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Foot Pain Cramping Your Style? Know When To See a Podiatrist

Oct 18, 2023

Foot pain is a common ailment that most people experience at some point in their lives. In many instances, people can treat their issues with rest and self-care. But sometimes, it becomes necessary to seek medical attention from a podiatrist. Knowing when to visit a podiatrist can prevent further complications and ensure the best foot care.

Symptoms That Warrant a Podiatrist Visit

“Persistent foot pain that lasts more than a few days, intensifies or interferes with daily activities is a significant red flag that should not be ignored,” said Ashley Fought, D.P.M., podiatrist at Inspira Medical Group Podiatry Woolwich.

Also, any sudden or severe foot pain, especially after an injury, should prompt an immediate visit to a podiatrist.

Other concerning symptoms include:

  • Swelling and inflammation that doesn't subside with rest and elevation
  • Numbness or a tingling sensation in the feet
  • Difficulty walking or bearing weight on the affected foot
  • Visible changes in the shape or alignment of the foot
  • Open sores, cuts or wounds that do not heal promptly

What to Expect on Your First Podiatrist Visit

When visiting a podiatrist for the first time, you can expect a comprehensive evaluation where your doctor asks about your medical history, previous injuries and current symptoms. They will also perform a physical examination of the foot, looking for signs of inflammation, deformities or abnormalities. A health care professional may order diagnostic tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to provide a more detailed view of the foot's internal structures.

“The first visit is crucial in understanding the root cause of the foot pain,” said Dr. Fought. “It allows us to provide an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan tailored to the patient's needs.”

Common Reasons for Visiting a Podiatrist

  • Plantar fasciitis: A condition characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. It often causes sharp pain in the heel or arch, primarily upon waking or after prolonged rest periods.
  • Ingrown toenails: When a toenail grows into the surrounding skin, causing pain, redness and swelling. If left untreated, ingrown toenails can lead to infection.
  • Bunions: Painful, bony bumps develop at the base of the big toe, causing the toe to deviate toward the other toes.
  • Achilles tendonitis: Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, leading to pain and stiffness in the back of the ankle.
  • Stress fractures: Tiny cracks in the bones due to repetitive stress, often seen in athletes or those engaging in high-impact activities.
  • Morton's neuroma: A thickening of the tissue around the nerves leading to the toes, causing pain, tingling and numbness in the ball of the foot.

“We advise against dismissing or taking foot pain lightly,” said Dr. Fought. “Knowing when to seek medical attention can make a difference in preventing long-term complications.”

If you experience persistent or severe foot pain, swelling or any other concerning symptoms, it's time to take that crucial step toward expert care. A visit to a podiatrist will help identify the underlying issue and set you on the path to healthier, pain-free feet.

To schedule a visit with an Inspira podiatrist, make an appointment online or call 1-800-INSPIRA.

Topics: Podiatry