When to See a Foot Specialist
posted: Jun. 10, 2021.
When to See a Foot Specialist
Our feet take a lot of force in our day-to-day activities. If you participate in sports or have certain underlying medical conditions, you may be at an even higher risk for problems with your feet. But how do you know when to see a foot specialist?
In some cases, you can treat minor foot problems at home. But at-home remedies may not always be enough to ease symptoms. There are several indications that it is best to see a podiatrist, including the following:
Ongoing heel pain: Heel pain can occur due to several reasons. For example, heel pain may be a symptom of plantar fasciitis. But there are also many other causes. A foot specialist can perform an exam and x-rays to identify the cause and determine an appropriate treatment plan.
You have diabetes: If you are a diabetic, you are at an increased risk of problems with your feet, such as nerve damage. Seeing a podiatrist for an exam once a year can help prevent certain foot problems before they become serious.
Numbness or swelling in your feet: It is normal to develop some mild swelling in your feet if you have been active. But if numbness or swelling develops suddenly for no known reason, you should see a foot specialist to help determine the cause.
Toenail fungus: Toenail fungus can be hard to treat at home. Toenail fungus can spread to other toes on your foot if left untreated. Symptoms include discoloration and thickening of the nail. Professional treatment is often needed.
A painful bunion: A bunion involves a misalignment of the toe joint. The misalignment causes a bony bump that may become painful as the bunion gets bigger. If a bunion is causing you pain or making it difficult to do everyday activities, it is best to see a podiatrist to determine treatment options.
Reoccurring ingrown toenail: An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin. The symptoms include pain and redness at the site where the nail has broken the skin. You may be able to treat an ingrown toenail at home. But in other cases, it can lead to an infection. If the area around the nail is painful, red, and has drainage, it is possibly the sign of an infection, and time to see a foot specialist.
Stubborn athlete’s foot: Athlete’s foot involves a fungal infection that is easily contracted. Symptoms include itching, burning, and a rash. Usually, athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter sprays. According to the Mayo Clinic, infections often occur more than once. If infections are recurrent, it may be best to see a foot specialist who may prescribe more effective medication.
A problem walking: If you have a problem walking, such as foot pain or a change in your walking pattern, it could be caused by a variety of issues. Everything from arthritis in your feet to poor arch support can change the way you walk and lead to pain. Seeing a foot specialist is a good step to determine the cause.
Sometimes you may be unsure of when to see a foot specialist. In other cases, you may decide to do at-home treatment first. But problems with your feet can lead to a change in the way you walk and additional issues, such as hip and back pain. If you have an issue with your feet and ignore problems, it can lead to worsening pain and additional complications. Keep in mind, if in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of caution and get checked out.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Podiatrist, Sheldon Nadal, D.P.M at Bayview Eglinton Podiatry Clinic in Toronto.