Podiatrists treat a wide range of conditions that affect the feet including:
It is important to seek medical care for any painful foot conditions so that you can maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition caused by inflammation in the fascia, also called connective tissue, that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the ball. The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp stabbing sensation in your heels that is more severe in the mornings when you get out of bed or after long periods of inactivity. The pain usually subsides once you get moving and the fascia warms up. Plantar fasciitis is caused by repetitive strain that inflames the fascia, tight calves and Achilles’ tendons, and heel spurs. Heel spurs are calcium deposits that build up on your heel bones.
There are a variety of treatments available for plantar fasciitis. In most cases, the doctor suggests conservative treatments including applying ice and specific stretches for your feet, ankles, and calves. You also might be prescribed orthotics to support the arches of your feet. In more severe cases cortisone shots can provide relief or physical therapy may be helpful to effectively stretch and release the fascia.
Diabetes can lead to nerve damage which may prevent you from noticing or realizing that you have an injury or sore on your foot. This can lead to serious infection and in the worst case, amputation.
If you have diabetes it is critical to have a podiatrist examine your feet on a regular basis. The doctor not only examines your feet for open sores, ingrown toenails, and other signs of infections but also tests your sensitivity to monitor any nerve damage caused by the disease.
You need to take special care of your feet by keeping them clean and dry, cutting your toenails correctly, and seeking professional care for any foot conditions, even something as common as a callous.
First, rest assured that in most cases, surgery isn’t necessary to treat conditions like bunions or hammertoes. Special orthotics, physical therapy, toe spacers, and wearing correctly fitting shoes are often enough to correct the problem. However, in some cases, when the deformity is so great that it causes debilitating pain that prevents you from walking or participating in other normal activities, surgery may be needed to remove any excess bone or to correct the alignment of your toes.
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