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Saturday, 19 June 2021 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

The Achilles tendon is a thick band of fibrous tissue located at the back of the lower leg. It connects the calf muscle to the heel bone and allows us to walk by raising the heel off of the ground. Repetitive stress placed on this tendon during activities such as running, playing high impact sports, and working on your feet can cause the tendon to become injured. Initially, the Achilles tendon may become inflamed in a condition known as Achilles tendonitis. An inflamed Achilles tendon can be painful, tender, and stiff. If left untreated, Achilles tendonitis could become chronic and lead to a degeneration of the tendon known as Achilles tendonosis. This condition makes the tendon lose its organized structure and makes it more likely to develop microscopic tears that cause chronic pain and may restrict mobility. Achilles tendonosis can also make a full rupture more likely. If you experience pain in your calf muscles, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat your condition and prevent further injury.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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 the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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 What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Tuesday, 15 June 2021 00:00

Arthritis and Joint Foot Pain

Arthritis is a common medical condition worldwide, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. When it occurs in the feet, it may be difficult to walk, in addition to completing daily activities. There are several different forms of arthritis, and gout generally affects the joints in the big toe. Lupus can affect the joints in the feet, and arthritis can gradually develop. Many patients find it is beneficial to take specific medications that may help with the inflammation arthritis can cause. If you have joint pain in your feet, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. 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.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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 How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
Tuesday, 08 June 2021 00:00

How Contagious Is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is a very contagious fungal infection that causes the feet to become itchy, cracked, dry and flaky. Because Athlete’s foot thrives in warm and moist environments, these infections are usually spread in showers, gym locker rooms, and swimming pools from towels, floors, and even clothing. It can also spread from direct contact with an infected person. If it is left untreated, it can spread to all of the toes and into the toenails causing them to become thicker and yellow. The infection can also spread to other parts of the body. Patients who believe that they have Athlete’s foot should consult with a podiatrist who can provide a diagnosis and treatment.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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 Athlete’s Foot
Thursday, 20 May 2021 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Many common foot and ankle injuries can be caused or influenced by the shoes that you wear. Although high heels are pretty and stylish, they are also potentially damaging to the feet and ankles. Sprained ankles, a condition in which one or more ligaments in the ankle become overstretched or torn, may occur in those who frequently wear high heels taller than two inches. Strained and shortened calf muscles, plantar fasciitis, and back and knee pain may also develop due to high heels. Foot deformities, such as bunions and hammertoes, as well as skin changes like blisters and calluses, may occur also. If you choose to wear high heels, be sure to wear shoes that have good arch support, fit comfortably, and have a heel that is wide and two inches or shorter. Switch out your high heels for flats or more comfortable and supportive shoes regularly, and stretch your calf and foot muscles to help prevent injuries. For more information about the effects of high heels on the feet and ankles, 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.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00

Why Do My Foot Wounds Heal Slowly?

If you have diabetes, you are at risk of developing wounds on your feet. These wounds often heal slowly due to having this condition. A number of factors may cause poor wound healing. When your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, as is frequently the case in people with diabetes, the immune system does not function as efficiently, nutrients and oxygen are prevented from energizing the cells, and there is increased inflammation. All of this can slow down wound healing. Peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage often seen in diabetics, can lead to a loss of sensation in the lower limbs, making it harder to detect and treat wounds in their early stages. Poor circulation, another complication common in diabetics, reduces blood flow to the feet. Without an adequate blood supply, wounds cannot heal properly. When foot wounds go undetected or are left untreated, the risk of infection significantly increases. If you have diabetes, inspecting the feet daily for any abnormalities can help prevent wound infection and other serious complications. To learn more about the effects of diabetes on the feet, please consult with a podiatrist. 

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.

Read more about Wound Care
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
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