Good foot health is imperative to a healthy lifestyle. Most of the time, we take for granted how great it feels to be healthy. The pleasant possibility to run around all day playing sports, swimming, climbing, jumping, and doing crazy stunts that can only be achieved for a healthy body. However, once we are robbed of good health by an injury or a complication of our feet, it suddenly dawns on us that good health and injury-free years were the best times of our lives. From a sprained ankle to bunions, corns, a bone fracture, or any other type of lower limb complication, regaining back healthy feet suddenly becomes an imperative, forcing us to seek the help of a feet specialist, a Podiatrist.
What Is A Podiatrist?
Podiatrists are specialized health care professionals that are derived from Podiatry. Podiatry is a unique branch of medical studies that effectively works on the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of disorders of the feet and the lower limbs. A podiatrist or Podiatric physician is a medical specialist in the field of Podiatry. They are well-groomed professional, whom after passing through a series of intense training and education in Podiatry, can effectively treat health complications related to the feet and the lower limb as a whole. Your local podiatrist covers all health issues pertaining to your foot, ankle, knee and hip. It might as well interest you to know that your podiatrist also works with other health care professionals such as physiotherapists and massage therapists to meet your health challenges in the most impactful way.
The journey towards been a professional Podiatrist starts from scaling through the Medical Competency Aptitude Test (MCAT). Just like every other physician, Podiatrist goes through intense medical school, albeit, not the same school for conventional medicine. The podiatrist goes through a podiatric medical school for four years. The academic schedule or curriculum for Podiatry can also be likened to that of any medical school. However, their education works focus more on foot, ankle, and lower limbs. The first two years in the podiatry school are filled with much of classroom work, while the remaining two years are mapped out for intense clinical experience, utilizing various facilities in the process. After successfully making it through the knowledge stocked podiatric medical school, Podiatrists gets a three years minimum of residency training in hospitals and clinics. The whole series of training to becoming a podiatrist is tied to bagging a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree. The American Board of Podiatric Medicine awards this certification. Certification and licensing are so pertinent if you must practice as a professional podiatrist. Also, similar to all physicians, licenses are subject to the state where you intend to practice, and it’s expected to be renewed once in a couple of years. For one to be licensed, the podiatrist needs to be successful in the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam (APMLE) as well as a state board exam in some states. Some podiatrists just stick to general practices, whereas others verve towards pursuing a podiatry specialty. This mainly involves specialized fellowship training that focuses on a specific area. For instance, a podiatrist who specializes in foot surgery is called a podiatric surgeon. Such podiatrist is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. Other similar specialties include;
- Dermatological podiatry
Specialty in skin disorders.
- Diagnostic podoradiology
Expert in foot and ankle radiology.
- Forensic podiatry
With a vast specified knowledge base in the study of footprints and shoe prints for crime scene investigations.
- Gerontological podiatrist
- Geriatric foot conditions
- Pediatric Podiatry
- Podiatric diabetology
- Podiatric oncology
Specialist in skin cancers
- Podiatric Orthopedics
Specialty in the treatment of foot abnormalities with orthotics, prosthetics, and footwear
- Podiatric rheumatology
Focuses more on lower limbs issues ofrheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases
- Podiatric sports medicine
- Podiatric vascular specialist
- Reconstructive foot and ankle surgery
Why You Should See A Podiatrist
There are many reasons why you should go to a certified podiatrist for medical attention, relative to the foot, ankle, or lower limb. It’s not surprising to discover that most people often suffer from foot pain and complain about the fact that their feet ache. Of course, its no news, why? Cause the feet are the most neglected part of the body. Many people don’t pay much needful attention to their feet, which could increase the risk of injury or developing a disease. Since our feet are essential to our mobility and support our entire body, it is crucial to take care of them as best as we can. Also, most times, the foot is the first place that shows signs of severe conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Thankfully enough, through the expertise of a podiatrist, it is possible to improve foot function and develop lower leg mobility. Some conditions that can efficiently be tackled by your local podiatrist are listed below.
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis)
- Diabetic foot complications (ulcers, infections, neuropathy, slow wound healing, and Charcot arthropathy)
- Flat feet
- High arched feet
- Sprains, fracture, and broken bones
- Heel and arch pain (including heel spurs, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis)
- Morton’s neuroma
- Ingrown nails
- Plantar warts
- Athlete’s foot
- Numbness, Burning, and Tingling
If you experience any of the following symptoms for more than a day or more, it is recommended that you see an experienced podiatrist immediately.
- Severe pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Open sore or wound
It is quite prudent for you to see a podiatrist if you feel any discomfort or if you notice the least sign of trouble in your feet. A consultation with your local podiatric doctor will grant you the opportunity to receive a complete examination of your lower limbs so that the necessary treatment or rehabilitation can be implemented immediately.