There’s probably a much larger number of reasons why you could (and should) come and see your friendly podiatrist but I thought I would boil it down to the most important.
Do you wait until your foot pain becomes excruciating before you book in to see a podiatrist? A stitch in time saves nine. Address the issue quickly before it gets out of hand. Your podiatrist can assess your foot health, treat a range of foot and ankle problems, and advise you on correct shoes and orthotics. So if you’re prone to, or have previously suffered from any of the following foot conditions, make sure you see a podiatrist so that you can get back on your feet.
- Pain while doing daily activities
If you have pain in your feet and ankle joints or your feet are often swollen, red, stiff or tender, you need to see a podiatrist. It could be many different things ranging from mild to moderate to severe. If you suffer from numbness accompanied by tingling or burning, it may be indicative of nerve damage – something that adversely affects people with diabetes. If you suffer from lower back pain, it may be from the structure of your feet causing you to walk with an inefficiency or poor biomechanics, resulting in stress on your back. When you visit a podiatrist, you will have a thorough and comprehensive assessment and treatment plan given to you to help with these issues.
- You have started running or exercising
If you are a keen runner or you’ve just started a different exercise program, it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist before problems like shin splints and ankle instability begin to set in. Fast paced sports with lots of pivoting, cutting and stop-start movement such as basketball, netball and football put a lot of pressure on the feet and lower limbs due to the pace at which they’re played. Your podiatrist can assess your body with a gait analysis and highlight potential problems, recommend shoes that are best suited for your sport, and help reduce the risk of injury.
- You are a diabetic
A diabetic may not feel foot conditions like blisters due to reduced blood flow and decreased sensitivity to their feet and other extremities. Unfortunately this means something as minor as that a blister on a diabetic foot is much slower to heal and increases the risk of infection. If you are a diabetic, you should have a diabetic foot exam performed by a podiatrist annually, and every 3 monthly if you have confirmed neuropathy. Studies have proven regular examinations decrease the risk of amputation due to diabetes by more than half!
- Flat feet
Flat feet or over pronation places abnormal force on the body and causes pain in the feet, heels, knees, hips, back and even your neck. Did you know this condition often leads to bunions, plantar fasciitis and knee pain? People with flat feet are more prone to bunions due to the abnormal pressure placed on the forefoot. Luckily, orthotics can help to control the movement of the foot to a more neutral position and assist with the associated pain. Your podiatrist can prescribe orthotics specifically suited to work with your body and foot type, with options ranging from sports support to special types that fit into heels.
- General nail problems
When a toenail grows into the skin, the ingrown nail can cause an infection. Many people attempt to treat an ingrown on their own, but more often than not, end up causing more damage than the original problem so we always advise to do as little as possible and leave it to the professionals. If required, this ingrown nail can also be surgically removed permanently, giving you a long term solution to a very painful problem.
Mycotic fungal nail infections are another common problem that has increased due to the propagation of nail salons and beauty therapist services being offered where sterility and sanitation standards are not enforced and maintained.
- Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are areas of built-up skin on your foot, which can become painful if they get too thick. An altered gait from an underlying injury or abnormal structure in your foot could cause corns and calluses. Your podiatrists will be able to reduce the size of the corn/callus by using a surgical blade to cut off the dead skin. Not as painful as it sounds!
- Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and cause a hard and often painful thickened lesion on the sole of the foot. There are a wide variety of methods and tactics used to combat this issue, ranging from a mild acid application, cryo-therapy, or surgical removal which is called curettage.
- Painful bunions
A bunion is a prominence, typically at the base of the big toe which occurs when the bone or joint of the big toe is out of place. This can also occur at the 5th toe and is known as a bunionette. Your podiatrist can suggest treatments such as padding, taping or medication. Surgery is also an option in severe cases.
- You suffer from heel pain
If you have obstinate heel pain that is ruining your day and ability to exercise or even walk in comfort, see a podiatrist to get an assessment. The pain can be from a range of different conditions including plantar fasciitis or an entrapped nerve. A proper diagnosis is the first step towards developing a treatment plan.
If you have any of those I’ve just talked about, we should get to know each other! Don’t be afraid to come up and get things checked out. The sooner you intervene, the better the outcome. Give us a call on 9542 3491 or you can book online, see the button above.
Speak to you soon,