As Thanksgiving quickly approaches it is time to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for in our lives. Most people will give thanks for their Family, their jobs and most importantly their health. If you are someone who has issues with your feet or ankles and have been into a podiatrist’s office lately then I’m sure one of the things you may be thankful for this Thanksgiving is your Podiatrist! Whether you have lower extremity related problems or not, here are five reasons to be thankful for Podiatrists this Thanksgiving.
1) Diabetic Feet – One fact that many people don’t realize is that of the 23.6 million Americans or 7.8% of US citizens that have been diagnosed with diabetes, podiatrists are one of their primary doctors that they visit on a regular basis. Diabetic feet are a tricky and sensitive issue that podiatrists deal with on a daily basis. Diabetics over time may develop neuropathy which is a loss of sensation which in diabetics starts in the toes and moves up the leg. Podiatrists work especially hard with diabetics to make sure they are extra careful about their feet or they can develop potentially life threatening ulcers or infections.
2) Children’s Feet – Children make up a large segment of a podiatrist’s patients. Something that might surprise you is that podiatrists can work with children as young as 6 months old in order to try and correct any deformity of the lower extremity. One common example is children with club feet. Although this deformity can look devastating to a concerned parent, podiatrists work with these children over the years to literally straighten them out. Other common conditions, such as in toeing, out toeing, toe walking, plantar warts, and ingrown toenails are also addressed often.
3) Bunions – A bunion is a bony protrusion commonly located on the base of the big toe. If you have ever had a bunion you can attest that these deformities are annoying and at times painful. Fortunately there is a very common surgical procedure that podiatrist perform called a bunionectomy that can correct this abnormality. If a bunion is caught early, simply wearing a custom orthotic can prevent surgery altogether!
4) Warts – Most people will contract a wart at some point in their life. Podiatrists have the leading edge technology to take care of them if they develop on your feet. Podiatrists even will give you different options for treatment, such as medication or treatment with a laser.
5) Nail and Skin infections – This is a wide category but a very important one to be thankful that there are podiatrists to help treat and cure these infections. One of the most common infections that podiatrists treat is onychomycosis. This is a fungal infection of the nail that can spread if not treated properly. The important thing to remember is that many nail and skin infections can look very similar. It is important to get a podiatrists opinion if an infection develops on your feet.
We often don’t think about our feet until a problem occurs. This Thanksgiving, make a commitment to yourself to visit with your podiatrist and make sure you stay on the road of proper foot health.