How many podiatrists are in the U.S.?A.
There are over 12,000 practicing Doctors of Podiatric Medicine in the United States. With our aging population their skills are in great demand, because disorders of the foot are both widespread and neglected by Americans.
How complicated are feet?A.
The foot is a complex structure with 26 bones, 33 joints over 100 ligaments, tendons and muscles and an intricate network of arteries, veins and nerves.
What educational training does a Podiatrist have?A.
To enter one of the seven colleges of podiatric medicine in the U.S., one must have at least 3 years of undergraduate training plus certain required courses. 95% of all students entering have a Bachelors degree or better. The MCAT exam is required for entrance.
The four year course of study to receive the DPM (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine) is structured the same as for MD (Medical Doctor) or DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) degrees i.e. 2 year basic science study & 2 years clinical study with rotations in accredited hospitals, college community clinics & doctors offices. In addition courses specifically related to podiatry must be completed in the first 4 years.
After completion of 4 years course of study and receiving the DPM degree, a graduate can apply for licensure in their state.
However, prior to graduation, most students seek postgraduate residency training designed to strengthen and refine the practitioner's podiatric medical, orthopedic, surgical and/or public health skills in hospitals accredited by JCAHO (Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organization) or AOA (American Osteopathic Association). Most programs offered today are 2 and 3 year programs.
What is Biomechanics?A.
Generally speaking it has to do with joint motion and the interplay between bones, muscles and tendons that affect movement of a joint. For the podiatrist, we are concerned with the movement of lower extremity joints that affect the gait cycle (i.e. what is going on when a person walks). Abnormal foot function is called pathomechanics. Podiatrists are well trained in both normal biomechanics and pathomechanic as part of their 4 year in podiatric medical training.
Can cutting toenails improperly cause them to ingrown?A.
Yes, toenails should be cut straight across and allowed to grow to the tip of the toe. Cutting toenails too short and rounding edges promotes the sides to ingrow into the skin.
Can sweaty feet cause problems?A.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, there are 250,000 sweat glands in our feet that can produce as much as one half pint water each day. Sweaty feet is called hyperhydrosis and can cause foot odor and fungal infection to prevent this use an antiperspirant powder and clean dry socks each day.
Do many people have foot problems?A.
It is estimated over 75 percent of Americans will have foot problems at some time in their lives.
How far will a person walk in a lifetime?A.
The average person will walk over 115,000 miles in their lifetime.
Is there a difference in pressure on the feet when a person walks and runs?A.
Yes, when a person runs, pressure on the foot at heel strike can be three to five times one's body weight.
Is athlete's foot easy to cure?A.
In most cases yes, over the counter preparation are very effective. Make sure you follow their instructions. For resistant cases see your podiatrist.
Are plantar warts the same as callous?A.
A plantar wart is a viral infection of the skin. They usually occur on weight bearing areas of the foot such as balls of feet and heel but can occur anywhere. They are usually covered with dead hard skin (callous) but when shaved one sees black dots in the center (capillaries) and they are extremely painful when squeezed. Simple callous doesn't have these characteristics.
Do foot problems affect the way you feel and cause other problems in the body?A.
Yes, we podiatrists hear this phrase almost every day from patients: “When your foot hurts you whole body hurts!” In essence abnormal foot function can lead to problems with knees, hips and lower back and pain in almost any part of the lower extremity.
Is walking better than running for your feet?A.
Yes, it is not only less stressful on the joints of your feet, but it also promotes good overall health by controlling weight and providing the aerobic exercise needed for cardiovascular health.
What is the best time of day to buy shoes?A.
It is best to wait until late afternoon or early evening to buy shoes because our feet tend to swell a little with standing and walking. When buying shoes make sure they fit well and are comfortable in the shoe store. There no such thing as breaking in shoes. Improper fitting shoes will cause pain and poor foot health.
What causes heel pain when you first step out bed in the morning?A.
While there can be many causes of heel pain, in most cases it is an overuse syndrome called Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a large ligamentous structure on the bottom of the foot that can become painful from improper foot function and overuse. A heel spur may form over time. In most cases it responds well to conservative treatment such as cortisone injections, NSAID's, stretching exercises, rest, night splints and orthotics. When conservative treatment fails, surgery may be suggested by your podiatrist.