Olympia Medical Plaza
5901 W. Olympic Bl.
Los Angeles, CA 90036, 5th Floor
Dr. Stephen Schwartz, DPM Dr. Mark Weissman, DPM
Podiatry is the treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle. A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM, not an M.D. or a D.O., the more traditional types of "doctors") and can perform treatments and surgeries on the foot and ankle.
Treatments range from non-invasive shoe inserts and orthotics and preventative diabetic foot care to surgical procedures.
If Your Feet Hurt
Foot problems also seem to increase with age. Some changes in the feet are normal with aging; other changes may be an indicator of other disorders. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recognizes the importance of foot care, especially in the population over the age of 50, as they represent the majority of patients they see with foot problems.
The most common cause of foot problems is ill-fitting shoes. As one grows older the shoe size changes. The foot becomes longer and wider, and the fat pads on the heels and balls of the feet decrease in size. It is important that whenever buying new shoes, you have your feet measured to ensure proper sizing and fit. The best shoe to wear is one with a wide boxy, toe and low heel. Shoes that lace can adapt to changes in the feet from swelling during the day. Shoes made of leather breath better and help wick moisture away from the feet.
People with diabetes have special foot care concerns. Diabetes can cause nerve damage with resulting loss of sensation in the feet. A diabetic may not know that they have an injury or sore on the foot. Additionally diabetics have decreased circulation, which can impair the healing process. Diabetes should visually inspect their feet every day, and their physician should make a "foot check" a part of every visit.
Gout is another disorder that primarily affects males over 50. Gout is a form of arthritis that results from a build-up of uric acid in the joint fluid. Usually the first symptom is intense pain, redness and swelling of the joints, with the big toe being a primary site. Gout can be hereditary. Wearing shoes and walking can aggravate the pain of gout. The primary treatment is rest, elevation and anti-inflammatory drugs. Eliminating purines in the diet, which can contribute to uric acid buildup.