No matter what type of medical problem a person is facing, they can not do it alone. There are usually a number of people involved in the treatment process. A patient and their doctor need to work together as a team to make a diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan. The same is true for a patient and their podiatrist.
At the first appointment a podiatrist will spend time listening to their patient's concerns so that they can understand the problem. This is the first step in developing a treatment plan and determining what will work best for the patient. Their goal is to make sure that any general pain is relieved, all problems are resolved, and the overall health of the patient improves. Keeping their patients informed is also very important, because an informed patient extremely makes better decisions.
There is a wide variety of problems and treatments that a podiatrist deals with on a daily basis and some are much more different than others. Some of these problems include ankle sprains, bunions, flat feet, hammertoes, corns, heel spurs, diabetes, and athlete's foot.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common problems a podiatrist treats. The severity of the sprain will determine the duration and type of treatment. Primary symptoms of a sprain include swelling, bruising, and pain. The doctor may recommend exercises, stretching, and well-fitted shoes to prevent future sprains.
Bunions are bone deformities caused by enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe. The bunion forms when the toe moves out-of-place. Many people have pain and discomfort from the bunion rubbing against their shoe. The skin can become irritated and it can be painful to walk. Bunions do not resolve by themselves and there are various ways to treat this condition. There are surgical and non-surgical treatment options depending on the severity and size of the bunion.
Diabetes is one of the more serious conditions that the doctor may deal with in their patients. It can decrease the body's ability to fight off infection and this can be extremely harmful to the feet. If there is damage to the nervous system patients may not be able to feel their feet. For diabetic patients it is extremely important to prevent foot problems before they occur and seek the proper treatment immediately if they do occur. Proper fitting shoes are important for diabetic patients and sometimes their doctor may prescribe orthotics. In extreme cases diabetes can cause complications such as the need for amputation of one or more toes, a foot, or even a leg.
People are on their feet every day. The feet are probably one of the most taken for granted parts of the body but probably the one takes the most abuse. Many people do not realize how many medical conditions can adversely affect the feet. This is why it is so important for everyone to see a podiatrist at least once a year to make sure his or her feet are in great shape.