Your feet are an essential part of your body. They support your weight, help you walk and run, and allow you to play sports. The bones in your feet are connected by ligaments and tendons, which can be injured if you have poor foot posture or wear improper footwear. Knowing when you should see a podiatrist (foot doctor) can help you prevent foot and ankle injuries in long run. Some podiatrists in Singapore are also trained to treat conditions of the leg, knee, and hip.
Getting treatment for your foot or ankle problem is important as soon as you suspect something is wrong. This way, you can keep your feet healthy and avoid further complications.
Here are some situations when you should see a podiatrist or a foot doctor:
A foot injury or pain that won’t go away.
If you have foot pain, it’s important to see a podiatrist. The foot can be affected by many different things, including injuries and conditions like arthritis.
Injuries include conditions such as strains, sprains, and fractures. An overuse injury also occurs from wearing worn-out shoes or high heels that are too high for an individual’s biomechanics.
A podiatrist can help you identify the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Trouble walking, running, or even standing for long periods.
If you’re having difficulty walking or running because of soreness in your feet, then you should see a podiatrist. This could be due to an injury such as plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes.
Plantar fasciitis is often caused by overpronation (rolling inward) when walking or running on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt for long periods without proper footwear. Proper footwear can help reduce the pain caused by overpronation and prevent further damage from occurring to your feet and ankles.
If you have an injury that doesn’t heal or pain that won’t go away, make an appointment with your podiatrist.
Your foot has been sprained or fractured in the past.
The most common foot injuries are sprains, strains, and fractures. A sprain is an injury to your foot’s ligaments (tissues that connect bones). A strain is when you injure your muscles or tendons which are tissues that connect muscle to bone. And a fracture involves broken bones in your foot.
If you have injured your foot in the past, it is important to see a podiatrist to ensure that it heals properly and that there are no complications.
You have bunions, hammertoes, corns, calluses, or other painful conditions on your feet.
Bunions, hammertoes, and corns are common foot problems that your podiatrist can treat.
Bunions are bony protrusions that form at the base of your big toe and can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. They often occur in people with foot deformities such as hammertoes.
Hammertoes occur when toes bend into an abnormal position and curve toward each other or toward your other toes. They’re typically caused by tight shoes that exert too much pressure on them over time.
Corns (also known as calluses) form when the skin grows thicker than normal due to friction between two surfaces rubbing together–like heels rubbing against shoe insoles or between toes inside socks or boots that don’t provide enough room for them all to move freely without touching each other.
If shoes feel too tight or pinch in certain spots on your feet.
Shoes that are too large can cause blisters and calluses. If you have to wiggle your toes around inside the shoe to get it to fit comfortably (and even then, it doesn’t feel right), try a different size shoe.
If you have a problem with shoes that don’t fit properly, see a podiatrist for an evaluation. A podiatrist will examine the condition of your feet and make suggestions about how to improve the fit of your shoes. If there is something wrong with the shoes themselves, he or she can recommend other options for you.
When you have an ankle sprain
An ankle sprain is a specific kind of injury that can happen to anyone. It happens when you over-stretch or tear one or more ligaments in your ankle joint. Ligaments, which bind bones together, are strong bands of tissue that keeps the bones stable. When they get hurt in the ankle, it’s called an ankle sprain.
Ankle sprains are common and usually happen during sports activities like basketball, football, and running. They can also be caused by tripping on uneven ground or staircases while walking around at home or school.
To prevent an ankle sprain: Wear good shoes with good support; wear shoes designed for the sport you are doing; warm up before exercising; stay away from exercising on wet uneven grounds.
You have a reoccurring case of an athlete’s foot.
If you have a reoccurring case of an athlete’s foot, it could be a sign that there is something wrong with your feet or health. If left untreated, an athlete’s foot can cause serious infections in the bloodstream, joints, and bones. A podiatrist can also tell you if the skin problem is indeed an athlete’s foot or other conditions.
You have nail fungus.
If you have nail fungus, it means that there is an infection in the area under your nail. The fungus causes discolouration and thickening of the nails, and possibly pain if left untreated.
Nail fungi can be caused by trauma to the nail or from wearing shoes that are too small or tight. They can also spread from person to person through sharing shoes or towels. You could also catch the infection from going to pedicures regularly. While they cause an infection in the toenails (particularly big toes), they can also spread and affect any part of your foot, including:
- The skin around your nails
- The skin between the toes
If you have feet or toenails fungal infections, it’s important that you see your podiatrist for treatment. Your podiatrist may use special tools, such as light therapy (known as PACT), in addition to medications and other treatments for nail fungus removal.
When you have an ingrown toenail
One of the most seen issues with the feet is ingrown toenails which can be very painful, so it’s best to see a podiatrist as soon as possible. You can cause yourself a serious infection if it is left untreated. Your podiatrist may file down the nail or cut away part of it in order to relieve some of your pain. In worse cases, your podiatrist could also treat the ingrown toenail for good by doing a procedure.
Joint pain in the foot or ankle
Joint pain in the foot or ankle can be caused by many things, including arthritis, injury, and overuse. If you have joint pain in your foot or ankle, it’s important to see a podiatrist for an evaluation.
If you notice any symptoms of knee joint problems, such as tenderness when walking, swelling and warmth around the affected area, and stiffness when getting out of bed, then these may indicate early knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage breaks down due to wear and tear on joints that causes them to lose their smoothness — like an old shoe losing its lustre after years of use.
Podiatrists are foot doctors and lower limb health experts. Whilst they are known as foot doctors, they can also take care of various problems that you may have related to the foot, ankle, leg, knee, and hip. Podiatrists can provide treatment for issues related to pain in the bones, joints, muscles and tendons. They can also provide care for your skin and nails. So if you are experiencing any foot, ankle, leg or knee problems, the best thing to do is to call your podiatrist. They will be able to give you the proper diagnosis and treatment plan for your condition.
If you have any questions about when you should see a podiatrist or a foot doctor, please feel free to contact us here. At Straits Podiatry, we have a highly experienced team of podiatrists in Singapore that can tailor the treatment plan to your needs. If you need more information about Podiatrists or foot doctors in Singapore, you may wish to visit our association.