When Should I Call a Podiatrist?
My feet hurt. Should I call a Podiatrist?
Absolutely. Foot pain is never normal. In fact, it is your body’s way of sending you a message that something is wrong. Foot conditions aren’t always serious, and can often be remedied with conservative measures. However, the best way to determine the cause of your foot or ankle discomfort is by seeing a podiatrist.
Podiatrists specialize in the medical and surgical treatment of the feet, ankles, and the parts of the legs that impact them. Their extensive training includes an undergraduate program, four years of podiatric medical school, and three years of residency training. They are uniquely qualified to understand the complexities of these areas of the body. Because many systemic conditions can affect the form and function of your feet, podiatrists need to have a great understanding of conditions such as : diabetes and other endocrine disorders, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, circulatory disease such as PVD (peripheral vascular disease ), nerve conditions, skin conditions, obesity, and trauma. Many podiatrists develop special interests in sub specialties such as pediatrics, biomechanics or complex foot and ankle reconstruction.
26 bones, 33 joints, over a 100 ligaments, not to mention muscles, tendons, and other soft tissue—each foot is complex and unique. If you have a heart condition, you would visit a cardiologist. Likewise, if you are experiencing pain in your feet or ankles, you should call a Podiatrist.
My pain comes and goes - maybe the pain will go away. Should I still call?
Call at the onset of pain. Some foot conditions, such as stress fractures, will start hurting gradually. Other conditions, such as heel pain, may be worse in the morning, but lessen as the day progresses. Just because the discomfort goes away, doesn’t mean the issue is resolved. Visiting when the pain begins may mean that more conservative treatments can be used. If you wait, the condition may worsen and require more time consuming and invasive measures.
Always call Drs. Brook or Northcutt at the first sign of pain and discomfort. If you have diabetes, you should make regular appointments for diabetic foot checks, and call immediately if you notice any concerns during your routine self-exams. Below is a list of other signs and symptoms that should prompt a call to Dallas Podiatry Works.
- Foot or ankle pain
- Discoloration of the toenails which can be a sign of a fungal infection. If not treated early, this stubborn condition may be hard to resolve.
- Loss of feeling, tingling, or burning in the feet
- Pain when standing, walking, moving laterally, or when putting on your shoes
- Swelling of the feet
- Inflammation, redness, and swelling of the joints in the feet and ankle. Several conditions, including gout, can be the cause
- Warts, especially those that are painful when you walk
- Painful flat feet or high arches
- Bumps on the feet
- Itching, especially between the toes may be the start of Athlete’s Foot
- Pain when you first get out of bed in the morning
- Pain and inflammation around the nail bed often indicates an ingrown toenail
- Custom orthotics and prescription footwear can be ordered by your podiatrist to meet the unique needs of your feet.
This is not a comprehensive list of podiatric symptoms and conditions. The best rule of thumb is to call if you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or concern about the condition of your feet and ankles. Drs. Brook and Northcutt can give you peace of mind, and get you back on your feet quickly! Your feet are your foundation, so take care of them with help from Dallas Podiatry Works! You can reach us toll-free at 888-716-5283, or schedule an appointment online.