A podiatrist is also commonly referred to as a foot doctor or a doctor of podiatric medicine. This kind of surgeon or physician focuses on the treatment of the ankle, foot and related leg structures. Your feet are an important part of your everyday life and it is not unusual for them to experience a lot of wear and tear. You will also likely have walked thousands of miles by the age of 50. Due to all this use, there is a high chance you will develop several foot issues throughout your life. Read on to find out about some common foot problems and different treatment options a doctor may recommend.
Podiatrists treat people of all ages for a variety of foot-related problems. Treatment is often recommended based on the type of condition and the symptoms. Some common treatment options for foot problems include physical therapy, medications, orthotics and even surgery. Here are some treatment options for various conditions that affect the foot and ankle.
Arthritis is the swelling and inflammation of the cartilage as well as the lining of the joints. It is often accompanied by an increase in fluid in the joints. Arthritis has numerous causes and it is usually associated with many illnesses. Arthritis is a disabling and sometimes crippling disease, which in some forms usually has hereditary tendencies. A foot doctor may recommend physical therapy and exercise, accompanied by medication. If other treatment options do not work, a podiatrist may recommend surgery.
Heel pain can occur in the back, bottom or front of the heel. Some common causes of heel pain include heel spurs, Achilles tendinitis, excessive pronation and plantar fasciitis. Treatment for heel pain may involve injectable or oral anti-inflammatory medication. Exercise and the use of shoe inserts or orthotic devices may also be effective. Most times, only a few cases of heel pain require surgery.
A neuroma is a painful condition that usually affects the area between the third and fourth toes. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue that often brings on pain. It is also associated with tingling, a burning sensation and numbness in the ball of the foot and between the toes. Medications can help with inflammation and pain. Custom shoe inserts can help to control function, reduce symptoms and prevent the symptoms from becoming worse. Surgery may also be recommended when it is completely necessary.
A bunion may happen when the joint at the big toe’s base gets knocked out of place or bigger. This makes the toe bend, which usually causes a painful bone lump on the foot. Bunions can cause immense pain if left untreated especially because the joint carries a lot of the body’s weight while walking. Some of the common treatment options for this problem include medication, physical therapy, orthotics and even surgical options.
Most times, acute ankle and foot problems go away with time, ice and rest. However, for many foot problems, you may have to see a foot doctor. The podiatrist will diagnose your condition and recommend suitable treatment options. Depending on your condition, treatment may range from the use of medications, orthotics, physical therapy to surgery.
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