When is it Time to See a Podiatrist? 10 Signs to Look For

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As the weather begins warming up, our ankles and feet are finally coming out of hibernation. However, your feet may not exactly be ready for beach and sandal season. Many people often put off seeing a podiatrist about problems with their feet. Whether it’s because they’re unsure of where to go, don’t know their problem is fairly common, or think what they have is normal, the truth is any pain or discomfort in your feet is not normal, and can usually be treated. 

If you’re facing issues with your foot or feet, from an injury to skin problems or anything in between, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit with a podiatrist. A podiatrist is a specialist that focuses on all ailments of the feet and ankles. If you’re experiencing any of the ten signs below, get in touch with your local podiatrists’ office today. 

  1. Nail fungus: With the rising popularity of nail salons and regularly-scheduled pedicures, nail fungus cases have grown exponentially as well. If you leave it untreated, you’ll not only end up with a thick and discolored toenail, you also risk spreading it to your other toenails as well. 

  2. Numbness, pain or swelling: The occasional swollen feet after you run a long race or stand on your feet all day is relatively normal. However, sudden pain or numbness without an apparent cause could be a sign of a much more serious problem. If this describes your foot or feet, get in touch with a doctor immediately. 

  3. Ingrown toenail: While it may be tempting to solve this problem on your own, or at the nail salon, your safest bet is to have it removed at your podiatrist’s office. They can provide a prescription for medication if the nail is infected, and can numb the area during the removal so it’s much less painful. 

  4. Chronic heel pain: Heel pain can have a variety of different causes, but a podiatrist can run tests and help you determine the root cause of your discomfort, all while making a plan to help you feel better. 

  5. Recurrent Athlete’s Foot: Athlete’s foot is one of the most common fungal infections out there, and can often be treated with over the counter medications and sprays. However, if your athlete’s foot continues to recur, a visit to the podiatrist can help. They’ll be able to check for infection and provide a stronger medicated cream or oral pill to treat it. 

  6. You have Diabetes: Diabetes (both Types 1 and 2) is a precursor to foot problems like nerve pain and damage, ulcers, infection and poor circulation. If you have diabetes, it’s a good idea to visit the podiatrist once per year for a foot exam to prevent these potential problems. 

  7. You think you’ve sprained or broken your ankle or foot: You may think your best bet is to visit an orthopedist, but in actuality, your podiatrist has likely had more experience diagnosing and treating foot or ankle injuries

  8. Corns or calluses: Corns and calluses are thickened areas of dead skin. They can cause problems if they become too thick and painful. A podiatrist can help remove areas of the dead skin if they become too painful or prescribe a topical medication if needed. 

  9. Bunions: A bunion is a bony bump on the outside of the big toe joint. As it grows, it can become increasingly painful. Your podiatrist can order an x-ray of the area and recommend treatment options based on the bunion’s size and severity. 

  10. Joint pain: Joint pain can be a sign of something more serious going on. If you can’t keep your pain at bay with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, it’s important to schedule a visit to your doctor. Your podiatrist can help you determine the root cause of your pain and set up a long-term treatment plan. 

It’s important to take care of your feet, as problems here can cause issues with other parts of your body. At Minivasive Pain, we can help. If you’re experiencing any of the ten signs above, contact your primary care physician for a referral to a podiatrist. 

Podiatry Services at Minivasive Pain and Orthopedics 

At Minivasive Pain, we have a dedicated staff of pain management specialists. No matter who you are or what the cause of your foot pain may be, it is our podiatrists‘ mission to treat the causes with both the highest standards of care and quality. With several pain management centers throughout the Houston area, caring for your pain is what we do every day. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, visit https://minivasivepain.com/contact-us/ or call us at (346) 800-6001.