If you are an athlete or if you simply feel like aging has taken a toll on your feet, you might experience various problems with your feet, which might lead to pain or injury. Doctors that can help you with problems with your feet and ankles are podiatrists, especially if those problems are bothering you for some time. To ensure the long-term health of your feet, prevention is important, and podiatrist could help treat and diagnose problems such as foot injuries, inflammation, flat feet, bunions, ingrown toenails and many more.
What is a Podiatrist?
Podiatrists are doctors who are qualified to medically or surgically treat the feet or ankles. They treat a wide range of illnesses and conditions that might include arthritis pain, calluses and corns, diabetes complication, sports injuries, and the conditions mentioned in the previous paragraph. Also, they are trained to treat patients with feet and ankle complications related to obesity, diabetes, and arterial diseases. These doctors will treat specific areas of the feet, ankles, or lower legs by prescribing physical therapy, medications, or perform surgery on the lower limbs.
So, how will you know that it is time to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist? Here are some conditions that might require the care of a podiatrist:
1. A flat foot – if you notice that one of your feet is flatter than the other, this could be a sign of a rupture or tendon dysfunction. If your tendon is not working properly, it might lead to bones not being lined up, and this might cause arthritis in the joints. If you prevent it or treat it early on, it might stop the damage that can be done to your joints.
2. A lump that grows and that hurts when touched – if you have a bump or lump that is getting bigger every day you should most definitely visit a podiatrist. It might turn out to be a cyst, or perhaps something even more serious like a tumor. However, tumors in the feet are rare, but they might occur.
3. An injury or sore that will not heal – if you have an open wound on your feet or ankle schedule an appointment right away. If you have diabetes, this is the most important and crucial thing you could do, because it takes a longer time to heal. If you see a podiatrist, there are better chances of healing, since they will give you a treatment plan right away. Keep in mind that you should go to the doctor’s office right away if you notice this, since the chances of getting a skin or bone infections increases if you have an open wound for a long time.
4. Discoloration in the feet – of course, both of your feet should look alike, however, if one of them has a different color than the other, there might be a problem. Redness and inflammation are often signs of gout or infection. A purple or deep blue color can indicate that you have a problem with your veins, and whiteness might be a sign of lowered blood flow. If you have any of these color changes, you need to call a podiatrist right away and schedule an appointment as soon as you can.
5. Burning, numbness, and tingling in the feet – these things can be signs of neuropathy, which often cause a decreased sensation in the feet. The two things that most commonly cause these feelings are diabetes and multiple sclerosis. These conditions need to be followed by the right doctors, and a podiatrist will help you as well.
If you are experiencing any of the feelings above you should make an appointment with a podiatrist right away. Prevention and treatment is the key to having healthy and pain-free feet.