How A Podiatrist Can Help Your Foot Pain

Foot pain is a common affliction that everyone deals with from time to time. However, when you have chronic foot pain, it can make you so miserable that it's difficult to go about your usual activities. When it hurts too bad to stand or walk, it's time to get medical help for your problem. It's best to see a foot specialist, or podiatrist, when it comes to diagnosing and managing chronic foot pain. Here's why.

Gait Evaluations

One reason for chronic foot pain is a problem with the way you walk, or your gait. Your feet may roll to the inside or outside when you walk. You might bear pressure in an unusual way. You could even have one leg that's a little longer than the other due to hips that are out of alignment. A podiatrist is trained to analyze walking patterns to identify the cause of your foot pain. He or she also has the equipment necessary to test your gait, which could include video monitoring while you walk and computerized testing that measures the pressure on your feet. It's doubtful your family doctor will have access to the specialized equipment needed to give your gait a full evaluation.

Customized Shoes And Orthotics

Much like you need to see an eye doctor for prescription glasses, you need to see a foot doctor to get customized shoes and orthotic inserts. For instance, if you have a leg that is slightly shorter than the other, you may need a shoe with a built up sole. The shoe must be precisely fitted so your legs are the same length and your hips and spine are brought back into alignment. While you can buy shoe inserts at a pharmacy, it's often better to get them from a podiatrist so they can be custom molded to your feet. This ensures you get the padding and support where you need it most.

Medical Treatments

A podiatrist specializes in foot surgery and other treatments as well. If other methods of treatment don't work, you may need surgery on a toe joint or torn tendon. If you are an athlete, you may want a podiatrist's care to ensure your foot quickly and properly recovers from an injury so you can resume running or participating in sports without further problems. Podiatrists also provide medical care for diabetic feet. If you have diabetes, you need to be very cautious with foot injuries and cutting your nails because you can't feel pain as well as you should. If you have a loss of sensation in your feet due to poor circulation caused by diabetes or some other condition, you may not be able to feel pain from a small cut, but you might have constant pain from diabetic nerve damage. A podiatrist can offer treatments to help manage pain and treat minor problems before they develop into infections.

You probably take your feet for granted until chronic pain sets in. You may love to wear flip-flop sandals in the summer and not give it a second thought. Or maybe you wear high heels often, or choose stylish shoes with pointed toes. A podiatrist will teach you how to care for your feet by choosing supportive footwear. Many problems with foot pain can be prevented simply by wearing the right kind of shoes. Seeing a podiatrist early so you can get your feet in the right shoes or orthotics could save you from a lot of suffering from foot pain. Contact Oregon Foot Clinic for more information.