We understand that sometimes simplicity rules the day. Why seek out solutions to every little thing when one item can handle it all in one fell swoop?
This is not a problem in the land of infomercials, when the problems aren’t usually that big a hassle to begin with. But what about when it comes to your own body?
General practitioners are fantastic on many levels, but nothing beats the expertise of a podiatrist when it comes to taking care of problems concerning the foot and ankle. They might seem like two relatively small areas of an overall extensive body, but there’s a lot to specialize in when you take a closer look.
You Gotta Know What’s Connected Where
Just how many parts make up the machinery down there? In each foot and ankle, you have:
- 26 bones (your feet contain more than one-quarter of the total bones in your body!).
- 33 joints, many of which are fully articulated.
- more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that connect your skeletal structure together and keep it moving.
- an extensive network of blood vessels, nerves, skin, and soft tissues that keep everything stable, protected, sensed, and sustained.
Your feet and ankles contain multitudes of moving parts, all of which need to work together to provide you the foundation and mobility you need.
If something is off—say you have flat feet or another abnormality in your foot shape—the balance of weight and forces in your feet will be off, too. It’s a lot like having a car out of alignment.
This misbalance will often cause pain and discomfort, not only in the feet but throughout the whole body, such as in your knees, hips, or back!
Podiatrists have received exclusive and extensive training in the composition and workings of the feet. When problems happen, we not only can get to the root of the problem, but see how it may affect everything else within the network as well. We can then prescribe specific, individualized treatment to get patients back to doing what they love without pain.
More Reasons to See a Podiatrist
Having a laser focus on the feet and ankles makes a podiatrist the best choice for treatment in this area. You also shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of having a podiatrist in your corner for preventative care, either!
Here are several more reasons you may want to consult with us:
You are an avid runner or just starting out.
The feet and ankles are common sites of sports injuries, and runners tend to get their share of them.
Feet and ankles endure a great deal of force when running. Repetitive impacts against the ground can contribute to overuse injuries such as stress fractures and Achilles tendinitis.
The benefits of running far outweigh risks of injury—but only if you approach the sport correctly! Pushing your body too hard too quickly, or not having the right equipment to address potential vulnerabilities in your foot shape or stride can make you much more likely to face a painful, sidelining problem.
If you are just starting out, a check-up at our office can identify potential problems. We can then recommend treatments, if needed, or simply suggest the right kinds of shoes, stretches, and other practices to keep you comfortably on your feet.
If you have been running for some time now, it doesn’t hurt to make sure your gait is still what you believe it is. And, if problems do develop, we’re here to help you get back on track as quickly and safely as possible.
You have diabetes.
If there is only one time to be proactive regarding your foot health, it is when you live with diabetes.
The effects of diabetes can be noted throughout the body, but the feet are particularly vulnerable to the consequences. Damage to the nerves means that injuries to the feet may not be felt, and damage to circulation means injuries to the feet will not heal as effectively.
Combine the two above factors and it’s a recipe for disaster. This is how small cuts turn into gaping ulcers, and how infections arise that can become life-threatening and lead to losing a foot.
If you live with diabetes, it is never too early to start building good diabetic foot care habits. This includes a daily inspection of your feet for signs of trouble, and having scheduled podiatric check-ups to keep potential concerns from going undetected.
You suffer from persistent heel pain
Heel pain is one of the most frequent reasons people seek a podiatrist, but there are even more people out there who don’t!
There are multiple potential causes of heel pain, and a podiatrist is specially trained to effectively treat them. Most causes can be cared for through conservative means, and only rarely is surgery ever needed.
The worst thing you can do about heel pain is expect it to eventually just go away. If you have had consistent heel pain, you can expect it to stick around until the source of the problem is addressed!
Your Source for Foot and Ankle Care
Whether you need treatment now, or proactive care to prevent problems in the future, Total Foot and Ankle has been serving these exact needs for patients throughout Oklahoma City and Enid. You can rely on Dr. Scott Shields’s years of experience and our extensive capabilities to provide you the help you need.
Whether you have heel pain, need diabetic care, have skin or nail conditions that need attention, or simply have questions about what’s going on with your feet, we are the experts!
Our two offices are waiting to hear from you. Call our Oklahoma City office at (405) 947-8041 or our Enid office at (580) 237-3338.