The feet and ankles are some of the most used parts of the body; with them, you can walk from place to place, run, drive a car, dance and many other tasks. With this surplus of abilities, there is no reason not to give your feet the same level of medical attention you give your reproductive or digestive systems. Doctors who specialize in podiatry are dedicated to studying and treating conditions related to the foot, ankle and lower extremities. There are many divisions in podiatry that give patients the specialized attention they need to their feet.
If you injure your foot or ankle, or have a foot deformity, you need to seek out the help of a podiatric surgeon. This specialist field helps individuals to regain the functionality of the foot and surrounding area. Most of the time, if you are complaining about problems regarding joints, ligaments, and congenital deformities on the foot or ankle, your primary care may recommend an assessment by a podiatrist to see if surgical correction is an option. A few podiatric surgeons prefer to use minimally invasive techniques, whereas other surgeons correct the alignment of the foot with a full reconstruction.
Podiatric Sports Medicine
Sports podiatry is a sub-specialty of podiatry, which requires the specialist to be an expert in the foot, ankle and lower-limb problems of athletes. Many of sports podiatry treatments involve joint mobilization, advanced biomechanical assessments, injection therapy such as corticosteroids, soft-tissue manipulation and trigger point therapy. These specialists are well-educated in the needs of professional and amateur athletes, educating them in strength training and conditioning exercises that can help prevent food injuries during their activities. Most of sports medicine focuses on foot and lower limb overuse injuries.
Podopediatrics focuses on the ailments that children face with their feet and lower extremities. This field is so important, since children’s bones develop at a specific pace, rather than being fully formed like an adult’s body. The right care during childhood can help prevent issues as the child grows, so you should make sure your child receives adequate podopediatric care, if you notice walking or standing problems.
When to See a Podiatrist
If you experience any kind of foot, ankle or lower extremity pain, consider it enough of a reason to visit the podiatrist. Common ailments that require podiatric care include foot and ankle injuries, ingrown or fungal toenails, heel pain, numbness, swelling, bunions, diabetic foot care and other conditions. Notify your doctor if you have noticed changes in your foot shape as well, giving the specialist the information he needs to treat you.
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