- General, Health Tips

What are Podiatrists and What they Do to Treat Foot Problems

Have you been suffering from foot care problems or unsightly conditions for a long time now? Before applying an ointment or some other medicines you just heard from somebody, you need to understand the real issue. A suitable professional who can help you is a podiatrist, like Feet In Motion.

What Does a Podiatrist Do?

Podiatrists are healthcare professionals 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 help keep patients active and mobile. Furthermore, they will instruct you and your loved ones about proper ways to care for your feet and what kind of shoes you should wear.

Common Foot Problems

Below are a few of the most common foot problems that podiatrists deal with. Click here to learn more about other foot issues and their treatment.

1. Bunions

This condition is a bony bump, which appears at the base of your big toe’s joint. It forms when some of the bones at the front part of your foot go out of place. Thus, the tip of your toe gets pulled towards the smaller feet forcing the joint of your big toe to stick out. A visible sign is a sore and red skin over the affected part. This condition can grow from either a foot structure you inherited, health conditions such as arthritis, or wearing tight and narrow shoes.

To help prevent bunions, choose the proper shoes. They should have a wide toe box, no pointy toes, and a distance between the end of the shoes along and the tip of your longest toe.

2. Corns and Calluses

These are thick or hard areas of the skin that can be painful. Though they’re not too severe, they must be handled by a foot specialist if you have other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, or other circulation problems.

Consider doing the following to avoid these issues:

  • Use soft insoles or heel pads on your shoes.
  • Wear wide, comfy shoes with a soft sole and heels that don’t rub.
  • Moisturize to help keep skin soft.
  • Use a pumice stone or foot tile regularly to remove hard skin.

3. Sports Injuries

Any part of your body can suffer from sports injuries, including the bones, muscles, connective tissues, and joints. However, the knees and ankles are the most vulnerable to such problems. Some of the causes could be:

  • Failure to warm up properly before exercising.
  • Not resting after an excessive amount of exercise.
  • Utilizing improper equipment or poor technique when exercising.

You do not usually need to visit a professional 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 inflammation. Most of all, use painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol for pain. In the event of acute injuries, such as dislocation or broken bone, go to the nearest podiatric clinic. One of their recommendations may be wearing custom molded orthotics to address the issue.

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 require a long time to treat.

Here are some tips for managing these problems:

  • Soak your foot in warm water three or four 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 shoes or sandals.