Injuries to the foot, ankle or lower extremities often cause problems with discomfort and mobility. However, in some cases these symptoms can be early signs of larger, more serious medical conditions. Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis sometimes manifest themselves in the lower extremities first.
Oftentimes, these symptoms go undetected by patients until a visit with a health care provider, who will refer the patient to a podiatrist for specialty insight and care. Podiatrists, who specialize in the treatment and diagnosis of issues in the lower extremities resulting from injury or illness, work with patients to detect underlying conditions while alleviating pain and discomfort.