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Our feet allow us to do various day-to-day activities seamlessly and with ease. Because of this, experiencing any pain or discomfort there greatly affects your everyday routine. So, consulting a professional is most beneficial if you notice any swelling or redness on your feet and lower legs, out of the blue, or because of an injury.
There are many kinds of foot and ankle conditions, and while most are common, some may only be identified by a podiatrist–a doctor specializing in feet. Aside from diagnoses, they will also help you determine the treatment plan, which best suits your needs. Read on to learn about some signs you should visit a foot doctor.
1. Persistent Swelling or Numbness
Foot swelling or numbness happens typically in certain circumstances, such as after a tough workout or after standing all day long. But experiencing this all the time may indicate a bigger problem.
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There are many potential causes of chronic swelling and numbness, which include fractures, sprains, or infections. Plus, if these symptoms are accompanied by pain and a tingling sensation, it may be a sign of nerve damage. To better understand what to do, seek help from a foot doctor right away.
2. You Have a Sprained Foot or Ankle
In dealing with sprains, some of the typical remedies used are the RICE or the rest, ice, compression, and elevation method, and over-the-counter painkillers. And although doing both methods help in relieving discomfort and other symptoms, sometimes, treatments like these might not be enough.
Since sprains happen when ligaments are stretched or pulled, further complications, such as chronic pain or instability, may occur without the proper treatment. Plus, enduring the pain for seemingly mild cases may also lead to permanent damage or further injuries. For that reason, seeing a podiatrist if you have a sprained foot or ankle is your best course of action.
3. Constant Heel Pain
While it’s common to feel discomfort in your heels occasionally, this can become a cause for concern when it becomes too frequent. Besides experiencing persistent discomfort, constant heel pain will also make your daily activities difficult. Various issues, including stress fractures, heel bumps, or tendonitis, lead to this.
One of the most likely causes, however, is plantar fasciitis. It is characterized by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the front of your feet to the heel. Factors, such as the structure of your feet, age, and weight, may contribute to the likelihood of developing this condition.
4. You Have Painful Bunions
Bunions are bumps that grow outside your big toe’s joint, causing a deformity. This condition may develop because of poor-fitting or narrow footwear, injuries, or genetic disorders. Besides the malformation of your foot, having bunions also causes significant pain and affects your overall mobility.
This foot deformity doesn’t go away on its own, and it may even worsen without the proper treatment. So, if you notice symptoms, such as pain when trying to bend your big toe, numbness, or thickened skin, seek help from a podiatrist immediately.
5. You Have Diabetes
Diabetes is a health condition that affects nerve sensations and causes poor circulation. So, people who have diabetes are at a greater risk of developing foot complications. These are typically caused by diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that affects the legs and feet.
Because of the lack of sensation in the feet, complications, such as blisters, calluses, foot ulcers, and infections may occur. In severe cases, some infections may even lead to amputations. By consulting a doctor early on, you can keep your feet healthy and prevent serious foot problems from happening.
Although some foot and ankle problems may be set right with a few home remedies, there are still numerous issues that a podiatrist best handles. Besides finding accurate diagnoses, consulting a professional also ensures the proper care and treatment to prevent future complications. Foot doctors also help restore your foot’s optimal health, allowing increased mobility and strength. So, if you experience any of these signs, talk to a trusted foot specialist right away.