The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

When Should I Visit a Podiatrist? Common Foot Problems NYC Podiatrists Treat

Posted by on Friday, October 6th, 2017

A few aches and pains are just part of the human condition, right? After all, to live is to suffer. On our best days, our bodies function like well-oiled machines, but as we get older, more often than not, we’ve got at least one little physical trifle to contend with on any given day. Going to see a podiatrist may not be the first priority on your list, but sometimes a quick visit sooner rather than later can save you from a world of hurt and the inconvenience of a lengthy recovery. If you’ve been wondering, “When should I visit a podiatrist?”, here are some common aches and pains you’ll want an NYC podiatrist to take a look at.

ankle aches
NYC podiatrists can help with a variety of foot and ankle aches and pains. Image Source: HealingFeet.com.

Aching Ankles

Ankle sprains vary widely in severity, ranging from a minor hobble to a situation where you can’t get out of bed. Sure, you could try nursing the injury at home. Many people do. We actually recommend that people try to manage it for a few days if the bruising and swelling doesn’t cause a severe contortion. Icing, elevating, resting the foot, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can do the trick for a low-grade overstretching of the tendons and ligaments.

When to see an NYC podiatrist: If it’s been more than two days and you’re not feeling any better, seek professional care.

What we can do for you: Slow-healing sprains are often due to an actual tearing of the ankle ligaments. You may need an ankle brace to provide extra support. More severe sprains require the use of a CAM boot—a walking cast—that keeps weight off the ankle while it heals. Sometimes patients self-diagnose themselves as having a badly sprained ankle when, in reality, they have a broken metatarsal bone. These fractures may require surgery to stabilize the wayward bones with a titanium screw. If you’re prone to frequent ankle sprains and chronic pain, you may have chronic lateral ankle instability, which requires surgery to repair the damaged ligaments.

When you’ll feel better: Most sprained ankles are good as new in a month or two. The worst case scenarios—full ruptures or avulsion fractures requiring surgery—can require 4-6 months of healing time before you can return to regular activities and sports.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is caused by strained ligaments connecting the heel bone to the metatarsals. Often, people suffer from this condition for weeks or months before they come to see us. They are always surprised by how quickly their agonizing pain goes away and how easily it is treated when they are in the hands of professionals.

When to see a NYC podiatrist: Seek medical attention if you have severe pain combined with swelling, if you cannot bend your foot downward or rise up on your toes, if your gait has been altered by pain, if you have numbness or tingling in your heel, or if you have sustained some type of injury. It is important to rule out fractures and torn ligaments or tendons. Plantar fasciitis usually starts with an uncomfortable thickness or lump underneath the heel, followed by tenderness first thing in the morning or after long periods of sitting. As the injury advances, the connective tissue breaks down further, and the aching never seems to go away.

What we can do for you: Conservative care like gentle stretching, shoe insoles, and physical therapy are enough to resolve 90% of cases. For chronic cases, we might hop right to something like platelet-rich plasma injections, a favorite therapy among elite athletes who need to be at the top of their game as soon as possible.

When you’ll feel better: Most patients who seek advanced care from an NYC podiatrist are back on their feet in a matter of days and resume regular activities within a month of treatment. In some cases, untreated plantar fasciitis cases can stretch on for half a year or more.

Generalized Pain

There are so many different kinds of foot pain, from aching arches and flat foot pain to bunions and arthritis degeneration. A few lucky people may be born with perfectly normal feet, but the vast majority of us need some assistance in achieving the right biomechanical balance.

When to see an NYC podiatrist: You don’t have to be suffering a true “emergency” to book an appointment with an NYC podiatrist. Have a concern or question? That’s a good enough reason to consult a foot care professional in New York. It would be wonderful if we saw more proactive patients before they hit rock bottom! Certainly, any persistent bruising, swelling, or pain is an excellent reason to schedule an evaluation. There’s no use suffering if one or two professional tricks can help you recover in less than half the time.

What we can do for you: Our state-of-the-art Gait Analysis Center is a “must” for runners, competitive athletes, and people who wonder if they have some type of biomechanical abnormality causing pain or poor sports performance. We regularly counsel patients on shoe type and fit, which surprisingly, solves many everyday aches, pains, and minor foot injuries. Orthotic shoe inserts that transition to just about any footwear you own can greatly decrease arch pain.

When you’ll feel better: We don’t want anyone to leave our office unhappy. Cortisone shots and pain lasers can have you feeling better the same day you visit. The difference of orthotics or a change in footwear should become obvious within a few weeks.

Here at the Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, we employ multiple board-certified podiatrists, surgeons, sports medicine doctors, and therapists, so there is always room for new patients without long wait times. Contact our office in Manhattan or White Plains for prompt service.

If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.