Podiatrists are alternative health practitioners who specialize in foot care. They are not technically medical doctors, but they have attended a podiatry school and know how to prevent and heal painful feet. However, the government does define them as doctors. It is essential to know where to find a podiatrist in New South Wales since many people in Australia deal with foot pain that may cause chronic impairments.
What Is Podiatrists’ Scientific Focus?
Podiatrists are medical practitioners who treat people’s lower leg, foot, and ankle areas. You may know podiatrists as Doctors of Podiatric Medicine or simply foot doctors. A good podiatrist will first have a holistic examination of your lower limbs and find the best way to deal with pain felt.
These doctors can order X-rays, prescribe medications, and perform surgery on your feet. It’s important to know that human feet have many bones and muscles intricately placed for proper balance and movement. Due to how heavily involved feet are with movement and balance, many people may experience acute foot pain at least once in their lives. Podiatrists are there to help and give you relief by applying both standard and invasive therapies.
Persistent Foot Pain Types Needing Podiatrist’s Assistance
Since many complex movements are performed by human feet and ankles, they could experience different ailments. The most common diseases that could drive you to podiatrist’s practice are the following.
Our heels support much of our body weight when we are standing. The most common condition affecting heels is called plantar fasciitis, which occurs when the fibrous membrane loosens. This membrane connects the muscles on the lower part of the feet. A podiatrist may prescribe medications, perform a gait analysis, and order some new orthotics shoes to deal with the pain.
Sports Activities Injuries
Many people who like to be active in sports could deal with foot injuries, like Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains, and shin splints. Visiting a podiatrist early could give you an immediate diagnosis of your injury and increase the chance of a minimally invasive therapeutic option.
Acute and Chronic Arthritis
Older people usually have arthritis which is when you develop inflammatory tissues within your ligaments and joints. When arthritis hits, the ankle joint, walking and standing could be painful. Podiatrists can deal with acute and chronic arthritis by prescribing medications and performing treatments at their offices.
Although it’s a hereditary disease, flat feet can also be a serious cause of foot pain, especially for adults. Flat feet have to do with the abnormal creation of the feet curve that supports the nerves and vessels passing through the feet in normal conditions. Podiatrists have been trained in healing flat feet by prescribing new anatomic shoes and other orthotic devices and laser treatments.
Some people develop small non-malignant tumours between their metatarsal bones, which are called neuromas. They usually cause intense pain and are often seen in women who like to wear narrow shoes and high heels. A podiatrist could diagnose the source of metatarsal pain and apply physical therapy to give you relief.
Many people who stand up all day and cut their toenails the wrong way could develop a painful condition called ingrown nails. The tip of the nail may pierce the skin and underlying muscles, creating a permanent injury in the area. In addition, as the nail naturally grows, it will further enter your toe’s skin and create an inflammation that could be dangerous for your well-being.
Podiatrists deal with ingrown nails naturally by cutting their sharp edges, recommending warm baths, and applying acids to the part of the nail to stop it from growing towards the skin.
Warts are small skin tumours that often grow after a viral infection. They usually develop on the plantar foot side and give people a painful feeling when walking. Podiatrists usually apply cryotherapy to remove warts from your feet. However, they pay extra attention not to infect the rest of your foot skin with the tissues of warts since it’s an extremely contagious condition.
Nail Fungal Infection
People who work all day at the office often wear tight shoes. Unfortunately, that creates increased temperature and a humid environment around the feet, which is the perfect place for fungi to appear and develop. Fungi usually attack the foot nails, and your podiatrist treats them with antifungal ointments, creams, and oral medications.
Knowing what your podiatrist could do for your feet will make you better prepared to deal with any lower limb pain you may deal with in the future.