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Monday, 03 August 2020 00:00

Are You at Risk for Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis refers to pain around the sesamoids, two tiny bones near the big toe that help move the foot. The most common symptom of this condition is pain that is usually made worse by walking or wearing high-heeled or thin-soled shoes. Swelling, warmth, and redness due to inflammation may also occur. Sesamoiditis is particularly common amongst dancers, joggers, high heel wearers, people who have high foot arches, and people who have bunions. Treatment usually entails wearing flat, thick-soled shoes or orthotics to ease the pressure on the sesamoid bones. If you are experiencing foot pain, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist, who can diagnose and treat your condition.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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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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.

Monday, 20 July 2020 00:00

Ways to Improve Poor Circulation

The circulatory system transports oxygen, nutrients, and blood throughout the body. Poor circulation is when blood flow to various parts of the body is inadequate. Frequently, poor circulation occurs in the legs and feet. Fortunately, there are ways you can improve poor circulation. Eating a balanced diet, drinking more water, exercising, and quitting smoking are all actions that you can take to improve your overall health, in addition to improving your circulation. Elevating your feet, getting a foot massage, taking warm baths, using a compression garment can also improve poor circulation. You should also see your doctor regularly for checkups to monitor your circulation. If you experience poor circulation to your legs and feet, a podiatrist can also help by finding treatments that work for you.

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.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Monday, 13 July 2020 00:00

Babies, Children, and Flat Feet

“Pes Planus” is the medical term for the foot condition known as flat feet. It can also be referred to as fallen arches and is noticeable while standing on the floor. Many babies are born with flat feet, and the arch will typically develop by the age of six. Some children have calf muscles that are inflexible, and this may affect arch development as well. Mild relief may be found when proper shoes are worn, and it may help to perform specific foot stretches. If the muscles in the feet are weak, it may be beneficial to walk on varied surfaces that can consist of grass and sand. If your child has not developed arches in their feet, it is strongly advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can determine what the best course of treatment is.

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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For elderly patients especially, ensuring that your living conditions are safe can help to prevent falling. Falling can be a serious issue, particularly for those 65 and older, as it can cause foot conditions. Once a patient experiences a fall, they may develop a fear of falling, which can negatively impact how they go about their day to day activities. Staying active and regularly seeing a doctor are both great ways to implement falls prevention.  Another aspect of preventing falls that is extremely important is having a safe living environment. To achieve this, some patients have grab bars installed in their home, typically in the bathroom, to help prevent slipping. Another tactic that can be helpful to make sure there are no tripping hazards in your home is to ensure all carpets and throw rugs are secured, either with double-sided tape, or by purchasing non-skid rugs. For more advice on how to best prevent falling, please consult with a podiatrist.

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.

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Monday, 29 June 2020 00:00

Where Is the Tarsal Tunnel Located?

There is a part of the foot that is between the Achilles tendon and the inside of the ankle, which is referred to as the tarsal tunnel. Its function is to facilitate movement in the foot and ankle, in addition to helping to provide feeling to the sole of the foot. The medical condition that is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tarsal tunnel becomes compressed. This can happen as a result of repetitive stress, or possibly from an injury. Some of the symptoms patients may feel can include pain and discomfort in the heel and arch area, a numbing sensation, and the foot may feel weak. Mild relief may be found when the activity that caused the injury ceases temporarily, in addition to performing specific stretching techniques. If you have developed tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is suggested that you seek professional advice from a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

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 Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Wednesday, 24 June 2020 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.

As the aging process occurs, the importance of maintaining proper foot care becomes evident as certain foot conditions can develop. This begins with washing and drying the feet thoroughly, which may help to prevent infections from occurring. When the feet are frequently inspected, cuts, wounds, and bruises can be easily detected. Circulation may improve when the feet are elevated while sleeping. Additionally, it is beneficial to wear shoes that have extra cushioning, which may be helpful in reducing existing foot pain. If you would like more information about how to take care of an elderly person’s feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can provide useful tips for everyday foot care.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and 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.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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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While high heels are often uncomfortable, they can also cause harmful foot problems for frequent wearers. To start, high heels can cause cosmetic issues, such as bunions or hammertoes. High heels can lead to tendonitis by straining the ankle and tendons as well. High heels also lead to overuse of the natural cushioning on the foot, causing it to diminish over time. Some ways to mitigate the effects of high heels include massaging and stretching the legs after use, alternating heel heights, and wearing heels in moderation. A podiatrist will be able to help diagnose and treat any issues that a person has endured due to high heels. For further information about preventing injuries while wearing high heels, 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 Effect of High Heels on the Feet

Many people who stand and walk for the majority of the day for work may experience tired and aching feet. The feet are considered to be the foundation of the body, and people can generally feel tired when foot pain is present. Conditions that can occur as a result of standing for extended periods of time can include blisters and corns. It is also possible to develop the painful ailment that is known as plantar fasciitis. Relief may be found when shoes that are worn fit properly, in addition to soaking the feet at the end of the work day. Research has shown it is beneficial to perform gentle foot stretches throughout the day, and it may help to wear custom made orthotics. If you would like additional information about how to alleviate foot pain, please consult with a podiatrist for professional care.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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 How to Handle a Long Work Day on Your Feet
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