What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a physician that treats all foot conditions. In some states, their scope of practice includes the ankle and lower leg. In Florida, podiatrists treat all conditions of the foot, ankle and leg. There is no specialist more highly trained than a podiatrist to treat the foot and ankle. Podiatrists treat conditions of the skin, muscles, tendons and bones using conservative treatments and with surgical procedures. All injuries of the foot and ankle are treated including fractures, sprains, wounds and infections.
When is it necessary to see a podiatrist?
Though foot and ankle pain is relatively normal, you should seek a podiatrist when it persists for days to weeks. Common sources of foot pain can occur from one’s daily exercise, types of shoe gear and more. Call your doctor if you are experiencing pain, swelling, redness, are a diabetic, twisted or sprained ankle, fungal infection and ingrown toe nails.
What is Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves), often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet. It can also affect other areas of your body.
What affects wound healing?
Many factors come in to play when healing a wound. Common factors are infection, stress, diabetes, obesity, medications, alcoholism, smoking, systemic conditions, neuropathy, bony abnormalities, circulation and nutrition. A better understanding of the influence of these factors on repair may lead to therapeutics that improve wound healing and resolve impaired wounds.
Is plantar fasciitis and heel spurs the same thing?
There are important distinctions between heels spurs and plantar fasciitis. A heel spur is a calcium deposit that forms a bony protrusion along the plantar fascia. In contrast, plantar fasciitis is a condition where the plantar fascia gets irritated and swollen, which causes pain in the heel.
What are symptoms of Heel Spurs vs. Plantar Fasciitis?
Heel spurs can cause a stabbing sensation at the bottom of the heel. At times patients may have no pain however have a heel spur which can be visualized via x-rays. With plantar fasciitis you can have the same pain however it can encompass a broader range of the bottom of the foot. One usually experiences significant amount of pain the first few steps in the morning. An aching burning pain to the heel is hallmark of plantar fasciitis.
What tips should I follow when shopping for shoes?
Shopping for shoes is best done in the afternoon, says the American Podiatric Medical Association. Your feet tend to swell a little during the day, and it’s best to buy shoes to fit them then. Have your feet measured every time you purchase shoes, and do it while you’re standing. When you try on shoes, try them on both feet; many people have one foot larger than the other, and it’s best to fit the larger one.
Are all foot problems hereditary?
Only a small percentage of the population is born with foot problems, the American Podiatric Medical Association believes. It’s neglect, and a lack of awareness of proper care — including ill-fitting shoes — that bring on the problems. A lifetime of wear and tear, plus neglect, accounts for the fact that the practices of most podiatrists are made up of older Americans.
What are corns and calluses?
Corns and calluses are caused by friction and pressure from skin rubbing against bony areas when wearing shoes. If the first signs of soreness are ignored, corns and calluses rise up as nature’s way of protecting sensitive areas.
What are plantar warts?
Plantar warts are caused by a virus which may invade the sole of the foot through cuts and breaks in the skin. Walking barefoot on dirty pavements or littered ground can expose feet to this sometimes painful skin infection.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is a prominent bone on the side of the big toe joint caused by abnormal tendon/muscle balancing in the foot. It presents with a bump on the side of the foot along with increased angulation of the big toe towards the lesser toes. Many people experience pain from pressure on the boney prominence in shoe gear as well as irritation to a nerve that runs along the side of the foot. Some people can have a bunion with no symptoms, but later in life begin to develop a painful bunion. If you are experiencing bunion pain, you should not delay knowing your treatment options from your podiatrist. Splints, orthotics and nsaids can help provide relief; however, surgical intervention will actually correct the bunion deformity.