If you’ve been experiencing persistent or debilitating foot pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to Island Foot Clinics in Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC. Not getting foot problems treated early on can cause long-lasting damage, impact your quality of life and prevent you from participating in your favorite sporting activities. It can also be dangerous, especially if you already have another condition like diabetes. 

Time to See a Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC Doctor? 8 Reasons Not to Ignore Foot Problems

1. The Problem Could Affect Your Activity Levels and Overall Health 

Sometimes, patients who have mild or moderate foot pain don’t come to the clinic because they don’t think that their condition needs medical attention. But continuous pain isn’t normal, and it can affect your ability and willingness to participate in physical activity. Over time, you might start to avoid exercise, which can result in various additional health issues. 

People who don’t exercise regularly are more likely to suffer from obesity, heart conditions, and diabetes. Not moving your body also affects your mental health and increases the likelihood of depression. Older people who don’t do any weight-bearing exercise might develop fragile bones that are more prone to breaking. Don’t let a treatable foot condition stop you from leading an active, healthy lifestyle.

2. You Might Have a Dangerous Infection 

Many foot conditions are caused by excessive levels of physical activity or bad shoes. Sometimes, people suffer from an inflammation because they suddenly start exercising much more vigorously than before. However, certain kinds of issues are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. While many infections go away independently or are harmless, some can cause septicemia and other dangerous conditions.

If you have redness and swelling on your foot, don’t ignore the problem. When you fail to get an infection treated, it can spread to other parts of your body and cause a life-threatening health concern. You might need a course of antibiotics to clear up your infection. Usually, antibiotics can be administered orally, but sometimes, they need to be given as an IV in a hospital.

3. You Might Have a Problem with Your Posture or Gait 

Patients who have ongoing foot pain sometimes have bad alignment. If your body isn’t properly aligned when you walk, stand, or sit, certain muscles become weaker while others become too tight. This changes the way you place your feet on the ground and causes painful symptoms. It’s important to see a doctor early on because problems with alignment can cause a variety of other issues. 

Over time, your tissues change and deteriorate so that you might experience nerve damage, bunions, hammertoe, or flat feet. It’s much harder to get rid of one of these conditions when you’ve been suffering from it for years than when it first develops. If your doctor suspects a postural problem, they might refer you to a physical therapist, who can show you exercises and stretches that re-align your body.

4. Your Injury or Condition Could Become Permanent 

At first, many foot conditions are treatable without major intervention. Patients who have a minor infection might need to rest, ice their feet, wear certain kinds of shoes, and take antibiotics. However, they don’t usually suffer from symptoms long-term. On the other hand, patients who ignore their pain for many months might develop a permanent foot condition that causes them discomfort for the rest of their lives. 

For this reason, coming to the clinic early is crucial. Most doctors recommend that you try home remedies for one to two weeks when you first develop a food issue. If your symptoms haven’t started to improve at that time, book an appointment with us. Your Victoria, BC or Kelowna, BC foot doctor will perform imaging studies to diagnose your condition and then suggest a treatment plan.

5. Some Problems Never Get Better on Their Own 

Many patients wait for too long because they believe that their condition will get better on its own. While this is sometimes true, there are countless foot problems that don’t improve without medical intervention. A common one is arthritis. You might think that it’s normal for you to develop this condition as you grow older, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t any viable treatment options. 

Medication, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, physical therapy, and surgery can reduce or eliminate your symptoms and help you to remain active. Similarly, conditions like bunions or hammertoe don’t get better on their own. If they are affecting the way you walk or causing you pain when you wear shoes, it’s important that you get treated.

6. Certain Conditions Require Constant Monitoring

Healthy people don’t have to visit a foot doctor unless they are in pain or have an infection. However, certain groups of patients need to book regular appointments because they are more prone to foot conditions than others. 
In particular, patients suffering from diabetes need to keep a close eye on their feet because they often don’t have as much sensation. Therefore, it’s easy for foot infections to go unnoticed and develop into more serious health concerns. Diabetic foot care might include regular check-ups and monitoring the temperature of the patient’s feet. Doctors will also speak to people with diabetes about how to keep their feet healthy and clean.

7. Foot Conditions Affect the Whole Body 

Certain foot conditions can affect other systems in the body. If someone adjusts their gait because they are in pain, they might develop knee and hip problems that require further treatment. In the long run, it’s much simpler and cheaper to visit a foot doctor than to wait until other joints have also been damaged. 
Another reason why acute foot injuries and infections need to be treated is that they can lead to whole-body inflammation. If you don’t get your infection under control, you might develop a fever, low blood pressure, mental confusion, shortness of breath, and sleepiness. These symptoms indicate a serious condition called sepsis, which can lead to long-term damage or even death. Patients usually need to stay at a hospital if they’ve contracted sepsis, and some never fully recover. 

8. Treatment or Surgery Can Increase Your Quality of Life 

Sometimes, patients don’t want to come to the clinic because they’re worried about invasive treatments. While we perform surgeries when necessary, we always try noninvasive or minimally invasive methods first. Treatments like steroid shots, laser therapy, and custom-made orthotics can significantly increase a patient’s quality of life without damaging their tissues or causing side effects.

When these gentler treatments don’t work, surgery might be necessary. The outcome of foot surgery is almost always positive. Getting bunions, bone spurs, and other painful tissues removed improves patients’ mobility and allows them to participate in their favorite activities. However, we’ll always let you decide whether you’d like to have surgery, and you’ll never be pressured into having treatment you don’t want.

It’s always better to see a doctor if you have ongoing foot problems because the expert can diagnose your condition and suggest appropriate treatment methods. Leaving it too long sometimes leads to more severe conditions and prevents you from enjoying physical activities. Chronic pain also reduces your quality of life and causes mental health issues. Contact us at Island Foot Clinics in Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC to speak to a foot doctor.