Podiatrists are doctors who assist with issues that can affect your feet or lower legs. They help with injuries as well as problems resulting from chronic health conditions such as diabetes. You may hear them referred to as podiatric physicians or doctors in pediatrics.
Are They Doctors?
Podiatrists are doctors but they don’t attend traditional medical schools. They have their own private schools as well as professional organizations. Also, there is “DPM” (doctor of podiatric medicine) in their names in place of “MD” (medical doctor).
Podiatrists are able to perform surgeries, fix injured bones, provide medications and also take X-rays or lab tests. They typically work alongside other doctors when there is a problem that is affecting your legs or feet. Within Australia, podiatrists in Perth are licensed and monitored by government agencies in the states.
Education and Training
At college, those who intend to become podiatrists must take biology along with chemistry, physics, and chemistry alongside other science courses to prepare them for the podiatry program. The majority of them earn a bachelor’s degree in biology or in a related subject of science.
Then, they attend podiatry schools for four years. They examine how the bones, nerves, as well as muscles, work together to assist you to move. They also study diseases and injuries that may impact your feet. This includes how to recognize the problem and treat it, and how to heal your feet using surgery when needed.
When students graduate from the podiatry program and are employed at a medical facility for three years. It’s called a residency, and they apply what they’ve learned to apply. They also collaborate alongside doctors from other fields such as surgeons, anesthesiologists and pediatricians, and specialists for infectious diseases.
Following their residency, they are able to receive advanced certifications for the treatment of ankles and feet.
Conditions Podiatrists Treat
Podiatrists can treat anyone at any age for a myriad of foot-related ailments, such as:
- Fractures and strains. Podiatrists regularly treat these injuries that are common when they affect the feet or an ankle. They also assist in medical sports dealing with foot injuries athletes experience and offering methods to prevent these.
- Bunions and Hammertoes. These are problems with the bones within your feet. A bunion occurs because the joint that is at the bottom of your biggest toe becomes larger or damaged or knocked out of position. This causes the toe to move towards the other. A hammertoe does not bend in the right direction.
Nail problems. These include issues such as an infection of your nail that is caused by infection or a toenail that is ingrown. This is the case when a side or corner of your nail develops into your toe, instead of straight out.
- diabetes. This is a condition where the body isn’t producing the hormone insulin or does not use it in exactly as it ought to. Insulin helps you digest sugar. The effects of diabetes can harm nerves in your legs or feet and cause difficulty getting enough blood to your feet.
Diabetes can trigger serious problems. Over 65,000 people each year have to have their foot amputated, or taken out by a doctor due to diabetes. A podiatrist can prevent this. If you are diabetic be sure to have any callus or soreness on your feet evaluated.
- Arthritis. This is caused by swelling, inflammation, as well as wear and tear on joints. Every foot is composed of 33 joints. A podiatrist may recommend medication, physical therapy, or special inserts or shoes to ease your arthritis. Surgery is also an option when other treatment options don’t work for you.
- growing problems. If your child’s feet tilt inwards or appear at a flat surface or their feet don’t align properly and foot surgery in Perth could be able to assist. They may suggest exercises, insoles, or braces. They could also suggest surgery.
- Heel pain. The most common reason for heel pain is heel spurs. They are the accumulation of calcium at the heel’s bottom bone. These can result from running, wearing shoes that aren’t fitting properly as well as being obese. Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the connective tissue that runs across the sole of your foot. The shoes you wear for sports and other activities tend to be the culprits. Overpronation, where your foot is bent into or out of alignment during walking and jogging, is often the reason for. It is also a cause that can be a problem for athletes, and so can Achilles tendinitis which can cause pain in the heel’s back which is where this tendon attaches. Treatment typically begins with over-the-counter pain medications and could also include orthotics, shoe inserts. Some people need surgery.
- Morton’s Neuroma. Nerve problems between the fourth and third bone of the foot may result in burning, pain, and the sensation there’s something wrong with your shoe. It is most commonly seen in runners. Overpronation and tight shoes make it more difficult. A podiatrist will give you shots for pain and inflammation and assist you in finding an orthotic. It is possible that you will require surgery to get rid of the problem.
Reasons to See a Podiatrist
Your feet perform much of the work. When you reach 50 and walk, you’ll have walked around 75,000 miles. Feet are complex structures, with numerous bones, tendons and ligaments that need to cooperate perfectly to allow you to move.
Consult a Podiatrist Whenever you’re Suffering From:
- Foot pain
- Thin or discolored toenails
- Skin cuts or cracks that can be found on your skin
- Growths like warts
- Scaling-on peeling off your soles
What to Expect at the Podiatrist
The first visit to the podiatrist will be similar to every other physician. They’ll ask you questions regarding how you’ve been treated, the medications you’re taking, and any operations you’ve had.
They’ll assess the way you walk and stand as well as for the motion of your joints, as well as the way your shoes fit. The first visit is typically the best time to treat the problem of ingrown toenails, bunions lower back and heel discomfort, blood circulation within your feet, if you suffer from diabetes, as well as foot deformities.
The podiatrist may recommend orthotics, padding, or physical therapy for the issues you are experiencing. They are able to treat some ailments at the office. They may use instruments such as Syringes to provide you with pain medication, nail splitters, or an Anvil to get rid of ingrown toenails. Scalpels can cut through the skin surrounding a toenail or cut off parts of calluses and corns. A lot of doctors utilize cryotherapy equipment, such as liquid nitrogen in order to help freeze off warts on the plantar area.