New developments in Chiropody

What do we do and what new treatments are out there?

This blog discusses what a chiropodist does and how we were trained as well as new developments in the footcare field.

Who are chiropodists and what is chiropody?

Chiropody is a specialist field in its own right, being regulated by the College of Chiropodists of Ontario.  Chiropodists focus on feet and foot health and the interconnectivity of the feet to the lower limb and to the human body.

Chiropodists are qualified and regulated health care professionals who have been trained to diagnose, prevent and treat disorders of the foot.  The definition of a chiropodist is “The practice of chiropody is the assessment of the foot and the treatment and prevention of diseases, disorder or dysfunctions of the foot by therapeutic, orthotic or palliative means.” . Before being licenced as a chiropodist, one would need to complete an appropriate course of study, such as Bachelor of Science (Honours) Podiatry or Graduate Advanced Diploma of Health Sciences (Chiropody).

Chiropodists can:

  • Develop special interests into Musculoskeletal/Sports, Diabetes, Orthotics, Surgery and Forensics.
  • Alleviate pain due to inflammation by applying laser therapy and strapping techniques
  • Prescribe custom orthotics to improve and prevent problems attributable to our biomechanics.
  • Administer injections such as anaesthetic or cortisone steroid injections
  • Surgically operate on nails
  • Prescribe certain medicines
  • Remove corns and calluses and give advice on cracked heels.
  • Treat ingrown toenails and give advice on both nail and skin fungal infections
  • Treat verrucae with Caustic, Laser surgical and Needling therapies
  • Give advice on footwear

What are the new developments in the field of chiropody?


Verrucae are another term for Plantar Warts found on feet, specifically on soles but can appear anywhere on the foot. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the cause and can be contagious through direct contact of skin or by walking on the same area as someone with a verruca. Such areas would include swimming pools, communal showers and change rooms.

There are many ways to treat verrucae including acids, liquid nitrogen, needling and surgery. As of recent, a new therapy called Swift Microwave, developed in the UK, is being used for skin lesions. As the name states, Swift uses microwave energy to treat affected skin through a probe.

As warts can exist several millimetres below our skin, the microwave energy travels into the deep tissue causing localised heating and cell destruction. There is no smoke, steam or burn caused to the lesion. It takes seconds to complete the treatment and soon our immune system will initiate, and tissue will be regenerated. You may experience some minor discomfort after the treatment, but it should not prevent you from carrying out your daily activities.

As with all wart treatments, it all depends how each individual responds to the treatment.

We currently do not offer Swift Microwave as we are waiting for some long term independent research to be completed in this developing area.

If you are worried about your plantar wart, talk to us about the different treatments which would best suit you.


One of the most common nail conditions that many patients present with, and seek advice on is onychomycosis (OM). OM is the invasion of dermatophytes in the nail plate, in other words, fungal nail infection.

It can sometimes be difficult to visually diagnose OM and the best way determine whether a nail is infected or not, would be sending nail clippings to the laboratory. The problem in this case, false negatives are quite common and waiting for the results can take time.

A new method to diagnose OM called Dermatophyte Test Strip. These strips take 5 minutes to diagnose and the positive side to this, patients can find the results out while still in their chair. A sample of nail is added to a disposable test tube. Then a solution is added and stirred which breaks down the nail. Once completed, the test strip is added to the mixture and then the result is red from the test strip.

We will let you know our thoughts on this longer term.

This blog has been written by Steven Castillo Pinel and edited by Stuart Berry is not necessarily the opinion of The Footcare Centre

« Back