Five Problems That Your Podiatrist Can Help With
You may be aware that podiatrists are doctors who specialise in the treatment of foot disorders, but you may not know the full range of conditions that they can treat. Here are some of the reasons why you may make an appointment with a podiatrist.
Heel pain can have a number of different causes. These can include heel spurs, a build-up at the base of the heel, and Achilles tendonitis, inflammation of the tendon at the back of the foot. If you suffer from heel pain, you will probably need to see a podiatrist so that the underlying cause can be diagnosed, and the appropriate treatment given — this is likely to include painkillers and foot orthotics (shoe inserts designed to support the foot).
The failure of the body to produce insulin can lead to nerve damage in the feet and legs, which can inhibit the blood circulation to the foot. This can result in ulcers, sores, numbness or pain. If you have diabetes, you should get any calluses or sores checked out by a podiatrist so they can give you the correct treatment.
Sometimes a nail can become infected and painful. This will require antifungal treatment or antibiotics, depending on the cause of the infection. Any infection to your toenail should be checked out so that the correct medication can be given. A podiatrist will also be able to treat other nail disorders such as an ingrown toenail, where the nail is growing at an angle into your toe.
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, and this can be quite common in the foot and can be very painful for the sufferer. A podiatrist will be able to diagnose which joints are causing the problem and will be able to diagnose foot orthotics, medicines and physical therapies which should alleviate the problem.
Fractures and sprains
These are very common injuries to the feet, particularly among those who take part in sports. Treatment usually involves applying ice and resting the affected part and allowing the foot to heal naturally, although the podiatrist may also prescribe painkillers. Podiatrists will also be able to offer advice and exercises to active people to help prevent such injuries in the future.
Almost any problem with the foot and ankle can be treated by a podiatrist. Just be sure not to ignore any problems and seek treatment as soon as possible.