Formerly known as a chiropodist, a podiatrist is a special field of medicine that deals exclusively with the feet, ankles and lower leg issues. We all put our feet through extreme punishment, even with a typical daily routine, a person would be on their feet for at least 6 hours a day, if not more, and while your feet are designed to endure this heavy workload, the right footwear is essential. If you are a little in the dark regarding what a podiatrist actually does, here are just a few of the reasons why a person might require their services.
- Sporting Injuries – Athletes often suffer from foot and ankle issues and unless the problem is correctly diagnosed and treated, it can lead to more serious issues. There are established clinics that specialise in treating sports injuries, and if you happen to be in WA, there are reputable Perth Podiatry clinics that are equipped with state of the art equipment.
- Achilles Tendinitis – The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body and joins the calf muscles to the ankle bone, which is critical for weight bearing activities. It is not uncommon for a person to suffer inflammation, and this can be brought on by excessive walking, running or lifting heavy weights. The treatment very much depends on the exact location of the injury and the severity of the inflammation, and you should consult a podiatrist if you feel a tightness in the lower calf muscles, as this is a sign of Achilles problems.
- Callous and Corns – These are hard patches of skin caused by constant friction, which is typically associated with ill-fitting footwear. It can also be caused by constant pressure on a bony area of the foot and can be very painful if not treated. Treatment varies, and in most cases, a podiatrist will diagnose the problem and advise preventative steps to ensure the problem does not reappear at a later stage.
- Athlete’s Foot – This condition is not exclusive to athletes, as the name suggests, and it is actually a fungus infection of the nails. The fungus grows in the warm, damp area under the toenails and the condition can affect people of all ages and walks of life, although older people are more prone to athlete’s foot. Regarding treatment, there are over the counter medications that can effectively treat the condition, and in some advanced conditions, it might be necessary to use a prescription medication.
- Ingrown Toenails – This can be very painful indeed and is caused by the toenail growing into the surrounding skin, typically at the edge of the toe. If left unaddressed, an ingrown toenail can develop into something more serious, and the earlier the problem is detected, the easier it is to treat.
A qualified podiatrist is an essential service when you suffer from any of the above conditions, and if you do need to source a local practice, an online search will reveal the whereabouts of a nearby clinic.