What is routine foot care?
Routine care is the non-medically required, ongoing care of your feet that include upkeep and hygiene services, as well as fitting for orthopedic shoes and treatment for flat feet that are not medically necessary. Hygiene and upkeep services that are part of the routine care classification include toenail trimming, treatment of calluses, foot soaks, removal of dead skin and application of lotions. These services are often covered through an aesthetician in the form of a pedicure offered through a day spa. Routine foot care can be performed at home using products available through a drug store to keep your feet looking and feeling their best. Pedicures offered through a day spa, nail spa, hair salon or other facility focused on beauty treatments are considered a cosmetic treatment and are not covered through most health plans. Medically necessary foot care treatments such as wart removal and treatment for bunions may be covered by your insurance plan but it is best to check with your insurance provider prior to treatment. Routine foot care can also include medically necessary treatments of wounds, injuries, heel spurs, hammer toe and infected nails. These conditions need to be treated by a trained medical professional such as your family doctor or a podiatrist, a doctor that specializes in foot health and care.
What professionals can help with foot care?
There is a wide range of medical health professionals who can help with foot care, depending on the care you are looking for. If you are looking for routine foot care, you can also seek out an aesthetician for pedicure treatments. While an aesthetician is not a certified medical health professional, they can help with the routine care of your feet in a spa like setting to clip your nails, soak and clean your feet, remove dead skin and apply lotions. From a medical standpoint, depending on the issues you are having with your feet, or the concerns you would like addressed, you can seek the care of your family doctor, a podiatrist, an orthopedic physician or surgeon, foot care nurse, pedorthist, orthotist, prosthetist or rehabilitation physician. Your family physician can diagnose and treat minor issues with your feet such as plantar warts, as well as refer you to the appropriate specialist for more serious issues. A podiatrist can diagnose, treat and help prevent foot conditions and diseases. They work with diabetics and patients with other medical conditions who suffer from foot issues. They are able to perform surgery and prescribe specialty footwear. Orthopedic surgeons and physicians can help with issues related to the musculoskeletal system as they related to the foot and ankle. Foot care nurses specialize in the care of feet and can provide general foot care recommendations and basic diabetic foot care. A certified pedorthist doesn’t diagnose foot problems but develops footwear solutions prescribed by medical practitioners such as foot appliances and footwear. Orthotists provide mechanical devices that supplement or support abnormal or weakened limbs and joints. A prosthetist provides manufactured solutions for missing limbs. A rehabilitation physician is trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation to help restore strength and function that are lost due to illness, injury or disabling conditions through a physical therapy program.
What services are available for routine foot care?
The services available for routine foot care will be dependent on the area you live in and what you are looking for in terms of routine foot care. Some medical professionals may offer routine foot care services, as well as aesthetic professionals; however most routine foot care services are typically not covered by insurance if they are not deemed as being medically necessary. For this reason, individuals may choose to perform their routine foot care tasks at home themselves as opposed to seeking treatment from a professional. Day spas and salons can offer non-medical routine foot care through their pedicure services, however because they are not trained medical professionals, they are only able to provide the services from a cosmetic purpose. If you feel that you have an issue related to your foot health, it is best to visit your doctor so they can recommend a course of action or refer you to a specialist.
Do I need to follow routine foot care?
Your feet are a key part of your body and issues with your feet can cause additional physical pain and discomfort throughout other parts of your body including your knees, hips and back. Foot health and routine care are vital to your overall health and wellbeing for this reason. While it may seem minor, something as small as a blister or wart on your foot can alter the way you walk, which can negatively affect all of the other joints and parts of your body. Even an ingrown toenail will impact our body, as anything that causes pain and discomfort in our foot will cause the rest of our body to overcompensate and avoid the pain aggressor. Routine foot care will ensure that any potential issues with your feet are caught and treated early to avoid causing further problems.