Q: Do I need a referral from my Doctor to see a Chiropodist?
A: No. A referral is not required to make an appointment or be seen by a Chiropodist. Chiropodists are primary health care providers. Similar to a dentist, a Chiropodist is a first line treatment provider for the feet.
Q: Are Chiropodists covered by OHIP?
A: In Ontario, Chiropodists cannot bill OHIP. Most Chiropodists work in the private practice setting; there are a few Chiropodists who are publicly funded through LHIN’s at Community Health Centres or Family Health Teams.
Q: Will my insurance or extended health benefits cover Chiropody services?
A: Every health care plan is different. Chiropody services are covered by most extended health plans and/or can also be claimed for income tax health deductions. Contact your plan administrator to learn the specific coverage amounts and requirements you have for Chiropody services.
Q: Do you direct bill insurance?
A: No. Currently, not all plans allow for direct billing. We will provide the appropriate receipt at the completion of payment for you to submit your claim.
Q: Should I visit my family Doctor instead of a Chiropodist?
A: A family Doctor may be able to assist with your concerns; however Chiropodists have more comprehensive and extensive knowledge of the foot and ankle. Their specific training goes beyond the training a family physician would have in foot care. Many family doctors refer patients to Chiropodists for diabetic foot care, custom made orthotics and surgical procedures.
Q: How much training do Chiropodists have?
A: Chiropodists have seven years of post-secondary education. They have a four year bachelor’s degree followed by a three year Graduate Advanced Diploma in Chiropody. Those final three years involve foot specific training.
Q: Do I need an appointment?
A: Yes. An appointment is required. This is to allow adequate time for a thorough exam. At the initial visit, a management plan tailored to your specific needs will be developed and discussed by the Chiropodist. We want to ensure each client has the dedicated time to provide all services needed.
Q: What can I expect at my 1st appointment?
A: Your 1st appointment will be booked for 45 minutes. At this appointment a comprehensive history and exam will take place. You will be asked about your medical history and foot history. You should bring a list of medications and any footwear or orthotics that you currently wear. Loose clothing is preferred to aid in the foot exam.
Q: Do Chiropodists provide pedicures?
A: A pedicure is considered a cosmetic procedure. Chiropodists perform what could be called a “medical pedicure”. Their focus is on promoting the health of the foot by performing nail, corn and callus care.
Q: Is it dangerous to get a pedicure?
A: The safety of a pedicure depends on the business itself. Chiropodists are regulated health professionals with strict infection control standards that must be met for all patients. Nail salons do not have these stringent regulations and it is up to each individual salon to ensure cleanliness. We encourage clients to ask salons about their sterilization processes. Chiropodists sterilize their instruments using an Autoclave. If the salon can open sealed sterilization bags in front of you then typically they are a clean salon. Cleanliness is particularly important for feet as many infections can occur through the use of non-sterile foot equipment.
Q: Do Chiropodists treat knee, hip or back issues?
A: Chiropodists specifically treat the foot and ankle. However, the lower limb acts as a Kinetic chain. This means ailments to the feet often impact other areas of the body. In performing assessments, a Chiropodist may assess the knees, hips and lower back. Often foot treatments and custom foot orthotics can improve or treat conditions higher up such as the hip, knees and lower back.
Q: Can Chiropodists prescribe medication?
A: Yes. Chiropodists can prescribe oral, topical and injectable medications. The Chiropody Act lays out a Drug List that Chiropodists are allowed to prescribe from.
Q: I have had orthotics in the past and they didn’t work? How are yours different?
A: Our orthotics are custom made medical devices. Since they are custom to your feet, there are a variety of options when it comes to materials. This will be discussed at your consultation and a prescription will be made based on your specific needs. We encourage patients to bring in all previous orthotics and footwear to give a better picture of what has worked or not worked in the past.