What is Podiatry

What is Podiatry?

Podiatry is a field of medicine that strives to improve the overall health and well-being of patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing, and treating conditions associated with the foot and ankle. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) are physicians and surgeons who practice on the lower extremities, primarily on feet and ankles. The preparatory education of most DPMs includes four years of undergraduate work, followed by four years in an accredited podiatric medical school, followed by a hospital-based residency. DPMs are licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to diagnose and treat the foot and its related or governing structures by medical, surgical, or other means. The vast majority of states also include ankle care as part of the podiatric physician's scope of practice.

Podiatrists are often called upon by physicians and other health care professionals for consultation and treatment of foot problems which can be experienced by everyone from children to seniors. A referral from your family physician, however, is not required to see a Podiatrist.

Examination of children's feet is an integral part of podiatry. Frequently, children have structural imbalances of the feet that may go unrecognized and can lead to other deformities and imbalances within the skeletal system. When detected early, these imbalances of the feet, some of which are related to the bone structure, are treated so that a sturdier foundation can be provided for the later years.

At the opposite end of the scale, care is required for many foot problems commonly seen in seniors. This can include anything from routine palliative care of unmanageable toenails and calluses to diabetic ulcerations and infections. At this time in life, circulatory impairment, as well as degenerative joint and skin conditions are common findings. With proper care and attention to their feet, seniors may enjoy many years of pain-free foot function.

Some of the Foot Ailments Podiatrists Treat:


  • Corns 
  • Callouses 
  • Infections 
  • Athlete's Foot 
  • Dermatitis 
  • Warts 
  • Ingrown Nails 
  • Trauma

Orthopedic - Biomechanics

  • Arch Pain 
  • Tendonitis 
  • Fallen Arches (Pronation) 
  • Rigid High Arches 
  • Muscle Cramps 
  • Neuroma (Nerve Tumor) 
  • Foot Imbalance 
  • Heel Pain 
  • Foot Fractures 
  • Bursitis 
  • Sports Related Disorders


  • Corns 
  • Ingrown Nails 
  • Hammer Toes 
  • Bunions 
  • Bone Spurs 
  • Cysts and Tumors 
  • Warts 
  • Enlarged Joints 
  • Malaligned Metatarsals 
  • Callouses

Podogeriatic (Seniors)

  • Muscle Weakness 
  • Mechanical Imbalance 
  • Nail Disorders 
  • Arthritis 
  • Corns 
  • Callouses 
  • Vascular Related Disorders 
  • Bone Prominences

Podiatric Sports Medicine

  • Heel Spurs 
  • Plantar Fasciitis 
  • Achilles Tendonitis 
  • Muscle Strains 
  • Rigid High Arches 
  • Flexible Low Arches 
  • Over-Use Syndromes


  • Ulcers 
  • Poor Circulation 
  • Nail Problems 
  • Skin Rash 
  • Loss of Sensation (Neuropathy) 
  • Weight Bearing Imbalances

Many podiatrists utilize both conventional and highly specialized methods that include both conservative and surgical techniques. X-rays and other diagnostic tests may be performed by a podiatrist. Surgery on an out-patient basis may involve the use of traditional open or minimal incision surgery including endoscopic and even laser techniques. Custom orthotics may be prescribed to correct certain biomechanical imbalances and occasionally custom shoes may be prescribed.

Therapeutic modalities such as ultrasound, laser, taping, padding and parrafin wax baths may be used by a podiatrist.

Foot problems are often associated with abnormal conditions in other parts of the body, both systemic and skeletal such as in back disorders. Podiatrists are trained to recognize signs of diseases that manifest themselves in the feet. These include gout, psoriasis, and various types arthritis.

Early diagnosis and treatment of foot problems are worthwhile investments in overall good health. Unfortunately, major foot problems can result when people attempt to diagnose and cure their own foot ailments or neglect their feet altogether.

In the average life time, we walk approximately one hundred thousand miles, more than four times the earth's circumference! As eighty percent of people will experience a foot problem at some time in their life, it is important to seek care through a licensed podiatrist.

All-in-One Foot Care Center, serving Laguna Hills, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Foothill Ranch, and Costa Mesa offers expert and professional podiatric services. Services include complete diabetic foot care, foot surgery, arthritic foot care, sports medicine, and a wide range of foot care products. We have made a commitment to provide advanced foot care to our patients. Please use our online appointment form to book your next appointment from the comfort of your home or your office.

The information contained above is intended for general reference purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before starting any new treatment. Health information on this website MUST NOT be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of your doctor.