77% of Americans have experienced foot discomfort. However, just one-third of people seek expert advice from a podiatrist. A podiatrist is a medical specialist who focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of foot and ankle disorders and injuries. Podiatrists provide a comprehensive variety of medical therapy for foot and ankle disorders.
Your quality of life may be significantly impacted if you ignore foot discomfort. In fact, it can limit your ability to do things like walk, play, work, or exercise. 83% of patients with chronic foot pain find it difficult to participate in these activities. In this article, we have gathered seven alarming signs that you should visit a podiatrist.
1. You experience joint pain
Arthritis is one of the most frequent diseases impacting people worldwide. You should consult a podiatrist if the joints in your feet are frequently swollen, red, stiff, or sensitive. Arthritis can cause joint deformation and eventually lead to disability. A podiatrist can recommend treatment options that will help you maintain joint health that will help you live more comfortably.
2. You have ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails occur when toenails grow into the skin. This condition commonly affects the big toe and can lead to infection. If the area near the ingrown toenail is really red or has a lot of discharge, you should consult a podiatrist. A part of the nail may need to be removed. Your doctor can also prescribe antibiotics as part of your therapy if an ingrown toenail is infected.
3. You have flat feet
Flat feet are feet that don’t have a correct arch in the center. This problem can be inherited or developed as a result of poor footwear or trauma. Flat feet may cause problems to your foot’s health.
Consult a podiatrist if you experience foot discomfort or believe you have flat feet. Even if you don’t have symptoms right now, they might appear in the future. A podiatrist can inform you about preventative care that will keep your feet healthy for many years.
4. You have corns or calluses
Corns and calluses are two of the most common reasons people seek the services of a foot doctor. If these patches of built-up skin get too thick, they can cause severe discomfort and pain. Cortisone injections may be recommended by a podiatrist to alleviate discomfort. Your doctor may also use a surgical blade to remove corns and calluses. Because the skin is dead, the process is not painful.
5. You have a bunion
A bunion is a deformity on the big toe’s base. This problem develops when the big toe’s bones or joints have moved and are now out of place. Without timely and proper treatment, bunions usually worsen and become more painful. A podiatrist can recommend treatments including cushioning, taping, or medication. But if bunions are extremely severe, you may need to undergo surgery.
6. You suffer from diabetes
Diabetes increases your risk of foot issues. It causes changes in the skin, causing it to become dry, cracked, and prone to ulcers. Due to the possibility of skin bacteria and nail fungus entering the circulation and leading to a systemic infection, such skin issues commonly have the potential to develop into secondary infections.
If you have diabetes, you should get your feet examined by a podiatrist at least once a year. Having a podiatrist on your healthcare team reduces the risk of diabetes-related amputation by more than half.
7. You experience heel pain
If you suffer from discomfort in the heels of your feet, you may have plantar fasciitis. The most typical sign of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain in the heels upon waking up or after sitting for an extended length of time. It is essential to get treatment as soon as possible because this problem tends to worsen with time.