What is Podiatry and what do Podiatrists do?
Podiatry or podiatric medicine is a field of healthcare devoted to the study and treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and the knee, leg and hip (collectively known as the lower extremity). The range of disorders podiatry can address largely depends on the scope of practice laid down in national, state, and/or provincial jurisdiction.
Some podiatrists limit their practices to the non-(hospital) surgical treatment of patients. Because much work in podiatric medicine and surgery involves cutting of some kind, many procedures are considered surgical by insurance companies including tasks such as the cutting of nails, removing of corns or callus, which the generic public would not commonly consider to be surgery. These podiatrists use their skills in handling arthritic, diabetic, and other medical problems associated with the feet and lower extremities. Some use devices fitted in shoes (orthotics) or modify the shoe itself to make walking better or easier. Some practices focus on sports medicine and treat a few runners, dancers, sports players, and other athletes.
Within the scope of practice, podiatrists are the experts at foot, ankle & related leg structures surgery. Some podiatrists have primarily surgical practices. Some specialists complete additional fellowship training in reconstruction of the foot, ankle and leg. A number podiatric surgeons specialize in minimally invasive percutaneous surgery. Most podiatrists utilize medical, orthopedic, biomechanical and surgical practices. Most assuredly, surgical podiatric principles rest on a base of orthopedic and kinesthetic expertise.
Some of the typical reason to visit a local podiatrists are: Cracked heels, Heel pain, Ingrown toe nail, Neuroma , Heel pain in children, Tarsal tunnel syndrome, Foot Corns & callus, Burning foot, Arch pain, Diabetes foot care, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ankle sprains, Dry skin, Sweaty feet, Flat foot , High arch foot, Foot orthotics, Hammer toe , Sever’s Disease, Calcaneal apophysitis, Calf muscle stretch, Bunion, Runners knee, Shin splints, Children’s foot problems, Fungal infection, Children’s footwear, Running shoes, Fitting footwear , Ingrown toenail, Heel spurs, Plantar fasciitis , Smelly feet, Cold feet, Pronated foot , Arch support, Poor circulation, Do I need orthotics? , Clubfoot, Charcot’s foot, Ski boot problems , Chilblains, Metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuroma , Foot pain, Sprained ankle, Flat feet , Bunion surgery, Footcare products, Growing pains , Gout, Peripheral neuropathy and more.
What about Orthotics?
Sophisticated custom orthotics to more rigidly support compromised joints, weak muscles, and other medical conditions are in many instances provided by orthotists. Plastic vs. metal and leather fitting, complex mechanical hinges, and fasteners to keep the orthosis affixed well to the portion of the body that the orthosis supports are a part of the process in delivering orthotic support.
In addition to providing relief for painful foot problems or an injury, those who may benefit from orthotics include people who must walk or stand excessively on the job. For those who are active in sports, orthotics will commonly improve endurance, performance and strength. For overweight individuals, orthotics can help to counteract the extra stress on the feet, as minor problems are ordinarily magnified due to the increased weight.
Orthotics are particularly effective in relieving foot fatigue and discomfort experienced by older adults, who may have developed arthritis in their feet. Orthotics may also be prescribed for children who have a foot deformity.
In athletic individuals, sports activities result in a lovely deal of movement and pressure on the foot. Slight imbalances in the foot that are not harmful or even detectable under usual circumstances may make one more vulnerable to injury with the extra stress of sports activity. By releasing the need for one’s muscles to compensate for imperceptible imbalances, orthotics can reduce fatigue and promote efficient muscle function to enhance performance. With enough functional correction, the foot structure can be aligned to give more propulsion, making walking, running and cycling more mechanically efficient.
Rigid orthotic devices are designed to control foot function, and may be made from a firm material such as plastic or carbon fiber. These types of orthotics are mainly designed to control motion in two major foot joints, which lie directly below the ankle joint. This type of orthotic is in many instances used to improve or eliminate pain in the legs, thighs and lower back due to abnormal function of the foot.
Soft orthotic devices help to attenuate shock, increase balance and take pressure off uncomfortable or sore spots. They are as a rule made of soft, compressible materials. This type of orthotic is effective for arthritis or deformities where there is a loss of protective fatty tissue on the side of the foot. They are also helpful for people with diabetes.
Semirigid orthotic devices are often used to treat athletes. It allows for dynamic balance of the foot while running or participating in sports. By guiding the foot through proper functions, it allows the muscles and tendons to perform more efficiently. It is constructed of layers of soft materials, reinforced with more rigid materials.
Calibrated orthotic devices are those based on the correction model and manufacturing technique advocated by Glaser (MASS position). It factors in the individual’s weight, foot flexibility and activity equal to deliver a custom calibrated without distinction of support that delivers firm but comfortable functional control while maintaining the properties of an accommodative device.
What Should I do if I belive I need to see a Podiatrist?
Make an appointment! Yes, this is somehow the most difficult thing for people to do. They suffer from symptoms like foot pain, heel pain, corns, bunions and more but they won’t effortlessly choose up the phone to get help. The costs are often covered by health insurance companies – check with your doctor for more mental capacity. Take some time today to get started and your feet will make the rest of your month that much better for you. The longer you wait, the worse it could get.