Due to Covid-19, Dr. Schuler is not presently seeing any patients.

"Dr. Burton S. Schuler, Morton's Toe Expert"- Author of Why You Really Hurt, It All Starts In the Foot.

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FOOT CARE: HOW PODIATRY AND PODIATRIST PROTECT YOUR FEET

Foot Care Abraham Lincoln had a foot doctor

Abraham Lincoln had a foot doctor in the White House for his painful feet

 

 WHAT IS PODIATRY?  

Authored by Dr. Burton S. Schuler, Google+

Podiatry is a branch of medicine that is dedicated to foot care by dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical and surgical conditions of the feet and ankles. The aim of podiatry is  to improve the health and well-being of the public.  Podiatrist earn the degree of Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) and are physicians and surgeons of the feet and ankles. Podiatrists are also called foot doctors, foot care specialist or podiatric surgeons. Podiatrists are the only health care group who specialize solely in foot care

Education of a Podiatrist 

The normal course of education for Doctors of Podiatric Medicine includes four years of undergraduate work, followed by four years in an accredited podiatric medical school. The new podiatrist then performes a residency of 1-3 years.   

DPMs are licensed in all 50 states, to diagnose and treat the foot and ankle. In order to get a state license to practice podiatric medicine the new doctor must pass written and oral examinations in the state they want to practice in.

 Over the past 60 years the U.S. government has spent hundreds of millions of our dollars  to train an army of foot specialist to give us good foot care. This is vital in the light of the massive outbreak of Diabetsis in the population. The treatment of Diabetsis is in this writer’s opinion is  the single most important task the profession of podiatry does on a daily basis. 

FOOT CARE: Some of the Foot Ailments Podiatrists Treat 

The conditions podiatrists treat  arthritis  well as neurological and circulatory diseases. Podiatrists are also able to diagnose and treat any complications of the above which affect the lower limb, including skin and nail disorders, corns, calluses and ingrown toenails. Some of the other conditions treated by foot care specialist on a daily basis include.

Arch Pain  

Arthritis

Burning Feet

Bursitis

 

Bunions

Bone Spurs 

Morton’s Neuroma

Warts

Ingrown Toe Nails 

Gout

Diabetic Neuropathies

Fallen Arches 

Pronation 

Flat Feet 

Swelling of Feet

Heel Pain 

March/Stress Fractures 

Ingrown Nails

Hammer Toes

Enlarged Joints

Dislocated  Metatarsals

Calluses 

Nail Disorders 

Fungus Toenails

Poor  Circulation

Bone Prominences

Heel Spurs

Plantar Fasciitis

Tendonitis

Rigid High Arches

Flexible Low Arches

Diabetic Ulcers

Circulation Problems

Loss of Sensation (Neuropathy)

Diabetic Foot Care 

Fibromyalgia 

Instability of Toe Joint 

Overload Heel  Pain Syndrome

 FOOT CARE FOR CHILDREN

Treating  children is also an important part of providing foot care to the public. Their unique foot problems are often missed, causing  lifelong  problems for them.  They have structural imbalances of the feet that often cause great pains that are misdiagnosed for other problems. They can be unrecognized  causing other deformities and problems within their body. The podiatrist is the best health care professional suited for treating these problems.  

The other  special group seen by the Doctors of Podiatric Medicine are seniors. They have their own special need of foot care. This can  be ongoing  palliative treatment for  toenails care  and for  trimming of corns and   calluses; and  diabetic ulcerations.  Circulatory problem are also common at this point in life among seniors as well  as  forms of arthritis’s. Again  it is the foot doctor who is  best  qualified to treat these problems in  the older patient. 

As stated above the treatment of diabetics especially the preventive treatment is very important.

On the Job Foot Care.

On a daily basis podiatrists  treat  foot care problems which  are due directly to people jobs. Such people as waiters, hairdressers, factory workers and nurses are examples of those  who are more likely to develop long-term foot  problems unless preventative measures are taken.  Podiatrists are best suited to treat these problems by evaluation the patient feet for biomechanics l problems that can appear with time.. 

Biomechanics

The way that our feet work everytime we take a step is known as  Biomechanics. This assessment of the  motion of the foot allows for an effective diagnosis of the cause of  the patients pains, and how to treat them in the future.  Podiatrists then  perform clinical biomechanical evaluation of the foot to detect pathomechanical anomalies to ensure appropriate and effective treatment.  The most common  treatment are prescription  foot orthoses, made  from precise measurements of an individual’s foot and a impression of the foot/

   

Orthotices

The fabrication of orthotics  as already stated are a main stay of the modern podiatric practice.  Orthoses are custom-made inserts for  shoes made to control  the patient’s abnormal  foot pathology  There are two classes of orthotics.– functional orthoses or palliative orthoses. 

Functional orthoses are made from a cast of the patient’s foot. They are then fabricated  designed to stabilize the foot and to prevent the foot from going into a abnormal and or  unbalanced position while standing . Normally they are made out of a hard material like fiberglass or a plastic material

   

Palliative orthoses are designed specifically to treat pin point area on the bottom of the feet. Most often to treat painful area on the balls of the feet, or areas with ulcers. They are made of  softer materials than functional orthotics are, normally from foam, leather or  rubber They are often used for patients with severe arthritis.

TREATMENTS

Podiatrist use both non surgical and surgical techniques in the treatment of their patients. In aid of making proper diagnosis they now use  X-rays and Sonography  and other tests .  Non surgical  treatments such as ultrasound, injections , taping, and paddings are used by a podiatrist on a daily basis   for many podiatric problems.  Surgery on an out-patient basis may involve the use of traditional orthopedic foot surgery  or minimal incision surgical  techniques first  devolved over 40 years ago by the Academy of  Ambulatory Foot Surgery.   Custom orthotics  are always an important  part of any treatment to  address the underlining  biomechanical imbalances causing most  foot problems.

 WHY YOUR FEET HURT

To get a true feeling for  foot care you must understand why your feet really hurt. Heredity is  the major causes for having foot problems. When someone says that you look like your mom or dad, bear in mind that the resemblances can also extend to how your feet look and act.  It is not unusual to see three generations of one family only to see the same problems.

Most people think the reason(s) their feet are hurting are because of a bad pair of shoes, having the wrong job or just standing too much. I don’t believe so. Don’t misunderstand, those things (job, shoes, standing) can definitely aggravate a foot already susceptible to having problems, but by themselves, they are rarely the real underlying causes of the foot problems. They are simply the external stresses that finally push your feet over the edge in mid-life, causing you to have pain. When I tell patients for the first time that their foot problems are NOT likely due to their job, shoes, and/or standing on their feet too much, but rather due to Ma, Pa, or Uncle Louie, they look at me  dumbfounded. Think about it. Does everyone you work with, who has the same job as you, stand on the same floor for as long as you do, or wear the same exact style shoe as you,  have foot problems? Of course not! Then why do you and not they? It is because in the great lottery of life, you were born with the tendency to have a Morton’s Toe or some other foot problem. Of course, if you knowingly wear shoes that are wrong for your feet, they will hurt. In regard to shoes, don’t forget that famous age old saying, “You cannot fit a salami into a hot dog bun.”

Patients ask me all the time, “Dr. Schuler, what can I do to prevent my foot problems?” My answer is simple: “Pick different parents next time, when it comes to your feet.”

Most people who inherit the tendency to have foot problems don’t have these problems until they reach middle age. That is when these inherited traits start to take their toll due to the day-in, day-out trauma that has built up over the years.