Visits to a podiatrist can be a necessary but often overlooked aspect of a person’s health. There are numerous conditions of the feet, legs and ankles that podiatry can help treat.
WHAT TO ASK AT A PODIATRY APPOINTMENT
These are a few important questions regarding conditions and treatment of the feet that a patient should ask about during an appointment.
WHAT ARE BUNIONS AND WHAT CAUSES THEM?
Bunions are a type of bony deformity that form around the joint of the big toe. A bulging lump on this joint will often stick out and may turn red. Bunions frequently cause the big toe to turn inward towards the other toes.
The reason for the development of bunions is still unknown but has been attributed to foot injuries, birth deformities and rheumatoid arthritis. Wearing ill-fitting shoes that are too tight can also increase the risk of developing this condition.
Treatment options depend on the pain and the severity of the condition and can include icing the toe, new shoe inserts and pain medications. Surgery is another option for more severe bunions.
WHAT ARE ORTHOTICS?
Orthotics are prescription devices worn to help the feet and ankle function properly, relieve foot and leg pain and correct foot deformities. There are numerous types of orthotics available, such as shoe inserts, foot pads and ankle braces. These devices are used to help a patient walk properly as well as relieve discomfort and pain associated with medical conditions such as arthritis, flat feet, bunions, diabetes, plantar fasciitis, hammertoe and foot injuries.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD ORTHOTICS BE REPLACED?
Orthotic devices are typically strongly made and last for several years before needing to be replaced. The longevity depends on many factors, such as how often they are used. Exercising while wearing these devices may cause them to wear out faster. Pain or discomfort while wearing orthotics is often a sign that a replacement is needed.
HOW CAN DIABETES AFFECT THE FEET?
Diabetes is a disease that results in a person’s body producing little to no insulin. This causes high blood sugar. Because diabetes can cause numerous and potentially serious complications for the feet, it is vital that diabetic patients get regular and thorough examinations from a podiatrist.
Raised blood sugar levels can result in poor circulation, causing less blood flow to the feet and making them susceptible to ulcers and infections that will not heal. It can also lead to diabetic neuropathy, which is a type of nerve damage. When there is nerve damage in the feet, a patient is unlikely to feel a sore or cut. If left untreated, this could lead to an infection and gangrene, requiring amputation in extreme cases.
Individuals with medical conditions that affect the feet and legs should see a podiatrist as soon as possible. By knowing what questions to ask, patients can feel comfortable and knowledgeable about their podiatry issues and manage symptoms with ease.
Request an appointment here: https://footdoctorinsanjose.com or call Leonard Greenwald, D.P.M. at (408) 827-9483 for an appointment in our San Jose office.
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