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The Role of a Podiatrist in Managing Chronic Foot Pain

Chronic foot pain can affect many people and this will impact their mobility and quality of life. There are many sources to foot pain and this can include injuries, systemic conditions and structural issues. A podiatrist is a medical professional that specialises in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the foot and ankle. They will have an important role to play when it comes to managing chronic foot pain.

The first step towards managing foot pain is to have an accurate diagnosis

You can visit Brighton podiatry clinic so that the podiatrist can pinpoint the exact cause of pain. Some of the causes for foot pain are bunions, arthritis, neuropathy, plantar fasciitis or flat feet. A podiatrist will carry out a thorough evaluation which includes physical examinations, a review of your medical history and diagnostic imaging such as ultrasounds, X-rays and MRIs. Once they understand the cause of pain, they will be able to develop targeted treatment plans so that you will be able to receive effective care. There will be individualised treatment plans tailored to the specific condition, overall health and lifestyle of the patient. These plans will have a combination of treatments involved. There will be medications prescribed by the podiatrist so that inflammation can be reduced allowing the patient to better manage pain. This can be topical treatments, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroid injections. They can also recommend custom orthotic insoles and braces. These can correct biomechanical issues and help distribute weight more evenly so that the stress on specific areas of the foot is reduced.

To strengthen the foot muscles

Podiatrists will recommend tailored exercise and physical therapy regimens. This will also improve the flexibility of the foot. They will be working with physical therapists to design these programmes and monitor them. There may also be some modifications to your lifestyle recommended by the podiatrist. This can be advice on proper footwear, managing weight and modifications to activities. Conservative treatments may not be sufficient for some patients and they will still experience considerable foot pain. So in these situations, advanced interventions become necessary. Podiatrists have the skill to carry out various procedures that can address chronic foot pain. There are minimally invasive procedures that can be carried out such as extracorporeal shock wave therapy or platelet-rich plasma injections. These therapies will stimulate healing in the damaged tissues and the patient will be able to experience less pain without going for surgery.

However

In some instances, surgical options will be needed. Surgeries will be performed by podiatrists to correct structural problems in the foot. This includes severe cases of plantar fasciitis, bunions and hammertoes. With advanced surgical techniques, minimally invasive procedures can be carried out so that recovery time can be reduced. This will also reduce the discomfort of the patient after the operation. Podiatrists also play a significant role when it comes to managing foot pain that occurs from systemic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes. Essential care will be provided to diabetics through regular examinations of their feet and wound care. There are also treatments to reduce joint pain and improve mobility through physical therapy, joint injections and custom orthotics if you have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.

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