What Are Common Reasons to See a Podiatrist?
Many medical conditions can lead you to wonder whether you should consult a podiatrist and at what point it may be medically necessary to seek a consultation and professional treatment. When you have a developing condition, it can likely benefit from professional observation, diagnosis, and resulting treatment. However, it’s also important to know when your condition is growing worse, what the stages of severity are, and how a podiatrist can help. In this article, we’ll discuss what a podiatrist does, when to see a podiatrist for your condition, the most common reasons, and whether you need a referral to see a podiatrist.
What Does a Podiatrist Do?
The medical specialists who help people with issues affecting their lower legs and feet are referred to as podiatrists. These medical professionals work to effectively treat a number of specific and impactful physical injuries, as well as the various complications that can arise due to or in combination with a medical issue. One such complication that can arise from current health issues is diabetes, which can cause other medical issues and deeply affect a person’s health and quality of life. You may also hear a podiatrist referred to as a doctor of podiatric medicine or a podiatric physician. These individuals are doctors, but don’t attend traditional medical schools.
In contrast to attending traditional medical schools, podiatrists have unique schools and professional associations. Instead of having “MD” after their name, which refers to a medical doctor’s degree certification, podiatrists have “DPM” after their name. Podiatrists frequently work with other specialists when a medical issue affects your lower legs or feet. They also provide impactful medical services such as resetting broken bones, performing applicable surgeries, and prescribing drugs when it’s necessary for pain relief and healing. Podiatrists are also responsible for ordering X-rays and lab tests when needed for diagnoses.
When to See a Podiatrist
If you’re wondering when it might be time to see a medical professional such as a podiatrist for your specific leg or foot issue, there are a few things to be aware of and look out for that can inform your decisions on seeking medical help. Situations can change as different seasons develop, as you age, or as a myriad of other factors come into play. It’s essential to be aware of the risks, implications, and lasting effects of certain conditions, especially if left untreated for an extended period of time. A podiatrist can diagnose almost any symptoms involving your lower legs, ankles, and feet. A significant factor in experiencing lasting, effective relief and treatment is early diagnosis.
It’s important to see a podiatrist if you begin to experience significant levels of pain, numbness, or swelling in one of your feet, if you have nail fungus, or if you have continuous heel pain. These can be indicators of a serious problem caused by a range of issues or can spread to other similar or distinct parts of the body. You also want to see a podiatrist if you believe you may have a sprained or broken foot or ankle, you have diabetes, or you have an ingrown toenail, bunions, painful calluses or corns, or joint pain in one or more of your ankles or feet. In addition to knowing some of the conditions to see a podiatrist for, it’s also essential to participate in proper foot care to prevent issues.
The Most Common Reasons
If you have an existing medical condition, such as diabetes, that puts you at risk for other complications, participate in regular, strenuous physical exercise, or begin to feel pain that limits your participation in daily activities, it may be time to see a podiatrist. Some of the most common reasons to see a podiatrist involve pre-existing medical conditions, regular exercise, or pain that limits or outright prevents your participation in activities. In addition to these common reasons to see a podiatrist, you may also want to seek the attention of a podiatrist if you have a condition that doesn’t subside, resolve, or grows worse with time.
Medical conditions, such as ingrown toenails, sprains, strains, breaks, corns, calluses, bunions, and athlete’s foot that limit your regular activities, cause significant pain, and worsen noticeably with time are all worthy of a trip to your area podiatrist. Any medical condition or painful experience that effectively prevents you from experiencing a high quality of life deserves a professional opinion in order for you to receive the earliest possible care, treatment, and relief from whatever may be hindering you and preventing you from achieving your goals and participating in desired activities to your liking.
Do You Need a Referral to See a Podiatrist?
In addition to having proper nutrition and hygiene, seeing a podiatrist when you begin to notice a new condition or a present condition begins to significantly worsen is one of the most impactful actions you can take to prevent pain and maintain a high quality of life. Early, proper diagnoses, treatment, and prevention can directly affect your health and abilities. Once you begin to notice a medical condition in one or more of your lower legs, ankles, or feet, or a present condition grows significantly worse, and you decide to consult a podiatrist, you may likely wonder about the specifics of seeking medical attention. One common question regards whether you need a referral to see a podiatrist.
In most cases, you don’t need a specific referral to see a podiatrist. However, if you believe you may need reimbursement or a discount, you will need a referral. People who may need reimbursement include those with a health insurance plan or Medicare. These individuals will need a physician’s referral to book an appointment with a podiatrist. It’s also generally advisable to consult a doctor before meeting with a podiatrist.
See a Podiatrist at the Foot & Ankle Specialists of Illinois
There are several common reasons to see a podiatrist. For these and more conditions that may be affecting you, come see a podiatrist at the Foot & Ankle Specialists of Illinois today.