With Singapore’s growing aging population, various issues such as diabetes and impaired movement are on the rise. This leads to an increase in foot and lower leg issues, such as diabetic foot problems, arthritis and foot deformities such as bunions and hammer toes. Singapore’s podiatry centres offer much-needed specialised treatment, from treating an ingrown toenail to fitting custom orthotic insoles.
While many Singaporeans find it unnecessary to visit a recommended podiatristfor their foot concerns, the reality is that without functional feet, we would face immense difficulty in conducting our daily activities, much less going out and enjoying life. As we grow in age, it’s increasingly relevant to take care of our feet and lower body too. Read on to learn more about Singapore’s podiatry centres and how they help.
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a medical specialist who specialises in feet and lower limb conditions, and they are found at hospitals and at various podiatry centres in Singapore. They focus on the well-being and health of patients through treating a variety of conditions such as diabetes-related conditions, monitoring and managing foot deformities, and prescribing orthotics to correct the gait of patients.
In Singapore, a podiatrist requires a degree in Podiatry. While not a full-fledged Medical Doctor (M.D.), they are qualified to conduct surgery, prescribe medication, as well as collaborate with other health specialists to better treat certain conditions.
7 Conditions A Podiatry Centre Can Treat
Compared to other medical fields, podiatrists can treat patients of all ages, from children to seniors. Here are some conditions a podiatry centre in Singaporecan treat.
- Sprains and Fractures
Foot and ankle sprains and fractures are a common affair for athletes due to their intensive training and competition. It should come to no surprise that athletes consult knee specialists and recommended podiatrists in Singapore, with their expertise in sports medicine and facilitating rapid recovery through prescribing medication, fixing broken bones and immobilising injured feet. Podiatrists also apply these techniques to elderly patients, who require extra time to make a full recovery.
Bunions are enlarged bumps on the side of your foot at the base of the big toe. They form due to hereditary factors, age, or wearing ill-fitting footwear, and can cause severe pain at the joint as your big toe bends inwards towards your other toes. For such circumstances, visiting a podiatric centre in Singapore helps to alleviate the pain, with podiatrists prescribing orthotic shoe inserts for greater comfort, or surgery to remove the bunion for severe cases.
Diabetes brings a whole slew of health issues, including foot problems such as nerve damage and slower recovery of feet wounds. In drastic circumstances, the foot can develop gangrene and may even require amputation. For such cases, visiting a podiatrist greatly helps to manage one’s condition, as they educate various methods for assessing blood flow and sensation in the foot.
- Heel Pain
Heel pain can come from various reasons, such as heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs are calcium deposits that grow on the heel, often as a result of plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue. It leads to sharp pains in the mornings when getting up and is a very common condition. Visiting a podiatrist is a great way to seek treatment, especially as they can prescribe orthotic insoles to alleviate the pain.
Arthritis is a common condition affecting older people and is characterised by inflammation of the joints in the foot and ankle. They impact one’s ability to walk and perform activities, and can even lead to disability if untreated, leading to significant stress in the lives of the elderly. A podiatrist can prescribe medication to reduce pain, help with therapy or prescribe orthotic insoles for a better gait.
- Growing Pain
While not as clearly defined, growing children sometimes experience ‘growing pains’ in their lower body, especially in their muscles. It can be a result of flat feet, poor posture, mis-alignment of toes or an over-active lifestyle. A podiatrist in Singapore can recommend flat foot insoles to alleviate the stress of flat feet, along with therapy and exercises to improve muscle flexibility and strength.
- Ingrown Toenail
Ingrown toenails are a source of aggravating pain, as the toenail curves and grows into the flesh instead of straight out. As the edge grows into the skin, it can lead to intense swelling and infection. Podiatrists offer ingrown toenail treatment that focuses on removing the ingrown portion and also prescribing either oral or topical medication to treat the infection.
Visiting A Podiatrist Centre
Visiting a podiatrist is just like visiting your regular GP. If it is your first visit, they will begin with questions about your medical history, such as your family history, previous surgeries, existing medications, and health habits. This helps them identify areas which may lead to potential complications when treating your foot or lower leg condition.
From there, the podiatrist will thoroughly examine your foot and leg, getting you to respond as you move around and do simple exercises. They will note physical areas of concern, such as bunions and nail infections. As knee specialists too, they will also note knee positions and if swelling is present.
After your consultation, your podiatrist will suggest treatment that is specific to your condition and needs. Most foot conditions can be treated or alleviated by specially prescribed orthotic insoles, specialised shockwave and electromagnetic therapies as well as physical therapy and educating on the various exercises you can do at home.
Podiatrists also recommend lifestyle changes, such as healthy dieting and exercise, to reduce the impact of chronic conditions. They also prescribe medication to reduce pain, conduct surgery if necessary, and can refer you to other specialists if your condition overlaps other areas, such as having blood flow issues.
Seeking Early Treatment
Our feet and lower legs are frequently neglected, with many enduring unnecessary suffering until it is unbearable. Prevention is better than cure, and by seeking treatment early, you can avoid escalating costs and pain. If you experience foot and ankle pain, have discoloured toenails, growths on your foot or need advice for how to cope with foot problems with a chronic condition, visit a podiatry centre in Singapore today.
Seeking a highly recommended podiatrist in Singapore? ECPC’s dedicated foot specialists provide the utmost care and expertise for their patients, through comprehensive and non-invasive treatment methods that treat a range of foot and lower leg conditions. Contact us today.