You may already know that a podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) and that they specialize in health issues concerning feet and the lower legs, but what exactly do they treat? Let’s jump in feet first and break down the most common conditions podiatrists help heel.
The Most Common Conditions Treated
When trouble is afoot, and you or a loved one is experiencing discomfort in the lower legs or feet, be sure to visit your local podiatrist! Here are some of the most common ailments treated by podiatrists:
Arthritis: There’re over 100 forms of arthritis and the foot and ankle is one of the most common areas to be affected. Since the foot alone has 26 bones and more than 30 joints, it’s no wonder that this area of the body is prone to arthritis. A podiatrist may recommend medication, special shoes, physical therapy, shoe inserts, or even surgery depending on the severity.
Fractures and/or sprains: A broken foot or ankle is an incredibly common injury (especially in sports) and treatment varies from wearing a special boot to surgery depending on the location of the injury and rather the bones are healing properly.
Hammertoes and Bunions: When your big toe moves out of its place causing an enlargement of the joint, a bunion is created. Bunions can make wearing shoes very uncomfortable. A hammertoe is an abnormal bend in the middle joint of the toe. It’s a common ailment typically brought on by wearing high heels or narrow shoes. Both can be treated with surgery (if necessary), special shoes, physical therapy, and protective padding.
Nail Disorders: Nail issues are frequently caused by infections, fungus, or simply an ingrown toenail. Treatment may include medicated cream, toenail removal, and anti-fungal medication.
Diabetes: Diabetes can damage the nerves in your feet and make getting blood to the area very difficult. Diabetes can also cause serious complications and can even lead to foot removal if not treated properly. If you have diabetes be sure to always have any sores on the feet checked out by your podiatrist.
Athlete’s Foot: Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal skin infection that typically is caused by sweating while wearing tight fitting shoes. This condition can be treated with an anti-fungal medication.
Don’t be defeeted by your condition! If you’re ever experiencing pain in your foot or ankle, be sure to visit your podiatrist right away and put an end to your discomfort.