07 Oct What does a Podiatrist do?
You’ve probably heard one of your friends say they see a Podiatrist regularly, but do you know what they really do?
A Podiatrist is an expert on treating and assessing the foot and ankle. You do not need to have pain or a referral from your doctor to warrant an appointment.
Diabetics are advised to see a Podiatrist at least twice a year to prevent foot complications occurring.
I advise a general foot check up once a year for everyone. The check up includes a health assessment of your skin, nails, blood flow, nerve sensation, walking, foot posture and muscle tightness.
Skin and nail health is often a reflection of the person’s overall health, and so it is important to get any niggling concerns looked so they don’t get worse. If you notice any discolouration, rashes, itchiness or odour occurring then see your Podiatrist. Hard skin is a sign of pressure on your feet; this can be due to inadequate and poorly fitting shoes or simply because of the way you are walking. Discoloured or thick toenails can suggest fungal or bacterial infections which need to be addressed.
A Podiatrist will also check that you have adequate blood flow to your toes using a doppler ultrasound and by visually checking and feeling the temperature of both of your feet. If one foot is a different colour or temperature it may indicate an infection or abnormality which needs further investigation.
A neurological test will also be done to assess the quality of nerve sensation in your feet. This is important for diabetics and anyone experiencing pins and needles, numbness or cramping in your legs and feet. We need good nerve sensation to let our bodies know when we have cut ourselves or done harm to our feet. If left untreated it can lead to ulcerations or even amputations.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot conditions or injuries. This is pain in your heel first thing in the morning when you get out of bed from inflammation of the arch of your foot. A Podiatrist can review your footwear, apply a supportive strapping to your foot, add padding to your shoe or issue you with a set of orthotics to help reduce your symptoms. I believe wholeheartedly that it is important to treat the cause of your pain and not just the symptoms.
Growing pains in children are also very common, but this does not mean they are something that should be overlooked. There are lots of treatment modalities we can put in place to reduce growing pains so it’s best to get your child reviewed by a professional Podiatrist.
If you are wanting to be proactive about your health, are unevenly wearing your shoes, have increased your exercise, find it difficult to cut your toenails or are interested in a foot and ankle assessment then book an appointment today with your local Podiatrist.
The Foot Studio Podiatry