Your feet are the ones that keep you moving every day, bearing all your body weight even when wearing uncomfortable shoes. They connect you to reality, like the saying states: “Keep your feet on the ground!”. So then, shouldn’t they deserve some special attention, especially when something starts to hurt?
The person who is best placed to help you and your feet get better is the podiatrist or the chiropodist. If you’ve never heard about these specialties before (podiatry and chiropody), you should know that the two names (podiatry and chiropody) are actually synonyms. It’s just that podiatry/podiatrist seems to be the more modern term and is widely used in the US, UK and Australia.
So what does a podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist or chiropodist can diagnose various problems with your feet and ankles, so this is certainly the best specialist that you can turn to for foot care. Probably the most common foot problem that you may have heard of is the one with ingrown toe nails. This kind of problem is quite frequent and it is certainly a good idea to visit a physician when the symptoms start, in order to prevent further complications that may lead to surgery for a total or partial removal of the nail.
You can also visit a podiatrist for any kind of foot pain (heel pain, wounds, swelling etc.) or unusual symptoms related to your feet, for example yellow toe nails caused by fungus.
Or you can visit a podiatrist just for a routine consultation. Your podiatrist will probably go through a standard procedure for removing the hard skin and for identifying any foot problems, even if they are minor, such as calluses, corns andverrucae. Some people even consider this procedure as being pleasant, so have no fear!
Of course, apart from the basic science of podiatry, there are several specialties that a physician can be certified in, such as sports medicine or diabetic care. If you are a professional sportsman for example, you probably already have someone assigned to evaluate your foot condition. However if you practice sports (like jogging) on a regular basis, it is a good idea to have you feet checked now and then by a podiatrist with a certification in sports medicine. Your doctor might also be able to give you professional advice regarding what shoes to wear and teach you how to choose them wisely.
How to prevent foot problems?
First of all, it should be noted that a visit to the podiatrist would be more helpful for customized advice about caring for your feet, taking into consideration your medical history and the outcome of the consultation. Nevertheless, there are some simple tips that contribute to your foot health:
1) Wear proper shoes
They say that beauty requires sacrifice. That’s why millions of women and men in the world wear uncomfortable shoes just for the sake of fashion. It might make you look good, but are you ready to harm your feet for that?
Actually, in addition it seems that for the most comfortable shoes, the best procedure would be for the person who sells shoes to measure your feet and give you the most suitable size – but nobody does that anymore, right?
Moreover, if you are a sports person who likes to jog 2 or more times per week, make sure you buy appropriate shoes from dedicated stores. Don’t just run with any shoes!
2) Check out the cleanness in the pedicure salon before going there
Especially in the case of women, when they turn to a specialist to treat foot fungus, having no idea how they got the disease. The natural question would be: “Have you been to have your pedicure done lately?” The footbaths and other equipment used in the pedicure salons in actuality can be perfect germ spreaders.
3) If you know that you have any other disease, like diabetes, have your feet checked regularly
Sooner is better than later when it comes to your health. So have your feet checked by a podiatrist, even if you think that a small callus is no big deal. It might well be, if you have another disease as well, such as diabetes for instance. So prevent more serious infections and be proactive regarding your health.
You can find out more about podiatry and how to care for your feet at: