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From an ankle sprain to Achilles tendonitis to a stress fracture, injuries of the foot and ankle can be incredibly painful and debilitating, making it difficult to perform everyday activities. When it comes to these types of injuries, seeing a podiatrist as soon as possible is your best bet for getting an accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment plan.

In this month's blog post, we'll discuss why it's important to see a podiatrist first if you've suffered a foot or ankle injury.

How Foot and Ankle Injuries Occur

A foot or ankle injury can occur in various ways. Some injuries result from acute trauma, such as a sprained ankle or a broken bone caused by an accident. Other injuries develop slowly over time due to repetitive use and strain on the body, such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Regardless of how the injury occurred, seeing a podiatrist is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis.

'It is not normal to have pain in your foot and ankle. The body is designed in such a way that all bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, and skin work in fluid motion every step of the way an individual takes. Many times, simple symptoms which you can tolerate need specialist attention to decrease chances of complications, and improve prognosis,' said Dr. Deep Shah, one of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists' doctors. 

Some common foot injuries and ankle injuries include:

  • Ankle sprains: Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments around the ankle are stretched beyond their limits, usually due to a sudden twisting motion. Inversion ankle sprains are the most common but also tend to be more serious, and usually occur when the foot rolls inward.
  • Stress fractures: A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone caused by repetitive use. Stress fractures are common among runners, but can occur in any activity that places excessive strain on the bones of the feet and ankles.
  • Broken bones: A broken bone can occur due to a single traumatic event, such as a fall or car accident, or from repetitive use and strain.
  • Achilles tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the tendon that connects your heel to your calf muscle, which can be caused by overuse or trauma.
  • Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common overuse injuries. This condition describes the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which runs along the bottom of the foot and is commonly associated with heel pain.

How To Know When To Seek Medical Attention

If you experience any type of injury to your foot or ankle, or if you're experiencing foot pain, it is important to see a podiatrist as soon as possible. Even if the pain or swelling seems minor, a podiatrist can provide an accurate diagnosis and create a treatment plan that will help relieve symptoms and prevent further damage.

When seeking medical attention for an injury, it is important to keep track of the type of pain you are feeling and when it began. This will help your podiatrist determine what type of injury you have and the best course of treatment. If you experience severe pain, swelling, or discoloration in the foot or ankle area, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

The Importance Of Expert Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the feet and ankles. In other words, they're the best person to see when you have a foot or ankle injury. A podiatrist will be able to accurately diagnose your condition, provide you with an effective treatment plan, and monitor your progress throughout recovery.

Your podiatrist can provide you with information about how to relieve pain, prevent future injuries, and keep your feet healthy. This includes advice on stretching and strengthening exercises, wearing the proper shoes for your activity level, and other lifestyle tips that can help protect your feet from further injury.

Seeing a podiatrist is the first step in the process of treating any foot or ankle injury and is the best way to ensure that you are receiving the most appropriate care for your condition.

What To Expect At Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists

At Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, you can trust our team of experienced medical professionals to provide the highest quality of care for your foot and ankle health. Our podiatrists specialize in a wide range of conditions and sports injuries, including plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, neuromas, and more.

We offer comprehensive services, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to accurately diagnose the source of your pain and create a customized treatment plan that meets your individual needs. We also offer treatments like orthotics, steroid injections, and even surgery to relieve your pain and support the healing process.

At Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, our goal is to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible so that you can return to the activities you love without fear of further injury. Schedule your appointment online today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a podiatrist and an orthopedic doctor?

A podiatrist specializes in treating foot and ankle conditions, while an orthopedic doctor treats overall musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. However, both can provide care for foot and ankle injuries.

Can I treat my foot or ankle injury at home?

Minor injuries can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), but it is always best to seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

How long does it take to recover from a foot or ankle injury?

The recovery time for a foot or ankle injury can vary depending on the severity of the injury and individual factors. It is important to follow your podiatrist's treatment plan and give your body enough time to heal.

Is surgery always necessary for foot or ankle injuries?

No, surgery is not always necessary for foot or ankle injuries. Many times, conservative treatments like rest, physical therapy, and orthotics can help relieve pain and promote healing.

How often should I see a podiatrist for routine foot care?

It is recommended that you see a podiatrist at least once a year for routine foot care, especially if you have a history of foot or ankle injuries. Regular check-ups can help identify potential issues and prevent future problems. Your podiatrist is your best resource for keeping your feet healthy and preventing further injuries, so do not hesitate to schedule an appointment at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists if you have any concerns.