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Should I Be Worried About My Foot Pain?

podiatrist delray beach

Virtually everyone has experienced a case of sore feet after a long day of strenuous activity at one point or another or suffered the dreaded stubbed pinky toe on the leg of a coffee table. Most people deal with foot issues such as soreness and minor injury by an Epsom salt soak or treating themselves to a pedicure for dry skin. But how can one tell the difference between a foot problem that is simply an inconvenience, and when a foot problem is a sign of something more serious?

A podiatrist Delray Beach is a medical professional who specializes in treating the foot, ankle, and the bones in the leg, the lower leg specifically. Instead of attending a traditional school of medicine, a podiatrist Delray Beach will spend four years at a podiatry school followed by three to four years working residency in a hospital. Here are ten reasons it’s time for you to see a podiatrist Delray Beach.

1. Injury
While you may be tempted to see a general practitioner or even an orthopedic doctor to treat injuries such as fractures or sprains, but a trip to the podiatrist Delray Beach will provide better and more specialized care. Aside from sprains and fractures, other common injuries that require a podiatrist Delray Beach visit are Plantar Fasciitis (Policeman’s heel), spurs, sesamoiditis, neuromas, and Achilles tendonitis.

2. Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease with two types. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the pancreas producing little to no insulin, whereas type 2 diabetes affects the body’s ability to process and metabolize glucose, causing the body to resist insulin. Those suffering from either type are at risk of developing a condition known as diabetic feet, which can cause a plethora of foot problems. When left untreated, or poorly treated, diabetes results in two issues that affect the feet: peripheral vascular disease and diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral vascular disease causes poor blood flow throughout a person’s arms and legs. When you have bad blood flow, you are at risk of infection not healing properly and developing gangrene. Diabetic neuropathy happens when unchecked diabetes causes loss of feeling in the feet over time due to nerve damage. If you or someone you know is a diabetic, then a podiatrist Delray Beach can help treat or reverse the effects of diabetic feet.

3. Sudden Numbness and Swelling
Though occasional soreness from walking or running is nothing to be concerned about, if you experience sudden pain, numbness, and swelling on only one foot, then it’s time to talk to your podiatrist Delray Beach. At worst, sudden numbness in the foot can be a sign of a stroke (a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention) though this is rarely the case. However, these symptoms could be a sign of nerve damage due to injury, or an underlining condition.

4. Recurring Athletes Foot
Tinea Pedis, commonly known as Athletes Foot, is a contagious fungal infection that causes a red, scaly rash to spread across the foot, usually starting between the person’s toes. Other symptoms of Athletes Foot are burning, itching, and a stinging feeling that comes with the rash. This condition typically goes away through self-treatment (antifungal creams). But, if your case of Athletes Foot does not clear up within two weeks, make a doctor’s appointment.

5. Nail Fungus
Another fairly common fungal infection, nail fungus (onychomycosis) starts as a yellow or white speck under your nail. As the condition progresses, the infected nail causes further discoloration, crumbling edges, and thickening of the nail that can become painful without treatment. If self-treatment fails to help, a doctor’s visit may be in order.

6. Ingrown Toenail
An ingrown toenail occurs when the sides of the nail begin to grow into your skin, causing pain, swelling, and redness of the skin surrounding the nail. Ingrown toenails typically develop due to improper nail trimming, wearing shoes that are too tight, and trauma to the toe. This condition requires immediate attention before an infection has time to set it. If caught early, an ingrown toenail can be treated through home care efforts. However, if left alone, the infection can grow so severe that surgery may be required to cure this condition. As a rule, it is best to consult a podiatrist Delray Beach as soon as you spot an ingrown toenail.

7. Joint Pain
Joint pain in the feet can be caused by a host of different conditions. For less severe afflictions, such as injury, joint pain can be relieved by rest, medication, and elevation of the injured foot. For more serious problems, like Arthritis, symptoms can be debilitating and should be treated by a medical professional.

8. Heel Pain
Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis are the most common causes of heel pain, followed by many other conditions ranging from fairly benign to severe. Most of the time, mild to moderate heel pain can be treated at home through rest, ice and heat compress, OTC pain medications, and even solutions as simple as changing shoes. However, if your pain is so excruciating that it prevents you from walking, or begins to swell, see your doctor as soon as possible.

9. Calluses/Corns
Your body forms calluses and corns to protect the skin from pressure and friction by causing the skin to harden and thicken. The main difference between corns and calluses is where they are normally located. Calluses tend to form on the bottoms of your feet, particularly the balls and heels, while corns develop on the tops and sides of your feet, usually the toes. For most people, the problems they experience from these issues are mostly cosmetic and are easily treatable by removing whatever is causing the pressure.

10. Bunions
Sometimes, if corns and calluses form on the first and second toe, can be a sign that those toes are starting to rub together, which means you have a bunion. A bunion is a hard, round bump on the base joint of the big toe and is caused by the bones moving out of place. This condition can develop from arthritis, deformity, or the way your foot is shaped. Bunions typically do not require treatment from a medical professional unless the bunion is causing significant pain or a noticeable decrease in the ability to move.

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