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When Should You Visit Your Podiatrist?

Your feet ache. Your ankles swell. It’s getting harder for you to stand on your feet all day. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to see a podiatrist.

Our feet are one of the most important parts of our bodies, but we tend to neglect them or ignore warning signs until it’s too late.

Many acute foot and ankle problems will go away with time, rest, over-the-counter pain relievers and ice. But if you’re experiencing any of the following issues, it may be time to see a podiatrist.

Flat Foot

If one of your feet is flatter than the other, it may be a sign that of tendon dysfunction or rupture. If this issue is not fixed, it can lead to some serious pain in the future, so you’ll want to have a podiatrist take a look at your feet.

When tendons aren’t working properly, the bones may move out of alignment. Eventually, this can cause arthritis in the joints.

Treating the problem early on can prevent damage to your joints.

Sudden Deformity

A sudden deformity in the foot can be a sign of something more serious. For example, Charcot can occur in people with diabetes. Signs and symptoms can include redness, pain and hot, swelling of the feet.

If left untreated, Charcot can lead to your bones breaking and slipping out of place. The bones may then heal in an improper position, causing foot deformity.

Painful Bunions

Many people ignore their bunions – even when they’re very painful – because they assume that surgery is the only treatment option. But it’s still important to see a podiatrist to try and treat the underlying cause of the issue.

Wearing the right shoes can help alleviate the pain, but because it is caused by a deformity in the foot, it will only be a matter of time before you have more serious issues.

Thick Calluses or Corns

Calluses and corns are generally not serious conditions, but if they’re extra thick, it may be time to see a podiatrist. They may be indications of problems with your gait or the structure of your foot.

If your corns and calluses keep recurring, it’s definitely time to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to address the underlying cause of the problem.

Persistent Foot Swelling or Numbness

Everyone deals with swelling or numbness in the feet at some point, but if you’re experiencing these issues on a regular basis, it’s time to talk to a podiatrist.

A number of things can cause swelling and/or numbness in the feet, such as tendonitis, a sprained ankle, a broken bone or even an underlying infection.

If you’re also experiencing tingling or burning, it may be an indication of nerve damage. People with diabetes are especially prone to developing this type of nerve damage.

Pain While Walking or Performing Daily Activities

If your feet hurt just from moving around or doing your regular daily activities, there may be a more serious issue causing the pain. You may have a foot injury or even a fracture that hasn’t healed properly.

Without proper treatment, your injury may just get worse over time and make it more difficult to carry out your normal routine.

Seeing a podiatrist can help you tackle the root cause of the problem and avoid unnecessary complications later on down the road. Your doctor may recommend something simple, like KompressKinetic adjustable compression socks (is Kompress Kinetic a scam? We investigate), to fix the problem.  Mindinsole Compression Socks claim to provide proper support and pressure to promote healthy blood flow and prevent your blood from pooling or clotting.

Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail may not seem like a big deal, but if left untreated, the problem could progress into something far more painful. It can also lead to infection.

Many people attempt to correct ingrown toenails on their own, but this is a problem best left to a professional (i.e. your podiatrist). A podiatrist will treat the problem without damaging your toenail or surrounding tissue.

Cracked or Bleeding Heels

Dry, cracked heels are a common problem – especially in the winter. Mild cases can be resolved with a bit of exfoliation and foot cream. But if the problem persists, your skin may split and cause other issues. Your heels may start bleeding, and you may become more susceptible to infection.

You’re Running Regularly

Runners are especially prone to foot issues, like shin splints and plantar fasciitis. A podiatrist can assess your body and your feet to look for potential issues and recommend strategies to prevent them.

A podiatrist can also recommend the right type of athletic shoe for your foot.

If you’re serious about running (especially if you want to compete), then it’s important to see a podiatrist regularly to prevent problems that may interfere with your training.

You Have a Stubborn Case of Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a common condition that causes the skin between your toes to look scaly and feel itchy. There are over-the-counter antifungal medications that may work for some people, but if the infection persists for more than a few weeks, it may be time to see a podiatrist.

Oral and cream-based prescription medications are typically more effective.

During your visit, your podiatrist will also look for signs of bacterial infection, which would require antibiotics.

You Have Diabetes

Diabetes can cause a number of foot issues, including nerve damage. Eventually, this can lead to numbness, ulcers and pain in the feet and legs. If diabetes is causing foot issues, it may be time to see a podiatrist as well as your general physician.

It’s possible to avoid many of the foot issues caused by diabetes it you work closely with your podiatrist and general doctor.

A podiatrist is a foot doctor – that’s their specialty – that treats foot and ankle problems. If you’re having problems with pain, swelling or any other discomfort in your feet and ankles, you don’t have to grin and bear it. Seeing a podiatrist will help you address the problem and finally get some ankle pain relief. Putting it off and not getting treatment will only cause you more problems down the road – and those problems may keep you from walking properly or living a pain-free life.

December 8, 2020
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