The Difference Between An Orthotist and a Podiatrist

As with lots of Allied Health Professionals (AHP’s) within the NHS and private practice there is a lot of overlap between the professions of Orthotist and Podiatrist which is good for any practice within health care. We can all learn from each others techniques to improve the treatments for our patients. Both Professions have extensive training in biomechanics, physiology to gain an understanding of the pathologies they treat.

Both professions are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).


An Orthotist has a wide knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and can assess for devices that promote function. These devices are applied externally to the body to correct or prevent deformity. These devices are referred to as ‘orthoses’. Orthoses can be applied to pretty much any art of the body from the spine to the foot. A high percentage of an Orthotists work is lower limb i.e. knee and foot & ankle.


A Podiatrist specialises in the treatment of the foot and ankle and usually their knowledge is centred below the knee. They can treat using in shoe Orthoses but can also help with the removal of troublesome areas like ulcers & calluses etc.