A Podiatrist is a medical professional that specializes in the foot, ankle and lower leg. They are also referred to as podiatric physicians, Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) or simply Foot Doctors.
They help diagnose, treat and prevent a wide range of foot and lower leg conditions by performing x-rays, lab tests, surgery, prescriptions, and much more. They can be a member of your healthcare team, and they have expertise in the treatment of sports injuries, arthritis, diabetic feet, and more.
When Should You Visit One?
It’s best to consult with a podiatrist Mitcham as soon as you notice pain or discomfort in your feet and ankles. If left untreated, these issues can become more serious and affect your overall health. If you have diabetes, it’s even more important to see a podiatrist at least once a year for a checkup and review of your medical history.
Heel pain is often a sign of an injury or a bone spur. Your podiatrist can perform a thorough exam and X-ray to determine the cause of your heel pain. They will work with you to develop a plan to relieve your pain and get you back to your activities. This may include physical therapy, splinting, anti-inflammatory medications, and in-shoe cushioning or orthotic devices.
Joint pain in the foot and ankle is another reason to see a podiatrist. If you experience redness and swelling in your ankle or toe joints, you may have arthritis. A podiatrist can prescribe medications to ease the pain and swelling. If the medication doesn’t help, they can surgically remove a small portion of your damaged bone or joint.
Bunions are a painful condition that occurs when the big toe pushes against the other toes in the foot. They can lead to other foot problems, including ingrown toenails, corns and calluses, and hammertoes. A podiatrist can diagnose your bunion and recommend a treatment plan to eliminate your pain and improve your quality of life.
If you have a bunion, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan that can include padding and taping, orthotics to provide support for the affected area, or surgery to remove the bump. The treatments will be tailored to your needs and preferences.
Ingrown toenails are painful and can lead to infections if they’re left untreated. A podiatrist can assess your nail and prescribe medication to reduce pain and swelling. They may also recommend a partial or full nail removal to prevent infection and promote faster healing.
Flat feet are a common condition that can be treated by a podiatrist. This is a deformity of the feet that can affect the way you walk and put stress on the joints in your midfoot and hindfoot. It can also lead to painful inflammation in the foot and ankle.
Diabetics and high blood pressure are some other conditions that can result in foot and ankle problems. People with diabetes often have less pain perception than those without this medical condition, and they should schedule a yearly appointment with their podiatrist to examine their feet.