A podiatrist is a doctor specializing in treatment of issues relating to the feet and ankles. Most people go to the podiatrist when something traumatic happens to those areas, but you can also see a podiatrist when you think you may need preventative care and ongoing treatment.
When will you need to choose a podiatrist? How can you choose the right podiatrist for your needs?
Ingrown toenails are some of the most common issues in the world of podiatry. These occur when the nail of the big toe grows inward toward the skin instead of over the top of it. Ingrown toenails can be caused by improper nail trimming, trauma to the feet, among other reasons. Podiatrists can remove the part of the nail that has grown into the skin, and can also kill the cells on the edge that cause the nail to repeatedly grow into the skin.
Bunions are also common foot issues. Bunions are enlarged joints at the base of the toes. These enlargements can cause a lot of swelling and discomfort when someone wears tight shoes (it is also thought that bunions may be genetic). A podiatrist can recommend special footwear called orthotics to help ease the pain and correct the issue as much as possible. Severe bunions may require surgery. Any type of foot pain should be evaluated by a podiatrist to see if it is caused by bunions (the earlier you catch it, the better).
There is a long band of tissue that connects the ball of the foot with the heel. When this tissue becomes damaged or inflamed, it causes an intense amount of pain. A podiatrist can give you injections to ease the pain and perform surgery if necessary to correct it. You could also be prescribed medications and special inserts for your shoes to make them more comfortable while you heal.
How to Choose a Podiatrist
Ask your family doctor for recommendations. If you see your doctor for foot problems, he or she may refer you to a podiatrist regardless. Do your research to ensure the podiatrist will give you the treatments you need to feel better. Ask friends, family, and colleagues who they see for their foot problems. Nothing beats word of mouth recommendations from people you love and trust.
Also, do a little research online and read reviews from other patients to see what people say about a particular doctor. Once you have narrowed it down, you could also schedule a meeting at a podiatrist’s office to speak with them regarding your foot issues. If their treatment plan makes sense to you, then you may have found the right foot doctor for your needs.
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The following guest post contribution is courtesy of Teton Foot and Ankle Center, the foot doctor idaho falls, Idaho and the surrounding area has come to trust.