Sports-related foot and ankle injuries are common, and podiatrists play a vital role in both diagnosing and treating these conditions. From sprained ankles to stress fractures, they can help athletes heal quickly so that they can get back to the action. In this article, we’ll explore the significant role that podiatry plays in sports and how it can support athletes’ mental health.

1. Mental Health First Aid

Just as you would learn CPR in order to assist someone having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches you the skills and knowledge to help someone who may be experiencing a mental illness or substance use challenge. This 12-hour course introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health issues; builds understanding of the impact of mental illness or substance use disorders; and teaches practical strategies for responding to someone in crisis, including how to connect them with professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

While only a trained psychologists can diagnose someone with a mental illness, any changes in mood, behaviour, energy, or habits could be the sign of a developing problem. Keeping an eye out for these symptoms and taking action when you notice them is the best way to support your loved ones.

Podiatrists are licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to treat diseases of the feet, ankles and related structures by medical, surgical and other means. They are required to pass National Board exams and complete two years of podiatric medical school.

2. Podiatrists Are Mental Health Professionals

Foot pain can have a serious impact on people’s lives. Not only can it limit their physical mobility and cause discomfort, but it can also lead to psychological distress, causing stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s important that podiatrists consider the mental health of their patients and help them cope with their foot problems.

See also  How Physiotherapists Support Aging Populations

Podiatrists at Modern Medicine Ballarat are medical specialists who specialize in treating the feet, ankles, and lower legs. They have four years of training at a podiatric medical school and three years of hospital residency, similar to doctors who specialize in other parts of the body. They can reset broken bones, prescribe drugs, order X-rays, and perform surgery on the feet.

In addition, they can diagnose and treat local manifestations of systemic diseases like diabetes or arthritis. Since the feet are often the first part of the body to show signs of these conditions, a podiatrist is in an ideal position to identify them and provide early treatment. This can prevent minor issues from escalating into severe ones, thus preventing the development of more serious health complications. Moreover, they can help athletes stay on track with their sports goals by alleviating their foot injuries and facilitating faster recovery. This is especially important in the sport of running, where injuries can be particularly painful and frustrating for athletes. This is why podiatry has become an integral part of the sports medicine field.

3. Podiatrists Can Help

Podiatrists, or doctors of podiatric medicine (DPM), are medical specialists who play a pivotal role within a podiatry clinic, offering comprehensive care to patients with foot and lower leg problems. Leveraging their problem-solving skills, they diagnose and treat injuries or complications stemming from ongoing health issues like diabetes. Operating within the podiatry clinic, they are adept at performing surgeries, resetting broken bones, prescribing medication, and conducting X-rays. Moreover, they foster close collaboration with physical therapists and other specialists to ensure holistic treatment for their patients.

See also  How Physiotherapists Support Aging Populations

To become a podiatrist, people earn a bachelor’s degree and pass the Medical College Admission Test to get into a podiatric medical school. After four years of school, they spend three years in a hospital residency program to gain hands-on experience. During this time, they are exposed to different podiatric specialties, such as sports podiatry, wound care, pediatric podiatry, and diabetic foot care.

To be successful as a podiatrist, individuals need to have effective communication skills and the ability to empathize with their patients. These skills allow them to communicate their diagnoses and treatment plans clearly and effectively, which promotes trust and understanding between the two parties. They must also have precise surgical dexterity to perform procedures with ease and accuracy. Moreover, podiatrists can find satisfaction in their work by helping their patients feel better and enjoy more mobility in their daily lives. This is especially rewarding for those with chronic conditions like diabetes, which can cause severe damage to the feet and lower legs.

4. Podiatrists Can Refer You

Podiatrists treat the feet and lower legs, including injuries like broken bones, as well as complications of ongoing health problems such as diabetes. Podiatrists also work with other specialists to help them diagnose and treat problems affecting the feet and ankles. They reset broken bones, perform surgery, prescribe drugs and order lab tests or X-rays. They are medical doctors, but they don’t go to traditional medical school, and instead have their own schools and professional associations. They use “DPM” (doctor of podiatric medicine) after their names, and have the same authority to practice as other medical doctors in the United States.

See also  How Physiotherapists Support Aging Populations

The feet are complex structures with many tendons and ligaments that have to work together perfectly to keep you moving. They’re also susceptible to day to day small repetitive injuries that make them vulnerable to disease.

For example, a bunion — a bony bump at the base of the big toe — is caused by abnormal flattening and turning out of the foot during gait and can be exacerbated by wearing constrictive shoes. A podiatrist can relieve pain by medications or by protecting the area from pressure with pads and shoe inserts. In severe cases, the podiatrist might recommend surgery.

Other conditions affecting the feet include osteoarthritis, which develops from inflammation and the normal wear of the 33 joints in each foot. Pain and swelling can be relieved by steroid injections. A neuroma — a problem between the third and fourth toes that causes burning and the feeling that there’s something in your shoe — affects runners and can be relieved by padding or putting on orthotics.

Recommended Posts