Podiatry is Older than you May Think – Happy Feet Happy Mind

Podiatry is Older than you May Think

By May 25, 2021 No Comments

The oldest written records of podiatry were found in the Egyptian entrance to Ankmahor’s tomb. Dating from about 2400 BC, these images show a dedicated practitioner at work on the feet of a patient. While we can only offer conjecture as to what these practices entailed, there is no question as to the scope of treatment being provided.

Fast forward to 1912, with the London Foot Hospital offering the first dedicated British Podiatric Society. While there is no question as to the countless technological and scientific advancements in the last 4,500 years, many of the key underlying principles and techniques in podiatry have remained unchanged.

For example, Hippocrates describes in great detail how corns and calluses should be treated. His preferred method was first to physically reduce the hard skin generated by these issues, followed by the removal of the root cause. The dedicated skin scrapers that he invented for this purpose are seen by many as the precursor to the modern scalpels later used for surgical procedures elsewhere in the body.

Until the early 1900’s, podiatrists (formerly known as chiropodists) practiced separately from GPs. While their governing body had not yet been formally organized, many of the techniques which they pioneered were used by general practitioners. During these times, there was often greater dependence on specialized medical practitioners in different fields. These practitioners often felt marginalized by their general practice colleagues, which in turn, led many of them to create their own governing bodies, along with specific guidelines for training, qualifications and techniques.

This evolution has helped to shape the modern practice of podiatry.

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