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Monday, 16 September 2019 00:00

Preventing Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is an infection that forms underneath toenails. When this occurs, the nail usually darkens and may begin to smell. This infection can spread to other nails or skin, so it is important to treat it. Over time, the toenail might begin to thicken and the infection might become painful. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent toenail fungus. Proper foot hygiene is the first step in preventing infection. Washing your feet and making sure to fully dry them will help keep infectious organisms out of your toenails. In public areas, wear shower shoes and avoid wearing shoes or socks that trap excessive moisture, because damp environments allow infections to thrive. It is also important to cut your toenails straight across and to make sure any pedicure tools used on your feet are clean. If you would like more information on how to properly prevent toenail fungus, then it is recommended you consult with a podiatrist.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Monday, 09 September 2019 00:00

Possible Ways To Prevent Falling

Research has indicated that approximately one third of seniors in America will fall during the night. This can cause many injuries to occur, that may include painful foot ailments. There are methods that can be implemented which can help to reduce the risk of falling. These can consist of improving the lighting in the bedroom and hallways, removing worn carpeting, and installing grab bars in the shower and toilet areas. Many seniors find it beneficial to live in a home that has one level, and this can aid in preventing hazardous falls that may be caused by stairs. Additionally, it is helpful to incorporate a gentle exercise program into your daily routine. This can result in strengthening muscles which may also help to prevent falling. Please speak with a podiatrist if you would like more information on how falling may affect the feet. 

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 02 September 2019 00:00

What Is A Heel Spur?

Heel spurs, also known as calcaneal spurs or osteophytes, are bony outgrowths that can occur on the underside of a person’s foot. Heel spurs may be hooked, pointy, or shelf-like. There are many causes, but most often, heel spurs arise in patients with plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the toes. The heel can also become more vulnerable with age. The pads of the heel wear down and fail to provide shock absorption. The diagnosis of a heel spur is formally made when an X-ray reflects this bony protrusion. The first steps of treatment are rest, inflammation control, icing, stretching, and orthotics. If you are conflicted with this ailment, it is recommended to speak with your local podiatrist.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Monday, 26 August 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Neuropathy

A common symptom of neuropathy is numbing and tingling sensations in the hands and feet. It may occur as a result of nerve damage that can come from having diabetes, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. Additional symptoms often include cramps that are felt in the calf muscles, loss of balance, and weakness in the feet. It may be difficult to walk alone, and performing daily activities may be hard to accomplish. It can be beneficial to add safety measures in your home which include installing grab bars in the shower and bathroom areas, and it may also help to increase lighting. Effective treatment options can include incorporating nutritional supplements as part of a healthy eating pattern, and performing light exercise routines. If you have any symptoms of neuropathy, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

Broken Toe Facts

Broken toes are often caused by trauma or injury. Repetitive movements can cause a break to turn into a stress or hairline fracture. Symptoms of a broken toe include pain, swelling, stiffness, bruising, and difficulty walking. The most common causes of a broken toe are stubbing the toe and dropping a heavy object on it. When compared to other parts of the foot, the toes are the most likely to get injured due to their location at the front of the feet. It is important to seek an opinion after the injury has occurred in order to ensure proper treatment and healing can take place. In order to diagnose whether it is a break or not, a doctor will ask questions of how the injury occurred and they will also administer an X-ray to confirm it. If you feel that you have sustained a broken toe, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist.


 

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 12 August 2019 00:00

Swollen Feet Are Common During Pregnancy

Many pregnant women experience swollen and achy feet during their pregnancies. This is a result of the growing fetus, in addition to the body producing excess fluid. There are methods that can be implemented which can help to reduce discomfort in the feet that is often experienced during the latter stages of pregnancy. These include elevating your feet as often as possible throughout the day, limiting your sodium intake, and stretching the calf muscles and toes. Some women find it helpful to wear compression stockings, as these may be beneficial in controlling persistent swelling. If you would like additional information about how pregnancy can affect the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 05 August 2019 00:00

Painful Gout and What May Cause It

Patients who have experienced the medical condition that is referred to as gout are often aware of the severe pain and discomfort it may cause. It occurs as a result of genetic factors, or if foods are eaten in excess that have elevated levels of purines. This can cause crystals to form in the joints of the big toe, and it can often be debilitating. After a proper diagnosis is performed which consists of extracting a small amount of fluid from the affected joint, the correct treatment can begin. There are specific medications that provide relief from this condition. Additionally, research has indicated that it may be beneficial to incorporate healthy eating habits into your daily routine. These might include limiting red meats, shellfish, and cutting back on excess alcohol. If you think you have gout, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can recommend the correct form of treatment.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Your feet are covered a good part of the day. If you are diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often another sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

There can be many different causes of ankle pain, ranging from an ankle sprain or fracture to chronic conditions such as arthritis. The degree of the ankle pain can vary and it can come on suddenly or slowly over time. The ankle joint consists of bones, muscles, cartilage, and tissues called ligaments and tendons. Any injury or disease that were to affect these structures, could very well lead to ankle pain. Some causes of ankle pain include sprains, tendonitis, arthritis and a bruise or break of the bone. It is important to know that you should visit a doctor if there is an inability to bend the ankle, swelling of the joint, signs of an infection, an inability to walk comfortably on the affected side and if you have ankle pain that occurs at night or while resting. Ankle pain can be diagnosed with an X-ray, medical exam or thorough physical examination. The RICE protocol is a 4-step process in which you may be able to treat your injury from the comfort of your own home. The first step is to rest. This will allow for the joint to relax and for any inflammation to subside. The next step is to ice. Ice should be applied at least 3 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes. This will allow for any swelling to go down and it will also soothe the pain. The third step is to add compression. Compression bandages, such as an ACE wrap will help support and immobilize the ankle joint. Be sure not to add too much compression as this can lead to numbness, tingling and swelling at the site of the pain. The final step is to elevate the ankle. Raising the ankle above the level of the heart, by way of propping your foot up on pillows, will help reduce any swelling for the first couple days after the injury has occurred. If you are suffering from any ankle pain, visit your podiatrist to see what treatment may be right for you.


 

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