Talking to Your Doctor About Foot Pain
You have a unique medical history. It is vital to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or your experience with foot pain. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get. Make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask the doctor to explain further, if needed.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are talking about. You have a right to know.
- What sort of footwear do you recommend for me?
- In my case, what caused the pain I'm having?
- Can I do something about this?
- Given my anatomy and activities, what are my risks for foot problems? How can I best prevent trouble?
- Should I see a foot specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist?
- What treatment options are available for this condition?
- Will I ever need surgery?
- Should I see a different specialist for this problem?
- Should I talk to my diabetes doctor about this?
Is there an activity I should avoid because of my foot condition?
- Will I be able to return to it later on?
- Do I need a walking aid?
- How can I prevent further pain?
- Will this get worse and limit my activities? Is it only temporary?
- Do I need to be concerned about this condition returning?
Foot care. American Diabetes Association website. Available at:
http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/foot-care.html. Accessed December 28, 2012.
Foot care. National Institute on Aging website. Available at:
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/foot-care. Updated April 18, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.
Foot care 101. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at:
http://www.apma.org/files/FileDownloads/myFEETFootCare101.pdf. Accessed December 28, 2012.
Foot care basics: preventing and treating common foot conditions. Harvard Medical School website. Available at:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/special%5Fhealth%5Freports/Foot%5FCare%5FBasics. Accessed December 28, 2012.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated May 2010. Accessed December 28, 2012.