Why Podiatry Is So Important
Admit it: most of the time you probably take your feet for granted.
(Don’t feel bad. Sometimes even we do—and we’re foot and ankle experts!)
Yet the truth is that feet are a critically important part of your overall health and happiness. You may not realize it now, but trust us—when your feet start to hurt, you’ll become very familiar with just how big of a deal they are.
And that’s why podiatry—the field of medicine specializing in foot care—is so important, too.
Yeah, we may be a little bit biased there. Guilty as charged. But we think we’ve got a pretty good case. Here are a few things to think about.
Foot Health Is Fundamental for Overall Health and Happiness
Did you know that the average moderately active human will take more than 200 million steps and walk more than 110,000 miles in a lifetime?
That’s enough to take you around the planet more than four times—or about halfway to the moon. It takes the average American more than eight years to put that many miles on their car.
And that’s an average, mind you. If you play sports or like to walk or run regularly for exercise or just for pleasure, your numbers could be significantly higher.
Your feet have to carry you all that way—and when they’re feeling good, they do that job pretty thanklessly.
When they aren’t feeling good, though? We see these patients every single day.
They’re coming to see us because they can barely go five or ten minutes at a time before aching feet force them to rest. They can barely get through their workdays. More than that, they had to back out of hiking or hunting trips, or taking the kids or grandkids to the zoo, or playing their favorite sport, or going on their dream vacation—all because they knew their feet would let them down.
Foot pain, in short, makes your whole world smaller. It drastically reduces the amount of activities you can comfortably perform. It takes you away from so many of the things that you used to love.
We don’t have to explain what this means for your personal happiness!
But it goes deeper than that, too. Because of course, in order to stay healthy, humans need to be active. They need to exercise. How much exercise are you going to be getting if your feet are in constant pain?
If you’re like the vast majority of our patients, the answer is “not much.” And so you lose fitness and gain weight. You find it harder to stay steady on your feet. You increase your risk of developing chronic diseases, or suffering an accidental fall or injury.
The main point we’re trying to get at here is that your feet are at the foundation of nearly everything you do. If they don’t work, you don’t work.
The Right Specialist For the Right Job
Time for a quiz!
Let’s say over the weekend, one of the pipes supplying the washing machine developed a nasty leak, and you don’t have tools or the know-how to fix it yourself. Already the laundry room floor is covered in half an inch of water.
Who do you
call in this situation?
- Your next-door neighbor, Mary, who has no experience whatsoever fixing leaky pipes but is a good friend and used to watch your kids when they were little whenever you had to run to the grocery store.
- The local baker, Stan, since this whole situation is stressing you out and you can’t cope without a nice slice of chocolate cake.
- The staff at the Oklahoman, since you’re sure your water damage would make a great photo-essay on the dangers of pipe corrosion.
- A plumber.
The answer is obvious, right? It’s B! But after you put your order in with Stan, you should probably follow up with the plumber pretty soon afterward.
The same logic applies to medical specialists.
Sure, your general practitioner can be a wise “initial appointment” option whenever you have unexplained pain, but if your feet are the part of your body causing the issue, you really should get the opinion of a doctor who specializes in them! Even the greatest oncologist in the world probably doesn’t know how to fix your bunion.
And the unique and cool thing about podiatrists is that we are cross-trained to provide comprehensive medical care, exclusively for the feet and ankles.
Let’s elaborate a bit on what we mean by that, by way of comparison. Take these examples of other medical specialists:
- A cardiologist focuses on matters relating to the heart or circulatory system.
- A neurologist is trained to deal with matters of the brain and nervous system.
- An orthopedist is concerned with the workings of the musculoskeletal system—muscles, bones, and connective tissue.
Well, your feet have blood vessels, and nerves, and muscles, and tendons, and bones—all of which individually might fall under the expertise of any of the physicians above. Does that mean you need to make an appointment with three (or more) different specialists any time your feet hurt?
That’s because your podiatrist is trained to diagnose and provide care for all these interconnected systems, specifically as they relate to your feet and ankles. In other words, we have a very broad range of training in multiple medical disciplines, but with a very narrow and specific focus.
That prepares us to consider a wide range of possible causes and treatment options, and provide both non-surgical and surgical care to just about any painful problem your feet might be suffering from.
And because we exclusively work with feet, you know you’re going to be in some very experienced hands. For example, many orthopedists can perform foot surgery. But he or she probably hasn’t performed thousands of them, as most podiatrists already have by the time they graduate from residency. And that can make a difference.
Feet Hurt? Give Us a Call
So we hope we’ve made a convincing case, but for those of you who skimmed straight to the bottom, we’ll recap the good parts for you:
You depend on healthy feet and ankles to get you through the day, stay in shape, and just enjoy your life in general. And if those feet start to fail you, there’s no better expert to seek for help than a podiatrist. We have exactly the training and experience you need to diagnose and treat your problem quickly and effectively, as simply as possible.
And on a more personal note, we hope that if you do have a foot problem and you happen to live in the greater Oklahoma City area, you’ll trust your care to Dr. Darren Elenburg and the team at the Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma.
We offer a lot of additional advanced services and treatments that you usually can’t find even from other podiatrists, and we work hard to provide a caring, comfortable environment for every person who calls us on the phone or comes to our office.
If you don’t believe us, please feel free to stay on this website awhile, read through our library, and learn more about many of the most common foot and ankle problems—and how we can help you.
And if you are ready to reach out, you can always call us at (405) 418-2676, or fill out an online contact form if you’re phone-shy. We look forward to hearing from you!
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