A podiatrist is a medical specialist who treats problems of the feet, ankles and lower legs. He or she can treat injuries, as well as complications from ongoing health issues like diabetes. Podiatrists have four years of training in podiatric medical school and three years of hospital-based residency training. Like other physicians, they can do surgery and reset broken bones, prescribe drugs and order lab tests or X-rays. They also work closely with other specialists when treating foot and leg problems that involve other parts of the body.
Podiatrists diagnose and treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, warts, corns and calluses, bunions, hammertoes and flat feet. They may also recommend orthotics, footwear or other devices to help correct a deformity or provide support. Some of the most common conditions treated by podiatrists include:
This is a condition that causes pain in the heel area. It’s usually caused by excess stress or pressure on the foot and can be aggravated by running, standing for long periods of time or wearing high heels. It can lead to the formation of heel spurs, which are pieces of calcium that develop at the bottom of the heel bone. The condition is very painful, especially when you first get out of bed or start walking after sitting for a long period of time. It gets better as the day goes on and after you’ve been up and moving around for awhile. You can reduce your risk of getting plantar fasciitis by losing weight, wearing shoes that fit well and not over-working the foot or ankle muscles.
Diabetic foot care
Podiatrist Castle Hill can help you manage diabetes in your feet, including testing for nerve damage and assessing the circulation of blood in your lower extremities. They can also treat sores, blisters and infections and advise you on foot care routines to prevent future problems.
A sore heel can be an early warning sign of a bigger problem, such as arthritis. Each foot has 33 joints, and it’s possible to have arthritis in the feet just from normal wear and tear or from being overweight. A podiatrist Rouse Hill might prescribe medication, exercise, orthopedic shoes or inserts to ease your symptoms and may suggest surgery if other treatments aren’t working for you.
You don’t always need a referral from your doctor to see a podiatrist, but it’s always best to check with your insurance company first to make sure. If you have Medicare, it may cover some or all of your podiatry visits under your Chronic Disease Management plan. You can also visit the website of Foot & Leg Pain clinic to locate a podiatrist in your area. You can also ask your general practitioner for a recommendation.