Your feet must last a lifetime. They take a lot of wear and tear carrying us all throughout our lives. Did you know that the average person will walk 110,000 miles in their lifetime? Regular foot care can make sure your feet are up to the task. With proper detection, intervention, and care, most foot and ankle problems can be lessened or prevented.
Podiatrists treat people of any age for many foot-related conditions, including:
- Arthritis – Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain and stiffness that can worsen with age.
Different types of arthritis exist, each with different causes including wear and tear, infections, and underlying diseases.
- Gout – Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints that can lead to sudden, intense pain.
- Diabetes – Podiatry plays a key role in managing diabetes successfully. Regular foot care with your podiatrist can help to avoid foot-related complications.
- Diabetic Wound Care – Diabetic foot ulcers are open sores or wounds that occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes and are commonly located on the bottom of your feet.
- High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is more commonly known as hypertension. Your podiatrist is vitally concerned about hypertension and vascular disease.
- Peripheral Arterial Disease – PAD is caused by a blockage or narrowing of the arteries in the legs when fatty deposits (plaque) build up. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow, causing a decrease in blood flow to your lower extremities.
- Peripheral Neuropathy – Peripheral neuropathy is damage of the peripheral nerves—the nerves in your toes and fingertips. Diabetes is the leading cause of peripheral neuropathy in the United States.
Additional Diabetes and Foot Health Resources:
- American Diabetes Association
- Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA)
- CDC Working Together to Manage Diabetes Toolkit
- LEAP Alliance
- International Diabetes Federation
Foot & Ankle Injuries:
- Bursitis – Bursitis is inflammation and swelling of fluid-filled sacs called bursae.
- Sprains, Strains, and Fractures – The feet and ankles work together to provide support and mobility to the body. A foot or ankle sprain is a soft tissue injury. A fracture is a break in the bone.
Muscle & Tendon Problems:
- Heel Pain – Your foot and ankle are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons. The heel is the largest bone in your foot. If you overuse or injure your heel, you may experience heel pain. This can range from mild to disabling. It is possible you’ll need to have a doctor or podiatrist diagnose the cause if simple home remedies don’t ease the pain.
- Tendonitis – Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon is one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
- Athlete’s Foot – Athlete’s foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus. It most commonly attacks the feet because shoes create the perfect environment for it; dark, humid, and hot.
- Corns and Calluses – Corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin that develop to protect that area from irritation. They are usually caused by rubbing or excess pressure against part of the foot.
- Warts – Warts are one of many soft tissue conditions of the foot that can be a bit painful. They are caused by a virus and can appear anywhere on your skin.
Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders:
- Bunions – A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe that forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place.
- Hammer Toes – A hammer toe is a contracture, or bending, of the toe at the first joint of the digit, called the proximal interphalangeal joint. This bending causes the toe to appear like an upside-down V when looked at from the side.
- Neuromas – A neuroma is a painful condition, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes.
- Ingrown Toenails – Ingrown toenails, the most common nail impairment, are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the soft tissue of nail grooves, often leading to irritation, redness, and swelling.
- Toenail Fungus – Toenail fungus is an infection underneath the surface of the nail caused by fungi. The disease is characterized by a progressive change in a toenail’s quality and color.
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