Podiatrists are doctors whose specialty is treating foot and ankle issues. There are certain conditions and injuries that may require medical care that a primary physician isn’t trained to offer. At the same time, chronic or long-standing pain in your lower leg, ankle, foot or toes is a sure sign that scheduling a podiatrist appointment is in your best interest.
Below are 10 things to consider when deciding whether you should see your podiatrist.
1) People with Diabetes Should Regularly See Podiatrists
Diabetes often causes nerve damage and accompanying circulation problems, resulting in diabetic foot problems. On top of that, numbness is another issue that makes some people less aware that their foot condition needs attention.
Diabetics should schedule an appointment with their podiatrist once a year. And if you’re experiencing pain, ulcers, wounds that won’t heal, or swelling, don’t hesitate to call your foot doctor.
At Westchester Foot Care, we participate in the Diabetic Shoe Program, which is a great way to help maintain foot health and use insurance to pay for your footwear purchase.
2) If You Get a Sports Injury that Needs Special Treatment
It’s pretty common for athletes and active people to get foot or ankle pain from time to time. But see a podiatrist if the pain becomes chronic, or you have medical conditions like shin splints or athlete’s foot.
If you’re a runner, keep your eye out for problematic calluses, joint issues, or bunions caused by stress on your feet.
Even if you’re in physical therapy for an injury to your foot or ankle, a podiatrist can help you determine how the healing process is progressing in ways that physical therapists often can’t. If surgery is needed, rest assured your podiatrist will talk to you about the best options and the proper surgical procedure.
3) Podiatrists Help When Starting a New Fitness Regimen
If you’re starting to take up a new active lifestyle or exercise routine like running or HIIT workouts, you could experience lower leg pain due to issues like shin splints, plantar fasciitis or flat feet.
Seeing a podiatrist to help find you athletic footwear or inserts to prevent or even treat these conditions will get you on the road to success with your new fitness goals.
4) Don’t Put Off a Visit to Treat Your Foot Joint Pain or Arthritis
Swelling of your joints caused by arthritis is a common issue for many people’s feet. If you see redness and feel swelling, don’t hesitate to reach out for a visit to your podiatrist.
Whether from an injury or from arthritis, your podiatrist is has the training and knowledge to treat your issue and get you back to your normal everyday activities without such foot discomfort.
5) Lingering Athlete’s Foot Could be Caused by an Underlying Infection
Sometimes your regular physician’s treatment for athlete’s foot doesn’t improve the condition. A podiatrist can provide an expert second opinion and offer suggestions on how to move forward.
Although fungus is the primary cause of athlete’s foot, there are cases where bacterial infections imitate athlete’s foot symptoms. A podiatrist can diagnose your condition and prescribe a treatment to alleviate your itchiness, redness and pain in your toes or feet.
6) Ingrown Toenails Require Podiatric Care
The pain caused by an ingrown toenail doesn’t go away unless you receive the appropriate treatment. When ignored, an ingrown toenail can cause an infection.
A podiatrist can prescribe a treatment that reduces pain and swelling. If needed, they can perform a minor procedure to cut a portion of the toenail and alleviate the issue.
7) If You Have Heel Pain
Heel pain can be caused by an injury to the plantar fascia, a bone spur or other bone conditions, or arthritis. Your podiatrist will have X-rays taken and perform an exam. While bone spurs don’t go away without surgery, custom orthotics and laser therapy can help relieve discomfort while you recover.
8) Corns and Calluses Mean Call Your Podiatrist
Built-up skin causes calluses and corns, and when they get too thick they can hurt. There are topical medications that can relieve the problem, but a minor podiatric procedure may be necessary to fully treat the issue.
9) Bunions Don’t Go Away Without Treatment
Bunions get inflamed and painful when they get bigger, which makes it tough to do your daily activities and responsibilities. When the hard bump on the outside of your toe joint begins to affect your well being, give your podiatrist a call. They’ll perform an exam and talk with you about the best way to treat your bunion.
10) Please Don’t Avoid Dealing with Foot Pain
There are many of our patients who ignore foot issues for too long, making the condition or injury worse over time. Scheduling a foot care appointment sooner rather than later gives you the best chance to get back to your everyday lifestyle more quickly.
An experienced podiatrist will help improve your health and wellbeing, whether you have a health condition like diabetes or arthritis, you suffered an injury, or you have an ingrown toenail.
The podiatrists at Westchester Foot Care will make you feel welcome, and their state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment will help diagnose and treat your foot, ankle, and lower leg issue.