Your feet take a beating every day. They bear your weight when you stand and that pressure compounds when you walk or run. Your feet are a complex collection of delicate bones, muscles, and tendons that work together so you can walk and balance. They’re a perfect example of the biomechanics of your body. Your trusted New Hampshire podiatrist has spent his professional career studying and treating feet and ankles to help you lead a pain-free and active life.
So What Exactly is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of issues affecting the feet and ankles. Podiatrists complete extensive training, including four years of podiatric medical school and a three-year residency. Some podiatrists, like Dr. Nagy, complete additional training and continuing education programs throughout their careers to stay up-to-date with best practices and new procedures. Dr. Nagy, for example, completed additional training to become a qualified HyProCure® surgeon. All of this training allows your podiatrist to efficiently diagnose your foot issue and offer treatment to resolve your pain and heal your foot or ankle.
What Do Podiatrists Treat?
Podiatrists treat foot conditions and injuries. Pain is the primary complaint that brings people to a podiatrist, but the cause of the discomfort varies. Some of the common issues treated by podiatrists include:
Plantar fasciitis/ heel pain
Plantar fasciitis is a condition where inflammation in the fascia on the bottom of your foot causes a sharp, shooting pain in your heel. The pain is typically worst first thing in the morning or after long periods of rest. Then, as your foot warms up and the fascia relaxes the pain subsides.
Bunions are a deformity of the joint where your big toe meets your foot. Typically caused by alignment issues, poor footwear, and genetics, your big toe begins to lean toward your other toes, pushing the joint out of alignment. A bony hump develops on the joint and the skin becomes red and sore because of the friction the hump causes with your shoes.
Hammertoes are another deformity where tightness and misalignment in your tendons pull your toe into an arched, hammer-like shape. The crooked toe and misalignment cause pain when you walk and can put pressure on your other toes.
Ingrown toenails occur when your toenail, usually at one of the sides or top corners curves and grows into your toe instead of straight out. Not only is the painful, but your toe can often become infected, causing swelling and more pain.
Why Should I See a Podiatrist Instead of My General Provider?
As mentioned earlier, your feet are complex. In your two feet, you have 52 bones, 33 joints 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and a few more tendons that hold everything together and enable your feet to move and for you balance your whole body. See, pretty complicated. Now, your podiatrist has spent just as much time as your primary care provider (PCP) studying and practicing to become a doctor, but your podiatrist spent all that time learning about and studying the feet and ankles, while your PCP had to learn everything about the human body. And believe me, we’re not knocking the PCPs of the world, they studied hard and help everyone lead healthier better lives. But for something as delicate and complex as your foot, wouldn’t you rather see someone who has specialized in treating feet?
When should I see a podiatrist?
Most people make appointments with their podiatrists when their feet or ankles hurt. Despite everything they do for you, you probably don’t spend time thinking about them unless they hurt.
However, if you’re an athlete or have a profession where you’re on your feet all day like a nurse, you might want to have regular checkups with your podiatrist to make sure your feet and ankles are strong and healthy. If you start to show signs of any foot conditions, your podiatrist can start treatment before you experience any significant pain.
Here at Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain. Our New Hampshire podiatrist and staff are expertly trained in podiatry and are genuinely interested in your well-being. Contact our office today to make an appointment.