A podiatrist is a doctor who is considered an expert in the field of foot and ankle. Podiatrists can help treat a wide variety of conditions including pain in the foot and ankle, fractures, dislocations, sprains, strains, and injuries. Although many people are aware that a podiatrist provides medical care, many do not know much about this specialty or what exactly they do. A well-rounded podiatrist not only treats patients with foot and ankle issues, but also helps patients deal with daily activities such as running, walking, stretching, and sports.
A Silverdale, WA podiatrist will treat a patient through a comprehensive examination process. During this process, the podiatrist will take the patient’s history, exam, and order laboratory tests to determine the severity of the condition, which will lead to the most appropriate course of treatment. In addition, a podiatrist may perform a physical examination of the feet, ankles, or legs. In some cases, the podiatrist may include diagnostic tests such as x-rays and MRIs to further evaluate the conditions of the feet, ankles, or legs.
A podiatrist can diagnose and treat common foot ailments such as fungal infections and yeast infections, corns and calluses, fractures, gout, osteoarthritis, injured feet, ingrown toenails, jock itch, lumps, urinary tract infections, shin splints, soft tissue injuries, stress fractures, tenderness of the lower leg, knee braces, and other disorders affecting the lower leg. In more severe cases, a podiatrist may refer their patients to a surgeon or orthopedist for surgery. These doctors can perform arthroscopic surgeries, surgical stripping, or surgery on the nerve roots to help correct conditions related to inflammation, paralysis, or contracture. podiatrists treat conditions of the foot by diagnosing the problem, prescribing a treatment plan, and eventually helping their patients manage the condition as best they can.
One of the most common injuries a podiatrist treats is shin splints. The symptoms of shin splints include pain, swelling, redness, and instability. Most treatments for shin splints involve immobilization of the leg in order to reduce the pain and swelling, as well as stretching and strengthening exercises to increase the strength of the leg. A podiatrist can also prescribe stretches and exercises that will strengthen the muscles surrounding the shins, specifically the calf muscles.
Foot pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or bone loss can also be managed and treated by a podiatrist. There are several options for treating these types of diseases and conditions, including surgery, medication, and various devices.