Podiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in treating ailments of the feet and ankles. Most people realize they need to see one of these specialists if they're suffering from unbearable foot pain, or from an obvious ailment like bunions or tendinitis. But there are other good times to call a podiatrist — such as if you're in any of the situations below.
Your Feet Are Sore for No Good Reason
Obviously, your feet are going to be sore if you just ran a marathon, or if you hiked 20 miles through the forest. This really doesn't mean anything is wrong. But if your feet are getting sore after what could be considered "normal activity," such as walking a couple of miles or just working an 8-hour shift, this is a good reason to see a podiatrist. Not only will they examine you and see whether there's an underlying cause of the pain, but they can also implement some so-called preventative treatments, such as orthotics, to keep you from having to deal with this pain any longer.
Your Toenails Look Funny
If your toenails look strange or abnormal, it's easy to shrug this symptom off and say "they're just toenails. But yellow toenails often indicate a fungal infection. Oddly shaped toenails often become ingrown toenails, which can then become infected. It's best to have a podiatrist look at any unusual toenails, even if they are not yet painful or uncomfortable in any way.
You Roll Your Ankle Often
If you roll your ankle, but the pain goes away in a few hours, there's not usually much reason for concern. However, if this keeps happening, again and again, you will eventually suffer a more serious injury, such as a sprain. Your podiatrist can investigate and figure out why you're rolling your ankle so often. They may note that certain muscles are weak, in which case, they can recommend exercises to strengthen them. They may notice you're wearing shoes that don't support your feet in the right way, after which they can recommend different shoes or even some orthotic inserts. It's best to see them before you're dealing with a serious ankle injury.
Podiatrists are experts a diagnosing and treating foot and ankle injuries. Seeing them sooner, rather than later, is often a smart move. Both you and your podiatrist will prefer treating and managing minor ailments before bigger ones develop, so contact one immediately if you notice anything wrong.