When should I see a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is an expert in all matters pertaining to foot and ankle health. They have more specialized training and experience with this area of the body than a general practitioner.

Never hesitate to schedule an appointment with us for any foot or ankle problems or concerns you may have. You never have to wait for something to become “bad enough” to warrant seeing us. In fact, the earlier a problem is identified and addressed, the faster and more effectively it can be addressed.

Just a few of the conditions that are very much worth seeing a podiatrist about include:

  • Persistent heel pain
  • Pain, swelling, or numbness in one or both feet
  • Fungal toenails
  • Recurring or infected ingrown toenails
  • Bunions and hammertoes
  • Painful corns or calluses
  • Sports injuries, including suspected ankle sprains and fractures
  • Anything pertaining to foot care if you live with diabetes

If you are not certain whether you should schedule an appointment with us or have further questions, you can always contact us for assistance. We’ll always be happy to hear from you.

What causes heel pain?

Persistent heel pain can occur due to many different conditions, each of which can have a number of different causes. 

To most effectively treat a particular case of heel pain, it is essential to determine and understand the factors that are contributing to the problem. If a treatment doesn’t focus on the specific causes, it is unlikely to provide the results you need. 

Various sources of heel pain include:

  • Overuse injuries (placing too much strain on the feet either all at once or via repetitive impacts)
  • Abnormalities in foot structure (e.g. flat feet, high arches) that place excess strain on elements of the foot
  • Ill-fitting footwear, or shoes that put to much pressure on certain areas of the foot
  • Excess weight
  • Heel spurs

If you or a loved one is experiencing persistent heel pain, it is unlikely to just go away on its own. The sooner the causes can be diagnosed and treated, the less likely that the heel pain will continue to persist or become more severe. We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you, as well as answer any initial questions you may have.

What is a bunion?

Most people are familiar with a bunion being a hard bump along the side of the big toe—but what exactly is happening in there?

The bump of a bunion forms at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, where the big toe connects with the rest of the foot. 

An instability in the MTP joint can cause the big toe to gradually shift inward toward the second toe. As this shift occurs, the MTP joint becomes larger and starts to stick out, often becoming painful and inflamed in the process.

It typically takes a long time for the joint to significantly shift and the bunion bump to grow, but the steady pressure that can occur from shoes and walking can be enough to make it happen. Many people with bunions inherited an abnormality in their foot structure that has made the condition much more likely to occur.

A final side fact: the word “bunion” comes from the Greek word for “turnip,” as the bump tends to look red and round like the vegetable.

Do I need surgery to get rid of a bunion?

There are no conservative treatments that will reverse the progression of a bunion. A surgical procedure is the only way that a bunion can be corrected.

That said, many bunions can be effectively managed via conservative means. While this does not eliminate the bunion, it can relieve its symptoms and greatly slow or stop its progression. This makes the need for surgery – and the long weeks of recovery it would require – unnecessary.

Do not let a fear of bunion surgery keep you from receiving the help you need. We will always consider whether conservative management of your bunion will be better for you, and will only discuss surgery if other methods do not provide the results you need.

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