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Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

Are Bunions Genetic?

A large bony protrusion on the side of the big toe is indicative of a condition that is referred to as a bunion. Foot pain may be a common symptom if a bunion exists, and it may be difficult to wear shoes. There are several reasons why bunions may develop. These may include a genetic disposition or a possible injury that has occurred to the foot. Research has shown that bunions are less common in non-western countries, and this may possibly be due to the type of footwear that is worn. Mild relief may be found while using a bunion pad, in addition to wearing shoes that do not cramp the toes. If you have developed a bunion, speak to a podiatrist who can offer advice on effective treatment options.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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 a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, 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, 08 April 2019 00:00

Is Athlete's Foot Contagious?

Athlete’s foot is a common foot condition that many people experience. It typically affects the area between the toes in addition to the bottom of the feet. There are several symptoms that are associated with this ailment. These may include redness, dry areas in the affected portions of skin, or extreme itchiness. This contagious fungal infection is generally found in public places, which may include community pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. Patients who have certain existing medical conditions may have an increased risk of getting athlete’s foot. These include a weak immune system, eczema, or certain allergies. Mild relief can be found while using an anti-fungal spray. For stubborn and severe cases of athlete’s foot, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat your condition.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are 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 and ankle needs.

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Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

Stages of Wound Healing

The healing process is comprised of different stages when wounds are located on the feet. It begins with blood vessels becoming constricted at the sight of the wound. This may be effective in preventing blood loss. When this is completed, collagen forms inside the wound, and this may enable the wound to close. The last stage occurs as the body produces additional collagen, and the wound will gradually disappear. There may be obstacles that exist which can prevent proper wound healing. These may include poor dietary choices, smoking, or medical conditions such as diabetes or immune disorders. When a wound develops, it is beneficial to clean the area by gently washing it, and removing any dirt that may be present. If you have a wound on your foot, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat this ailment by applying the appropriate dressing, and prescribing the correct medication.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, 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 Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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, 25 March 2019 00:00

Exercises May Help Morton’s Neuroma

A swollen nerve in the foot may be indicative of a condition that is referred to as Morton’s neuroma. It is described as a growth of nerve tissue that exists between the third and fourth toes.This ailment may cause adjoining tendons and ligaments to put pressure on the nerve, which may cause inflammation and pain. Additional symptoms may include numbness or tingling, and some patients may experience a burning sensation. Pain and discomfort are often felt in the bottom of the foot, near the base of the third and fourth toes. There may be effective exercises that can be performed, which which may aid in improving strength in the arch of the foot. These may include stretching the lower leg, and the plantar fascia, which is the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. If you feel you have Morton’s neuroma, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the proper treatment.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different 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 care needs.

Read more about What is Morton's Neuroma?
Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

Types of Foot Stretches

Many people find it beneficial to practice daily foot stretches. Injuries may be prevented when the feet are flexible, and everyday activities may be easier to accomplish. An effective stretch is referred to as the towel stretch. This is done by sitting down and wrapping a towel around your feet and pulling gently toward you. If you are afflicted with plantar fasciitis, it may be helpful to stand on a step, and place your heels off the edge. The stretch can be felt while the heels move up and down. The sole of the foot can be stretched by standing on a golf or tennis ball and rolling it between the toes and the heels. This may help tired feet to feel better at the end of the day. If you would like additional information about the benefits of stretching the feet, please speak to a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with 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.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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 Stretching Your Feet

Research has shown that falling may lead to serious conditions, which may include enduring a debilitating injury or fracturing a bone. As the aging process occurs, it may be beneficial to have frequent vision tests performed, and this may help in noticing any tripping hazards that may be present. Additionally, it may be helpful to monitor blood pressure, and this may ensure it is in a normal range. Low blood pressure may lead to dizziness, which may cause difficulty in walking. Muscle strength and flexibility in the joints and tendons may be improved while maintaining an active lifestyle. If you would like additional information about the importance of falls prevention, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can properly assist you.

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.

Read more about Falls Prevention
Monday, 04 March 2019 00:00

Reasons for Cracked Heels to Develop

Many people experience cracked heels, and if it begins in childhood, genetic reasons may be the cause. If it starts as an adult, the reasons may be environmental or hormonal. Additionally, medical conditions, which may include eczema and psoriasis, may play a significant role in developing cracked heels. It typically appears as a thickening of the skin on the heel, and deep cracks, or fissures may form if left untreated. Patients who wear open-back sandals or who stand for extended periods of time during the day may find they have cracked heels. Mild relief may be found when washing and drying the feet thoroughly, followed by utilizing a good moisturizer. If you have cracked heels that are painful, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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, 25 February 2019 00:00

Dealing with Blisters

Blisters are an inconvenience almost everyone has faced at least once. Blisters are the result of friction between your skin and your footwear. They are most commonly found on the back of the ankle and can cause discomfort during daily activities. It is best to keep the blister covered with a small bandage, because keeping it exposed will cause pain, but also might lead to the blister popping. Keeping the blister from popping is key in the healing process. The skin that is exposed after a blister is popped is raw and prone to infection. Infection can cause more complications and pain, so it is best to try to keep it covered and avoid popping it. If it does accidentally pop, then bandaging it becomes even more essential, because this will help protect the small wound from harmful bacteria. If you have a blister that you are concerned about, then it is recommended you speak with a podiatrist to learn how to properly take care of it.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

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 Blisters on the Feet

The majority of people who enjoy the sport of running or jogging have a fear of incurring an injury. If this should happen, thoughts about gaining weight, or losing the feeling of heightened endorphins may persist. Avoiding this may be possible if proper stretching techniques are performed before any running activity begins. When the calf muscles are stretched, Achilles tendinitis may be prevented, and this may be accomplished by lowering and raising the heels while standing on a step. A common injury many runners endure is known as shin splints, and this may become evident when there is pain in the lower leg. When the correct shoes are worn, this injury may be avoided. The condition that is referred to as patellar tendinitis may occur during running and jumping activities. This may be prevented by strengthening the feet and legs properly before engaging in a particular sport. If you would like additional information about how to prevent running injuries, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause 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.

Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be a painful condition that is sometimes confused with plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. Those who suffer from tarsal tunnel syndrome have problems with numbness, pain, burning, and tingling feelings on the sole of the foot. Some people also experience shooting pains. There are a variety of things that can cause tarsal tunnel syndrome, such as fractures, arthritic bone spurs, ganglions, benign tumors, muscle impingement, or foot deformities. The tarsal tunnel is a part of the foot constructed between bones and fibrous tissue. The foot pain is a result of the posterior tibial nerve being compressed in the tarsal tunnel. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, both of these afflictions occur when a nerve is being pinched in a confined space. If you think you may have tarsal tunnel syndrome, then it is highly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist to start treatment.

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 Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
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