To understand the benefits of Podiatry, it is important to understand what a podiatrist is and what they do. A podiatrist is a medically trained Doctor who specialised in the branch of medicine dedicated to the study, health, diagnosis, and treatment of foot, ankle, and lower leg disorders. These men and women are able to help address the foot problems that affect people of all ages and backgrounds.
Whether you live an inactive lifestyle or regularly take part in recreational or professional sports, you might experience pain in your joints and lower back. This is called referred pain and is caused by improper posture when you walk or run. Foot problems can also arise due to one of many systemic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, anaemia, and more.
Across Perth, sport activities such as football are very popular, and chronic pains are common amongst players. Sometimes, certain issues can be addressed at home with heat or ice, depending on the injury, and a few days of rest. If this at-home care is not enough to find relief, it is time to take a trip to your podiatrist.
Chronic or Worsening Pain
Pain in the lower leg, foot, and ankle can be caused by a number of conditions. Heel spurs, which are growths of bone under the heel bone, may not always cause pain. When they do, the pain can range from dull and consistent to sudden and sharp. Other conditions, such as prolonged swelling, also called edema, should be addressed quickly.
If you experience prolonged or worsening pain, you should not wait to visit the podiatrist. Conditions that go undiagnosed for long periods of time, especially those caused by diseases such as diabetes, can lead to long, expensive treatments and even amputation. Your Perth podiatrist is trained to spot potential problems well in advance and also treat them quickly to avoid any further pain.
Discolouration or Skin Irritations
Your feet should always appear the same in colour. If you notice a sudden change in one or both feet, it is imperative that you visit the podiatrist right away. Gout and infections are a serious problem, and they can lead to amputation if not treated quickly and effectively. If you notice swelling, the infected area feels hot to the touch, or has puss, you must get emergency treatment.
Your podiatrist is also happy to treat less serious skin problems on your feet and ankles, such as mild or severe cases of Athlete’s Foot. This is a fungal skin disease commonly found between the toes of the afflicted, but it can also start on the bottom of the feet.
If left untreated, severe cases can spread from the legs to other areas of the body. Symptoms to look for include dry, scaly skin, itching, blisters, and inflammation. If you notice any of these, see a podiatrist and it is imperative to keep your feet clean and dry until the fungus has cleared.
General practitioners do not have the specialised training needed to diagnose foot and ankle problems that are not immediately obvious. To get faster relief from pain and irritation, it is in your best interest to make an appointment with your podiatrist today.