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Podiatry & Chiropody Blog

When should I see a Podiatrist or Chiropodist?

Podiatry Treatments

Many people don’t know when to visit a Podiatrist or Chiropodist, and I have noticed that many of my patients have waited longer than they need to before they come in to see me. Any type of foot pain or heel pain is not normal, and you should see a Podiatrist as soon as possible. 

Here are some examples:

  1. Corns and Callus.

Thick skin is known as Callus and is usually found on areas that have higher forces acting on them. Corns are usually found on the hard skin on the ball of the foot, the sides and top of the toes.  Footwear is one of the biggest causes, and it can be very painful when it builds up. A Podiatrist will gently remove the hard skin and corns and give advice on how to prevent it from happening again. 

Book an appointment at one of my clinics to have smooth, pain-free feet, or for a real foot transformation book in for a "medical pedicure."

  1. Fungal Toenails

Thickened and discoloured toenails (usually a yellow/brown colour) can be painlessly thinned down by a podiatrist on a regular basis to reduce the amount of fungal infection which will allow the treatments to get to the nail bed. You can also have the infected toe nail removed with a painless surgery (local anaesthetic will be used). 

A fungal nail is caused by a fungal skin infection similar to athlete’s foot. So, any of the treatments need to get to the nail bed to be effective. Therefore, the affected nail needs to be broken down and the infected nail needs to be removed. This will take a number of sessions as the nail grows out.

At home, I would advise regular filing and cutting back of the nail to help reduce the fungal infection. You can also use an Anti-Bac Soap with an old toothbrush. This in addition to this you need to get a Podiatrist to drill down the nail on a regular basis to help the treatment reach the nail bed.

Lamisil Cream (terbinafine) is then applied to nail and nail bed and slowly but surely the new nail will grow, and the fungal infection will grow out. This can take up to a year. 

  1. Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the nail grows into the skin at the side of the nail. The toenail can quickly get infected (some call this a poisoned toe). It is important to see a podiatrist (foot specialist) as soon as possible. 

Management is either non-surgical (dealt with in one visit) or you may need antibiotics (I can arrange these) which means that you would need to come back in 1 week once they have started to reduce the pain and swelling. Or it can be surgical (I use local anaesthetic). Whatever the choice I will look after you and make it as painless as possible.  

  1. Numbness or Swelling 

 Do you have pain and swelling (oedema) in one foot and not the other? This could be due to a circulation problem and you should see a podiatrist or GP as soon as possible. There could be many things causing this to happen. The swelling, for example, could be caused by a broken bone, infection or tendonitis. Whatever the cause I would recommend seeing a podiatrist, so they can diagnose and treat the problem before it gets worse. 

  1. Sore or painful Toes or Forefoot pain/Pain in the ball of the Foot

Pain in your toes or forefoot pain can be caused by footwear, sport or by certain conditions such as Diabetes or Arthritis. Seeing a podiatrist can help reduce or alleviate the pain. This can be achieved in clinic by eliminating the hard skin or corns in combination with footwear advice and/or insoles can be fitted to your shoes to alleviate the foot pain. 

  1. A Wound or Cut on your foot

If you have a wound or Cut on your foot or ankle that will not get better, you should get yourself booked into see a Podiatrist. If you have a condition such as diabetes this can be even more important as this can caused delayed healing. A Podiatrist will look to eliminate the cause of the delayed healing (taking out the ingrown nail/removing any foreign bodies) and if there is an infection I can organize antibiotics for you if needed to save you a trip to the GP. 

  1. A Pain While Walking

When you walk, stand for long periods or exercise your body will compensate for any painful joints or muscles. When compensation occurs your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons are put under a higher force and strain which can cause the problem to become inflamed or injured.

A Musculoskeletal assessment is an investigation into how your Muscles and skeleton function. During the assessment I will look closely at the range of motion at each joint and will test the strength of your muscles looking out for any abnormalities and compensations. Knowing this information can help diagnose the possible causes of heel pain, knee pain and even back pain.

Once I have identified the causes of your pain I can develop a tailor-made treatment plan to improve your symptoms. This may involve one or more of the following:

  • Exercises to stretch or strengthen muscles
  • Insoles – specially made devices for you to wear inside your shoe to control, realign or cushion the abnormalities.
  • Footwear advice

Referral will be made on to other healthcare professionals if further specialist advice is needed.

 

What is the benefit of a Medical Pedicure?
Foot Pain Dunfermline - Caused by footwear?

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