The human foot is comprised of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and numerous tendons working together to move, balance your weight, and propel you forwards and backs on various surfaces. It should come as no surprise that 75 percent of all Americans will suffer from foot problems at some point in their lifetimes. Often, the problems may dissipate over time with rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, or changes in footwear. But when the problems persist, it may be time for you to seek the care of the best podiatrist in your area. Podiatrists are specialists trained in the medical and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, and deformities of the foot, ankle, and related structures. Here is a list of the most common conditions that warrant a trip to a podiatrist:
A Wound or Sore That Does Not Heal
An open sore located on your foot or ankle may warrant a search for the best podiatrist in your area. The longer the sore has been there, the higher your chances of getting a skin or bone infection. This is especially important for people with diabetes, as it is estimated that diabetic ulcers on the feet affect 15 percent of diabetics. If left untreated, the sore can quickly become infected, potentially leading to amputation.
Bunions are a structural deformity that typically appear on your joint at the base of the big toe and inflammation pain, swelling, roughened skin, and redness. The American Podiatric Medical Association (AMPA) reports that bunions can be the result of various things, including faulty foot development, the manner in which you walk, congenital deformities, injuries, or neuromuscular disorders. An expert should always assess bunions because they are inherited, and early treatment is key to managing this condition over your lifetime.
Most people have heard the term plantar fasciitis as a result of its commonness. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the tissue fibers of the fascia located on the sole is inflamed. Heel pain can also be the result of Achilles tendonitis and heel spurs (protrusions of bone from the heel bone). An important thing to note regarding children experiencing heel pain is that it could be caused by a condition known as Severs, an inflammation in the growth plate in the heel of growing children.
Flat feet are less capable of absorbing the shock of walking and running, resulting in pain. Alternately, some people may have one foot flatter than the other, a sign of tendon dysfunction. An improperly working tendon can lead to arthritis in your joints, which can be preceded if treated early.
Numbness, Burning, and Tingling
These three symptoms are signs of potential neuropathy, which leads to decreased sensation in your feet. Diabetes is one of the many causes of neuropathy and puts you at increased risk of developing ulcers on your feet.
When toenails dig into the toes, either by curvature or skin growth, it creates an extremely painful border to the toenail. Because they quickly become infected, it is important to seek the attention of the best podiatrist in your area, who will assess if a non-surgical or surgical procedure is required to provide relief.