Do you experience foot pain when you walk or run, or have you noticed any changes in the size and shape of your feet over time? Are there any other foot-related issues or symptoms you’ve been experiencing? If so, it is possible that you may need to see a podiatrist. In this article, we’ll discuss 4 key scenarios where someone should do precisely that.
What Is A Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the feet and ankles. While they are found in private practice, they can also be found at hospitals and sports medicine facilities. You may want to start by contacting your primary care physician or sports medicine specialist if you need help finding a podiatrist near you.
During the initial appointment, podiatrists examine the patient’s medical history as well as their feet and ankles. They will ask about any current pain or discomfort experienced when walking or taking exercise. Podiatric examinations involve checking for abnormalities associated with the feet such as corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, warts, infections etc. The treatment options vary depending on each individual patient’s condition, but they often prescribe custom orthotics, medication, or surgery.
- You Have A Medical Condition That Could Affect Your Feet
Diabetes And High Blood Pressure
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that affects the way your body uses sugar. The disease can damage blood vessels and nerves in the feet, which can lead to ulcers and other serious complications. If you have Diabetes, it’s important to see a podiatrist regularly for check-ups.
Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is another common condition that can cause problems for your feet. When left untreated, hypertension can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. It can also damage the blood vessels in your feet, leading to nerve damage and foot ulcers.
Being Overweight or Obese / Other Medical Conditions
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing many health conditions, including heart disease, Type II Diabetes and high blood pressure. It also increases your risk of developing problems with the feet, including plantar fasciitis and other types of foot pain or deformity.
If you have any other health conditions that can cause foot problems (such as arthritis or rheumatism), it’s important to see a podiatrist regularly so they can treat these issues before they lead to serious complications in your feet. The internet can help in terms of understanding when to see a podiatrist, for instance by explaining how Diabetes makes people more prone to fluid buildup in their ankles or lower legs. You can also learn that if surgery is recommended, a podiatrist can recommend and perform the proper procedures.
- You Play Sports
If you play sports, it’s important to make sure that your feet are properly taken care of. Some of the issues people have include bunions (caused by sports like football and soccer), toe deformities (activities such as ballet, cheerleading and gymnastics) and blisters and skin breakdown (caused by sports like running or hiking that require prolonged periods of time on your feet).
A podiatrist can help you with any sports-related injuries or problems that you might experience. They can also give you advice on how to properly take care of your feet so that you don’t get injured in the future. If you start a new activity, such as running or biking, it’s important to make sure that your feet are ready for it. A podiatrist can check you out and give you some tips on how to properly prepare your feet (e.g. by providing orthotics if necessary).
- You Have Visible Issues
Here are some examples of conditions that may need some attention:
- bunions that are painful and swollen, causing discomfort, pain, or stiffness
- a deformity e.g. your toes are growing inward
- any type of swelling in your feet or ankles
- nails that are ingrown
- you can’t walk without shoes on
- painful corns or calluses on the bottom of your feet
- a fungal infection that’s not going away
Hammertoe is a deformity that causes one or more toes to bend unnaturally at the middle joint. A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe caused by inflammation. A wart is a tiny, raised growth on the skin that’s caused by a virus. A fungal infection is a common problem with toenails. It can cause your nails to become thick, discolored and brittle.
A corn is a thickened area of skin that develops when pressure or friction is applied to the feet for long periods. It’s usually caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or that have high heels. A callus is a build-up of hard, dead skin cells that forms as a response to increased pressure or friction on the skin.
- You Have Discomfort
Here are some specific examples:
- you’re discovering pain in the ball of your foot
- you get cramps in your feet or toes
- your feet hurt after walking for more than an hour
- you’ve been experiencing numbness, tingling, or burning sensations when you step
- your feet are always tired and swollen at night, even after you’ve been resting all-day
- your feet are always cold or sweaty
- you have a foot injury and it doesn’t seem to be healing
- you’ve been told that you need surgery for a bone problem in your foot and it hasn’t healed after 6 months of physical therapy and medication
- you notice that your shoes hurt more than they used to
- your toes are turning blue or purple, but you’re not sure why
As you can see, there is a wide array of different symptoms or signs that could be a cause for concern. By approaching a podiatrist they can provide a medical examination and diagnosis. In return for your financial investment, this professional will be able to provide you with the treatment, equipment or recommendations that your feet require. Thanks to the care and support of a podiatrist you will be able to improve your medical situation and live the best possible life.