A podiatrist, or Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), is a professional who is trained in the treatment of injuries or conditions concerning a person’s feet, ankles, or areas of the lower leg including the skin, bones, joints, tissues, arteries and nerves. When it comes to treatments, podiatrists provide hands on care to alleviate the aliments of their patients. They have the ability to reset broken bones, apply casts and splints, prescribe medications, order lab tests, x-rays, and MRI’s as well as perform surgery in the office and in the hospital.
To become a podiatrist, one must complete 4 years of medical school, as well as 3 years of a residency where they gain real world experience working at a hospital. After those two requirements are completed, some choose to gain further certifications by being board certified in areas such as surgery of the foot and ankle.
A podiatrist may be of help to you if you are experiencing pain or discomfort due to conditions such as hammertoes, bunions, arthritis, heel pain, ingrown toenails, skin growths, corns, calluses, fungal nails, flat feet, plantar warts, or athlete’s foot, to name a few. They can also be useful if you have systemic conditions such as Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. If you are curious about maintaining general care for your feet, picking the correct shoe size, obtaining footwear inserts or orthotics, as well as suggesting stretches or exercises to help strengthen your feet you can go to a podiatrist.
If you’re experiencing any problems involving your feet, ankles, or lower leg areas, it is highly recommended that you consult with a podiatrist near you for a proper diagnosis and treatment regime.