Many Tarzana, California patients put their foot health on the back burner. If their feet and ankles hurt, they dismiss it or just try to ignore and bear the pain. But foot and ankle health is important, and treating foot pain or irritation can greatly improve your quality of life, prevent other injuries and even avoid the need for surgery!
Read on for some general information about podiatrists and ankle specialists, what they do, and also – 10 reasons why you should see a foot and ankle doctor. Don’t forget to contact Valley Foot Ankle Center if you are experiencing one of the conditions listed below.
What Does a Podiatrist Do?
Podiatrists are medical specialists who help with problems that affect your feet or lower legs. They can treat injuries as well as complications from ongoing health issues like diabetes. You might hear them called a podiatric physician or doctor of podiatric medicine.
Are They Doctors?
Podiatrists are doctors, but they don’t go to traditional medical school. They have their schools and professional associations. They also have “DPM” (doctor of podiatric medicine) after their names instead of “MD” (medical doctor).
Podiatrists can do surgery, reset broken bones, prescribe drugs, and order lab tests or X-rays. They often work closely with other specialists when a problem affects your feet or lower legs. In the U.S., podiatrists are licensed and regulated by state governments.
Education and Training
In college, students who want to be podiatrists take biology, chemistry, and physics along with other science classes to get ready for podiatry school. Most get a bachelor’s degree in biology or a similar field of science.
Now that you know a little bit about what a Podiatrist does:
Below are 10 reasons why you should see a podiatrist in Tarzana, CA
1) You have chronic back pain that is not from an injury
Not all back pain is caused by the back. Problems with your feet can affect your back, too. Treatable foot problems like flat feet – also called fallen arches – can cause you back pain. If you’ve been suffering from back pain for years but can’t get a diagnosis, you should see an ankle specialist in Tarzana, California to rule out that a foot problem is a true culprit.
2) You have arthritis
Arthritis is the painful inflammation and stiffness of your joints. And because you have so many joints in your feet, arthritis can cause painful foot conditions, too. If you have arthritis, and you are experiencing pain in your feet, it’s time to see an ankle specialist in Tarzana, California.
3) You have yellow or black toenails
If you have a yellow or black toenail, you may have a fungal toenail. This condition can quickly develop into an acute infection and requires medication from a foot doctor to treat.
4) Your ankle has been swollen for at least an hour
Swollen ankles are not something to mess around with. You may have experienced an ankle sprain, which can worsen without proper treatment, or be experiencing other damage to your ankle bone and ligaments. If you’re experiencing swelling in your ankle, don’t just wrap it up with a bandage. See an ankle specialist or foot doctor immediately for a proper diagnosis.
5) Your child complains of foot pain
If your child often complains about foot pain, don’t dismiss it as just growing pains. Children can have feet problems, too, and one of the most common foot issues for kids is flat feet or fallen arches. Under the treatment of an ankle specialist, your child can experience relief from his or her foot issue, including assistance in finding properly fitting arch supports to aid with flat feet.
6) You have knee pain that is not the result of an injury
Just like feet issues can cause back pain, they can also cause knee pain. If you have undiagnosed knee pain that just won’t go away, visit a foot doctor to rule out any underlying foot issue.
7) You have chronic heel pain
Heel pain can be a painful condition. It may just start in the morning as soon as you wake up and step on your feet, but before you know it, you can feel heel pain with every step. Heel pain can be caused by several conditions that can be treated by an ankle specialist in Tarzana, California.
8) You think you have broken a bone in your foot
The feet have more bones than any other part of your body. And it’s important to make sure that those bones stay healthy. If you had a trauma to your foot and think that you broke a bone as a result, you should see an ankle specialist in Tarzana, California for an examination and x-ray. A broken bone that isn’t properly treated can escalate into bigger issues.
9) You wear high heel shoes
Shoes should always fit properly, give at least a half-inch space in the toes, and never be more than 2 inches high. If you love your high heels, you are likely experiencing feet problems from placing your feet in unnatural positions for several hours a day – especially if you have a profession in which you are standing in your high heels for many hours a day.
10) People tell you that you walk strangely
If people are always telling you that you walk strangely, you should see a Frisco foot doctor for an evaluation. Several foot conditions can cause you to have an awkward step, and many are treatable.
What to Expect at the Podiatrist
Your first visit to a podiatrist will be a lot like any other doctor. They’ll ask questions about your medical history, medications you’re on, or any surgeries you’ve had.
They’ll look at how you stand and walk, check the range of motion in your joints, and see how your shoes fit. The first visit is often the time to treat bunions, ingrown toenails, heel and lower back pain, circulation in your feet if you have diabetes and foot deformities.
The podiatrist might suggest orthotics, padding, or physical therapy treat your problems. They can treat some conditions in the office. They might use tools like syringes to give you pain medication and nail splitters or a nail anvil to remove ingrown toenails. Scalpels can cut into the skin around a toenail or remove parts of corns and calluses. Many doctors use cryotherapy equipment — liquid nitrogen — to freeze off plantar warts.
If you are experiencing any of the conditions listed above, call Valley Foot Ankle Center at 818-981-1900 for a podiatrist in Tarzana, CA!