Monday, July 31, 2006

The British Influence

A brief history of Chiropody

In the UK . The profession of Chiropody has been established in the UK for approaching 100 years. Some countries like the USA have changed the word traditional Chiropody and have relaced it with Podiatrist in the last 50 years(1967 ) and the term chiropody there is now non existent there. The term "chiropodist" and the profession of chiropody is British in origin and the royal family helped initially to make the profession popular with regular visits to Chiropodists. It has been traditionally used to describe an individual who treats feet in various ways, and up until the 1950's and earlier, there were chiropodists in both the U.S. and Canada based on that British standard. Here in the UK now it is changing too; In 1993 the Society of Chiropodists added the name 'Podiatrists' to its title reflecting the use of this term throughout the English speaking world and with the objective of securing protection of this title for the State Registered profession. 
Although it was the Egyptians who first treated foot conditions and in the bible there are references to treating feet there also, but it was a British man whose name was David Low who invented the word back in the 1700's. There is also written documentation in an Egyptian papyrus of 1500 B.C. outlining a treatment for corns. Hippocrates advocated a sensible approach to corns (thick, hard skin which usually forms on the knuckles of the toes). He recommended a simple operative technique and getting rid of the cause (probably tight sandals or boots). There are records of the King of France employing a personal podiatrist, as did Napoleon. In the United States of America, President Abraham Lincoln suffered greatly with his feet and chose a Chiropodist named Isachar Zacharie, who not only cared for the president’s feet, but also was sent by President Lincoln on confidential missions to confer with leaders of the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War.
Some Common Mistakes
The word Chiro ( Cheir ) the is relative to the hand, wherby, Pody is the foot hence the word Chiropody. The pronunciation of the word is actually Cheiropody ( Chiropody )with the K being more strongly pronounced than the ch sound. The word Chiropody has been wrongly pronounced . I often say to patients who wrongly mis pronounce this word by comparing it to Christmas, you wouldn't say Shristmas , now would you!

The new word for Chiropody today is now Podiatry & Podiatrist less chance of this word being mis pronounced or spelt incorrectly.

Podiatrist comes from the Greek Word Greek podos, "foot," and iatros, "doctor.

No comments:

Post a Comment