Medical · May 20, 2021

When to See a Podiatrist: 5 Telltale Signs

Should you schedule a podiatrist visit? Healthline reports the average Aussie takes about 4,500 steps per day, while Aussies in inner-city metro areas walk more than Sydney-sider suburbanites, for example. While a walk in the park provides many health benefits, constantly taking steps on hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt can cause the need to see a foot doctor. Other factors of city life like an unhealthy diet and sitting all day can also increase foot problems.

If you notice such issues, it’s essential to know when to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Sydney. In such cases, it’s not enough to get off your feet or get a foot massage. Here are some of the most common reasons to schedule an appointment.

1. Flat Feet

This condition is known technically as “fallen arches” and describes a low inner arch of the foot. In the past, experts believed this condition was related to foot development or structure.

Researchers now believe most foot injuries and pain related to flat feet are related to how a person walks and moves. A foot doctor can diagnose the cause of your injury/pain and provide research-based suggestions about how to avoid future ones.

2. Foot Pain

Studies show about half of Aussies experience foot pain during their lifetimes. Various factors can cause this symptom, but sometimes the situation is serious enough to see a medical professional. For example, sometimes overuse of ligaments or the big toe can cause such problems.

One factor to consider is how often you feel foot pain. For example, suppose you might experience pain early in the morning when you get out of bed. In that case, this is a common condition among middle-aged and overweight people.

There are several causes of foot pain, such as poor foot mechanics, wrong footwear, and improper training methods. A podiatrist can do a foot exam and order tests to determine the cause of your foot pain.

3. Foot Arthritis

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports about 15% of Australians to have arthritis. It’s not surprising that foot arthritis exists because the foot has 30+ joints.

Different types of arthritis can affect people’s feet. This includes common types like osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Sometimes, foot and ankle pain are the first signs of arthritis.

Various types of arthritis affect the foot differently. Thus, it’s essential to visit a podiatrist if you experience inflammation, soreness, and pain that arthritis could have triggered.

4. Shin Pain

This could result from “shin splints” during or after playing sports like rugby or football. The pain can originate from various shin structures, including ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones. Meanwhile, the pain happens where the muscle is connected to the bone at the shin’s front or interior.

Athletes often experience shin splints due to various factors. They include foot/leg movement while running or playing sports, flawed training methods, or over-training. Another factor is hard playing surfaces.

A foot doctor can conduct an exam to determine the likely cause of your shin injury. He/She can then provide various treatment options.

5. Diabetes Symptoms

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that about 5% of the Aussies have diabetes. High blood sugar can damage nerves that send signals to the patient’s feet. Diabetes-related symptoms include tingling feet or sharp/burning foot pain.  

If you have foot aches or pains, it’s essential to know the various causes. They include ones like sports injuries, flat feet, and foot arthritis. If you experience severe or long-term pain, it’s practical to put feet first through options like consulting a podiatrist in Sydney.