Are your feet bothering you? Do you have blisters on the soles or on the toes or on the heels? Does walking feel like you’re always hurting? Do you have to steel yourself to even get up on your feet? Have you suffered a foot injury or one to your lower leg? Do you have complications from diabetes? Then you most likely need to see a podiatrist. Do you ever wonder what a podiatrist goes through to get their job - and what do they do? All you need to do is relax and read this.
Just like any doctor, a podiatrist first goes to medical school - though it’s not a regular one where they learn about all different kinds of medical practices before they elect to study a specific field. There are specific ones devoted to just podiatry. Before they go there, the vast majority of them study courses like chemistry, biology, and physics in college to give them a base of knowledge to build around. In podiatry school, they learn all aspects of the human foot, how it moves, all the bones that are involved in it and what conditions can occur - this is a four-year program.
Once they have finished, they then go to a hospital for a residency where they will see many patients over the course of their three-year stay there. This will be done alongside many other medical specialists, like surgeons, anesthesiologists, and even pediatricians. They see people of all ages that come into the hospital needing help with their feet or their lower legs.
Feet are not the simple things that people use to walk or run from place to place. They are also quite capable of being injured - as someone who has rolled their ankle doing something as dangerous as walking down a step can tell you. There are a lot of things in that area - like bones and various tendons. When they are effected, your mobility can be decreased drastically.
Podiatrists can see everything from a simple ankle sprain to broken bones to hammerhead toes that are a result of wedging one’s feet into shoes that are way too small. Ingrown toenails are definitely a thing that they often see. They can help you cut your toenails properly… and even give you tips on how to moisturize them. Do you have flat feet? They can prescribe inserts that you insert into your shoes that help round the arches of your feet.
When To Visit One
You should see one if you are experiencing pain in your feet that does not go away with rest. If you sprain your ankle and the swelling does not go down even with applying ice and elevating your feet. If you notice there is general swelling or cuts on your feet that are not healing even when you put medicine on them. Swelling of the feet can mean a variety of things - and if you feel itching in that area or the sensation of bugs crawling on them, then that could be a sign of diabetes.
Podiatry, like many other medical fields, is an intricate one that can have a wide array of conditions to look after. People need their feet to get around and often neglect them, putting them into ill-fitting shoes or ignoring signs like swelling or bruising until it’s an emergency. Having a really good podiatrist on your side can make a big difference in terms of how well you can move around - or even your overall ability to walk, since some people need to have parts of their leg amputated due to diabetes.
Do not be afraid to look around for a podiatrist. Your feet are worth having the best take care of them. Always listen to your gut and take whatever recommendations/reviews with a grain of salt - your own opinion is the one that matters the most. Do your research and look at the office when you visit - is it clean? Well-run? Do patients have to wait a long time? Is the doctor friendly or seemingly hurried? Take all of those and fact them into your decision.
Dr. John J Hickey has helped many patients with their foot problems thanks to both his extensive education and experience in the field of podiatry. If you live in the Levittown area, make an appointment today to see him - you can call 516-735-4545.
2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,
Levittown, New York 11756
Phone: (516) 735-4545