If you’re experiencing foot pain but don’t know whether to see a podiatrist or not, you may be wondering: What is a podiatrist? When should you see one? If unsure, you can always visit your GP to seek advice. Alternatively, a GP can write a referral for you based on your symptoms. Going private may be a quicker way to get treated, but it will also require payment. Luckily, many people find the service affordable and convenient, so it’s worth looking into.
If your foot pain is more severe and persistent, you may want to see a podiatrist. This specialist will assess the condition of your feet and determine whether you need a surgical procedure or long-term physical therapy. For people with diabetes, the doctor can prescribe special shoes for patients with the condition. People with diabetes should pay close attention to any changes in how their feet feel and keep a journal of their symptoms. Often, infection or other condition is the root cause of foot pain, and a podiatrist can treat the underlying problem.
Surgical procedures performed by a podiatrist can help people with painful foot conditions. In addition to reducing swelling and removing dead skin, podiatrists can perform various foot procedures. They can use cortisone injections to treat painful conditions and surgical blades to remove calluses. While the surgical procedure may sound discouraging, it is not.
Symptoms of a foot or ankle injury may indicate a need for a visit to a podiatrist. Numbness or pain in the feet at night or swelling in the ankle or toes may be symptoms of an underlying disease. Podiatrists are trained to detect and treat these problems and help patients get back on their feet.
Besides treating painful conditions, podiatrists can provide advice on prevention and treatment. Many people experience pain in their feet due to corns and calluses, built-up skin on the foot. If the calluses or corns get thicker, they can cause pain and may require local debridement or minor surgery. If the bunion becomes too large, a podiatrist may perform a bunion surgery or suggest other treatment options.
In addition to painful foot problems, a podiatrist may diagnose a condition called a neuroma. This condition involves an inflamed nerve. People with diabetes are at risk for developing neuromas, and seeing a podiatrist once a year will ensure they do not acquire any problematic issues. A podiatrist can also remove ingrown toenails and, if necessary, provide medication to combat infection.
Some people are unaware of their foot problems and tend to ignore them. They do not regularly examine their feet, so they don’t notice a problem until it worsens. They are waiting too long to see a podiatrist can exacerbate the situation. Patients may linger for months before their symptoms are improved. This is a bad idea since a problem that starts a day before treatment can result in much more severe issues.