What is the role of podiatrists in foot health & how can seeing a podiatrist benefit your overall health?
Podiatrists are foot health experts who are university-trained to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower limbs. Often, these conditions stem from other underlying health issues such as diabetes, stress fractures and arthritis.
Why do people see podiatrists?
Your feet house a quarter of the bones in our entire bodies – in addition to various muscles, ligaments and joints. This makes them extremely vulnerable to injury and diseases that can affect the entire body. A podiatrist will not just look at your foot, but they will carry out a biomechanical assessment to see how your gait can be impacting other parts of your body, such as your hips. (Your gait is the way you walk.) Podiatrists fully understand the structure and movement of the foot and lower limbs. They are able to diagnose foot conditions, identify systemic overall health conditions that present with foot or lower limb symptoms – and recommend appropriate treatment plans.
When should you see a podiatrist?
You may be experiencing pain in your feet, ingrown or discoloured skin/nails, corns, skin rashes, foot odour, foot injuries, broader health problems such as diabetes or arthritis, recurrent tripping or falling, problems fitting comfortably in your regular shoes; or if you notice swelling, lumps, or redness on your feet or legs. It is a common misconception that painful feet are a normal side effect from everyday activities. Yet research shows that only a fraction of individuals suffering from sore feet seek out professional advice. Just as you would visit your dentist for a toothache, you should visit a podiatrist if you suffer from painful or tired feet and/or lower limbs.
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