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Monday, 10 May 2021 00:00

Flip Flops Are Hard on Your Feet

Flip flops may be easy to slip on and look great with casual outfits, but they are not great for everyday footwear, partly because they change the way you walk. Flip flop wearers take smaller steps, which puts more stress on the body and may lead to pain in joints and muscles. To keep flip flops on, people tend to scrunch up the toes, which limits muscle movement and causes you to shuffle your feet more than if you were wearing traditional shoes. The flat sole and lack of support of flip flops can cause heel pain and even plantar fasciitis—especially for those who are overweight. Flip flops have their place on the beach, at the poolside, or in the locker room, but give your feet a break and limit the time you wear them. Check with a podiatrist if you have any pain in the heel or the foot, and for suggestions on the most appropriate footwear to avoid injury.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

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.

Read more about Flipping Out About Flip Flops

The Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) test is a simple, fast, and noninvasive screening tool used to detect peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition that causes poor circulation in the lower limbs. A doctor may suggest that you undergo an ABI test if you are at risk for or have symptoms of PAD. People who are older than 70, have diabetes, high lipid levels, smoke, or have abnormal pulses in their legs can have an increased risk of developing PAD. While usually asymptomatic in its earliest stages, PAD can progressively worsen and cause leg pain, cramps, and numbness, among other symptoms. An ABI test is done by measuring the blood pressure at your arm and at your ankle using a blood pressure cuff. The two numbers are then compared to each other to determine your risk of PAD. For more information about PAD, please consult with a podiatrist.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

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.

 

Read more about Vascular Testing in Podiatry

People are often prone to developing foot problems as they age. Seniors are at an increased risk for many foot conditions, including dry skin, calluses, corns, blisters, ingrown toenails, deformities such as hammertoes and bunions, fungal skin and nail infections, and foot warts. Sometimes, even seemingly harmless foot conditions can progress and lead to serious consequences. For example, an ingrown toenail can become infected or create a wound that heals slowly due to other underlying health conditions, such as diabetes. Therefore, it is important for seniors to monitor the health of their feet by regularly inspecting them. Look for any abnormalities in the feet, such as sores, scrapes, cuts, or wounds, skin discoloration, pain or strange sensations like tingling or burning. If you notice any changes to your feet, please consult with a podiatrist. 

If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

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 Geriatrics and Podiatry
Tuesday, 20 April 2021 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Children, like adults, can incur sudden foot and ankle injuries while going about their daily activities. Sudden injuries, also known as acute injuries, can occur due to an abnormal movement of the foot or ankle or following a direct blow to the foot. In some cases, a sharp object may puncture the skin of the foot or ankle, creating a puncture wound. Acute injuries can be severely painful and lead to swelling and bruising. Common acute foot and ankle injuries in children include bruises, puncture wounds, injuries to the ligaments, tendons, joints, or muscles, and broken or dislocated bones. If your child complains of foot or ankle pain, please seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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 What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00

Where Do Plantar Warts Grow?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for the development of plantar warts. They are defined as warts that form on the heel and bottom of the foot. Plantar warts grow inward as a result of the pressure the feet endure from walking and standing for the majority of the day. They can cause severe pain and discomfort, and may affect the way you walk. The virus that causes this uncomfortable foot condition is often found in public swimming pools, locker rooms, and shower room floors. Plantar warts may be prevented when appropriate shoes are worn in these types of areas. Additionally, it is beneficial to refrain from sharing towels, socks, and shoes. If you have developed a plantar wart, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can guide you toward the treatment options that are best for you.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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 Plantar Warts
Monday, 05 April 2021 00:00

Sesamoid Bone Injuries

The sesamoids are small, round bones found in several parts of the body, including the feet. The sesamoids of the feet are roughly pea-sized and are located under the big toe. The sesamoid bones in your feet give you extra leverage and power when pushing your foot off the ground. When repetitive impacts from running or other activities become too much for these bones to bear, they may become inflamed or fracture. A sudden onset of sharp pain in the toe area can be a sign of a sesamoid fracture, while nerve pain or a burning sensation in the toe can indicate nerve damage. Sesamoiditis may cause symptoms such as swelling, tenderness, and difficulty bearing weight. If you are experiencing the symptoms of a sesamoid injury, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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 Sesamoiditis
Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

What Is Hammertoe Correction?

Hammertoe correction is a surgical procedure used to straighten hammertoes, which are toes that are bent abnormally at the middle joint. The type of surgery you have will depend on how much your toe bends. In general, during this operation the surgeon makes one or more incisions in the area where your toe attaches to your foot. They will then loosen the tendons or ligaments that are causing the abnormal bending in the affected toe. Sometimes, joint or bone tissue needs to be removed to straighten the toe. You may also need wires, screws, or pins placed through your toe bones to keep the toe straight. When the operation is over, the incisions that the surgeon made will be closed with stitches. While full recovery time varies, hammertoe correction is an outpatient procedure and you will usually be able to go home the same day. For more information about hammertoe correction, and to find out if surgery is the right option for your hammertoes, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Sunday, 21 March 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Many popular athletic brands have running and walking shoes with an upward curvature in the toe area, known as a toe spring. Wearing shoes with toe springs requires less work from the muscles of the feet while walking, especially compared to walking in shoes with flatter soles. Because they can contribute to the weakening of foot muscles when they are worn habitually over long periods of time, shoes with toe springs may contribute to the onset of various foot problems. One common foot problem that may result from wearing these shoes is plantar fasciitis, in which the tissue running along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed and painful. When it comes to footwear, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist to find out which type of shoes are right for you.  

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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 Biomechanics in Podiatry
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