What is a Podiatrist?

Top Ten Questions asked of a Foot Doctor

Not surprisingly, there are many misconceptions about Podiatrists – and what they do. As a foot and ankle specialist, a Podiatrist is highly trained to diagnose and manage a host of foot and ankle problems. More than that, many Podiatrists choose to specialize in other areas – like dermatology, bio-mechanics, and diabetic foot care. All are crucial to general foot care.

1. Do I need a referral to see a Podiatrist?

You might initially visit your general practitioner about a foot (or ankle) problem, but its not always necessary to be referred to a Podiatrist. Either way, a Podiatrist will diagnose you and recommend a treatment plan that will be specific to your foot or ankle problem.

2. Can a Podiatrist do only nail trimming?

One of the treatments offered by a Podiatrist is nail care and nail rimming. In fact, elderly patients (and those with reduced mobility) often need routine toenail trimming to prevent issues like ingrown toenails. In some cases, this type of preventative treatment is vital.

3. When should I seek help for foot pain?

With simple foot pain, it’s sometimes easy to self-medicate in the hope that symptoms will subside. However, foot pain is a symptom, and if that foot pain compromises daily routine or exercise, then its time for some medical intervention, and time to see a Podiatrist.

4. How do I find the best podiatrist near me?

Like any medical treatment, it’s important to seek out a reputable practitioner, accredited by a professional association. It would also be advisable to seek someone who will answer all your questions up front. It’s also nice to find a clinic team that is helpful and supportive.

5. How should I proceed with a Podiatrist?

If you’re suffering with foot and/or ankle pain, or if you notice any unusual symptoms, it’s better to visit a Podiatrist as soon as possible. The fact is, early assessment of symptoms is the best road to successful treatment, and early treatment will make for a better prognosis.

6. How often should I visit a Podiatrist?

Depending on the individual, and the medical concerns, a Podiatrist will usually see patients every couple of months – particularly if on-going treatment is required. Patients receiving care for corns and callouses may have a more regular schedule. Others may visit annually.

7. What is the purpose of foot orthotics?

Orthotic devices are designed to correct a bio-mechanical insufficiency. This might be for a postural alignment or even to aid in injury recovery. Oftentimes, orthotics will be suggested to support the arch of the foot (or feet), thus improving knee alignment and reducing pain.

8. How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

Podiatrists recommend cutting toenails straight across – if you’re cutting the sides of your toenails it may cause the nail to grow into the skin. Filing nail edges will also help to prevent ingrown nails. Shoe styles that are tight and cramp the toes can also cause ingrown toenails.

9. Can I find podiatry in Pittsburgh PA?

If you’re looking for Podiatry in Pittsburgh (or a Podiatry hospital in Pittsburgh), you may want to rely on a professional referral from a General Practitioner. This will usually ensure that the Podiatrist is trusted and accredited, two attributes that you should be looking for.

10. What foot symptoms are obvious?

The foot and ankle can present symptoms for many reasons – from sports injuries, to poorly fitting shoes, to medical issues. Symptoms are also wide ranging: pain and swelling; change in color of toenails and skin; strange feelings and sensations; even visible changes to gait.

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