As counter intuitive as it may seem, a lot of people do not enjoy visiting a healthcare professional’s office. For some, doing so creates a situation that is extremely stressful due to the fear of the unknown. For others, however, it is nothing more than a matter of personal preference. Regardless of the cause, failing to go to a physician when necessary can cause some devastating outcomes that could otherwise have been avoided.
Who is a Podiatrist?
As with every other discipline, podiatrists are no exception to the aforementioned. In fact, since they are relatively unknown professionals operating in a large industry, patients neglect them even more. But in order to decipher when one may need to pay their local podiatrist a visit, it is important to know who these individuals are and what their field of expertise entails. A podiatrist is a doctor that specializes in conditions concerning the foot. They commonly treat everything ranging from minor cases of callused feet or irritated skin to dangerous injuries to the ankle and infections. As such, a lot of their patients tend to be athletes who participate in sports that involve running.
According to experts who provide state-of-the-art foot treatments at Gotham Footcare, podiatrists go through extensive training to get their license. First, they have to obtain a bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for a doctorate program in podiatry. Then, they go through another four years that prepare them for residency training. Once those four years are done, their residency program will normally last anywhere from two to three years. Of course, individuals interested in becoming surgeons with focus on podiatry will be able to do so by going through some additional training. Those who meet all the requirements become known as specialists in foot health.
Knowing What Conditions Podiatrist Treat
In order to understand when to see an expert in foot health, one has to know what types of conditions they work with. The reason why is that they will then understand what types of symptoms should be expected. So, some of the most common conditions include:
- Various Injuries
- Diabetic Foot Ulcers
- Achilles Tendinitis
The list also goes on to include a plethora of skin and nail problems that could have an entire list of their own. Based on this, it is clear that any problem related to one’s foot could land them in the office of a podiatrist. But how exactly does someone point to any of the previously mentioned issues?
Symptoms That Should Prompt a Visit to the Podiatrist
As Gotham Footcare reminds, each foot is made of 26 different bones. In other words, there are an abundance of small fractures that could exist without someone ever knowing about the break. Luckily, a very obvious symptom of this would be pain that makes it hard to walk or stand. So, whenever someone’s foot or feet are hurting beyond reasonable expectations for typical muscle soreness, they should definitely see a professional. Although fractures are common, they are just one of the many things that could be happening inside of someone’s foot. Other problems include pulled muscles, joint dislocation, and more. In order to recognize any of them, one should be on high alert for numbness, swelling that may or may not be accompanied by skin changing color, or redness and warmth. Those last two are a good sign of an infection that could be affecting the tissue.
How Will a Podiatrist Help?
Those who have made a decision to see an expert in foot health may wonder what their approach will be. Well, although each case is different and depends on one’s specific circumstances, there are several things that most practices will follow. First, they will discuss the potential causes of the injury with the patient. This is the stage where they get to know someone’s moving patterns and identify potential sources of injury. After that, they might do an X-Ray to address swollen feet or symptoms of a fracture. Many professionals also require one to undergo MRI scanning if the X-Ray imaging is inconclusive. Besides those two, podiatrists will often run blood tests and conduct nail swabs to mitigate the risk of infection in patients who have open wounds or sores. It is not uncommon to be subjected to an ultrasound procedure as well. In the end, the way that someone’s doctor approaches their situation will be directly related to their symptoms and lifestyle. Nevertheless, people should always let a qualified expert address their situation as the underlying condition could turn out to be much more dangerous than it seems on the surface.