As podiatrists it is common to see patients coming in and telling us something along the lines of “I’ve had this problem for a couple months and I finally decided to do something about it”. It seems a common problem among all sorts of patients, knowing when it’s the right time to go see your podiatrist. As a result we can end up treating patients who have been in pain for a long time, often entirely unnecessarily. This is why we’ve gone ahead and written some tips and tricks so that the next time you see your podiatrists it will be sooner than later.
Foot Pain – While this may seem like a simple trigger to make people think about going to see the podiatrist it is often overlooked for a period of time. Some patients just assume that foot pain is normal, or because they work so hard and are on their feet all day that pain is a normal result. Well we are here to tell you that pain is almost never “normal”. Pain is our bodies primary signal to us that something is wrong and needs to be looked at. Often if patients visited their podiatrist at the onset of foot pain then they can save themselves a lot of pain as well as decreasing the amount of time it may take to correct the problem.
Ankle Pain – It is common for a patient with ankle pain to suspect ankle sprains, the pain can sometimes mask more serious injuries. If you suspect and ankle sprain make sure to follow the RICE protocol and contact a podiatrist for an appointment. If the podiatrist suspects you may have a hairline fracture they will want to see you for a follow up appointment to confirm this. Hairline fractures can be too small to see on a single x-ray, but if you compare x-rays taken a couple weeks apart hairline fractures will appear as a cloudy are around the bone. If the injury is a fracture it will require more care and healing time than a simple ankle sprain.
Ingrown Toenails – These are a very common problem for podiatrists to treat, and unfortunately if the patient has let the ingrown nail go for too long there is a strong chance of infection as well. Podiatrist always warn against trying to cut out ingrown toenails at home, something referred to as “bathroom surgery”. When patients try to correct ingrown toenails at home it is often with tools that are not sterile, and can introduce dangerous germs and bacteria to the body. Also, a podiatrist can apply a solution to kill the root of the nail, meaning that ingrown nail is far less likely to ever happen again.
Diabetics – Diabetic should be seen by a podiatrist on a regularly scheduled basis. Diabetes affects the cardiovascular system of the body, and can lead to poor circulation in the extremities, like the feet and ankles. Because of this diabetics experience slower healing in these areas, which if an injury is left untreated can lead to a diabetic ulcer, or open wound. Your podiatrist can help prevent injuries as well as assisting the diabetic in getting shoes designed specifically for them, with added protections built into the shoe.