Do you think you may need to see a podiatrist? Learn more about the role of podiatrists in foot health – and how this can benefit your general overall health.
Podiatrists are foot health experts who are university-trained to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower limbs. Often, these conditions stem from other underlying health issues such as diabetes, stress fractures and arthritis.
Podiatrists are all around you, and they work in both public health centres and private practice clinics. To find a podiatrist near you, you can search by location at podiatry.org.au.
Why do I need to see a podiatrist?
Our feet house a quarter of the bones in our entire bodies – in addition to various muscles, ligaments and joints. This makes them extremely vulnerable to injury and diseases that can affect the entire body.
Your podiatrist will not just look at your foot, but will carry out a biometric assessment to see how your gait can be impacting other parts of your body, such as your hips. (Your gait is the way you walk and stand.)
Podiatrists totally understand the structure and movement of the foot and lower limbs. They are able to diagnose foot conditions, identify systemic overall health conditions that present with foot or lower limb symptoms – and recommend appropriate treatment plans.
When I should see a podiatrist?
You may be experiencing pain in your feet, ingrown or discoloured skin/nails, corns, skin rashes, foot odour, foot injuries, broader health problems such as diabetes or arthritis, recurrent tripping or falling, problems fitting comfortably in your regular shoes; or if you notice swelling, lumps, or redness on your feet or legs.
It is a common misconception that sore feet are a normal side effect from everyday activities. Yet research shows that only a fraction of individuals suffering from sore feet seek out professional advice.
Just as you would visit your dentist for a toothache, you should visit a podiatrist if you suffer from sore or tired feet and/or lower limbs.