Your feet and ankles allow you to stand, walk, run, and dance. Most people rely on these parts of their bodies more than they even realize. Developing foot and ankle problems can cause a significant amount of pain and inconvenience. Fortunately, a specialist can help. Here are three common problems that can be addressed by a foot and ankle specialist:
1. Bad Odors
Smelly feet may not seem like a big problem at first. However, people who struggle with bad foot odor on a regular basis may feel ashamed of their condition. While it's normal for feet to develop some odor over the course of a long day, certain factors can exacerbate this condition. A foot and ankle specialist can help you determine if excessive sweating or bacterial or fungal infection is to blame for your condition. If so, treatments can be offered, such as medicated ointments or even Botox injections to eliminate hyperhidrosis.
2. Fallen Arches
Fallen arches are a problem that can also be known as flat feet. People with this condition lose the natural curve of the arch of their foot. Fallen arches can lead to pain, and they can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, tendon injuries, or rheumatoid arthritis. If you suspect you have flat feet, you should visit a foot and ankle specialist to confirm a diagnosis. Flat feet can be treated with orthopedic shoes and physical therapy. If your fallen arches are caused by an injury, treating the underlying damage can help. NSAIDs and cortisone injections can be used to reduce swelling in your tendons. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to correct fallen arches.
3. Ankle Pain
Ankle pain can occur due to overuse, acute injuries, or improper body mechanics. If you have ankle pain, it's important to see a specialist for help. A foot and ankle specialist can help you determine the cause of your ankle pain, determining if a sprain, fracture, or tendonitis is to blame.
The type of treatment appropriate for you will depend on your diagnosis. Tendonitis and sprains can be treated with braces designed to support the ankle as it moves. Rest and ice can also reduce swelling and promote healing in the ligaments. Fractures are typically treated with casts to immobilize the foot and ankle while the bones heal. Surgery may also be necessary to reset bones so they can heal properly.