At REDDHART, we are FIT SPECIALISTS, not foot specialists, and while we can help you get comfortable , well fitting boots and supportive insoles, there are many times when it may be your feet that are the real problem. What follows is a summary from AETREX, of the top reasons where a visit to a podiatrist is recommended.
You don’t quite realize how important your feet are until they develop pain or dysfunction of some sort, and suddenly daily routines become difficult. Many times, acute foot and ankle problems go away with time, rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS). However the key to keeping your feet running smoothly for decades is to act quickly when there is a real problem. The care of a podiatrist can get you an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan, helping you avoid complications and get back to your life more quickly.
Here are 10 signs that you should see a foot doctor (in no order):
1. A Lump or Bump that Grows or Hurts
A lump or bump that is getting bigger and is painful should be looked at by a podiatrist. It may turn out to be a type of cyst, but there is also a chance it could be something more serious such as a tumor. Tumors in the foot are rare but do sometimes occur.
2. A Wound or Sore That Does Not Heal and/or Diabetes
If you have an open sore on your foot or ankle, head to your podiatrist’s office. This is especially important if you have diabetes because it usually takes you longer to heal. You have a better chance of healing if you are seen by your podiatrist right away and treatment is started.
3. You Feel Joint Pain in Your Feet and Ankles
Arthritis is one of the most common conditions affecting Americans. If the joints in your feet are often swollen, red, stiff or tender, see a podiatrist. Arthritis can change the way the feet function and lead to disability. A podiatrist can suggest treatments that may preserve joint health and make it easier for you to carry out your day.
4. Foot and Toe Discolorations
For the most part, both of your feet should look alike. If one foot is a lot different color than the other, there may be a problem. Redness may be an indication of an infection or gout. A blue or purple color may indicate a vein problem. Whiteness or paleness (pallor) may be a sign of decreased blood flow. If you have these color changes, you need to see a podiatrist.
5. Foot Pain With Elevated Legs
If you have pain in your feet when you are lying in bed and the pain goes away when you dangle your feet off the side of the bed, this may be a sign of decreased blood flow or peripheral artery disease. This is a condition that needs to be addressed by a few different doctors. You may start with a podiatrist, but you may also need to see a vascular surgeon.
6. Numbness, Burning, and Tingling
These three things can be signs of neuropathy, which can cause decreased sensation in your feet. Diabetes is one of the many things that can cause neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that needs to be followed by a podiatrist. Having neuropathy puts you at increased risk of developing foot ulcers.
7. Pain and Swelling in One Foot
If you have pain and swelling (edema) in one foot and not the other, this is not normal. There are many problems that could be causing the pain and swelling such as a broken bone, tendonitis, tendon rupture, or infection. It is more common to have to swell in both feet and ankles and this could be due to lymphedema.
8. You are starting to run regularly
9. Pain That Increases With Activity
If you have pain that gets worse with activity, this may be a sign of a stress fracture. You should not try to work through the pain; you should see a podiatrist. If you treat a stress fracture early, you can hopefully avoid more serious problems such as a stress fracture that won’t heal or that turns into an actual broken bone.
10. Severe Pain for More Than 24 Hours
This is especially important if you have just had surgery. Do not be afraid to call your podiatrist. If there is a problem, it is better to deal with it sooner rather than later. Possible problems could be an infection, tight dressing, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or compartment syndrome. There are many treatment options for dealing with pain, but the first step is to figure out what is causing the pain.