The medical education and training program designed for a podiatrist is comparable to allopathic medicine. The podiatrists have to complete four years of graduate education from podiatric medical colleges, along with two or three years of hospital-based post-graduate residency training. Then they get degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM).
In some cases, the foot problem is the initial symptom of arthritis, diabetes, circulatory disorders, and nerve disorders.
Selecting of footwear only considering its look is a wrong decision which can badly affect your lower limb. Poor quality shoes have lack of proper cushioning and may have defective structure and not suitable for wearing it. Using such poor-quality shoes for a prolonged period can cause trouble in ankles, heels, toes, calf muscles, knees, pain in achilles tendons (present between the calf muscle and heel bone), hip joint, and spinal cord can even spread to other adjoining body parts.
Usually, there is no requirement of taking a referral from a GP to visit a podiatrist. But you can discuss it with your GP before a visit to the podiatry clinic.
At the first visit, the health care assistant takes all your personal details including name, age, address and other necessary vitals for patient documentation. At the initial phase, podiatrist assesses your past medical history along with current medical condition details. Then a physical examination of your foot and lower limb is conducted by a podiatrist. Depending upon your complains, the clinical diagnosis is prescribed by him/her along with details of the procedure. During a consultation, your podiatrist may ask different health related questions and you can also discuss your health problems. Depending upon the clinical assessment and diagnostic report, the podiatrist advises the treatment plan with a follow-up visit schedule.
If you are a patient with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, obesity, heart disease, and peripheral arterial disease, then you need to consult with a podiatrist. Such chronic conditions often lead to serious foot and ankle problems. Initial consultation and early care and proper treatment plans help to avoid serious complications. In case of any congenital problem, you can consult with a pediatric podiatrist, whereas advanced age-related foot issues can be discussed with a geriatric podiatrist.
A diabetic patient needs to take special care of feet, as they have a higher risk to develop neuropathy. The diabetic neuropathy has multiple symptoms including numbness, tingling and burning sensation in the feet. The chances of open sore on feet are increased in diabetes. Weak immune system due to prolong diabetic condition can cause infection in the lower limb. A clinical check-up by expert podiatrists can thoroughly check the feet condition of the diabetic patient. He can evaluate the nerve sensation, and blood circulation condition in the lower limb to prevent neuropathy, infection, etc.