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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.

General Tips for Gathering Information

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.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Your Feet and Specific Foot Problem

  • 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?

About Your Risk of Developing Foot Problems

  • 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?

About Treatment Options

  • 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?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • 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?

About Outlook

  • Will this get worse and limit my activities? Is it only temporary?
  • Do I need to be concerned about this condition returning?
REFERENCES:

Foot care. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/foot-care.html. Updated October 10, 2014. Accessed February 7, 2018.

Foot care 101. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.apma.org/files/FileDownloads/myFEETFootCare101.pdf. Accessed February 7, 2018.

Foot care basics: preventing and treating common foot conditions. Harvard Medical School website. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/special_health_reports/Foot_Care_Basics. Accessed February 7, 2018.

Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. 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 January 2018. Accessed February 7, 2018.

Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM  Last Updated: 3/15/2015