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What is podiatry?

Podiatrists are medical specialists who help people of all ages with many foot-related conditions. About 70% of people have or will suffer from foot-related problems during their lifetime. The word podiatry is derived from the Greek word ‘podos’ which means foot. Thus, literally translated, podiatry means foot therapy.

Why podiatry?
Standing and going consists of a chain of movements wherein your feet do a lot of work. On average, a person walks 100,000 kilometers during their life. Feet are complex structures consisting of numerous substructures that all have to work together perfectly to keep us moving. The human foot and ankle consist of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. An abnormal or deviated function in the foot can influence the position and movement of the ankle-knee-hip-pelvis-back, consecutively. Hence, foot problems or deviations can have tremendous effects on your knees, upper and lower legs, hips, ankles, and so on. Podiatrists therefore play a crucial role in the prevention, correction of deformities, alleviation of pain, and improvement of gait.

How do you become a podiatrist?
In order to become a podiatrist, they study podiatry for four years (Bachelor of Science) where they study how bones, nerves, and muscles work together to obtain movement. Since everything in the human body is so connected, a problem in your knees or hips can be caused by a deviated position of your feet. Most often a connection can be made between the functions of different parts in the lower body or even in the human back. Furthermore, podiatrists study illnesses and injuries affecting feet, learn to make podiatric diagnoses and ways to treat them.

Foot health in the Neterlands

The level of foot health in the Netherlands is higher compared to other European countries. This is due to several factors:

  • Expertise of podiatrists: Podiatry in the Netherlands is well-established and has highly qualified professionals with a solid understanding of foot anatomy, biomechanics, and treatment methods.
  • Holistic approach to treatment: Dutch podiatrists take a holistic perspective that considers not only the patient's foot problems but also their effects on the entire body. This allows for comprehensive care that goes beyond purely symptomatic treatment.
  • Promotion of prevention: In the Netherlands, great emphasis is placed on preventing foot problems. Regular examinations and advice on foot health help identify and address potential issues early, leading to improved foot health in the long term.

Overall, the Netherlands can be considered a leader in foot health in Europe. Its holistic approach, expertise, and focus on prevention contributes to the effective treatment and prevention of foot problems.


Podiatry Appointments and Tools

Podiatry appointments begin with a comprehensive patient history and examination, including a gait analysis and assessment of footwear. Based on the diagnosis and patient's needs, the podiatrist develops an individualized treatment plan. Podiatrists offer custom-made insoles, toe orthoses, and recommendations for foot health. These tools can relieve, correct, and minimize the long-term effects of foot problems. Podiatrists also play a crucial role in managing diabetes patients by reducing the risk of complications related to foot problems.

Podiatry for Diabetes Patients

Podiatrists in the Netherlands specialize in treating diabetes patients. This includes wound care, medical foot care, and evaluation of sensory and motor nerve pathways as well as foot circulation. Through our treatment, we can reduce the risk of developing foot and toe problems due to diabetes. Increased foot pressure often occurs in such cases. In this instance, we have a podoscope and a pressure measuring device, allowing us to relieve or reduce foot pressure in the long term. This enables us to tailor our insoles specifically to your pressure pattern.

Although we are not responsible for wound care and preventive control in Switzerland, our knowledge helps us to consider important factors in diabetic foot care.

Overall, podiatry in the Netherlands is characterized by its high level of expertise, holistic treatment approaches, and ability to prevent, correct, and alleviate foot problems, enabling patients to lead active and healthy lives.