What Is a Podiatrist and When Should I See One?

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What Is a Podiatrist and When Should I See One?

You probably know a podiatrist is a foot doctor, but do you know what they actually do and when you should see one? Read on to find out!

Your foot has 26 different bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 tendons, ligaments, and muscles. It’s a complicated piece of your body, especially when you include the ankle and lower leg.

So who takes care of your feet? Podiatrists, that’s who.

You probably already knew that, but Hansen Foot and Ankle want you to know a little more about what a podiatrist does and more importantly, when it’s time for you to visit one.

What is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a specialist who manages and treats all aspects of the foot, ankle, and connecting parts of the leg. They treat people of all ages and a range of general foot conditions. Some podiatrists are specialists in various areas of foot care, such as surgery, sports injuries, or diabetes.

When should you see a podiatrist?

Even if you don’t have a specific foot problem, it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist to review a general picture of the health of your feet. They can also remove any hard skin on your feet, clip your toenails correctly, and advise you on what shoes would be best for your feet.

Some specific areas of concern that should prompt you to seek care and treatment from a podiatrist include the following:

  • One or both of your feet suffer from numbness, pain, or swelling 

If you experience sudden or unexplained pain or numbness, you should head to the doctor to prevent it from getting worse.

  • Heel pain that does not go away

Various issues can cause pain in your heel. Your podiatrist helps you get to the bottom of this problem for relief.

Fungal infections on toenails are common due to nail salons. If you contract this, you should get it treated right away to keep your toenails from becoming thick and discolored. Podiatrists can also remove ingrown toenails with less pain than you can on your own, plus they can prescribe medicine if it’s infected.

  • Flat feet

If your feet are flat, you may need custom orthotics to provide proper support, and you’ll need a podiatrist’s help to obtain them.

  • Sprained or broken foot or ankle

An orthopedist can also help you, but a podiatrist will have more specific experience with the foot and ankle area.

These bony bumps on the outside of the big toe can become very painful. A podiatrist can recommend the best treatment options.

  • Diabetes

People with Type 1 or 2 diabetes are more likely to experience foot problems due to poor circulation and nerve damage. If you have diabetes, you should visit a podiatrist regularly to check for any foot issues.

If you’ve been dealing with a foot problem but keep putting off a visit to the doctor, why not go ahead and schedule your podiatrist visit with us? The Hansen Foot and Ankle team in Mill Creek, Washington is happy to help you — call our office today or make an appointment online, and we’ll take care of you!