As an athlete, you’re always on your feet. While you’re busy rebounding and slam-dunking, outrunning your opponent on the track field, or even getting in a good sweat session at the gym, your feet are hard at work. If you want to keep them in tip-top shape and avoid injury, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your podiatrist. Here are our top 10 reasons why every athlete should see a foot and ankle specialist:
You’re a Runner (or Just Run a Lot)
Each time your foot hits the ground, a great deal of force travels up through your bones and connective tissue. This seemingly simple action can often make runners become more susceptible to aches, pains, and injuries. A knowledgeable podiatrist can give you tips to help you prevent future injuries, properly assess your athletic shoes, and provide you with tools like custom orthotics to keep your feet safe.
You Have Diabetes
Diabetes is already difficult enough to deal with, but athletes suffering from this disease should make it a point to visit their podiatrist regularly. Why? Diabetes puts you at a greater risk for developing podiatric issues. Fortunately, you can avoid complications by regularly inspecting your feet. If you notice anything out of the ordinary at all – even if it’s dry skin – make an appointment to see your podiatrist.
You Have Corns or Calluses
You might think that these thickened sections of skin are no big deal, but they can build up and become even thicker as time passes, causing you pain. You should definitely get these dead layers of skin checked out by your podiatrist. Your feet will feel so much better after you do!
You See Discoloration
Have your feet or toes become a bit more colorful lately? Even though you might not notice any pain, discoloration can be a warning sign of a more sinister underlying condition like melanoma (skin cancer). If you happen to see any unusual moles or coloration on any part of your feet or ankles, call your podiatrist right away!
You Experience Numbness
Numbness is never normal in any part of the body, including your feet. If you’re experiencing tingling or numbness, you could be dealing with diabetes, neurological issues, or even peripheral artery disease. Don’t ignore it – your podiatrist can help!
You’re Experiencing a Nail Issue
They’re unpleasant but nothing to be ashamed of – countless people experience nail issues like ingrown nails and fungus! In fact, it’s best to get these seemingly minor issues evaluated sooner rather than later – in time, they can cause you pain and can even sideline you. If you begin noticing discoloration, pain, or redness or swelling on the affected toe, it’s time to call your foot and ankle doctor.
You Have a Bunion
You know you have a bunion if you notice a large bump at the base of your big toe. This condition occurs when the bone or tissue at the big toe’s joint moves out of place. As you can imagine, this condition can often become quite painful! If you notice this happening to one or both of your feet, don’t wait. Visit your podiatrist for treatment!
You Have Athlete’s Foot
Just because you’re an athlete doesn’t mean you need to have athlete’s foot! This common fungal condition can easily make your athletic activities more challenging – and we don’t mean in a good way. If you notice that your feet have started looking scaly or feel itchy, call your foot doctor right away!
You’re Walking a Little Off Lately
Have you started feeling like your gait is different lately? If so, you could be at risk for a neurological issue or other underlying health problems. Walking incorrectly can cause more harm throughout your body, so you should call your podiatrist to evaluate your feet before the issue worsens (especially if you’re standing or moving around a lot!).
You Want to Take the Best Possible Care of Your Feet
Knowledge is power, and this power can translate to greater podiatric (and overall) health! Visit your podiatrist for a comprehensive, preventative examination to keep you active in your favorite sport. A well-versed podiatrist can evaluate your shoes, educate you on how your feet interact with the ground, counsel you in biomechanics, and give you additional tips on how you can prevent injuries! Don’t wait until an injury benches you from your favorite sport! Call the friendly, knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center for any of your podiatric needs. You can reach us at (314) 487-9300 or request your appointment with us online!