Podiatry also called a podiatric physician, is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) with enough training and qualifications to diagnose and treat various conditions affecting leg structures such as the ankles. If you’re experiencing any of the above conditions or have problems with your lower limb, get to know where to find a podiatrist in New South Wales to get the care you deserve and alleviate pain.
Like traditional medical doctors (MD) and Osteopathic Medicine, a DPM aspirant must undertake sufficient training, including four years of undergraduate studies, where they might take a combination of physics, biology, and chemistry in their early preparations to join the school of podiatry. After that, they attend an accredited podiatric school for a four-year course to study how bones, nerves, and muscles coordinate during movement and ways to diagnose and treat conditions related to them.
Lastly, the student of podiatric medicine will take at least three years of a hospital-based residency, exercising whatever knowledge they have attained. That involves working with other doctors such as pediatricians, surgeons, and specialists who deal with infectious diseases. After a successful residency, podiatry students can then be certified as qualified practitioners in feet and ankle surgeries.
So, is podiatry a real doctor? Yes. But under a different field of specialization, yet specializes in treating different medical conditions.
Conditions that a Podiatrist Can Treat
Aqualified podiatrist can treat a wide range of conditions, from lenient ingrown toenails to severe injuries requiring surgical interventions. These conditions include arthritis, bunions, diabetes, plantar warts, athletes’ feet, corns, fungal toenails infections, calluses, cracked heels, and gout. First, the podiatrist diagnoses whether you have any condition on your lower limb, then offers a specialized treatment. Other helpful practices they can do include regular checkups, which greatly boosts and maintains the overall health of your feet.
Often, a podiatrist will prescribe physical therapy, drugs, orthotic inserts, and surgery on lower fractures in their quest to treat ankles, feet, and lower-limbs-related conditions. Here are a few typical conditions a podiatrist can treat:
Fractures and Sprains
Anyone can suffer a foot or ankle injury. Such injuries can result from falling on stairs, participating in a fun sports activity, or even stepping on foreign objects. That way, you might experience ankle sprains, tendon injuries, heel pains, and limb-related fractures, to mention a few. Podiatrists are well-versed in diagnosing and treating a range of these conditions, mainly when affecting the ankles or feet. Nevertheless, they often work in sports medicine, aiding athletics with their foot situations and guiding them on ways to avoid them.
Besides fractures and sprains, diabetes is also among the prominent causes of limb problems. In essence, patients with diabetes are more likely to have foot problems and severe complications, often caused by damage to the nerves or feet neuropathy. For instance, patients with nerve damage cannot feel their legs. A subsequent injury like a cut or typical injury often goes unnoticed, resulting in serious complications such as foot ulcers. Podiatrists can examine the nerve damage and offer effective solutions. Other diabetic-related conditions that a podiatrist can treat include foot ulcers, Charcot foot, and amputation.
Arthritis can affect foot joints and often cause long-term and permanent problems if not treated early. Osteoarthritis is the type of arthritis commonly known to affect the lower limb. Arthritis often results from wear and tear, inflammation, and swellings on your joints. A podiatrist can prescribe various physical therapy, special shoes, drugs, or inserts to help the situation.
Nailsdisorders include conditions like fungal nails, ingrown nails, and thickened nails and require a well-formulated nail care routine from a podiatrist. An ingrown nail arises when skin blocks the toenail from growing normally, creating pressure against the skin, which might get punctured afterwards and cause intense pain. On the other hand, a fungal nail is an infection to the nails that often cause nail discolouration. In return, your nail might attain a brownish or yellowish colour, while others might become brittle and powdery in texture. In this case, a podiatrist can manually remove the fungus or use anti-fungus medication.
The heal borne comprises 33 joints, and it’s the largest of the 26 bones found in the human foot. It also forms a large network of structures, incorporating more than 100 ligaments, tendons, and muscles. That makes it prone to injuries or stress from normal daily operations, especially from faulty biomechanics, leading to heel pain. Heel pain is commonly caused by heel spurs a bony growth below the heel bone), excessive pronation, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. In any such case, a podiatrist can perform a diagnostic X-ray to get into the root cause of the problem. They might also suggest effective preventive measures as they seem fit.