Taking care of your feet is essential for your overall health and well-being, but it’s something that many people overlook. Your feet are complex structures of 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and they work hard to support your body every day. It’s no wonder that they sometimes need a little extra care and attention. That’s where podiatrists come in.
Podiatrists are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the foot and ankle.
Here are reasons why you should see a podiatrist
To Treat Foot and Ankle Pain
If you’re experiencing pain in any part of your foot or ankle, it’s worth talking to a podiatrist to get to the bottom of the problem. Podiatric assessment and treatment can help relieve pain and improve function. Common causes of foot and ankle pain include plantar fasciitis (heel pain), Achilles tendonitis (ankle pain), bunions, neuromas (nerve pain), and stress fractures. A podiatrist diagnoses the cause of your pain and recommends a course of treatment to help you find relief.
To Prevent Foot Problems from Getting Worse
If you have a foot problem that’s not causing pain, you might be tempted to ignore it. But even minor issues worsen over time if they’re not treated properly. For example, bunions are deformities that occur when the bones in your big toe joint move out of place. They can be painful, but even if they’re not causing discomfort, they will gradually worsen if they’re not treated. The same goes for hammertoes, heel spurs, and other conditions. Seeing a podiatrist Dallas helps you catch problems early on before they have a chance to worsen.
To Keep Your Feet Healthy as You Age
Your feet go through a lot of wear and tear over the years, leading to problems down the road, such as arthritis or loss of feeling in your feet due to nerve damage. Podiatrists can help you keep your feet healthy as you age by identifying problems early on and developing a treatment plan to prevent further damage. For example, podiatrists can prescribe orthotics (custom-made shoe inserts) to help relieve pain and prevent further damage to your feet.
If you’re an athlete, you put a lot of stress on your feet and ankles. Podiatrists can help you avoid injuries by fitting you for custom-made shoes and orthotics to support your feet. They can also treat injuries such as Achilles tendonitis, stress fractures, and plantar fasciitis.
To Improve Your Overall Quality of Life
Many people don’t realize their feet’ importance until they start having problems with them. When your feet hurt, it is difficult to walk or even stand for long periods, which significantly impacts your quality of life. Seeing a podiatrist in Dallas regularly helps keep your feet healthy so you can stay active and do the things you love without pain or discomfort holding you back.
To Prevent Infections
While your feet may seem tough enough to withstand anything, they’re quite susceptible to infections, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation. One common infection is athlete’s foot, caused by a fungus that grows in warm, moist environments (like sweaty shoes). If left untreated, an athlete’s foot leads to more serious problems such as blisters or ulcers. Another common infection is nail fungus, which usually starts as yellow or white spots under the tip of your fingernail or toenail (but it can affect any part of your nail). Nail fungus is difficult to treat on your own, so it’s best to see a podiatrist if you think you may have it.
To Prevent or Treat Diabetes-related Foot Problems
Diabetes can cause nerve damage, which leads to problems with sensation in your feet. This makes it challenging to discern injuries or wounds on your feet. Diabetic foot ulcers are common in people with diabetes and can lead to severe complications if left untreated. A podiatrist helps you care for your feet and avoid potential problems associated with diabetes.
To Prevent or Treat Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the flesh of the toe. This is often painful and even leads to infection if not treated properly. A podiatrist in Dallas prescribes medication or performs a “nail avulsion” procedure to remove the ingrown portion of the nail and allow it to grow back correctly.
To Improve Your Balance and Prevent Falls
As you age, your fall risk increases due to declining muscle mass, vision changes, and medications that cause dizziness or drowsiness. Falls lead to severe injuries, such as hip fractures or head trauma, so it is essential to take measures to prevent falls from occurring in the first place. A podiatrist helps you identify any issues with your feet that may contribute to falls and provide treatments to improve your balance and decrease your fall risk.
For Children’s Foot Health
Parents must take their children to see a podiatrist regularly, even if they aren’t experiencing foot or ankle problems. Children’s feet are still developing, so it’s essential to ensure they are healthy and growing properly. A podiatrist in Dallas can guide children’s foot health and offer advice on choosing the right shoes and socks and when to start wearing orthotics if necessary.
People with Flat Feet
Flat feet (also called “fallen arches”) are a condition in which the arch of the foot collapses, leading to pain and problems with walking or standing. People with flat feet are more susceptible to injuries, so you must see a podiatrist if you think you may have this condition. A podiatrist prescribes arch supports or custom orthotics to help treat flat feet and improve your symptoms.
For Pregnant Women
Pregnancy causes several changes in your feet, including swelling, flat feet, and heel pain. These changes are due to the extra weight you carry and the hormones that relax your ligaments and joints. A podiatrist helps you manage these changes and provide relief from foot pain.
Whether you’re dealing with a foot or ankle injury, struggling with a chronic condition such as diabetes, or want to keep your feet healthy, a podiatrist can help. Podiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat problems with the feet and ankles, so they can help you get back on your feet and improve your quality of life. If you think you may benefit from seeing a podiatrist, make an appointment with one today.