Most people think of foot doctors as the practitioners to call when they're suffering from foot pain. And indeed, diagnosing and treating various causes of foot pain is a large part of a foot doctor's job. However, what most people do not realize is that foot doctors also offer preventative care services. In other words, you can visit a foot doctor before you're in pain, and they will recommend treatments and procedures that will prevent you from developing pain. Take a look at a few of those preventative care services below.
If you are someone who spends a lot of time on your feet, whether most of that time is spent walking or standing, it is really important that the shoes you wear offer support in all the right places. Unfortunately, a lot of shoes are not really made to offer this support. A podiatrist can design orthotic inserts that you can place inside the shoes to adjust their fit and make sure your weight is properly supported by the right parts of your feet. This can go a long way towards preventing sore feet at the end of the day, along with more distinct conditions like plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
You don't have to have a podiatrist trim your toenails every time, but having them trim your nails once a year or so is a good idea. They'll make sure the nails are trimmed in a way that discourages them from growing into your skin and becoming ingrown toenails. They will also show you how to properly trim your nails at home. (So many people incorrectly trim their nails, leading to discomfort and misshapen nails later on.)
Do you have the beginnings of a bunion or hammertoe? It's easy to ignore these conditions when they are not yet causing you any pain. But if you continue to ignore them, they will eventually cause your pain. A podiatrist can design you a splint that keeps your hammertoe or bunion from getting any worse. It is so much easier to take a preventative approach with these conditions since the only real way to correct them, once they reach a certain stage, is with surgery.
If you are suffering from foot pain, definitely call a local foot doctor. But don't hesitate to call just because you want to prevent foot pain and other foot conditions over time, either.