Help Your Doctor Treat Your Foot Pain by Being as Specific as Possible
Your foot doctor has the experience, knowledge, and skill of being able to diagnose your foot condition based on listening to your description of the pain and examine your foot, ankle, and leg. However, there are numerous conditions that require a much more scrutinized look at the foot as multiple different conditions can cause similar pain and determining which condition has actually caused the pain may be difficult to do if the symptoms are too general or vague. This is where you can be of great importance in assisting the doctor to diagnose your condition.
The most important way you can help your doctor diagnose your condition is to be very specific regarding the nature, timing, and area of your pain. The nature of the pain sometimes can isolate what type of tissue is injured in areas with multiple tissue types. For instance, pain under the inside of the ankle can be due to nerve injury or tendon injury. If the pain is burning, tingling, or electrical in nature this helps indicate that the nerve may be injured at that site. If the pain is dull, achy, or throbbing, then the tendon in this region may be injured. The timing of the pain can also help your doctor isolate its cause. Pain that is felt when walking or standing usually points to the musculoskeletal system, while pain that is felt even when sitting in bed can be due to nerve damage or poor circulation in some cases. Some conditions need to be located very specifically to a part of the foot for an accurate diagnosis, and the area of the pain becomes a third part of how your doctor can diagnose your foot pain if the cause is not immediately obvious.
To help your doctor with nature, timing, and area of pain, it is very important that, prior to arriving at your doctor’s office, you concentrate on these three areas and write down what you feel, when you feel it, and where you feel it. You are not helping your doctor by coming in with a vague complaint of ‘foot pain’ and expecting your doctor to automatically figure it out. While many foot conditions are fairly easy for an experienced podiatrist to diagnose, there are some conditions that are harder to pinpoint, and your assistance is needed to help the doctor rule out false causes. This will lead to a quicker diagnosis, a more effective treatment course, and a speedier recovery.