Let me start by wishing you a very Happy New Year! As a podiatrist, my sincere wish is for everyone to enjoy good foot health in 2019.
My advice to all of you in the New Year is this – If you are experiencing foot pain or injuries, don’t wait until 2020 to consult with a professional foot and ankle doctor.
Timely medical attention is necessary for treatment to be successful and effective and to prevent your foot condition from getting worse.
Having said that, here are seven symptoms which require professional attention —
1. Severe Continuing Pain for more than 24 Hours
If you are experiencing pain in your feet due to an injury or if you have recently had surgery or an invasive procedure and you experience pain, consult with a podiatrist.
Diagnosing the cause of your pain is crucial to a successful treatment plan. If the pain is felt after a surgery or a procedure, it could be an infection or a tight dressing. A complete diagnosis is the best way forward.
2. Tingling, Numbness, or Burning Sensation
All three of these sensations could indicate neuropathy, a form of nerve damage which leads to impaired sensations in the feet. One of the leading causes of neuropathy is diabetes, which if left unchecked can lead to the development of foot ulcers.
If you notice a red or white patch, a blueish or purplish hue, or find that your two feet are two different colors, you’ll want to track down the root cause of this discoloration.
While redness is often an indication of infection, it could also be due to gout.
A whitish tinge could be indicative of impaired blood circulation, while a purplish discoloration could be vein damage. Any discoloration warrants medical attention.
4. A Painful Growth
If you notice a bump or growth that is painful or sensitive to touch or if you notice the size of the growth increasing rapidly, it is best to consult with a professional podiatrist. Again, the cause could be anything from a tumor to a cyst. Either way, having it diagnosed at the earliest possible stage is highly recommended.
5. Pain and Inflammation in One Foot
Pain and swelling in your foot could be an infection, fracture, tendonitis, or even a ruptured tendon.
The best way to know what’s causing your swelling and pain is to have it diagnosed professionally. If the cause is diagnosed early, the chances of successfully treating the foot condition and subsequent recovery will be higher and faster.
6. An Open Wound or Sore
An open sore or wound on the feet or the ankle that isn’t healing needs immediate medical attention.
Keep in mind, an open wound or sore is a ripe invitation for bacterial infections to set-in. If you are diabetic, having your wound or sore checked up by a professional podiatrist is even more important because healing among diabetics is often slower.
7. Physical Activity Causes Pain
Pain in the feet which increases or intensifies with normal physical activity such as walking or standing could be an injury to a bone, soft tissue, or be the result of a stress fracture.
If the pain is due to stress fracture in addition to pain, you also run the risk of the stress fracture becoming a broken bone. A podiatrist will be able to identify the cause of your pain only after due assessment.
No Reason to Wait
The feet are a critical part of the human anatomy. They support the entire weight of your body and are so crucial to physical activity. So, any of the above-mentioned symptoms need to be addressed as soon as possible. Afterall, we want you back on your feet!