Everything You Need To Know About Foot Doctors

Posted on: 5 October 2021

Foot doctors are in great demand today. Perhaps that's because the baby boomer population is aging, or because people are waking up to the fact that the feet are one of the most overworked parts of the body. Read on to learn more about foot doctors.  

Who Are Foot Doctors?

A foot doctor is another name to refer to a podiatrist or foot and ankle specialist. As the name suggests, their work is to treat problems that affect your feet, ankles, and lower legs. They can diagnose and treat multiple conditions, including fractures and sprains, bunions, hammertoes, heel pains, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, ingrown toenails, and neuromas, just to mention a few. 

Are They Really Doctors?

Foot doctors are doctors who have received surgical training, although they don't attend traditional medical school. They attend their own specialty schools and have professional associations guiding them. Instead of using the acronym MD (medical doctor), they usually use DPM (doctor of podiatric medicine). 

Since they have received professional medical training, they can perform diagnoses, order x-rays or lab tests, prescribe drugs, and even do surgeries on your feet and ankles. The state governments are responsible for licensing and regulating them, while the American Board of Podiatric Medicine certifies them.  

Why Should You Visit a Foot Doctor? 

Some people think they don't need to visit a podiatrist because they can bear through their pain. But, that's a huge mistake. Understand that some types of foot problems, like bunions, cannot go away on their own. Ignoring them may lead to a lifetime of pain and inconvenience.

Besides, your feet house about 25% of the bones in your entire body, in addition to muscles, joints, and ligaments. If they're injured or diseased, your whole body is affected. A foot doctor doesn't just assess your feet. They'll also perform biomechanical assessments on other parts that may be affected by your foot problem, such as the hips, and then recommend appropriate treatment plans. 

How Much Will You Pay for a Visit to a Foot Doctor?

How much you pay your podiatrist will depend on various factors like your foot problem, your doctor's location and expertise, and the treatment methods used, among others! If you hold health insurance, it may cover a portion of the bill. However, it's advisable to check with your specific podiatrist if they accept your insurance and also confirm whether your insurance plan covers foot and ankle services. 

Also, it's important to remember that you'll be receiving specialty care from your podiatrist. Therefore, the price tag may be a little higher compared with a visit to your primary care physician. This is the same when you visit other specialty care providers like chiropractors and dermatologists.