A podiatrist, like those at Galleria Podiatry, is a foot and ankle specialist; he or she can diagnose and treat internal problems with the feet such as sprains and strains, or external problems such as a fungus or ingrown toenail. Not only do they fix and address problems but they can also protect the feet and ankles from injury and stress and offer preventative care. You may not understand the importance of getting your feet protected even before an actual injury, so note when you should see a podiatrist for preventative care of the feet and ankles; some of these occasions and reasons may even surprise you!
1. When you start to run regularly
Running puts added pressure on the feet and ankles because of how you are now pounding the pavement with more force than when walking. You need to ensure that your feet are protected with the right footwear when you run and ensure that you don't have foot problems that can be made worse with running such as bunions or hammertoes. If you're ready to start jogging or running, see a podiatrist for a good foot exam and recommendations as to footwear to protect your feet first; you might even bring your jogging shoes so the doctor can note if they're a good fit and provide adequate protection.
2. When you are overweight
Being overweight puts added stress and strain on your feet and ankles because these joints are holding up your added weight. You may be more prone to stress fractures, heel spurs, and the like simply because of your extra body weight. If you are overweight and notice that you have consistent pain in your feet or ankles, see a podiatrist for treatment and recommendations as to better support and cushioning in the shoes to compensate for their added strain.
3. When you are diabetic
Diabetes can affect the circulation of the blood and, in turn, put you at risk for actual amputation of the toes or feet because of lack of proper blood flow. You may also be prone to skin infections of the feet when you're diabetic. To avoid these risk factors, you want to put a podiatrist on the list of doctors you should see regularly to manage your diabetes and its risks. Your feet should be examined for signs of skin lesions and to ensure that your circulation is healthy and to get recommendations for how to protect your feet while managing your diabetes overall.