What Conditions Can Podiatrist Treat? Common Podiatry Problems
The human foot is a complex, mechanical structure made up of over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments, 26 bones, 33 joints, and other supporting structures. Daily pressure is constant on the feet, and with so much use and complexity, it is no surprise there is a wide range of potential health issues one can experience with their feet, ankles and lower limbs.
With so many working parts, this complex and highly developed structure requires some maintenance and health care on a regular basis. Planned and regular visits to the podiatrist are a wise investment in the strength and health of your feet in the long run. It is always better to prevent a problem before it takes hold on your health. The longer you ignore an issue, the longer and more complex the podiatrist health treatment will likely be to resolve it.
This blog gives an overview of the ten most frequent causes of foot and ankle podiatrist conditions we see on a weekly basis at Bellevue Podiatry. There many more conditions treated by podiatrists – this list is just a subset of the most common problems. If you have any concerns about your foot health, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on (03) 9457 2336 to speak with one of our friendly Podiatrists.
Please click on each of the below headings to learn more about each of the foot or ankle podiatrist health conditions and disorders.
Heel pain and Plantar Fasciitis conditions can have such a negative impact on the quality of someone’s health and life – it can stop them from going to the gym, running around with the kids, and even dread taking those first few steps in the morning. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
The Podiatrists at Bellevue Podiatry help people like you treat and eliminate heel pain and plantar fasciitis every day. Adults, teenagers, and even children can experience acute or chronic pain in the heel and along the plantar fascia in their foot. What usually begins as a minor pain gradually worsens over a number of years until it is unbearable.
Nearly every one of us has had a wart at some time in our lives. One of the most common podiatry conditions that we treat, many of us pick up as children at swimming pools or in communal areas. They spread through families, particularly because many of us are barefoot around the house and use the same shower. Many warts spontaneously disappear within two years but many also go on to be a persistent problem and can even spread to other areas of the foot and body. This is why it’s important to see a podiatrist.
Callus and corns are usually a sign that there is too much pressure and friction going through that area of your foot. If you have callus on the top of your toes its usually a sign that your shoes are too shallow. Or you may have callus under the big toe joint, this usually indicates that this joint is not working effectively when you are walking and is being overloaded. The good news is podiatrists specialise in treating corns & calluses, so don’t put them on your feet any longer.
Bunions can create a significant impact on the quality of your life – just putting on your favourite pair of shoes can be a painful task. But it doesn’t have to be this way, bunions are one of the most common conditions podiatrists treat in the foot. There are effective treatments available to resolve your painful bunions and get you walking pain free again.
Although not the only cause of bunions, it is a well established fact that the shoes we wear in the Western world are one of the major causes of bunions. Did you know that bunions effect around 30% of the population in Western countries, but only effect 3% of the population in Eastern countries? The reason for this significant difference is the shoes we wear in Western countries such as high heels or trendy loafers or boots that have a narrow toe box.
Ingrown toenails are one of the most common and annoying of the podiatry conditions we treat. Even shoes and the weight of bed sheets can cause irritation that interferes with your day-to-day activities and quality of life. A minor ingrown toenail in your foot can turn in to an infection that, if left untreated, could become quite serious – but the good news is ingrown nails are readily treatable, you don’t need to put with them any longer when you see a podiatrist.
Fungal toenails can and does stop someone from going to the beach or swimming pool if they feel self-conscious about showing their feet in public. Ironically, even going to a Yoga class can be source of frustration when you have fungal toenails.
We see fungal toenails, or onychomycosis, several times a week in our clinic – it can effect one foo or spread to both feet. An infected toenail may be thick, crumble when trimmed, and appear white, yellow, brown, or greenish. Alternatively, some fungal infections leave a white, powdery substance on the toenail plate. Toenail fungus infections are believed to effect up to 12% of the world’s population – it is a common problem that effects a lot of people.
Do you feel pain around the back of your ankle and heel area when taking your first steps in the morning? You may have Achilles Tendonitis, a very common but readily treatable condition.
Achilles Tendonitis can affect people from all walks of life. People with Achilles Tendonitis usually find it only affects one leg and will usually feel a sharp pain when the Achilles Tendon is pinched by a Podiatrist testing for this condition.
Most people also find that the pain reduces once the Achilles Tendon is warmed up with increased blood flow after a period of rest (i.e. the first steps in the morning are quite painful, but dissipate somewhat after five minutes of movement).
Do you get a sharp pain just behind your toes that worsens when you stand, run or walk? Ball of Foot pain is more common than you think and the good news is that it is readily treatable.
There are a lot of structures (joints, muscles, bones, nerves etc) in the ball of the foot that can become painful when put under stress, so Ball of Foot pain is a common conditions that we see often in our Clinic. Metatarsalagia is often an umbrella term used to diagnose pain on the ball of foot, but usually there is a specific part of the foot that is being stressed that needs to be addressed through a tailored treatment plan based on the needs and behaviours of each individual.
You may be wondering what that dry, itchy skin is on your foot or what the tiny little blisters are on your foot – it’s likely Tinea or as it is otherwise known, Athlete foot.
Not all tinea appears in between the toes as cracked or wet. Tinea is a fungal infection of the skin of the foot, usually caused by dermatophytes (fungus), that can be anywhere from mildly irritating to very painful. It’s important to get Tinea treated before it becomes a serious problem that spreads across your foot or gets under your toenail and becomes a fungal toenail infection.
Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, can be described as shinbone pain that occurs anywhere along the front of the bone. It is commonly thought that shin splints are tiny fractures along the inside of the bone; however, this is not the case. A sudden increase in activity causes excessive traction from muscles that attach to the lower leg, resulting in inflammation and pain.
Having shin splints can stop you from exercising and it can even hurt to walk – podiatrists can help you with these conditions and treat them effectively. Shin splints are very frustrating and can stop you doing the things you enjoy in life, but the good news is you don’t need to put up with them any longer.
Podiatrists treat many problems & conditions for feet and ankles
The above list is just a sample of the various issues that a Podiatrist has the training and experience to remedy. At Bellevue Podiatry we know that ignoring a problem never cures it, and the longer you leave it the more likely it require a more complex treatment plan.
If you have any foot or ankle concerns, we recommend you seek professional advice sooner rather than later. Please call our Reception on (03)9457 2336 or book online for an appointment if you have any foot or ankle concerns.