feel pain from an infected ingrown toenail. Chiropodists are trained to educate patients on the harmful effects of diabetes.

Foot Problems
Foot problems can develop from injuries, hereditary traits, shoes that fit improperly or are poor quality, medical conditions, and the effects of aging. An average person walks 128,000 kms in a lifetime - more than three times around the earth!

Commonly treated foot complications include:

  • Thick, difficult-to-cut toenails
  • Corns and Callouses
  • Plantar Warts
  • Diabetic Foot care
  • Flat Feet – Pes Planus
  • Plantar Fasciitis

Services provided by a Chiropodist include:

  • Routine nail care for high-risk clients (Diabetes and other systemic health issues)
  • Treatment of toenail problems (Fungus, Ingrown etc.)
  • Biomechanical Examination & Gait Analysis
  • In-office surgical procedures (Ingrown Toenail Surgery)

Chiropody is a service available at Central Community Health Centre, a charitable organization whose purpose is to provide the delivery of primary healthcare, illness prevention, health promotion and community programs to members of the communities of St. Thomas, Southwold and Central Elgin.