Our foot health is often overlooked — but that shouldn’t be the case. Think of all the things your feet help you do every single day, from simply getting from A to B to being able to work, play and just get on with your everyday tasks.
So when you’re suffering from a foot problem, it can really interfere with your quality of life, especially if it’s painful or uncomfortable.
That’s where podiatrists come in. They are highly trained allied health professionals who are experts in the anatomy and diseases of the feet and lower limbs.
If you’re wondering when to see a podiatrist for your foot problems, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to discuss that very question in our latest post, taking in common foot problems, signs you need to see a podiatrist and the benefits of seeking professional help.
Common foot problems
Feet are complex parts of our anatomy. With 26 bones, 33 joints and many tendons, ligaments and muscles that work together, there are a few things that can go wrong.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common foot problems a podiatrist may treat.
Calluses and corns
Calluses — patches of hard skin — form as the result of sustained pressure on the feet, such as from walking barefoot or wearing ill-fitting shoes.
Meanwhile, a corn refers to a small lump of hard skin that forms on the top or side of your toe.
The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It connects the heel to the toes and supports the arch.
When this band gets stretched, strained, torn or inflamed, it can cause pain. Typically, you may experience this pain when you get up in the morning or after sitting down for a long time.
A heel spur is a bony growth, also known as a calcium deposit, at the bottom of your heel. It’s caused by strain on your muscles and ligaments, putting stress on the heel bone.
The result is pain, inflammation and swelling.
A bunion forms when the big toe pushes inwards towards the second toe. A bony lump then grows on the joint at the base of your big toe.
This condition can be caused by narrow, tight-fitting shoes, the anatomy of your foot or a condition like arthritis.
Ingrown toenails occur when the edge of your nail grows into the surrounding skin.
This can cause swelling and inflammation, and you may even get an infection at the site.
Verrucas are warts that appear on the sole of your feet. You can distinguish them from corns as they have tiny black dots in them.
They’re caused by a virus called HPV (human papillomavirus).
While some common foot problems can be treated successfully at home, it’s always best to consult a podiatrist if you are in doubt. They will be able to diagnose your problem and suggest treatment, whether that’s at home or in the clinic — or a combination of both.
Signs you need to see a podiatrist
If you’re wondering when to see a podiatrist for your foot problems, take a look at these tell-tale signs and symptoms:
- Pain that’s always there or seems to get worse as time goes on
- Swelling, redness or a feeling of warmth in the foot
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Any numbness or tingling in the foot
- An infection or open wound on the foot
- Changes in the appearance of your foot or toenails
- A persistent problem that’s starting to interfere with your everyday life, such as a bunion
Benefits of seeing a podiatrist
If you’re suffering from foot problems, a podiatrist is the professional you need to consult. Whether you require general or more specialised treatment, they are best placed to advise you on a plan to address your issues.
That’s because they are very familiar with the structure of the foot, thanks to their rigorous training.
They’ll be able to give you an accurate diagnosis of the underlying issue and formulate tailored treatment plans based on your unique needs.
It’s also good to know that your podiatrist has access to specialised tools and techniques, such as laser therapy to treat fungal nail infections, orthotics to improve how your feet or legs work and even surgery for ingrown toenails.
Finally, your podiatrist can help you keep your feet in great condition by offering preventative care and advice and directing you to further information on your foot health.
Podiatry First — your foot care experts
Living with a condition that affects your feet can really interfere with your daily life. But there’s no need to suffer in silence when you can consult a knowledgeable podiatrist for targeted and effective treatment.
They can help with many common and not-so-common conditions, helping to literally get you back on your feet!
With access to specialised knowledge and equipment, your podiatrist is the best person to help you with any foot problem.
So if you have a niggling foot issue, reach out and contact us at Podiatry First. Our professional team is here to help you get the best out of your feet and support you to keep them functional and healthy.Leave a reply