Have you been living with lower limb pain or unsightly condition for a long time now? Before applying an ointment or any medications you just heard from somebody, you need to understand the real problem. The right professional who can help you is a podiatrist, like Feet In Motion. Check out Feet In Motion Foot Care & Orthotics to read more about their services.
What Does a Podiatrist Do?
Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who were trained to diagnose and treat abnormal conditions of the feet and lower limbs. They provide foot health services, including relieving pain, treating infections, and preventing and correcting deformities to keep patients active and mobile. Moreover, they will educate you and your family on how to take care of your feet, and what type of shoes you should wear.
Common Foot Problems
Below is a list of a few common foot problems that podiatrists treat. Click here to learn more about other foot problems.
This condition is a bony bump, which occurs at the base of your big toe’s joint. It forms when some of the bones in the front part of your foot move out of place. Thus, the tip of your big toe gets pulled towards the smaller toes forcing the joint of your big toe to stick out. A visible sign is red and sore skin over the bunion. This condition can develop from foot structure you inherited, medical conditions like arthritis, and wearing tight and narrow shoes.
To help prevent bunions, choose the right shoes. They should have a wide toe box, no pointy toes, and must have space between the end of the shoes and the tip of your longest toe. See a podiatrist if pain persists even after trying home remedies.
2. Corns and Calluses
These are thick or hard areas of the skin that can be painful. Though they’re not that serious, they need to be managed by a foot specialist if you have other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or other circulation problems.
You may do the following to avoid these problems:
- Soak calluses and corns in warm water to soften them.
- Wear thick, cushioned socks.
- Use soft insoles or heel pads in your shoes
- Wear wide, comfortable shoes with a soft sole and low heels that do not rub.
- Moisturize to help keep skin soft.
- Use a pumice stone or foot tile to remove hard skin regularly.
3. Sports Injuries
Any part of your body can suffer from an injury, including the bones, muscles, connective tissues, and joints. However, the knees and ankles are prone to sports injuries. Some causes can be:
- Failure to warm up properly before exercising.
- An accident like a heavy blow or fall.
- Not resting after too much exercise.
- Using inappropriate equipment or poor technique when exercising.
You don’t usually need to see a specialist in case of a minor injury. Instead, rest the affected part and apply an ice pack for the first 48 to 72 hours to prevent further damage and reduce swelling. Most importantly, use pain killers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol for pain. In case of severe injury, including dislocation or broken bone, go to the nearest podiatric clinic.
4. Toenail Problems
Toenail problems, including ingrown toenails, thickened toenails, and fungal nail infections, are common foot problems. While they’re not serious, they can be painful and take a long time to treat.
Here are tips for managing these problems:
- Soak your foot in warm water thrice or 4 times daily for several days to soften your toe’s skin and stop the nail from growing into it.
- Keep your feet dry throughout the day.
- Wear wide, comfortable sandals or shoes.
- Take ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve the pain.