Day in and day out, you rely on your feet and ankles to take you where you need to go. Sometimes, the only time we stop and think about just how much we rely on our feet is when they begin to show signs and symptoms of illness or injury.
It’s interesting how even just a small bump on your big toe can affect your comfort, balance, and gait. What this should tell you is how important it is to take good care of your feet and ankles. To keep them healthy and issue-free, you should see a foot and ankle doctor or a podiatrist on a regular basis.
If you are unsure of when to visit a podiatrist, be on the lookout for these signs and symptoms.
Foot pain is a common symptom that leads people to see a podiatrist. There are many reasons for foot pain. For example, you could have flat feet or too high arches. It is also possible that you have plantar fasciitis, which means the fibrous tissue that runs across the length of your foot is inflamed. Regardless of the reason for your foot pain, there are solutions that can bring you relief.
A podiatrist can examine your feet, lifestyle, medical history, and symptoms to give you an accurate diagnosis. After that, you will get a recommended treatment plan that could include physical therapy, custom orthotics, medication, or another treatment. In a lot of cases, lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and exercising more often, can also help reduce symptoms of pain.
Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are patches of thickened skin that develop due to ill-fitting footwear or an underlying condition, such as bunions, which are bone protrusions on the side of the big toe. Corns and calluses need to be trimmed and the underlying issue needs to be corrected. Bunions can be painful and alter your balance. Bunions may require surgical removal if they are too problematic. A podiatrist can treat all of these issues.
It’s tempting to try to take care of an ingrown toenail at home, but it takes special skill to trim a toenail in a way that it won’t grow into the skin and cause complications in the future. An ingrown nail can damage the surrounding tissue and cause a lot of pain. In some cases, you may not be able to treat an ingrown nail without increasing your risk of infection. As such, always have a podiatrist treat ingrown nails to be on the safe side.
If your feet and ankles are swollen, painful, or stiff, an infection or osteoarthritis may be to blame. The sooner you receive treatment for such issues, the better. Infections can spread rapidly to other parts of the body. Osteoarthritis symptoms tend to get worse with time, which can require invasive treatments later on down the road.
Numbness and Tingling
Numbness and tingling are symptoms of peripheral nerve damage. If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you are at risk of nerve damage, which usually occurs in the lower extremities. Podiatrists provide diabetic foot care and are knowledgeable and experienced in the prevention of complications that result from nerve damage.
Foot and Ankle Doctor in Central Maryland
At Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) Foot & Ankle Care, our podiatrists have the knowledge, skill, and experience needed to provide the highest quality and most comprehensive foot and ankle care.
Come in for a consultation and find out how we can help you. To request an appointment, call (410) 644-1880 or submit a request now. We look forward to serving you in any of our three locations in Central Maryland.