Written By Anita Ginsburg / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
People don’t often think of their feet as indicators of their overall health. However, the health of your feet can make a big difference in comfort and safety in your day-to-day life. This is why visiting the podiatrist for foot-related problems is so important. A podiatrist can treat foot injuries and infections much more efficient than a generalized doctor might be able to.
Here are four of the most common reasons people visit the podiatrist.
Bunions and podiatrist
Bunions are often associated with older women, but the truth is that people of any age or sex can develop these deformities. It occurs when the front of the big toe moves toward the second toe, pushing the joint of your big toe out of place. This condition is often painful and may lead to red and irritated skin around the joint, calluses on your foot and bump, and stiffness in the affected joint.
These symptoms can make simply walking or standing difficult for some people. Also, because bunions form slowly over time, you may not notice them until they are large and painful.
Bunions can be caused by medical conditions or simply by foot shape and function. Medical conditions that may cause the issue include arthritis and gout as well as neuromuscular conditions. Additionally, wearing poorly fitting shoes can also make symptoms worse in those prone to bunions. Narrow, pointed high heels in particular are often cited as causing or worsening bunions.
Diabetes and podiatrist
Diabetes can affect both blood supply and nerve function, and because your feet are the furthest part of your body from your heart, they will likely experience problems first. Poor circulation and blood supply to your feet means that any small wounds, like cuts or blisters that occur on your feet will heal more slowly than they should. This leaves even small injuries open to harmful infections.
Nerve damage in your feet can lead to a wide range of symptoms from numbness to a tingling or even burning sensation. The numbness may cause you to not notice when your feet are injured. Meanwhile pain can interrupt your daily activities and may keep you awake at night.
To prevent these issues, you should see a podiatrist at least once a year if you have diabetes. If you develop sores or serious calluses on your feet between checkups, go to the podiatrist rather than trying to treat them yourself.
Infection and podiatrist
Because your feet spend so much time exposed to the ground and the contaminants on it, it’s prone to picking up infections. Fungal infections like athlete’s foot are some of the most common, and there are several types of over-the-counter medications available to help treat mild cases.
However, if at-home treatment doesn’t work, you will need to go to the podiatrist. They can prescribe more effective medication and even antibiotics if needed.
Additionally, small injuries like blisters can become easily infected if they are not sanitized and covered effectively enough. Ingrown toenails can also become infected. Infections in the foot are dangerous because the skin is so close to the bone that the bones can become infected as well. This is called osteomyelitis, and it will likely keep the injuries from healing.
Pain and podiatrist
Finally, if you experience any sort of ongoing foot pain, you’ll want to talk to the podiatrist. There are many potential causes of foot pain including a sprained or broken ankle, heel spurs, thick calluses or corns, or arthritis. Even simply not having the right kind of support in your shoes can cause serious foot pain. Your podiatrist can find the source of your pain and treat it. In some cases, they may recommend foot surgery.
A visit to your podiatrist can make a big difference in your quality of life. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, talk to a podiatrist about treatment options.
Looking for 100% all-natural foot and body products? Check out The Runner’s Choice foot care oil for tired and achy feet and ReliefMD body oil to help with the discomfort of sore muscles. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.