Although we often take them for granted, our feet are one of the most important parts of your body. Of all of the bones in your body, your feet contain almost a quarter of them, making them an incredibly complex piece of your anatomy to understand and care for. As you go throughout your day, your feet play a vital role in acting as shock absorbers for the activities you partake in, and are responsible for you getting from point A to point B. Podiatry is the branch of medical science concerned with helping and treating both the foot and ankle, and has grown in popularity and demand as self-care has become a larger part of many people’s lives. Here are three signs it might be a good time to visit a podiatrist.
You’ve started to feel pain in or near your feet
Although podiatry is not always reactionary, many people head to a podiatrist when they’ve had an injury. Even for some doctors, this is the major reason that they got into the business, as they’ve experienced what it’s like to injure themselves at a young age. This is precisely what happened with Dr. Velimir Petkov, podiatrist at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, NJ. Dr. Petkov, now 38 years old, shares: “I vividly recall how I had severely sprained my right ankle at the age of 16 while playing soccer. I had to wear a cast for almost 6 weeks during my summer vacation. Luckily, the doctor who treated me was very kind and knowledgeable This is when I decided that I wanted to help people who may be experiencing the same problems with their feet and ankles after an injury.”
Understanding the effect that a foot or ankle injury can have on your life is key to providing top-notch care, and since there are a wide array of foot injuries that can contribute to foot pain, it’s important that you head to a podiatrist at the earliest sign of discomfort. This can keep a minor injury or sprain from worsening and becoming a far more serious condition.
You’re going to be increasing your physical activity
Another reason to consider seeing a podiatrist is if you know you’re going to be increasing your physical activity. One reason for this is because you may be putting your feet and ankles at risk by trying out a new activity and by the extra demands it might place on your feet. When thought about this way, it’s much easier to understand why you should talk to a podiatrist before starting new exercise programs, particularly if you’re overweight.
Whether you’re planning on starting a new cardio routine at the gym or are looking to join your office’s intramural softball league, consulting with a doctor before increasing your activity is a great way to identify any potential areas of concern. A podiatrist can take a look at your foot’s arch and how you walk and run to analyze the best athletic footwear for your new hobby.
You have exterior foot problems
Exterior, skin-related foot problems are another reason that many people visit their podiatrist. Bunions, corns, spurs, warts, and Athlete’s foot are all common foot issues that can be addressed with the help of a podiatrist. If any part of your foot or toes has pain, inflammation, itching, or redness, it’s a good idea to take a trip to your doctor, as, left untreated, these conditions can worsen considerably. Many podiatrists have a variety of technologies to address these problems, from freezing the problem area with cryotherapy to steroid injections. In some cases, a podiatrist may even recommend surgery for some conditions, like bunions, which can more fully address your problem if other measures don’t offer you relief.
Just like visiting a dermatologist or optometrist, there is great value that comes with seeing a podiatrist. If you really want to learn more about your feet and how to best care for them, taking a trip to your podiatrist’s office can be a great start. From learning about preventative care to finding the right shoes to keep you from getting blisters when you run, your local podiatrist is always available to offer you relief and comfort through treatment.