Sports Medicine Podiatrist Questions and Answers
What does a sports medicine podiatrist do?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of issues related to the foot, ankle and lower leg. They are able to work with their patients to ensure the lower limbs are working the way they should, help reduce pain and speed healing to the area after sustaining an injury or having surgery. A sports medicine podiatrist not only specializes in issues relating to the lower limb, they also have a focus on sports medicine and will treat issues in the foot, ankle and lower leg as they relate to physical activity. This can include treatment of injuries sustained through exercise or participation in sports, the prevention of injury that could come as a result of participating in physical activity and recovery from an injury or surgery to be able to return to their physically active lifestyle. Sports medicine podiatrists can also help you determine if your feet and lower legs are able to handle additional stress if you are planning on embarking on a more physically demanding exercise regime, if you are training harder or longer in your sport of choice or if you are going to be participating in a more demanding activity than your current physical activities, such as running or soccer. They are able to diagnose and provide treatment for sprains, fractures, bunions, ingrown toenails and infections through the use of cryotherapy, steroids and surgery, if necessary.
When should I go to a sports medicine podiatrist?
When you are suffering from a sports or exercise related injury in your foot, ankle, heel or any part of the lower extremity, it is best to visit a sports medicine podiatrist, provided the injury isn’t life-threatening and no bones are protruding through the skin. A sports medicine podiatrist can also be of service if you have an issue or injury that potentially hasn’t healed properly, or you are suffering from a chronic condition that is causing you pain and discomfort in the foot, ankle or lower part of your leg. Sports medicine podiatrists are able to diagnose issues in the lower limbs through a series of movement and gait analysis techniques, and then treat them with corrective exercises. You can also receive long-term preventative care and support through a sports medicine podiatrist so that you ideally avoid sustaining any type of injury related to physical activity in the first place. Injuries or issues in the foot, heel, ankle and lower part of the leg can cause additional problems in other limbs and parts of the body such as the knees, hips and back if left untreated for a prolonged period of time. In this case, a sports medicine podiatrist can refer you to an orthopedist who will be able to diagnose and treat the additional problem areas as they specialize in conditions relating to the musculoskeletal system.
What will a sports podiatrist do on my first visit?
The first visit to a sports podiatrist will vary by individual and will be based on the reason they are visiting the clinic. Generally speaking, a sports medicine podiatrist will want to gain an understanding of your medical history through a series of questions, including information on your current physical activity level, your history of injuries and any surgeries you have had, as well as any current medications you are taking for pain or other treatments. The sports medicine podiatrist will then perform a physical exam that entails checking how you stand, walk, run and move, and checking the range of motion in your joints. If you are injured, the podiatrist will want to examine the injured area, determine the source of the injury and find out how it is affecting your ability to move and function. Depending on the extent of the injury and how debilitating it may be, the podiatrist will recommend a treatment plan that could include athletic taping, custom foot orthotics, an air cast, physical therapy or surgery if necessary. Surgery is a last resort for sports medicine podiatrists and will only be recommended in extreme cases where other treatments haven’t been successful or no other treatment will fix the issue.
Who is your sports medicine podiatrist at your clinic?
At the Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists clinic, any of our four board-certified podiatrists will be able to take excellent care of your sports medicine podiatrist needs. All four doctors have extensive education and training backgrounds with a broad spectrum of experience and specialized training to ensure they are knowledgeable in the area of foot, ankle and lower limb injuries. They are also all physically active in their personal lives outside of the office; therefore understand the importance of proper foot care and injury prevention in the lower limbs.