Top Ten Signs It’s Time to See a Podiatrist

How To Know When It’s Time to See a Podiatrist

If you are experiencing foot and ankle pain, it might be time to see a podiatrist. Many people don’t realize the wide range of benefits of seeing a podiatrist. There are several different types of health issues that can impact your feet, and the best type of doctor to see for foot issues is a podiatrist. There are several reasons you might need to see a podiatrist. Perhaps you work on your feet all day or your feet hurt, even after you rest them. You might be wondering when to see a foot doctor. In this article, we will talk about what is a podiatrist and the top ten signs it’s time to see a podiatrist. At Foot & Ankle Specialists of Illinois, we provide comprehensive foot and ankle care. 

foot pain specialistsWhat is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine, or DPM for short. Podiatrists treat a variety of conditions including heel pain, nail fungus, athlete’s foot, hammertoes, flat feet, and nail issues. While you might be able to visit a walk-in clinic or a general M.D. for your foot issue, podiatrists specialize in treating the conditions that affect your foot and ankle. Your foot health affects your overall health. Left untreated, foot pain and related issues can lead to much more serious issues. A podiatrist provides specialized foot treatment that most primary care physicians aren’t able to offer. 

Top Ten Signs It’s Time to See a Podiatrist

Many people suffer from some type of foot and ankle pain at some point during their lives. In fact, in the United States, up to 87% of people have painful feet at some point in their lives. If something is keeping you off your feet, it’s time to get back to normal. These are ten of the most common reasons to see a podiatrist

1. You Have Pain, Numbness, or Swelling in Your Feet

Are you suffering from pain, numbness, or swelling in your feet or ankles for no apparent or obvious reason? This is the number one sign it’s time to see a podiatrist. Any sudden swelling, pain, or numbness can be a sign of a serious problem, and requires a trip to the foot doctor. A foot doctor can accurately diagnose the issue. 

2. You Have Nail Fungus 

Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common infection of the nail. In fact, up to 14% of the general population is affected by fungal nail infections. Fungal infection on toenails has become increasingly common due to the popularity of nail salons. 

3. You Are Experiencing Constant Heel Pain 

There are several reasons you might be experiencing heel pain. Heel pain might be the result of plantar fasciitis, a stress fracture, inflammation of your Achilles tendon, or a variety of other reasons. A podiatrist can perform an exam and take x-rays to diagnose the cause of your heel pain and create a treatment plan. 

4. You Have Athlete’s Foot That Won’t Go Away

Athlete’s foot is one of the most common fungal infections. If you have a case of athlete’s foot that won’t go away, a podiatrist can check for possible infection and prescribe a more effective treatment than over-the-counter creams and sprays. 

5. You Have a Broken or Sprained Ankle or Foot

Another top ten sign it’s time to see a podiatrist is if you have a broken or sprained ankle or foot. Though your first instinct might be to visit an orthopedist if you suffer a broken foot or ankle, podiatrists actually have more experience with foot and ankle injuries than orthopedists. 

heel spurs6. You Have Diabetes 

Are you diabetic and suffering from foot pain? If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you are at a much higher risk for foot problems. Many people with diabetes struggle with poor circulation, nerve damage, ulcers, and infections. If you are diabetic, it is important to visit the podiatrist at least once a year for a foot exam in order to prevent any serious issues from occurring.

7. You Have Ingrown Toenails

Don’t try to remove that ingrown toenail on your own! Ingrown toenails are a potentially dangerous, serious, painful condition when one of your toenails begins to cut into the skin around your nail. It is much safer to see a podiatrist for ingrown toenail removal, since it won’t go away on its own. It is safest (and less painful) to have an ingrown toenail removed at your podiatrist’s office. 

8. You Have Bunions 

A bunion, also called Hallux Valgus, is a bony bump that develops on the outside of the big toe joint. An untreated bunion can make wearing shoes difficult. There are plenty of non-surgical and surgical treatment options available for bunions at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Illinois. 

9. You Have Joint Pain in the Foot or Ankle

If you are suffering from joint pain in your foot or ankle, it is important to see a podiatrist to diagnose the root cause of the pain. 

10. You Have Suffered a Sports Injury

Athletes commonly suffer from foot and ankle pain, as well as injuries in that area. Common foot and ankle issues athletes suffer from include shin splints, athlete’s foot, bunions, calluses, joint problems, and stress fractures. 

When to See a Foot Doctor

While many people think of a podiatrist as simply a foot doctor, a podiatrist treats much more than just your foot. Did you know that the human foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles? Podiatrists are experts in foot and ankle care. While you might think of a podiatrist as just a foot doctor, podiatrists treat the foot, ankle, and other structures of the lower leg. 

foot stiffnessWondering When to See a Podiatrist? Contact Us Today

Now, you know the ten signs it’s time to see a podiatrist. If you are wondering when to see a podiatrist, call us today to find out if we can help. At Foot & Ankle Specialists of Illinois, we are ready to help you with all of your foot and ankle issues and help you get back on your feet. 

Written by Ali Hyderi