Should I See A Podiatrist Or Physiotherapist For Foot Pain?

Foot pain comes in many different forms, with many different causes. When it starts, there are two things that are very important: (1) getting the right diagnosis, and (2) getting the best treatment for your circumstances – not just any treatment that may be suitable. Seeing the right health professional for your foot pain means that both of these things can happen seamlessly, so you can be well on your way to an effective and timely recovery. But should this be a physiotherapist – or a podiatrist?


The best way to answer this is to understand the difference between what physios and podiatrists do. 


Physiotherapists: What do they do?

Let’s start with physiotherapy. According to the Allied Health Professions of Australia:

“Physiotherapists assess, diagnose, plan and manage the care of patients across a broad range of areas with musculoskeletal, cardiothoracic and neurological problems.”


Simply put, physios care for patients across their whole body, with a wide range of problems, using treatments that the Australian Physiotherapy Association notes as:


  • Exercise programs to improve mobility and strengthen muscles
  • Joint manipulation and mobilisation to reduce pain and stiffness
  • Muscle re-education to improve control
  • Airway clearance techniques and breathing exercises
  • Soft tissue mobilisation (massage)
  • Acupuncture and dry needling
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Assistance with the use of aids, splints, crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs to help you move around


Podiatrists: What do they do?

On the other hand, the same health professionals site describes podiatrists as:

“A podiatrist is an expert in foot care.”


While we feel that the legs should also be included here as the ‘lower limb’ experts – the statement still sums it up nicely: as podiatrists, we dedicate our careers to focusing on the best treatment, diagnosis and care of the feet and legs. Only. All our years of study and continued professional education focuses on these areas to help our patients stay comfortable, happy and pain-free as they move about their everyday lives – from children to older adults.


As experts in the lower limbs, our treatments are focused on foot and leg recovery and prevention. Hence, our services here at Sole Motion include:


  • Foot orthotics, braces and splints
  • THOR laser for injury healing and repair
  • Gait assessment and retraining
  • Theragun for injury rehabilitation
  • Compression therapy for recovery and performance
  • Sports medicine
  • Occupational podiatry for comfortable, pain-free feet at work
  • Children’s foot and leg care, including growing pains
  • Ingrown toenail surgery
  • Cosmetic nail restoration
  • Diabetic foot health




We LOVE working with our local physios

We also love working on cases together with our local physios and highly value their work and expertise – as at times, the team approach is the best approach for a patient. Physiotherapists can be instrumental to the holistic care of our patients – especially when the effects of their foot injury travel up the leg and to their hips and back. If we believe you’ll also benefit from physiotherapy to help you get the best results, we’ll make a referral and get some of our local physio superstars involved.


So: what’s the verdict – podiatry or physio for foot pain?

Let’s be honest – you already knew what we’re going to say on this one. As experts in foot pain, we’d go straight to the podiatrist – much like we’d head straight to the optometrist if we were having problems with our vision, or the dentist if we were having problems with our teeth, instead of seeing the doctor first. 


When it comes to which podiatry clinic here in Melbourne, we’ll always back ourselves, our experience, knowledge and dedication to foot pain 100%. We’re proud to have built a strong, caring team that is committed to our patients and their well-being – you can get to know our team better here.


No referrals needed 

Booking your appointment with us is easy – and you don’t need a referral. You can book by calling 1300-FX-FEET or book online here.



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