Why Should You See a Podiatrist?

by | Mar 19, 2018

Why should I see a podiatrist?

It’s a question we get sometimes, and we really do appreciate the honesty—and the opportunity to share the reasons why, what we do, is so important!

Most people get why they might need a specialist for their kidney, or their nerves, or their heart. But feet? Can’t my regular doctor handle that?

The truth is that feet are a lot more complex than they appear.

Underneath that skin you’ll find a quarter of all the bones in your entire skeleton, more than 60 individual joints, and more than 100 combined muscles, tendons and ligaments—not to mention countless blood vessels and nerves.

It’s a complicated machine! But that also means a lot can go wrong.

Foot Health Is a Core Component of Overall Health

Talk to any doctor, any dietician, any therapist, any psychologist.

They’ll all tell you the same thing: staying active and exercising is absolutely critical if you want to maintain your independence, as well as your physical and mental wellbeing, well into your middle and twilight years.

Foot pain, however, is one of the easiest and most common ways that this quest for better personal health gets derailed. If your feet ache, you stop running. You stop going on hikes and walks.

You’d rather collapse on the couch after work than engage in an active hobby like shopping, cooking, or gardening.

It doesn’t take long before this becomes a vicious cycle—a negative feedback loop that sends your health spiraling downward. The less active you are, the greater the short and long-term risks to your health.

And the lower your fitness level, the harder it is to get back to where you were.

nurse bandaging foot injury

No One Is Better Trained or Equipped to Care for Your Feet and Ankles

Let’s say you’ve suffered some kind of injury, and it requires a complicated surgical repair.

Would you rather go to a surgeon who performs that exact surgical procedure once or twice a year, or one who does it multiple times per week?

Easy choice, right?

Although general practitioners and orthopedic surgeons may be able to “cover” some needs for foot and ankle care, the feet are not their primary focus.

A podiatrist, by contrast, works exclusively with the feet and ankles. We are multi-disciplined physicians trained to assess and diagnose foot care needs of all types, as well as provide both conservative and surgical care.

Podiatrists earn their degree at an accredited school of podiatry, where medical care of the feet and ankles is the exclusive focus. We then complete a two or three year surgical residency training program.

We are held to the same standards as other medical practitioners in terms of continuing education, maintaining our license, and providing a high standard of patient care.

No one is better trained or equipped to diagnose and treat your foot and ankle problems.

You’re an Athlete

Feet and ankles are on the front lines of athletic activity. Every time you run, jump, cut, or pivot, you place incredible strain—often equivalent to several times your own body weight—on your lower extremity.

Your joints (and particularly your ankles) not only have to be incredibly tough and strong, but also nimble and flexible. It’s a tough job—no wonder they get hurt so often!

If you’re just starting to run, about to join a new sport, or just increasing the intensity of your physical activity in general, it’s always a great idea to see a podiatrist beforehand—especially if you have any personal history with foot pain, ankle sprains, or other lower extremity injuries.

Your podiatrist is uniquely qualified to assess your lower limb biomechanics and recommend preventative measures, such as sport orthotics or specific stretches and exercises, that can keep your feet as far out of harm’s way as long as possible.

Of course, if and when you actually do sustain a lower limb injury—whether chronic or acute in nature—you should see us for quick and effective treatment.

When you try to “walk it off” or “play through the pain,” you only make the problem worse—longer recovery, lower athletic performance, and a greater chance of developing chronic pain or suffering an even more severe injury later.

We offer a lot of advanced options to help athlete’s recovery quickly from injury without surgery, including the MLS laser system.

heel pain laser treatment

You Have Diabetes

High blood sugar can lead to systemic problems and complications throughout the body, including the feet.

Circulation in your feet slows to a trickle. Peripheral nerves responsible for sensing (touch, temperature, pain, etc.), muscle control, and even autonomic functions become impaired. Bones and muscles weaken.

As a result, people with diabetes are more likely to injure their feet, less likely to realize they’ve been hurt, take longer to heal, and have a harder time fighting off infection.

Small cuts or burst blisters can progress into infected sores that just won’t heal. If not treated in time, amputation may be the only way to stop the infection.

Even if you’ve never had a foot problem before, it’s important to see a foot specialist at least once per year if you have diabetes.

Because complications like impaired circulation and neuropathy progress slowly and may not show symptoms until the problem is already severe, regular screenings can help you head off problems before they arise.

We can also set you up with preventative care options to protect your feet from injury, like custom orthotics and diabetic shoes.

If you do have an active foot problem, see us as soon as possible for treatment.

We offer advanced treatment options for neuropathy and wound care, as well as a comprehensive range of foot and ankle services for common (and uncommon) problems. Best to take care of it before it has the opportunity to become worse.

Any Foot Concerns at All? Please Don’t Hesitate to Call

As comprehensive foot care experts, we are uniquely qualified to address just about any problem or concern you may be worried about in your feet or ankles.

That includes aching heels and arches, or deformities like bunions. But it also includes diagnoses as far ranging as sprains, ingrown toenails, prickling sensations (neuropathy), and a whole lot more.

We work hard to bring state-of-the-art research, treatment technologies, and care options to the people of this community, so you don’t have wait three months and go to a fancy out-of-state hospital to get the care you need.

It’s all right here. Feel free to review all the content on this website for more information about how we can help you.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Pilling and the Canyon Foot & Ankle team, please call one of our convenient office locations today:

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