You may not realise how much you depend on your feet. That is, until you notice a problem. Sometimes these problems simply require rest or over-the-counter treatment. However, some symptoms indicate a serious issue you must address with the help of a podiatrist.
When you schedule an appointment with your podiatrist, these are the top 10 common symptoms you should to discuss.
1. Difficulty Moving or Bending Your Foot
Healthy feet and ankles move smoothly and easily. Difficulty rotating or bending your ankle could indicate arthritis or an Achilles tend on disorder. Contact your podiatrist if the problem persists for two days or more.
2. Discolouration on the Skin
Discolouration is often the first symptom of a new problem. Generally, your feet should have the same colour. Paleness, whiteness or pallor may indicate decreased circulation. Redness usually accompanies an infection. An unnatural blue or purple tinge often indicates a vein issue.
3. Dull Pain When You Put Pressure on Your Foot
If you experience foot pain, think about when it occurs. If you feel a dull ache when you take a step, you may have a sprain. Untreated sprains dramatically increase your risk of future injuries.
4. Fungal Infections or Warts
While some fungi and warts respond to over-the-counter medication, a trip to the podiatrist ensures resolution of the issue. If you notice bumps, inflammation, itching or blisters, make an appointment.
5. Walking Changes
The shape and function of your feet controls how you walk (gait). If your gait changes, you may experience back pain, balance issues and flattening of the arch of one foot.
6. Ingrown or Discoloured Toenails
When you groom your nails, note the colour and shape. Discolouration on or below the nail’s surface may indicate fungal growth. Nails that grow into the flesh of the toe quickly become infected and painful.
7. Numbness in the Foot, Ankle or Calf
If you experience chronic numbness, burning or tingling in your lower extremities, contact a podiatrist. These symptoms result from nerve issues, including diabetic neuropathy.
8. Pain That Increases After Activity
If you feel sharp pain that increases during or after activity, it may stem from a stress fracture. Do not attempt to work through any pain you experience, as this exacerbates the issue.
9. Sharp Pain Near the Back of the Ankle
Your Achilles tendon sits at the back of your ankle, connecting your lower leg to your foot. When tendon issues, such as tendonitis, develop, they result in sharp, persistent pangs. Your podiatrist can make recommendations to control the pain and diminish the condition’s effects.
10. Soreness and swelling in the feet
Over time, incorrect gait, unsupportive shoes or other podiatry issues cause soreness in the toes. A podiatrist may prescribe insoles or arch supports to alleviate the tension and pain. Swelling often results from wearing too-tight shoes, especially in women. However, swelling in both feet can mean lymphedema, or a collection of fluid under the skin. Swelling in one foot and not the other may indicate tendonitis, a tendon rupture, infection or even broken bone.
Early detection often allows for correction using non-invasive methods. As soon as you notice any of the above symptoms, especially if you experience two or more in quick succession, talk to your podiatrist.