Your feet and lower extremities do a lot of work. They have many complex structures, such as bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons, that work together perfectly with the rest of your body to enable normal movement. A podiatrist, also known as a doctor of podiatric medicine, is a health specialist in diagnosing, preventing, and treating conditions and problems that affect your foot, lower limb, and ankle. Some issues affecting your feet include ingrown toenails, heel spurs, pain in the foot’s arch, sprains, and skin problems. Alamo Heights podiatrist may also provide preventive care for your foot, refer you to specialist treatment, recommend specific exercises for your lower extremities, and perform a surgical procedure.
Consequently, below are some common reasons you may need a podiatrist.
1. You are a runner
You should see a podiatric doctor if you are a beginning or continuing runner. That is because running frequently exposes you to various injuries, including shin splints, hamstring issues, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and ankle sprain.
Your podiatrist has the training and experience to examine your body and lower extremities, identify potential risks, and recommend prevention strategies.
2. Joint pain
Medically referred to as arthritis, joint pain in your ankles and feet results from the natural wear and tear on your joints, which causes inflammation. Apart from the swelling, other potential signs of joint pain include stiffness, redness, and tenderness.
An osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis affecting one out of six people over 50 years.
Without addressing the cause of the joint pain in the ankle or feet, you may have to deal with disability issues.
Foot issues appear gradually since too much sugar in the blood damages the blood vessels and nerves in your lower extremities. As a result, your lower extremities do not get enough supply of blood, which carries essential nutrients like oxygen. Nerve damage referred to as diabetic neuropathy, may cause pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation in your feet.
Your skin may appear drier, and your foot may have sores and infections that may necessitate amputation of your toes, part of your foot, or the entire lower leg.
If you have diabetes, you should visit your podiatrist at least once every year so that any arising issues can be dealt with early to prevent amputation. You have more than a 50% chance of avoiding amputation if your health provider monitors your diabetic foot regularly.
4. Stubborn ingrown toenails
An ingrown toenail involves your toenail, especially in the big toe, curving down and digging into the adjacent skin. An ingrown toenail comes from exposure to trauma resulting from toenail loss, repetitive pressure from certain activities, flaky patches of skin forming scales, or fungal infection.
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail are pain, redness, and inflammation.
Your podiatrist may remove part of your affected toenail and prescribe medication to deal with an infection.
You can always avoid ingrown nails by wearing shoes that provide enough room for your toenails, keeping the feet clean and dry, using a toenail clipper, and cutting nails across.
Contact Sports Medicine Associates today to book an appointment with a podiatrist.