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For elderly patients especially, ensuring that your living conditions are safe can help to prevent falling. Falling can be a serious issue, particularly for those 65 and older, as it can cause foot conditions. Once a patient experiences a fall, they may develop a fear of falling, which can negatively impact how they go about their day to day activities. Staying active and regularly seeing a doctor are both great ways to implement falls prevention.  Another aspect of preventing falls that is extremely important is having a safe living environment. To achieve this, some patients have grab bars installed in their home, typically in the bathroom, to help prevent slipping. Another tactic that can be helpful to make sure there are no tripping hazards in your home is to ensure all carpets and throw rugs are secured, either with double-sided tape, or by purchasing non-skid rugs. For more advice on how to best prevent falling, please consult with a podiatrist.

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, 29 June 2020 00:00

Where Is the Tarsal Tunnel Located?

There is a part of the foot that is between the Achilles tendon and the inside of the ankle, which is referred to as the tarsal tunnel. Its function is to facilitate movement in the foot and ankle, in addition to helping to provide feeling to the sole of the foot. The medical condition that is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tarsal tunnel becomes compressed. This can happen as a result of repetitive stress, or possibly from an injury. Some of the symptoms patients may feel can include pain and discomfort in the heel and arch area, a numbing sensation, and the foot may feel weak. Mild relief may be found when the activity that caused the injury ceases temporarily, in addition to performing specific stretching techniques. If you have developed tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is suggested that you seek professional advice from a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Wednesday, 24 June 2020 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

As the aging process occurs, the importance of maintaining proper foot care becomes evident as certain foot conditions can develop. This begins with washing and drying the feet thoroughly, which may help to prevent infections from occurring. When the feet are frequently inspected, cuts, wounds, and bruises can be easily detected. Circulation may improve when the feet are elevated while sleeping. Additionally, it is beneficial to wear shoes that have extra cushioning, which may be helpful in reducing existing foot pain. If you would like more information about how to take care of an elderly person’s feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can provide useful tips for everyday foot care.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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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While high heels are often uncomfortable, they can also cause harmful foot problems for frequent wearers. To start, high heels can cause cosmetic issues, such as bunions or hammertoes. High heels can lead to tendonitis by straining the ankle and tendons as well. High heels also lead to overuse of the natural cushioning on the foot, causing it to diminish over time. Some ways to mitigate the effects of high heels include massaging and stretching the legs after use, alternating heel heights, and wearing heels in moderation. A podiatrist will be able to help diagnose and treat any issues that a person has endured due to high heels. For further information about preventing injuries while wearing high heels, please consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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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Many people who stand and walk for the majority of the day for work may experience tired and aching feet. The feet are considered to be the foundation of the body, and people can generally feel tired when foot pain is present. Conditions that can occur as a result of standing for extended periods of time can include blisters and corns. It is also possible to develop the painful ailment that is known as plantar fasciitis. Relief may be found when shoes that are worn fit properly, in addition to soaking the feet at the end of the work day. Research has shown it is beneficial to perform gentle foot stretches throughout the day, and it may help to wear custom made orthotics. If you would like additional information about how to alleviate foot pain, please consult with a podiatrist for professional care.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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.

Read more about How to Handle a Long Work Day on Your Feet
Monday, 01 June 2020 00:00

Are PRP Injections Effective?

Patients who have chronic heel and foot pain may find it beneficial to learn about PRP injections. These can help to greatly diminish pain. The injections can be successful in treating medical conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon injuries. They are administered by taking a portion of the patient's blood, and spinning it in a centrifuge, which is an effective method in separating growth platelets, and then it is injected into the impacted area. In the majority of cases, this procedure takes approximately thirty minutes, and there may be minimal discomfort for a few days. If you have any type of foot pain that can be helped by using PRP injections, please consult with a podiatrist who can determine if this treatment method is correct for you.

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets. The plasma is then re-injected into the site of injury or damage, assisting the body in repairing damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissue. PRP helps the body speed up its healing process.

Uses of PRP

Injuries affecting the foot sometimes don’t heal properly because of poor blood circulation. The healing time slows down, and recovery time is affected by poor blood supply. PRP injections will speed up recovery and resolve this issue.

Treatment

PRP is the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No surgery needed. It is only applied with an insertion of a needle.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound is needed for proper placement of the platelets.

Injection – When the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor in about 2 to 3 weeks and monitor the recovery process.

Recovery time – Some people respond to treatments differently. Therefore, depending on your condition, the doctor will make any remaining decisions on how many more injections are needed, or if any additional ones are even required.

Benefits

One may be able to avoid major surgery, and recovery time will be cut down. PRP injections also avoid creating scar tissue and damage to the area. Risks are also very low using PRP as a treatment. There is no risk of rejection, contracting a disease from using another person’s blood, or infection.

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.

Read more about PRP Injections in the Feet
Tuesday, 26 May 2020 00:00

How Do Achilles Tendon Injuries Occur?

The pain that is experienced by patients who have endured an Achilles tendon injury can be debilitating. It can occur as a result of participating in running and jumping activities, or from not warming up before beginning a run. The Achilles tendon is defined as a portion of tissue that is located in the back of the leg. The function is to connect the heel to the calf muscles. It is responsible for the ability to point and flex the toes. If this tendon becomes injured or torn, it may lead to a condition that is known as Achilles tendonitis. Existing medical conditions can contribute to the onset of an Achilles tendon injury. These can include arthritis, structural foot abnormalities, in addition to being overweight. The symptoms that are often associated with this type of injury can consist of swelling, heel pain, and it is generally difficult to walk. If you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can determine the severity of your injury, and offer you the best treatment options.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Monday, 25 May 2020 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning?

Patients who have poor circulation may have existing health ailments. This condition can be indicative of serious maladies that may include diabetes, kidney damage, or heart disease. People who sit for the majority of the day may be susceptible to developing poor circulation, but this condition may be avoided by gently stretching during the day. Additionally, eating foods that are unhealthy may put people at an increased risk for poor circulation. Some of the signs people notice can include leg cramps, cold feet, and patients may become unusually tired. If you feel you have this condition and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat poor circulation.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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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