A podiatrist is a medical professional who identifies and treats diseases and injuries that primarily affect the foot. Depending on where they work, they can also identify and treat issues with the ankles and lower limbs.
Before starting their professional services, podiatrists must get the right educational certification and training.
Approved universities award doctoral degrees in podiatric medicine to podiatrists. They are trained to treat the lower extremities, particularly the feet, despite having a thorough understanding of human anatomy and physiology.
During residency training, podiatrists acquire practical experience in hospitals and medical facilities. They must succeed in a series of board certification exams following the completion of this program. The letters DPM, which stand for Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, are added to the names of fully licensed podiatrists.
Why Should You Visit a Podiatrist?
Experts in feet and ankles
Even commonplace events like misuse or ill-fitting shoes can cause brief, acute discomfort in the feet and ankles, as can long-term medical issues like diabetes or arthritis. A podiatrist is more likely to provide you with a diagnosis and recommended course of action more quickly. For problems with the foot, ankle, and lower leg, podiatrists offer a variety of medical treatments. They do surgery, diagnose ailments, and treat patients. A podiatrist can assist you in the following situations to get back on your feet:
#1. You're beginning to run consistently
Aches and pains like shin splints are widespread in runners. A podiatrist can examine your body and feet to identify potential issues and offer prevention tips. Additionally, they can advise you on the most refined style of sporting footwear for your foot.
#2. Your ankles or feet are aching in the joints
Arthritis is a very common issue. See a podiatrist if your foot joints are frequently swollen, red, stiff, or sensitive. Arthritis can alter how the feet work and cause impairment. Your day may be made more accessible, and joint health may be preserved with the help of a podiatrist's suggested therapies.
#3. You have diabetes
Diabetes dramatically increases your risk of developing foot issues. These conditions can range from severe infections to dry skin. A doctor or podiatrist should examine your feet if you have diabetes at least once a year. Studies demonstrate that including a podiatrist on your healthcare team reduces your risk of diabetes-related amputation by more than 50%.
#4. Your activities are being limited by heel pain
A person may experience heel discomfort. You can have a heel spur and bony growth on the heel. Or there could be inflammation in one of the tendons that attach to the heel. Consult a podiatrist for a diagnosis if your heel pain lasts for a long time.
#5. You have an uncooperative ingrown toenail
An infection may result from a toenail that becomes embedded in the skin. Big toe ingrown toenails are the most common. Visit a podiatrist for treatment if a toenail has a lot of redness or discharge. The doctor may occasionally cut a portion of the nail. If the region is infected, your doctor will prescribe medication.
#6. You think you may have a sprain, strain, or broken bone
Podiatrists are skilled at treating fractures in the foot or ankle and sprains and strains. Your injuries can be diagnosed, and they can offer treatment options. A podiatrist can also make a flexible cast to aid healing. A podiatrist should be seen if there is swelling, difficulty walking, redness, or growing pain following an injury.
#7. Your feet require surgery
Surgery is frequently the last line of treatment a podiatrist suggests for many foot disorders. Ingrown toenails that keep coming back, bunions, and shattered bones are a few conditions that could need surgery. However, podiatrists can conduct foot and ankle surgery if necessary.
#8. Family Feet You have a callus or corn that is irritating
Some of the most frequent reasons people visit podiatrists are corns and calluses. If these patches of built-up skin get too thick, they may hurt. A podiatrist may suggest injections of cortisone to lessen the discomfort. Your doctor may also use a surgical blade to minimize their size. The dead skin makes the operation painless.
#9. You have a bunion, which hurts
A bunion is a lump at the base of the big toe. It happens when the big toe's bone or joint is misaligned. Without treatment, bunions frequently deteriorate. Treatment options from a podiatrist may include cushioning, tape, or medication. In difficult situations, surgery is another possibility.
The foot comprises 33 joints, 26 bones, and numerous muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Foot issues might significantly impact an individual's daily life.
A podiatrist can diagnose and treat various foot disorders, from broken bones to side effects of underlying medical diseases like diabetes and arthritis. So, if you are experiencing constant issues with the foot, you must seek the assistance of a professional podiatrist.