A lot of people don’t pay much attention to their feet. But having heathy feet is critical to your overall health, which is why you should see a podiatry doctor if you encounter any of the following issues:
Your feet get quite a workout almost every day and as a result, the regular wear and tear of life may cause pain due to a number of reasons. Some of the temporary causes of foot pain might include a strain or a sprain due to a trip, fall or accident during work or exercising, but some instances of pain might be the result of a break or fracture of the any of the 26 bones in the foot. Some fractures, such as hairline fractures may be difficult to detect without a comprehensive podiatry exam or x-ray.
A couple of other causes of general foot pain might be the result of an actual tear in a tendon or ligament in the foot or ankle which may require surgery and rehabilitation to properly heal, or painful arthritis in the foot or ankle.
Bacterial infections of the feet can be more serious because they may move from a localized infection of the foot to a full-blown systemic infection such as Cellulitis. Bacterial infections typically form around a small cut, blister or abrasion in the skin causing it to become red, swollen and painful and sometimes discharging pus.
These can be particularly dangerous for individuals who require chronic disease care for conditions such as diabetes—which may cause poor blood circulation in the feet. Individuals who may be taking immune suppressing drugs because of a condition such as cancer, and anyone who might be immune compromised are also very susceptible to staph infections of the feet.
Some infections may become so severe that they become abscesses that extend beyond the skin’s surface into the deeper layers of tissue within the foot.
Fungal infections in the feet are very common. Most of us are familiar with Athlete’s Foot and may have had it at one time during our lives. While some forms of Athlete’s Foot can be treated with over the counter creams or sprays, chronic or recurring conditions might benefit from a visit to a podiatry doctor to figure out the exact cause and provide better medication to clear it up.
Another condition that you might need to get a foot specialist to look at is toenail fungus or Onychomycosis. Onychomycosis usually appears as thick, flaky, yellowish toenails. This can be very difficult to treat with topical cream and most of the time is best treated with an oral prescription from your podiatry doctor.
Bunions are bony bumps that forms at the joint of your big toe when it presses against the next toe. Most of the time bunions form as the result of squeezing the feet into narrow, pointy toe footwear, and can be exacerbated further by wearing high heels.
Corns are a small area of thick, dead skin that form as the result of actions such as wearing tight shoes, wearing shoes with no socks, or even wearing shoes that are not tight enough, causing the feet to “slide around” inside of the shoe, possibly rubbing up against a seam or stitch in the shoe causing a corn to develop.
Hammertoes are also caused by a muscle/tendon imbalance which can slowly cause the toe to bend inward, worsening over time. These may be the result of trauma to the toe, although it may also be an inherited trait. They can be aggravated or develop faster as the result of wearing shoes that force the toes up against the front of the shoe, and may get so bad that surgery might be required to fix them.
All babies are born with flat feet. We don’t develop the gentle curve on the inside of the sole until between the ages of 7 to 10. This is known as a flexible flatfoot. There is another condition that is known as a rigid flatfoot that occurs because the alignment of bones within the foot is wrong and requires significant intervention to get the foot aligned properly. Depending on the type of issue, the treatment might require surgery, a series of casts, immobilizing the foot or using shoe inserts.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause for heel pain. This pain is the result of inflammation of the band of tissue connecting the toes and the heel itself which is often caused by putting too much pressure on this area of the foot due to frequent, repetitive stressors such as running, dancing, wearing shoes without proper arch support, being overweight or working any job that requires you to be on your feet for many hours a day walking on hard surfaces. Not getting proper treatment from a podiatry doctor may cause you to walk differently to help prevent the pain which may lead to other problems with the foot, knee, back or hips.
Plantar warts are caused by the HPV virus and grow on the heel or other weight bearing areas of your feet. Sometimes they just go away without treatment, but at other times they may grow inward and cause pain that may interfere with your activities. In these cases, it is a good idea to seek out a podiatry doctor for treatment.
Healthy feet are an essential component to maintaining good overall health, and Primary Care Physicians of Florida have podiatry doctors on staff in 13 conveniently located offices to help. Give us a call at 954-983-9191 or use our convenient online contact form to schedule an appointment today.