What Does a Podiatrist Treat?

What Does a Podiatrist Treat?
source: firstchc.org

Podiatrists are licensed primary care physicians specializing in treating the foot, ankle, and leg. They are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions, including bone problems, infections, injuries, nerve disorders, skin conditions, and ulcers. Podiatry is unique as they are one of the few medical specialties that you can practice without the supervision or oversight of a physician.

Podiatrists treat patients of all ages, including infants and the elderly, with conditions that may be debilitating or life-threatening if left untreated. This article looks at the different situations that may need a visit to a podiatrist in Scottsdale. Read on for more.

1. Bunions

A bunion is a prominent toe joint deformity where the big toe angles towards or crosses over the second toe. The cause of bunions is often not known. However, it is commonly associated with wearing narrow shoes that jam up your toes.

The symptoms are inflammation, pain, and swelling in the painful area, which may become red and hot to the touch. You may also find it difficult to walk or wear shoes as the bunion will often cause pain and discomfort.

A podiatrist can help treat a bunion by recommending different types of shoes, orthotics, or pads that can help to relieve the pressure on the joint and reduce inflammation and pain. In some cases, surgery may also be recommended to correct the deformity.

2. Hammertoes

Hammertoes are deformities of the toes where one or more of your toes curl and grip the toe next to it. Like bunions, hammertoe is most often caused by wearing shoes that cramp up your toes. Other common causes include diseases such as arthritis and diabetes.

Symptoms include redness of the affected area and swelling, numbness, and pain. In the early stages of hammertoe, you may be able to straighten out your toe by pulling it down with your hand. However, as the condition becomes worse, you will start to have difficulty walking or even wearing shoes without experiencing pain or discomfort.

To treat the condition, a podiatrist will often prescribe orthotics or special shoes that can help to stretch and straighten the toes. In some cases, surgery may also be recommended to correct the deformity.

3. Heel Pain

The pain associated with heel pain is usually felt in the soft tissue near the heel or at the bottom of your foot. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which refers to inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs underneath your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes.

Symptoms include dull pain on the bottom of your foot, as well as stiffness and pain when you first get out of bed in the morning. The pain typically worsens as the day progresses and improves with rest at night but may fluctuate depending on what activities you engage in.

Treatment may involve the use of arch supports or heel pads to reduce the pressure on your foot, medication, and in some cases, surgery.

In summary, podiatrists are licensed primary care physicians specializing in the treatment of the foot, ankle, and leg. They treat various conditions, including bunions, hammertoes, and heel pain, to name just a few.