Did you know that you can see a specialist for your foot problems? You don’t have to settle for unspecialized treatment from your primary care physician when you can access all the knowledge and training of a foot doctor to ensure you’re getting the right treatment for your specific needs. No matter what’s wrong with your feet, a podiatrist can help.
Why Visit a Foot Doctor?
The best reason to choose a specialist for your foot condition is that they’ve undergone specialized training that makes them experts in foot problems. They have a deeper understanding of the foot’s structure, including the bones and muscles, than general physicians. Your primary care physician is a great source for general medical issues, but to make sure your foot problem heals as quickly as possible, it’s better to see a podiatrist because feet and ankles are all they work on.
Specialists in foot care have chosen to spend extra time in school to become experts at the niche of foot-related issues. They also continue to take courses and attend foot care conferences to stay up-to-date on all the recent research and technology. A general physician just doesn’t have time to focus on any one part of the body. As such, you may get treatment that no longer involves the most advanced techniques or technologies available.
Access to Advanced Diagnostic Tests and Treatments
A general physician also usually does not have the funds or space to have access to all diagnostic tests and treatments for all the possible ailments a person could suffer. They have to prioritize based on what they see most often.
Because a podiatrist has narrowed their focus on the feet, they’re more likely to have access to all the most current tests and treatments available for conditions of the feet. You want to find out what’s wrong with your foot as quickly as possible, and a podiatrist can do that.
If someone is going to be operating on you, wouldn’t you want the best surgeon possible? Of course you would, which is why if you need surgery on your foot, you should choose a foot doctor, as they are especially skilled in performing surgery on ankles and feet. There are so many bones in this area of the body that you definitely want a surgeon who knows their way around them, especially if you need extensive bone or muscle repairs.
Your primary care physician is great for giving you a physical exam and treating colds and viruses, but if you’re looking for focused care for your feet, a podiatrist can ensure your feet problems are given the time they deserve. For example, if you’re a diabetic and you have a foot wound, a podiatrist will be solely focused on solving that issue. They won’t be worrying about any other health conditions you might have.
This is important because sometimes issues can get overlooked when you’re visiting your primary care physician, for several concerns. Other times, there may not be enough time in one visit to go deep enough on every problem you need help with. Booking an appointment with a podiatrist, though, ensures that the time you spend in the office is dedicated to your foot issues. Plus, you’re more likely to find a solution more quickly as well.
Conditions Treated By Podiatrists
There are numerous conditions related to the feet that can be treated by podiatrists. In fact, any condition of the feet that causes you pain or discomfort should be examined by a podiatrist, who will know the best course of action to take for your specific condition.
The following are 10 conditions that are commonly treated by podiatrists. If you’re experiencing symptoms of any of these conditions, contact us right away:
This is not something that just discolors your toenails or makes them thick and unattractive. It’s a condition that could spread to your other toenails if left untreated. Fortunately, a podiatrist will have a variety of treatments that will get rid of your fungus as quickly as possible.
Sudden Pain or Swelling in Your Foot or Ankle
Everyone gets pain or swelling if they’re on their feet for a long time, or if they run a marathon, but sudden pain or swelling in your foot or ankle is not normal. This is a sign of a serious condition that could require specialized care.
This is a foot issue that plagues millions of people, many of whom are just dealing with it. You should not have pain in your heel on a regular basis, and if you do, you don’t have to just deal with it. A podiatrist will examine your foot and take x-rays to determine the underlying cause of your pain. Then, they’ll provide you with several treatment options that will alleviate the pain.
Ankle and Foot Fractures and Sprains
Your first instinct might be to call an orthopedic specialist if you sprain or break your ankle or foot, but podiatrists actually have more experience with this part of the body. Injuries to the ankle or foot need to be treated correctly so that your ability to walk is not compromised.
You might try to get rid of athlete’s foot on your own with any one of the various over-the-counter medications available; however, in some cases, athlete’s foot is persistent and does not go away without stronger medicine that you can get from a podiatrist. They will also make sure you don’t have an underlying infection as well.
Many people try to remove painful ingrown toenails on their own, but it’s much safer and less painful to have a podiatrist do it. First, they’ll make sure it is indeed an ingrown toenail and not a more serious issue. Then, they can provide a numbing agent to make the removal more comfortable. Finally, they can prescribe medicine if it’s become infected.
Corns or Calluses
You can live with corns or calluses if they’re not painful, but often, they become painful when the skin gets too thick. A podiatrist can either remove the thick skin to alleviate the pain or prescribe a medicine to treat them without removal.
A bunion is a bony bump that can develop on the outside of your big toe joint, and it can become painful as it gets larger. A podiatrist will take an x-ray of the bunion to determine what is causing it. At that point, they’ll be able to create an effective treatment plan based on the severity of the bunion.
Diabetic Foot Wounds
Due to poor circulation, diabetics are at a much higher risk of getting a foot wound that won’t heal. In fact, because they are often unable to feel their feet, they may not know they have a wound until it becomes infected and makes them sick. For this reason, diabetics should see a podiatrist at least once a year to make sure there are no signs of wounds developing on their feet. If there are, podiatrists can treat them, too.
Ankle Joint Pain
As with fractures, podiatrists have more experience with the ankle joint than any other type of physician. They can determine the root cause of your pain and develop a personalized treatment plan to help alleviate the pain.
In the end, you want to put your feet in the hands of the doctor who has the most experience and knowledge of foot conditions. This is why a podiatrist is the best choice for all foot issues. Contact Island Clinics, now open in Kelowna, Nanaimo, Victoria, Campbell River, Prince George, Terrace, and Williams Lake, and schedule an appointment today.