People face various ailments, injuries and complications, etc. on a daily basis and they turn to a medical expert for advice and care. Injuries on the foot, and other such mishaps on the lower limbs have been a common part of everyone’s life as well. And there are various medical fields for various healthcare problems known to mankind. One such field is concerned with the treatment of the lower limbs such as the foot, ankles, etc
The specialist who carries out the medical treatment of the foot is called a podiatrist. Podiatrists can also handle sports injuries and other ailments affecting the foot and rest of the lower limbs.
What is a podiatrist?
Unlike Physicians or MDs, a podiatrist is a doctor who specialises and excels in podiatric medicine. They receive special training and education on ankle, foot and lower leg disorders.
In short, podiatrists are not technically like physicians but their training and education requirements are quite similar to that of the physicians.
To prepare for podiatry school, prospective podiatrists study biology, chemistry, and physics courses in college in addition to other science courses. The majority earn a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related branch of study.
They then spend four years in podiatry school. They look at how your muscles, nerves, and bones interact to make you move. During their residency training, podiatrists acquire practical experience in medical facilities like hospitals and clinics. They must pass a series of board certification tests after finishing this course. The letters DPM, which stand for Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, are used after the name of a podiatrist who is completely licensed.
Which Conditions does a Podiatrist Treat?
A podiatrist can suggest treatment after making a diagnosis. Depending on the nature and severity of the condition, a podiatrist may collaborate with a different expert or an entire healthcare team.Hence, here are some conditions podiatrists diagnose and provide treatment for for your general know-how:
●Injuries on foot. Injuries such as fractures, strains and sprains, etc. on the lower limbs.
●Diabetic foot disorders. Infections, nerve damage, neuropathy, ulcers, etc. faced by diabetic people.
●Foot Abnormalities. Structural abnormalities on the foot such as hammertoes and high arches.
●Skin Conditions. Warts and verrucas, corns and calluses, etc.
●Nail conditions. Fungal nails, ingrown nails, nail infections
●Pain and Inflammation on foot. Pain and inflammation due to arthritis or gout and such disorders.
How do Podiatrists Diagnose Conditions?
Podiatrists begin as usual by first studying the medical history and the current case. Then they perform a basic checkup on the affected area on the foot. You may be asked to try and move your foot and fingers or walk around a little so the podiatrist can better understand the severity of the condition. Apart from that, podiatrists check for any swelling and discoloration on the skin.
Depending on initial checkup and findings, they may recommend that you get additional tests done before making a final diagnosis. Here are some tests that a podiatrist uses:
●Imaging tests. X-rays, ultrasounds, bone scans, CT scans, and MRI scans are all imaging examinations. These examinations can detect blood vessel blockages, bone fractures, and other structural issues.
●Blood Tests. You may need to get blood tests done to detect an infection or autoimmune illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis.
●Quantitative sensory testing. It measures how well the nerves can detect changes in temperature and vibration using a specialised computer system. This test is used by podiatrists to identify hypersensitivity, diabetic neuropathy, and other nerve diseases of the foot.
●Electromyography. It measures how well the muscles interact with and react to nerve impulses. During this, the podiatrist inserts one or more very thin needles known as electrodes, into the muscles to detect any reaction from them. Results from an abnormal EMG test indicate a nerve issue and can help your podiatrist determine the best course of treatment.
When Do I need to see a Podiatrist?
When you experience any of the following issues, you should consider seeing a podiatrist:
●Skin breaks or abrasions
●Your soles have peeling and scaling.
●Pain on the foot
●Thickened or discoloured nails
The first appointment to a podiatrist will be quite simple and similar to that of any other doctor. Therefore, they will first discuss your medical history, current medications, and previous procedures in the conversation.
Moreover, they’ll examine your posture as well as your joints’ range of motion and shoe fit. Additionally, treatments for foot abnormalities, ingrown toenails, heel and lower back discomfort, circulation issues in the feet if you have diabetes,etc. are common on the initial visit.
To summarise, if you’re concerned about your foot care as well, Bucksfoot clinic has the best team of podiatrists in Little Chalfont for you. We offer the best modern treatments and care for foot conditions and complexities. Visit our website to learn more.