If you’re like many other people, you might avoid seeing a healthcare professional until you think you really need to. Whether it’s a doctor, dentist or a podiatrist, many people wait until they have no choice but to seek help from a healthcare provider.
However, by the time we see or feel the signs and symptoms of an issue or injury with our bodies, the condition is often worse than it needed to be. Regular health check-ups are an important part of preventing injuries and illnesses – and today, we’re going to tell you why you should consider adding a podiatry check up to your healthcare routine.
What does a podiatrist do?
A podiatrist is an expert in foot care. They are highly educated and experienced in a wide range of conditions that can affect your feet and lower limbs. They assess, diagnose, treat, and provide rehabilitative services for people of all ages to help treat conditions and injuries that may be affecting your feet.
Feet are one of the most overworked parts of the body. They not only help to bear our weight and to get us from point A to point B, but when they aren’t working as they should be, they can also affect a lot of other areas of the body.
Unfortunately, the feet are not only overworked but they are also one of the most overlooked parts of the body when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Not only do people avoid seeing a healthcare professional in general, when it comes to sore feet and lower limbs, often we explain away any pain or discomfort as being related to being tired and ignore other potential issues.
However, foot or lower limb pain and discomfort may actually be due to an injury or issue that you’re not aware of. If left untreated, conditions affecting your feet can result in mobility issues and pain, however, having the health of your feet monitored regularly can help to prevent major issues from occurring.
Here are some more reasons why adding a podiatrist to your healthcare routine is a good idea.
Why you should see a podiatrist regularly
You don’t need to wait until you have a something wrong with your feet to have them checked by a podiatrist. Here are some more reasons why you should consider seeing a podiatrist:
A podiatrist can check the general health of your feet and lower limbs
As we touched on earlier, a podiatrist can assess, diagnose, and treat a wide range of issues, which makes them great for monitoring the general health of your feet and lower limbs.
The training and education that a podiatrist undergoes means that they can work with all areas of the feet and lower limbs, including the structural components, nails, and skin. It also means that they can treat injuries and conditions that exist, as well as help to prevent potential future issues, and spot other problems that could be caused by your feet.
Monitoring foot health is especially important as you age because feet undergo many changes and can play a vital role in preventing other injuries from occurring such as falls.
Having your feet checked regularly is also especially important if you suffer from diabetes as your feet can be highly affected by this condition. So, if you have issues with insulin or diabetes, a podiatry visit should definitely be in your schedule.
A podiatrist can treat injuries
Whether you play sport regularly or you’re a bit accident prone, it’s common for feet and ankles to be injured. And because we use our feet so much, when they are injured, it can make it exceedingly difficult to get around and if left untreated, an injury can end up causing permanent issues or affect other parts of the body.
A podiatrist can help to confirm or diagnose an injury you may have sustained to your feet or lower limbs, and they can provide a wide range of treatments that can help to not only relieve you of pain but also to help you recover from the injury successfully.
A podiatrist can also provide you with a customised treatment and rehabilitation programs. This is important because an injury affects everyone differently and due to lifestyle factors as well as genetic make up and history, the way your body heals, and its requirements will differ to another person.
There is usually no one size fits all option when it comes to injury recovery, so working closely with a podiatrist can ensure you’re receiving the right treatment and recovering well.
A podiatrist can prevent future problems for your feet
We all know just how much we use our feet, so it’s no surprise that over time they can be affected by all kinds of conditions. Feet also happen to get exposed to a lot of environments that the rest of our body doesn’t have quite as close contact with.
A small issue now could lead to being a big issue in the future. Or a particular behaviour or even a type of shoe you’re wearing may not be causing problems now, but they could in the future. By having your feet checked by podiatrist, you can avoid causing long term damage or issues to your feet and ankles.
A podiatrist has been trained to not only diagnose conditions affecting the feet now, but also to understand how conditions or behaviours can affect the feet in other ways, so they can help you spot a potential issue and eliminate it instead!
A podiatrist can prevent future problems that your feet may cause
Not only can conditions and behaviours affect your feet in the future, but issues affecting your feet can cause problems for other areas of your body too.
Your feet play a very vital role for your body, not only do they help you move around, but they also bear your weight and help with a variety of other actions and activities. If your feet are not working as well as they could be, this can affect many other areas of your body. Your knees, hips and back can all be heavily impacted by your foot health. Pain or discomfort you’re experiencing in any of these areas in your body might be due to your feet because of footwear choices, structural issues, an injury, or a minor condition.
A podiatrist can assess your feet and the way you stand and walk to ensure that they are not already causing other issues and help prevent long term avoidable problems.
A podiatrist can help people of all ages
Seeing a podiatrist is something that people of all ages can and should do. A podiatrist can do a health check as well as treat conditions and injuries for people of all ages. While some podiatrists may specialise in certain age groups or types of podiatry, like kid’s podiatry, foot care for the elderly or sports podiatry, many podiatrists offer their services for all age groups.
It’s important for people of all ages to see a podiatrist because different stages of life can be more prone to different condition types, illnesses, or accidents. Children may experience foot issues as they are developing; kids, teens and young adults may experience sports and play related injuries; adults may develop conditions due to footwear; and elderly people may have other health concerns that are affecting their feet or need help in managing the general health of their feet, such as cutting nails.
And like we said before, we all use our feet a lot, so it’s important that people of all ages take care of their feet.
A podiatrist works closely with other healthcare professionals
If you have had a serious injury or a long-term health condition, then you may have experienced seeing different kinds of healthcare professionals to treat it.
As a healthcare professional, we want to ensure that you’re receiving the best and right treatment for your condition. So, when you see a podiatrist, you may also need to see a GP, a physio, an osteo, an endocrinologist, or even a wound specialist.
So, if you have diabetes for example, you may need to see a GP, a wound specialist, and a podiatrist to ensure your feet are being taken care of.
As podiatrists, we have close relationships with all kinds of healthcare professionals, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re going to get the best treatment for your feet.
How often should you be seeing a podiatrist?
Now that you know why you should see a podiatrist regularly, you’re probably wondering how often you should see us.
If you have healthy feet and little to no concerns, then we generally recommend coming in at least once a year to have your foot health assessed. This allows us to monitor your feet and catch potential issues, before they become bigger issues.
If you have other health conditions that may affect the health of your feet – like diabetes – or you have had an injury to your foot or foot condition, then you may need to see us more regularly.
If you’ve experienced an injury, depending on its severity, you may need to see us more regularly to start and then over time the number of times you see us will reduce.
We will usually advise you of when we would like to see you next!
Do you need a podiatrist in Melbourne?
Whether you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet now or you think it’s a good idea to have your feet checked out by a professional, if you’re looking for a professional, friendly, and highly experienced podiatrist, then here at Watsonia Podiatry, we can help you.
We can help people of all ages and we’re here to help you today. Book your appointment online here or by calling us on 03 9432 2689.