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Monday, 25 June 2018 00:00

What Causes Gout?

Gout is commonly known to be a very painful condition that affects the big toe and the surrounding areas. It is considered to be a form of arthritis and may often occur as an acute attack. The specific cause of gout is the formation of excess crystals, which collect in the blood stream and commonly develop in the joints of the feet. This may often be the result of ingesting foods that have excess purines, which are often responsible for the production of uric crystals. These types of foods may include indulging in an overabundance of alcohol, red meat, and shellfish. The pain that is associated with this ailment is typically a result of stiff joints, and is often accompanied by tenderness, swelling, and redness. Gout attacks may be avoided by implementing dietary and lifestyle changes, which may lower the level of uric acid in the blood. If you are experiencing a gout attack, it’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for additional information and a proper diagnosis.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. 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 form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment 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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

How to Avoid Cracked Heels

Cracks in the skin of the heel of the foot, which are often referred to as fissures, can be painful and uncomfortable. If this condition is not treated promptly, serious infections may occur. This ailment is the result of insufficient moisture in the skin, and research has shown there may be several reasons for this to occur. Cold weather may often be a contributing factor, in addition to drinking insufficient amounts of water, poor nutrition, or not moisturizing the feet. This ailment may be more prevalent in diabetic patients or in people who stand for the majority of the day. Wearing proper footwear may prevent cracked heels from developing, and this may include choosing shoes that have a closed heel. Soaking the feet in a warm bath, followed by utilizing a good moisturizer, will not only benefit the feet but also feel good. If you are afflicted with severe fissures, please consult with a podiatrist for proper treatment options.

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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Published in Blog
Monday, 04 June 2018 00:00

Types of Heel Pain

An ailment that is known as plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot conditions that involves heel pain. The general area for this to occur is typically under the heel and the pain may radiate throughout the foot. Most heel pain is caused by repetitive action which may include consistent pounding that the foot endures. In plantar fasciitis, the pain that is felt is often a result of inflammation of the soft tissue fibers. Other forms of heel pain include heel bursitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and Achilles tendinosis. Relief may be found in many of these conditions by wearing correct shoes that offer adequate cushioning or possibly considering the option of wearing orthotics that are designed specifically for your foot. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested to acquire additional information about the causes and treatments for heel pain.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please 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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