The podiatrist, a.k.a. Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.), is a medical practitioner specially-trained in the field of feet. Their duties generally include the evaluation, diagnosis, healing and preventive care of patients’ foot conditions using specialized equipment, surgery or other methods of treatment. Many supplemental health insurance companies allow some coverage for podiatrist services.
Various types of health care providers including family physicians often turn their patients over to podiatrists for a more in-depth examination and subsequent treatment of their patients’ feet problems. These professionals are trained to identify not only the prominent issues connected with the feet, but also certain physical illnesses that can originate as the base, such as psoriasis, gout and different forms of arthritis. Individuals can book an appointment with the “foot doctor” without a physician’s referral.
Treatment for all Walks of Life
Regular foot checkups play a fundamental role in a child’s growth and well being. Oftentimes, children experience a disproportion or unevenness in their feet that, without early diagnosis, can cause complications within their skeletal structure later on in life. Early detection of such defects (commonly associated with bone shape during development) and early treatment of the condition usually provides the child with a stronger and better balanced physical frame.
At the other end of the spectrum, routine care administered to seniors for foot ailments related to the aging process, can provide substantial pain relief and comfort. In common cases, podiatrists are called upon to treat unruly or ingrown toenails, callus growth, skin infections and diabetic ulcerations. During this late stage of life, other issues may also arise that affect the feet: blood circulation generally weakens and body joints deteriorate. Regular foot care can grant seniors relatively pain-free mobility.
Foot Conditions Treated by Podiatrists
In the area of orthopedic biomechanics, podiatry services may include (but are not restricted to):
Podiatric surgical procedures may include (but are not restricted to):
Measures and Tools of the Trade
Podiatrists will sometimes prescribe customized orthotic devices or corrective shoes to patients particularly affected by a biomechanical imbalance or deformity in their feet. Therapeutic practices like paraffin wax baths, ultrasound heat waves, and footwear cushions may be further implemented by the good foot doctor.