Podiatry is a medical specialty focused on the health and wellness of your feet and ankles. The podiatrists at Onslow Memorial are uniquely trained to diagnose, treat and prevent conditions affecting feet and ankles. Not only are your feet and ankles essential to your everyday activities and your success in sports, but they also provide important data about your overall health.
Podiatrists can detect everything from diabetes to nutritional deficiencies just by examining your feet. Here are some examples of what your feet are saying:
- Loss of hair on your feet points to poor circulation and can mean vascular disease. When the heart can’t pump enough blood to your extremities because of blockages of the arteries, the body has to prioritize its use. Hair on your toes is low on the list of your body’s priorities when there’s a blockage in blood flow.
- Sores that won’t heal on the bottom of your feet are major warning signs of diabetes. Elevated glucose levels cause nerve damage in your feet. A person with diabetes may not feel that they have scraped, cut or irritated an area on the bottom of their feet. When these wounds go unnoticed they can cause serious infection, which can lead to amputation.
- Thick, yellow toenails indicate a fungal infection is running rampant below the surface of the nail.
- A swollen, red or purplish, intensely painful toe is a red flag for gout. Gout is the result of a buildup of uric acid. Gout can be controlled through diet and medication. Podiatrists can help relieve the pain and get your feet back to functioning again.
- When your feet are incredibly painful to walk on, you could have an undiagnosed stress fracture. These stress fractures can point to a decrease in bone density, a vitamin D deficiency, a problem absorbing calcium, or other nutritional problems.
Onslow Memorial’s podiatric physicians specialize in complete care of the foot and ankle. Common conditions include:
- Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
- Diabetic foot and wound care
- Ingrown and painful toenails
- Bunions, hammertoes, or other changes in shape
- Sports injuries
- Sprains or fractures
- Nerve or circulatory conditions
- Arthritis and gout
- Corns, calluses or warts
- Arch pain
- Flat feet
- Orthotic fittings
- Skin problems
- Pressure ulcers