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Monday, 30 July 2018 00:00

Can High Heels Damage the Feet?

Many women choose to wear high heels to accent the shape of the foot, despite the pain that may be endured. Additionally, other foot conditions may develop as a result of wearing this type of shoe, including blisters, deformities involving the toes, bunions, and strained calf muscles. Research has shown that when they are worn occasionally, it may give the feet the needed time to rest and heal. It may be beneficial to wear flat shoes or a more comfortable style that may include shoes that are wider, which may give the toes adequate room to move about in.  Moderate relief may be found when gentle stretching exercises are performed. This may be accomplished by rolling your foot over a tennis ball, which will stretch the bottom of the foot, in addition to having your heel drop as you stand on a step, which will aid in stretching the heel. If you would like additional information about how high heels affect the feet, 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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Monday, 23 July 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma

An inflamed nerve that is found below the big toe is often referred to as Morton’s neuroma. Symptoms that may be experienced can include a sharp pain on the bottom of the foot, which may often be accompanied by a burning sensation. Some patients may complain of a tingling sensation or numbness, which may spread to other toes. Walking may become difficult because of the pain that is increased as a result of normal pressure that is exerted on the ball of the foot. A possible cause for this condition to develop may often be associated with wearing shoes that fit too tightly around the middle of the foot, often forcing the patient to limp or to stop walking. Research has shown that relief may be found by gently massaging the foot, wearing shoes that fit properly, or having surgery performed in severe cases. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis, in addition to learning about the best options for 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.

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The pain and discomfort may be overwhelming if you experience a broken ankle. Research has shown that treatment needs to be started as quickly as possible and this may extend for a period of six to twelve weeks. There are specific symptoms that are associated with a broken ankle, including swelling and bruising, the inability to stand or walk on your foot, and the ankle appearing deformed if the bone is dislocated. An effective diagnosis is typically achieved by having an X-ray performed to determine the severity of the fracture. If the break is not severe, the patient may be fitted with a protective boot or a plaster cast in addition to using crutches, which are designed to keep the weight off the ankle. For more severe fractures, the bone may have to be realigned through manual manipulation or surgery, which may require wires and screws to be inserted into your foot. Please consult with a podiatrist if you feel you have broken your ankle to determine the proper treatment options.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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 July 2018 00:00

How Yoga Can Benefit the Feet

When proper foot stretches are practiced, the feet and general well being of the body is enhanced. One of the ways this can be achieved is by performing yoga stretches that may strengthen the tendons and muscles, resulting in the feet becoming flexible. This can aid in making daily activities easier to perform and may possibly eliminate any achy feeling the feet may endure. Recent research has shown that yoga may help to develop balance in the feet, extending to the rest of the body. A stretch that is known as “weaving” may help to diminish symptoms of bunions. This is performed by weaving the fingers between the toes while gently massaging the ball of the foot. To strengthen the arch in the foot, towel scrunches are an effective method of accomplishing this, and may also provide relief in relieving symptoms of plantar fasciitis. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist for additional knowledge on how to perform proper foot stretches.

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

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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 July 2018 00:00

What Does Toenail Fungus Look Like?

Toenail fungus is typically caused by a specific group of fungi that is referred to as dermatophytes. A prime environment for these fungi to thrive in is moist and warm places, and this commonly occurs in and on the toes. There may be small cuts on the toes where the fungi can enter or through a tiny area between the toenail and nail bed. Typical symptoms of toenail fungus may include yellowing and thickening of the nail and may lift off and break easily. Diabetic patients may be more susceptible in developing this condition because of their inability to promptly fight off infections. There are numerous ways to treat this ailment, and it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can perform a proper diagnosis and offer correct treatment options.

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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