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Medical Science


Chiropody (Podiatry)

Chiropody is the assessment of the foot and the treatment and prevention of diseases, disorders or dysfunctions of the foot by therapeutic (to cure), orthotic (to correct) or palliative (to relief) means. The origin of foot care is often attributed to the Egyptian in 2400 BC. Actually, their practise is related to "reflexology" (Figure 09), which links the reflex areas on the feet to every part and organ of the body. It is now considered
Reflexology Chiropody as "alternative medicine". A 2009 review of the subject concludes that there is no convincing evidence to support its effectiveness on treating any medical condition. Anyway, all the treatments of lower leg problems were referred to as chiropody until the 20th century when it became licensed profession and renamed to "Podiatry". Some of the areas it covers are shown pictorially in Figure 10 and listed in Table 02 below.

Figure 09 Reflexology [view large image]



Figure 10 Chiropody
[view large image]


Disease Symptom(s) Cause(s) Treatment(s)
Achilles tendinitis Sore Achilles tendon Strenuous exercise From getting rest to surgery ( see link)
Ankle Sprains Swollen or bruised ankle Twisted ankle Resting and icing the ankle ( see link)
Athletes Foot Itching, burning, peeling, cracking, or bleeding Allergic rashes, yeast or bacterial infections Clean and dry the area; antifungal creams and washes ( see link)
Calluses and Corns Hard, dry, and thick skin Pressure or friction Proper shoes, protective padding, salicylic acid, rubbing with pumice stone § ( see link)
Diabetic Foot Care Persistent pain, redness, swelling, ... Damaged nerves, reduce blood flow, difficult to heal wound Proper foot care to reduce chance of damage, ... lower-leg amputations ( see link)
Flat Feet The arch inside the foot is flat making it prone to injury Improper feet development in childhood Orthotic devices, shoe modifications, braces, or casts ( see link)
Ingrown Toenail Pain, redness, swelling, infection Injury, improper shoes Self-care, proper shoes, and various surgical treatments ( see link1 and link2)
Lower Back Pain Severe or aching pain Muscle strain Rest, Heat, Ice packs, medications ( see link)
Warts Roughened surface Viral infection from broken skin Medication ( see link)

Table 02 Diseases of the Feet


Bipedal vs Quadrupedal There are many advantages of being bipedal such as better field of vision by raising the head, freed hands to perform other tasks, energetically efficient way for locomotion, ... etc. Beside the general disadvantage of slower running, the bipedals pay the price with their lower extremities, which have to support most or all the weight but is furthest from the center of the supply lines, i.e., the heart. As the diseases shown in Table 02, many of the ailments are the results of the re-modeling to bipedal. Figure 11a displays the anatomy changes between chimpanzee and early human. It shows clearly that the body shape of the bipedal is designed to put all the weight on to the feet.

Figure 11a Bipedal vs Quadrupedal [view large image]


Pumice Stone § Pumice stone is a volcanic rock that consists of highly vesicular rough textured volcanic glass (Figure 11b). It is an inexpensive tool (under $10) for removing calluses/corns and can be reused. The directions for usage : "Soak feet brieftly in warm soapy water. Rub pumice stone gently over calluses and rough skin until smooth. It can be used with soap to effectively cleanse and smooth rough skin. Follow with foot lotion. Rinse the stone after each use and let air-dry."

Figure 11b Pumice Stone

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