A podiatrist diagnoses and treats a wide range of disorders, injuries, and deformities of the foot and ankle. Whether you sprain an ankle, have an ingrown toenail, or see a bunion developing, a highly qualified foot doctor can help.
Here are five symptoms that suggest it’s time to see a podiatrist.
1. Pain and Swelling from an Acute Injury
If you injured your foot or ankle, such as twisting your ankle, dropping something heavy on your foot, or suffered an injury in a car or sports accident, you may need to see a podiatrist. Look out for signs of pain and swelling that suggest the problem may be related to severely damaged tissue, such as a tear or fracture.
When you suffer an injury to the foot or ankle, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. This is because foot and ankle injuries are very difficult to assess on your own. A painful foot may be due to a bruised muscle that requires nothing more than rest or due to a fracture that needs treatment. In fact, even the level of pain is not always a good indicator of whether you need medical attention. Sometimes, mild to moderate foot pain can suggest the injury is minor, when in fact, the injury needs medical treatment to heal properly.
As such, if you suffer an acute injury, it’s best to see a podiatrist to get the injury evaluated. This is particularly true for those suffering from arthritis or diabetes.
2. Numbness and Tingling in the Feet
People with diabetes and peripheral circulation problems need regular podiatric care with an experienced podiatrist to avoid the progression of issues, such as neuropathy, ulcerations, Charcot foot, and more. Our podiatrist, Dr. Benjamin Potter, is a qualified foot and ankle surgeon. He is able to manage the effects of nerve and blood vessel damage using both surgical and non-operative solutions that preserve tissue and improve circulation and ambulation.
3. Balance or Gait Issues
Arthritis, sports training, overuse injuries, and deformities such as hammertoes can impede proper balance and ambulation. Podiatrists often use custom orthotics (shoe inserts) and assistive devices (splints and walking boots) to correct posture and balance. Dr. Potter has expertise in the special needs of athletes –professional and amateur –and advises active individuals on how to train safely and efficiently.
4. Itchy, Inflamed Skin or Deformed, Yellow Nails
Athletes’ foot impacts thousands of Americans who are sports enthusiasts or simply have picked up the fungus while walking barefoot or wearing sweaty shoes. Nails, too, may become thick, yellow, and deformed. Your foot doctor can examine your feet and prescribe topical or oral medications to clear the fungus and treat nail problems, so you walk comfortably and enjoy clear, healthy nails and skin.
Over-the-counter treatments are not as effective as podiatrist-led treatments. These issues may seem like minor problems, but they can lead to complications and be bothersome for months, if not years, when not treated properly.
5. Foot or Heel Pain
A great indicator that you need to see a podiatrist is if you have chronic foot or heel pain. Heel pain is often due to plantar fasciitis, a condition in which the heel of the foot becomes inflamed and painful, particularly right after getting out of bed or after long periods of standing on your feet. Foot pain can be caused by many issues, such as overuse, improper footwear, and more.
If you are experiencing foot or heel pain, it’s best to see a podiatrist, because it will likely continue to get worse without proper treatment or adjustments to your footwear or lifestyle. Instead of waiting for the pain to become unbearable, see a podiatrist soon, so you can alleviate the pain and go back to living life pain-free.
Experienced Foot Doctor in Kingsport, TN
At Associated Orthopaedics, our professional team includes Dr. Benjamin Potter, a podiatric surgeon and sports medicine expert who diagnoses and treats foot and ankle conditions and injuries of all kinds. He is known for his kind, patient-centered approach to treating patients and returning them to active, pain-free lifestyles.