Foot Pain Is Serious: When to See a Podiatrist

Foot Pain Is Serious: When to See a Podiatrist
5 Min Read

Foot Pain Is Serious: When to See a Podiatrist

A podiatrist is a physician who diagnoses and treats diseases of the foot and ankle. Pain or health complications in the lower extremities may indicate other, more serious conditions, and may also be related to diet and lifestyle. This article provides information on the most common podiatric conditions. If you have any of the following problems, you should see your doctor.

Corns and calluses

A callus is a concentrated area of hard skin on the foot that can be very painful. A callus is an enlarged, less concentrated area of calloused skin. Many people have mild callused areas because they work on their feet for a long time, but usually do not experience pain. If there is pain, professional removal of the rough skin and preventive treatment may be necessary.

Ingrown or thickened, yellowed toenails

The condition of your toenails can tell your chiropractor a lot about your health. The most common toenail problems that can lead to a visit to the podiatrist in Frederick Maryland are ingrown toenails and discoloration. Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows into the skin, causing severe pain. Ingrown toenails can be caused by careless toenail trimming or tight shoes. Ingrown toenails can become infected very easily. If pain persists or symptoms of infection appear, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. In extreme cases, treatment consists of removing the nail. Thick, yellow toenails indicate a fungal infection, which also requires podiatric treatment.

Heel pain

Heel pain or plantar fasciitis can have several causes, such as trauma, arthritis, bone spurs and gout crystals. X-rays and professional diagnosis are necessary to prevent the problem from worsening. Possible treatments for heel pain include therapeutic insoles, injections and medications.

Numbness and swelling

Numbness, pain and swelling (edema) of the feet are cause for concern. Swelling is a symptom of serious diseases, such as infections and lymphedema. Numbness and swelling should be checked by a physician, especially if these sensations occur in one leg and not the other. Tendonitis is also accompanied by tingling or numbness. Tendonitis is not only very painful, but it also puts excessive pressure on the surrounding tissues and joints. Without treatment, tendonitis gets worse.

Pain in the ball of the foot

Any persistent pain in the foot, including bunion pain, is a good reason to see a podiatrist. Pain in the ball of the foot is usually related to the stress placed on the sole by everyday activities and the structure of the foot. Insoles and store-bought pads can help, but your doctor can determine the cause of the pain and suggest an individual solution. Possible treatments for bunion pain include custom-made night splints, shoe inserts, arch supports and shock-absorbing insoles.


A bunion is a genetic structural deformity of the bones of the foot, especially the joint between the foot and the big toe. Because bunions are hereditary, they can be treated throughout life. All joints undergo some degree of destruction and arthritis with age, but the toe joints in bunions can become inflamed, immobilized and incredibly painful with age. Early treatment can help avoid more drastic measures, such as surgery.

If you experience persistent foot or ankle discomfort, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as possible. Although in most cases foot pain is not serious and resolves easily, it can also indicate serious health problems. You need your feet to get around, so take care of them.