What Does a Podiatrist Treat?
- Podiatrists are specialists that treat medical conditions of the foot and ankle. They diagnose and treat various foot problems, including bunions, hammertoes, heel spurs, corns, calluses, and warts.
In this article, we'll further discuss more conditions podiatrist treat.
What is a podiatrist?
Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating problems with your feet. They are experts on your feet and lower limbs.
Podiatrists also provide advice on preventing these problems from occurring in the future by correcting your footwear or providing orthotics or other devices.
What is the difference between a podiatrist and an orthopedist?
On the educational level, a podiatric physician is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. They do not go to a traditional four-year medical school. They instead go to podiatry school for 4 years, then 1 to 3 years of residency training.
A podiatrist specializes in the treatment of foot and lower limb conditions. They can help with everything from common issues like sports injuries, bunions, or ingrown toenails to more severe problems like diabetes-related lower limb issues.
An orthopedist would not usually deal with the conditions mentioned above, but they focus on skeletal and muscular systems. For example, they treat injuries involving bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons throughout your body, including joints like your shoulder joint or knees.
An orthopedist is generally trained in lower extremity injuries such as fractured bones or torn ligaments/tendons around the knee joint. Orthopedists are often called on for more complicated joint injuries that require surgery.
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What conditions can a podiatrist treat?
Podiatrists treat people of any age for many foot-related conditions, for example:
Fractures and sprains. Foot and ankle sprains and fractures are some of the most common injuries, particularly when it comes to sports. Because of the significant risk of injuries, athletes frequently require special attention from a podiatrist.
Hammertoes and Bunions. Bunions and hammertoes are problems with the bones in your feet; a hammertoe is a toe that doesn't bend properly, while a bunion happens when the big toe joint gets misplaced.
Nail disorders. Infections and deformities of the toenails are fairly common and are referred to as onychosis.
Diabetes-related foot issues. When circulation is poor, foot problems may arise. Podiatrists also work with patients who have diabetes or other circulatory problems in their legs that may lead to ulcers on the skin.
Arthritis Arthritis is a painful condition that can affect many different parts of our body. Most people suffer from some form of pain at one point in time, ranging from aching bones to varying degrees of stiffness.
With arthritis of the foot, the general idea is that when something rubs against the bone, it can cause discomfort and make walking more difficult.
Growing feet issues
Children may sometimes experience growing pains in their feet during periods of growth. Some of the common issues that might need to be addressed are flat feet, toes not lining up right, inward-pointing feet, flat feet, etc. Depending on the case, exercises, braces, or special shoe inserts may be prescribed.
One common fungal infection that foot doctors help with is Athlete's foot. It commonly occurs in people whose feet have become very sweaty while wearing tight-fitting shoes.
This condition occurs on the skin of the foot, often between the toes. Usually, this may be easily addressed using antifungal medications.
Heel pain. Heel pain is a common issue usually caused by calcium buildup at the bottom of the heel bone (called hell spurs). Some of the causes of heel pain include plantar ftis, Achilles tendinitis, obesity, excessive running, ill-fitting shoes.
Other common foot disorders that a podiatrist can treat are: Corn and calluses, warts, high and low arch feet (flat foot), peripheral and diabetic neuropathy, numbness, and tingling.
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While it's not always possible to prevent foot problems, there are many things you can do to help ensure that your feet stay healthy.
Podiatrists are experts in the prevention of these foot problems. If you believe you have any discomfort or pain with your feet, do not self-diagnose medicate.
Always consult with a certified healthcare professional. Only a podiatrist can help you better help diagnose and understand your foot problems and how to properly treat and heal such issues.
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