Podiatrists in sport – the future is bright!

BASEM Today 61 Allied Health Professions in SEM Front Cover

It was a real pleasure to contribute to this edition of BASEM Today (read full supplement here) which focused on the role of Allied Health Professions (AHP’s) in Sport & Exercise Medicine (SEM). There are 14 AHP’s as recognised by the NHS and Podiatry is one of them. Other examples are Physiotherapy, Dieticians and Osteopaths and, like those professions, we regularly treat conditions related to sports and exercise. Podiatrists Prof. Nat Padhiar, Caoimhe Hoey, Dr. Abid Hussain and me (Nicola Blower) contributed articles on our experiences working in SEM, the history of Podiatrists in sport and the future development of Podiatric Sports Medicine. Other contributors included Physiotherapist (and Editor) Dr. Simon Lack, Chiropractors, Osteopaths and more.

Sports and exercise medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. It emerged as a speciality in the late 20th century and the British Association of Sports & Exercise Medicine, founded in 1952, represents medics and other clinicians, such as Podiatrists, who work in this field.

Although Podiatrists have long worked with foot, ankle, and other lower limb sports injuries, the pathway into SEM and further training has taken longer to develop. When I first started working in sport and with sports injuries, there was no defined pathway or sports specific further training. Now, there are options to obtain post-graduate qualifications up to MSc level in Podiatric Sports Medicine and the development of a more supportive environment and defined route into treating sports injuries as a Podiatrist.

One of the most satisfying aspects of our jobs as Podiatrists is keeping people moving, whether in sports and exercise, or just day-to-day tasks, but sport and exercise have a special place in our hearts as that is also our passion and we love to help people to keep taking the magic pill that is exercise!