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June 2019

Sunday, 30 June 2019 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.

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Vascular diseases are complications that take place in lower extremity wounds such as in the foot and ankle. They are also leading factors in the occasional amputation of these lower extremities. Vascular screenings have shown to be an efficient option in identifying any potential lower limb vascular diseases. When giving a vascular exam, there are a couple of things to look for. First, a visual inspection is done of the wound to note the presence or absence of any tissue loss, as well as the color of the foot and any sign of soft tissue atrophy. Comparing any present color changes in the extremities is a key indicator to the severity of the lesion. It is also vital to check skin temperature for the blood flow rate, as this is another reliable marker to the severity of the wound. This is assessed by lightly palpating the skin with the back of the hand and comparing sites from one extremity to another. There are a couple of different vascular exams that a podiatrist can perform to determine the severity of these ailments. These include blood pressure testing, recording the volume of the pulse and non-invasive testing to determine pressure in the limbs and toes.  If you feel that you exhibit any signs of vascular disease in your feet or ankles, it is vital that you see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

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.

 

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Monday, 24 June 2019 00:00

Vascular Testing in Podiatry

In foot care, vascular testing may be required in the diagnosing and treatment of certain podiatric conditions. Vascular testing is particularly relevant for patients with high-risk diabetes, poor circulation, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Procedures typically involve the examination of blood vessels throughout the body for blockages or buildup.

Vascular testing is very important for the diagnosis of various conditions, including peripheral artery disease and chronic venous insufficiency, as these conditions can greatly affect one’s quality of life and cause pain in the lower limbs. Circulatory problems in the feet and ankles can reflect issues throughout the body, making testing of the blood vessels pertinent.

Testing methods vary between practitioners and can be specific to certain foot and ankle problems. Modern technology has brought about the ability to perform vascular testing using non-invasive methods, such as the cuff-based PADnet testing device. This device records the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)/Toe-Brachial Index (TBI) values and Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) waveforms. Contact your podiatrist to determine what vascular testing is available for your needs.

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Poor circulation may prevent runners and athletes from successfully reaching their fitness goals. There are several symptoms that are associated with this condition. These often include cold feet, a change in skin color, and swelling from sitting or standing for extended periods of time. Runners may also feel their legs and feet becoming tired while pursuing their chosen activity. A common cause of this ailment is peripheral artery disease (PAD). This can occur when there is an excess of plaque in the arteries which limits blood flow. Additionally, patients who are obese may endure poor circulation, as a result of stress that is put on the blood vessels. If you are experiencing cold or numb feet, it is recommended that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this condition.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. 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

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

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 and ankle needs.

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Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is often caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is usually the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis, can be the result of excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This restricts how much blood can flow through arteries. Reduced blood flow to a certain area of the body severely limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients that part of the body receives. This leads to degeneration in the muscles and other tissues. Sometimes, poor blood circulation in the feet and legs can be caused by other conditions, such as the damaging or inflammation of blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

The lack of oxygen and nutrients caused by poor blood circulation can restrict muscle growth and development, as well as cause muscle pain and cramps, weakness, and stiffness. Other common symptoms include numbness in the legs and feet, skin discoloration in the affected limbs, slower nail and hair growth, and erectile dysfunction in men. In more severe cases of PAD, pain can be present even when a person isn't exercising, and may range from mildly uncomfortable to completely debilitating.

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is more common in those who are overweight or obese, have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, who smoke, or who have a family history of PAD or related conditions such as a heart attack, stroke, etc. Diabetes and smoking place a person at greatest risk for developing poor blood circulation, although advanced age, over 50, can also increase risk.

If you are experiencing poor blood circulation in the feet and legs caused by PAD, it is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce your risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke caused by this condition. If you smoke, quit completely. This will increase the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. Exercising and reducing the saturated fats in your diet. Saturated fats come from fatty meats, fried foods, whole milk, etc., can make a difference in improving blood circulation in feet. It is also important to avoid developing influenza and to carefully control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

Your doctor may recommend combining lifestyle changes with a prescription medication regimen to improve blood circulation. The most commonly-used medications for PAD are called statins and work by blocking the amount of enzymes in your body that produce cholesterol. They are known by the brand names Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor, and others.

Published in Featured
Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

Solutions for Cracked Heels

Cracked heels may make you want to think twice about showing off your feet in warmer weather. However, cracked heels may be harmful to more than just the appearance of your feet. If deep fissures and cracks develop in your heels, they may make walking and standing painful for you. Additionally, these openings make way for germs to enter through your skin and cause infection.

There are several different causes of cracked heels. One of the most common reasons for this ailment is dry skin. This problem may make your keeps feel rough tight and itchy. Dry skin may be caused by cold air, extremely hot water, harsh soaps, and aging. Skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis may eventually lead to dry skin. In some cases, complications may arise from cracked heels. Some of these complications are a loss of feeling in the heel, cellulitis, or a diabetic foot ulcer.

There are ways you can try to prevent getting cracked heels. One of the best ways to do so is to avoid wearing flip flops and sandals because these shoes increase your risk of drying out your feet. You should also avoid wearing shoes with a tall skinny heel, because these shoes cause your heel to expand sideways. At night, you should slather on a thick moisturizing cream on your feet and then cover them in socks to keep your feet moisturized overnight. Drinking water to stay hydrated is also a good way to ensure that your skin doesn’t become dry.

If you suffer from a severe case of cracked feet, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist to see what treatment methods are best for you.

Published in Featured
Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Cracked Heels

The skin condition that is known as cracked heels can often cause pain and discomfort. It occurs as a result of small cuts that develop in the heels of the feet, and may worsen if treatment is not promptly started. The heels endure the weight of the body, and this condition may easily form if the skin is dry, or if there is standing that is done for the majority of the day. Obesity may be a contributing cause to the onset of cracked heels, in addition to not consuming adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Mild relief may be obtained when the feet are soaked in warm water, followed by using a good moisturizer. It may be beneficial to choose shoes that provide adequate support in the heel area, and to avoid wearing shoes that have an open back. If you have developed cracked heels, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. 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

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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, 03 June 2019 00:00

Flat Feet

Flatfoot is a condition that occurs when the arches on the foot are flattened, which allows the soles of the feet to touch the floor. Flatfoot is a common condition and it is usually painless.

Throughout childhood, most people begin to develop arches in their feet, however, some do not. Those who do not develop arches are left with flatfoot. The pain associated with flat feet is usually at its worse when engaging in activity. Another symptom that may occur with those who have this condition is swelling along the inside of the ankle.

It is also possible to have flexible flatfoot. Flexible flatfoot occurs when the arch is visible while sitting or standing on the tiptoes, but it disappears when standing. People who have flexible flatfoot are often children and most outgrow it without any problems.

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop flatfoot. Those who have diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of flatfoot development. Other factors include aging and obesity.

Diagnosis for flat feet is usually done by a series of tests by your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will typically try an x-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI on the feet. Treatment is usually not necessary for flat foot unless it causes pain. However, therapy is often used for those who experience pain in their flat feet. Some other suggested treatment options are arch supports, stretching exercises, and supportive shoes. 

Published in Featured
Monday, 03 June 2019 00:00

Tips for People with Flat Feet

Having flat feet can cause pain, difficulty with exercising, and hardships for finding shoes. However, you are not necessarily stuck with the issues flat feet generate. There are a few things to do to help with this condition. Primarily, you can stretch the calf muscle, as to avoid further arch collapse. Next, you can perform exercises that strengthen the intrinsic foot muscles near the arch. While wearing shoes, you can wear inserts that align the bones of the foot properly. Conversely, going barefoot when possible could help strengthen the foot. In cases where a flat foot imposes an extreme burden on the person’s life, surgery may be an option. Surgery would be the only comprehensive cure for a flat foot. All of the other options alleviate pain and improve alignment. If you have flat feet, consult with a podiatrist to find out which treatment alternatives could work for you.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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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