As one of the body parts we use the most every day, our feet are often subjected to much abuse. For this reason, many people tend to ignore foot pain and discomfort, accepting of them as par for the course.
What they may not be aware of is that there are specialists who can help them deal with any problems they may be having in their feet, ankles, and lower limbs. They’re called podiatrists!
Podiatry or podiatric medicine is a branch of medicine dedicated to the study, diagnosis, as well as the medical and surgical treatment of disorders related to the foot, ankle, and lower extremities.
In some English-speaking countries, these specialists may also be referred to by the older title of “chiropodist”.
Here are 5 signs that you may need to see a podiatrist Singapore residents trust:
1. You feel pain, numbness, or swelling in your feet.
Pain, numbness, or swelling in the feet are common conditions that can be brought on by several reasons. They can occur after exerting your feet and lower limbs for a prolonged period, as is the case after running a marathon, for example, or having had to stand for hours in a queue or at a concert.
However, any sudden onset of foot discomfort with no apparent cause is not normal by any means. These can be indicative of a more serious underlying issue and should immediately be presented to a medical professional.
2. You’ve sprained, strained, or broken a bone in your foot.
Sprains and strains are common injuries that both refer to damage in the soft tissues of the body. A sprain is an overstretched, torn, or twisted ligament, while a strain is an overstretched, torn, or twisted tendon or muscle.
Sprains usually happen around the joints. Symptoms can include limited movement around the joint, pain, and swelling. In some cases, the patient may not be able to put any weight on the affected joint.
Strains are classified as either acute or chronic. In acute strains, the muscle or tendon was damaged suddenly as a result of improper body mechanics.
Common causes of an acute strain include contact sports, lifting heavy objects, and overstretching.
Meanwhile, chronic strains can occur as a result of repetitive muscle or tendon movement over extended periods. They can be common in endurance sports such as swimming or running.
There are countless ways to injure your feet and ankles. A podiatrist will be able to accurately diagnose the issue, provide treatment, and offer rehabilitation procedures.
3. You have diabetes.
Diabetes refers to a group of chronic metabolic disorders that have to do with insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood.
Foot complications are common among those who suffer from these lifelong diseases. Patients may experience nerve damage in their extremities, which can present as numbness, tingling, or burning sensation.
They are also at greater risk of developing foot ulcers and foot infections. As diabetes also creates issues in the circulatory system, it can prevent these wounds and ulcers from healing, leading to potential loss of the affected limb.
According to Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Amrin Amin, an estimated 19,000 Singaporeans are diagnosed with diabetes each year.
Experts recommend that diabetic patients have their feet checked by a podiatrist at least once a year. These visits offer early problem detection, as well as the prevention of ulcers and other infections.
4. You experience persistent issues in your heel(s).
Any kind of persistent pain should never be ignored. Heel pain can be caused by a variety of issues. It could be a bony growth on the heel, commonly called a heel spur or an inflamed tendon connected to the heel.
A podiatrist can perform the necessary examinations to determine the cause of the issue and create the appropriate treatment plan.
Even issues that seem superficial such as cracked and dry heels should be brought to a podiatrist, especially if they include wounds or breaks in the skin. These put you at higher risk for infection unless they are treated immediately.
5. You have an athlete’s foot and it won’t go away.
The athlete’s foot or tinea pedis is a contagious fungal infection that affects the feet, toenails, and sometimes the hands. The fungus can be caught via direct contact with an infected individual or by touching surfaces that have been contaminated with it.
Common symptoms include itching, burning and stinging between the toes or the soles of the feet, itchy blisters, and cracking or peeling skin, among others.
The condition is easily treatable with many antifungal products available over the counter.
A persistent case of athlete’s foot may require the attention of a professional. A podiatrist can prescribe more effective oral or cream-based prescription treatments.
With podiatrists, there’s no reason to live with pain or discomfort in your feet, ankles, and lower limbs.
They also treat many common issues, including ingrown toenails, painful corns and calluses, and bunions. Free yourself from your foot troubles and visit a podiatrist today!
About The Author:
Leo Cruz is a content writer and marketing professional whose long-time passion has always been money management. Today, he mainly contributes to pieces that are related to fitness, health, and physical therapy. A loving husband and a father of two boisterous kids, Leo also loves surfing, hiking, and traveling during his downtime.