The heat is on, and summer is in full swing. Everyone is having fun in the sun, but your ankles and feet are holding you back. They are sore and achy, and their pain wakes you from your sleep at night. What’s a person to do? First thing to know is you’re not alone; seventy-five percent of Americans will experience foot issues of varying degrees of severity at some point in their lives, according to research. And the good news is, if you are part of that 75%, your provider or a podiatrist can help.
Whether it’s joint pain in your ankles, skin issues on your feet, sore heels or discolored toenails, your best bet is not to suffer in silence but instead call a podiatrist. It’s true that many foot issues can be treated very easily, but those issues also can be a sign of a more serious, underlying health condition.
Foot and Ankle Symptoms That Warrant an Appointment with a Podiatrist
When thinking about your foot and ankle woes, you may be wondering what symptoms warrant a call to your provider. Of course, if you’re in extreme pain or it’s difficult to stand or walk, you should schedule an appointment. You should also call a podiatrist if you experience any of the following:
Nail Fungus – It may not cause pain, but it can be a sign of an infection. And if you leave it untreated, it will cause your nail to become thick and discolored, and it can easily spread to your other toenails.
Ingrown Toenail – You’ve probably removed ingrown toenails yourself, but the next time you experience a painful one, make an appointment to have it removed. A podiatrist can apply numbing medicine if necessary and prescribe medicine to make sure it doesn’t get infected.
Heel Pain – Many factors can contribute to heel pain such as poorly fitting shoes and prolonged time on your feet. At the same time, more serious conditions such as bone spurs or plantar fasciitis can cause your heels to hurt.
Recurring Case of Athlete’s Foot – While it is one of the most common foot ailments and can typically be treated with over-the-counter medicine, chronic athlete’s foot should be looked at by a podiatrist who can prescribe stronger medication to keep it at bay.
Bunions, Corns and Calluses – Whether it’s a bony bump from a bunion or thickened skin from a corn or a callous, a podiatrist will create a treatment plan for each.
Frequent Numbness, pain or swelling – Occasional swelling is normal, especially if you just completed a marathon or have been standing on your feet all day. But, frequent or sudden pain, swelling or numbness can be an indication of something more serious and should be checked out.
Your feet are terrific indicators into what’s happening in the rest of your body. Did you know that flaky skin near your heel or ball of your foot could be an indicator of a thyroid issue? Or a pins and needles sensation can lead to a diabetes discovery?
It’s true; the health of your feet can tip off the presence of other underlying health conditions such as:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Lung disease
- Liver and kidney malfunction
- Heart failure
If you’re suffering from foot or ankle pain, don’t wait any longer. We want you to feel well and to stay healthy on your feet.