- December 1, 2023
- Updated 4:01 pm
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Six Benefits of Regularly Going to a Podiatrist
When you walk, jump, dance, or even reach for things on tiptoe, your feet make all those movements possible. Needless to say, having healthy feet is important for enjoying full mobility. However, like all other parts of your body, your feet can experience problems like injuries, malformations, and even skin infections. Some disorders are not visible to the untrained eye, so it’s best to have your feet checked by a specialist.
Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in feet, and they treat all sorts of issues from the ankles down. Because your feet are responsible for moving you as well as bearing all your body weight, they can actually experience a lot of wear and tear that can worsen if left untreated. Visiting a podiatry clinic regularly can help to ensure that your feet are in good shape, which contributes to your overall health. If you’re preparing for your first visit and don’t quite know what to expect, here are some of the benefits you can get from seeing a podiatrist.
Maintain the Health of Your Feet
Just as it’s a good idea to have regular checkups with your general physician, regularly going to a podiatrist is part of maintaining a healthy body. Podiatrists are also licensed doctors, but their specialty in treating foot conditions make them the experts for any and all concerns for that area. They are the best people to consult if you notice any changes or pain on your feet, even if it seems like a minor issue.
Get Proper Diagnosis and Treatment for Foot Conditions
If you notice a strange whitish patch between your toes or yellowing on your toenails, it’s best to get that looked at as soon as possible. While it may not look worrisome or cause you any discomfort, these may point to early signs of a fungal or yeast infection. Seeing a podiatrist means you can get the right diagnosis and treatment immediately, which prevents the infection from worsening and affecting more areas. It can also cut down on your treatment requirements and recovery time since the issue was addressed early on.
Similarly, telling your podiatrist of any tenderness you feel on your foot can save you from a bad situation. It may not be uncomfortable enough to seem like an urgent concern, but leaving injuries untreated can lead to bigger problems later on. As you continue to put weight on your feet during normal activities, it agitates the injured area and prevents it from healing properly. Remember that even an incident as common as stubbing your toe can lead to a problem like hammer toes, a bone deformity that can require corrective surgery.
Recover Motion and Mobility after Injury
Apart from getting your injuries properly treated, you should consider regular visits to your podiatrist to ensure that it is healing properly. Getting your muscles, ligaments and bones to heal in the correct position is very important to ensuring that you retain your range of motion and mobility after recovery. In some cases, podiatrists can also perform additional procedures like extracorporeal shockwave therapy to help repair damaged tendons and ligaments. If muscles need strengthening or if you need to correct your movements, your podiatrist may also refer you for physical therapy.
Build Healthy Habits
Just as you don’t visit the doctor when you’re sick, your podiatrist is a partner in having a healthy lifestyle. They can help you find the right kind of footwear or customize shoe inserts so you can get ample foot support and avoid pain. If you are prone to getting ingrown nails, they can teach you how to properly cut your toenails or they can do a partial nail removal procedure to keep this problem from recurring. Podiatrists may even offer some nutritional advice if they notice that your nails are too thick, break easily, or are discoloured as these may be indicators of imbalances in your diet. And if you have problems with excessively sweaty and stink-prone feet, your podiatrist can help you with that as well.
Sustain Athletic Performance
A lot of athletes depend on their feet for what they do, so they need to be proactive about protecting this asset. Working with a podiatrist who specializes in sports medicine is important for helping them avoid or minimize their risk for injury. The podiatrist can provide recommendations on the kind of training the athlete should get and even the footwear that they use. This can help the athlete sustain or even optimize their performance.
Prevent Further Health Complications
Medical conditions like diabetes and arthritis can cause a lot of damage to the feet if they aren’t properly monitored. For example, diabetes can cause poor blood circulation so even a small wound can take a long time to heal. Unfortunately, diabetes can also cause nerve damage to the area so the patient may not even realize that they have a wound. If left untreated, the wound can become an ulcer or open wound and may need to be amputated. For this reason, diabetic patients are encouraged to visit a podiatrist regularly for thorough assessment and early treatment.
More than going to the podiatrist when you have issues with your feet, it’s best to visit your podiatrist regularly as a preventative health measure. Even though they specialize in treating your feet, your podiatrist can help you protect your overall health and ensure that you can continue to enjoy your mobility for years to come.