When to See a Podiatrist

Feb 26, 2024

As a busy, health-conscious individual, you might wonder what a podiatrist does and when you should schedule an appointment with one. A podiatrist is a healthcare professional who specialises in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. They play an important role in maintaining our overall well-being since our feet carry us through life every day.

Our feet are complex structures that bear the weight of our entire body, so it’s vital that we take care of them. Moreover, foot health is linked to overall health — problems in the feet can lead to issues elsewhere in the body. So, how do we know when it's time to see a podiatrist?

11 Signs It's Time To See A Podiatrist

1. Persistent Foot or Ankle Pain

Often, we dismiss foot or ankle pain as discomfort from standing too long or wearing tight shoes. However, persistent pain should not be ignored. It could be a sign of underlying issues such as fractures, sprains, or even arthritis. A podiatrist can accurately diagnose the cause of the pain and recommend appropriate treatments.

2. 3Joint Pain in the Foot or Ankle

Joint pain in the foot or ankle is often associated with arthritis, a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. Arthritis can affect anyone at any age and can significantly impact foot health. A podiatrist can provide solutions for managing arthritis symptoms and improve your mobility.

3. Heel Pain

Heel pain can be caused by plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, or other conditions. Ignoring heel pain can lead to more severe issues. A podiatrist can identify the cause of the pain and provide treatments such as orthotics, physical therapy, or even surgery if necessary.

4. Bunions or Other Foot Deformities

Foot deformities like bunions (a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe) or hammer toes (a deformity that causes your toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward) can cause significant discomfort and affect your ability to walk. A podiatrist can offer treatments ranging from padding and footwear recommendations to surgical correction, if necessary.

5. Persistent Foot Odor or Skin Irritations

Persistent foot odour or skin irritations such as blisters or athlete's foot can be both embarrassing and uncomfortable. These problems can often be resolved with over-the-counter remedies, but if they persist, it may indicate a more serious condition that a podiatrist should evaluate.

6. Ingrown Toenails

If you are experiencing an ingrown toenail, it can be tempting to try to remove it on your own or seek assistance at a nail salon. However, it's crucial to note that this can lead to further complications, and it's safer and less painful to have it professionally removed by a doctor in their office.

A podiatrist is a medical professional who can help you with this issue, and they will provide medication to reduce pain and inflammation if the nail has become infected.

7. Unexplained Swelling or Numbness

If you experience unexplained swelling or numbness in your feet or ankles, it could indicate an underlying health issue such as a circulatory problem, nerve damage, or a serious injury. Seeking immediate podiatric care is crucial in these cases.

8. Difficulty Walking or Performing Daily Activities

Foot or ankle pain shouldn’t interfere with your daily activities. If you're finding it difficult to walk, climb stairs, or perform other regular tasks due to foot discomfort, a visit to the podiatrist can help restore your functionality and quality of life.

9. Recent Foot or Ankle Injury

If you've recently suffered a foot or ankle injury, it's wise to see a podiatrist even if the injury seems minor. They can ensure that the injury heals correctly and provide rehabilitation if necessary to prevent long-term damage.

10. Chronic Foot or Ankle Conditions

Chronic conditions like flat feet or overpronation (when your feet roll inward too much when you walk) can lead to other problems such as shin splints, bunions, and more. A podiatrist can help manage these chronic conditions and prevent further complications.

11. Diabetes

It is important for diabetics to take special care of their feet and visit a podiatrist at least once a year for a comprehensive foot examination. During this examination, the podiatrist will check for any signs of nerve damage, poor blood circulation, ulcers, and infections.

They will also look for any abnormalities such as bunions, hammertoes, or ingrown toenails that can cause pain, discomfort, or lead to other foot problems. The podiatrist will provide recommendations for proper foot care, including appropriate footwear, daily foot inspections, and proper hygiene. They may also prescribe custom orthotics to alleviate any foot pain or discomfort.


Recognising when to see a podiatrist is crucial for maintaining overall health. Whether it's persistent pain, diabetes-related issues, foot deformities, unexplained swelling, difficulty walking, or managing chronic conditions, a podiatrist offers the expertise you need to get back on your feet. Don’t disregard your foot health; if you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to schedule an appointment. After all, healthy feet are foundational to a healthy life.null

We are an experienced team of podiatrists on the Sunshine Coast with locations in Caloundra, Taringa, Deception Bay, Maroochydore, Nambour and Noosa. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment at one of our clinics, then simply contact us today.