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Inflamed nerve tissue that is located between the third and fourth toe may be indicative of a condition that is referred to as Morton’s neuroma. This condition can cause severe pain and discomfort, and is typically felt in the ball of the foot. Some patients experience a burning or numbing sensation, often making it difficult to walk. This condition can occur as a result of wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or from participating in running or jumping activities. Patients may find mild relief when custom-made orthotics are worn, in addition to gently massaging the affected area. Symptoms that persist for several months may be alleviated if surgery is chosen as a treatment option. If you have developed Morton’s neuroma, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you with correct treatment techniques.

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 care 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.

Read more about What is Morton's Neuroma?
Monday, 27 April 2020 00:00

Possible Causes of Gout

The joints of the big toe are generally impacted by the medical condition that is referred to as gout. Common symptoms can include swelling, severe pain and discomfort in the big toe and surrounding area, and it may be difficult to walk. Patients who have this ailment often describe the pain as feeling like crystals protruding between the joints. This happens as a result of excess uric acid in the bloodstream, and can be caused by a variety of reasons. These can include genetic factors, obesity, and high blood pressure. Additionally, it may come from eating foods that are high in purine levels, which may often consist of red meat, shellfish, and sugary drinks. If you have this painful condition, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage it.

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.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Saturday, 25 April 2020 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Monday, 20 April 2020 00:00

Runners and Stress Fractures

People who enjoy the sport of running and jogging generally understand they may gradually endure a stress fracture. This is considered to be a hairline fracture of the bones in the feet, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. One way a stress fracture may develop is from consistent running. Swelling and bruising may be additional symptoms, and the impacted foot can benefit by frequently resting. This typically means that running is ceased for a significant amount of time as the healing process occurs. The first signs of a developing stress fracture may be ignored, but will eventually worsen unless it is promptly treated. If you feel you have a stress fracture, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you with correct treatment options.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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 Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 13 April 2020 00:00

Possible Treatment for Bunions

Patients who have bunions are generally aware of the pain and discomfort they may cause while wearing shoes. It is defined as a small bony growth that gradually forms on the side of the big toe, and can come from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, genetic factors may play a significant role in the development of a bunion. There are noticeable symptoms that are often associated with bunions. These can include calluses that can develop on top of the bunion, and the big toe may point toward the other toes. Relief may be found when larger shoes are worn that can accommodate the protruding bone, in addition to wearing a pad over the affected area. In severe cases, surgery may be an option to consider for permanent removal. If you have developed a bunion, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose this condition and determine what the best treatment is for you.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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 a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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 Bunions

There are many forms of heel pain that people around the world may exhibit. Research has indicated it often occurs gradually, and may develop due to a variety of reasons. Plantar fasciitis affects the tendon that connects the toes to the heel, and severe pain is often felt in the heel and arch area. Teenagers who are physically active may experience heel pain, which can be indicative of Sever’s disease. This condition affects the growth plate in the heel. Mild relief may be found when the activity that caused it is stopped temporarily, as this can accelerate the healing process. Many types of moderate heel pain can be treated with rest, elevation, and possibly performing gentle stretches. If you have any indication of heel pain, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist.

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.

Read more about Heel Pain
Monday, 30 March 2020 00:00

Symptoms of Neuropathy

Many diabetic patients have been prone to experience a foot condition known as neuropathy. This condition may develop when the peripheral nerves become damaged. When these nerves become compressed, it’s likely that those affected will experience a certain degree of pain and discomfort. Common symptoms of neuropathy can include a numbing or tingling sensation, muscle cramping, difficulty with balance, or loss of feeling in the affected area. To help treat this condition, some patients have found relief with physical therapy and the use of assistive walking devices. For more information on neuropathy and how to treat this condition, it’s recommended that you speak with a podiatrist.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in 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 for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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 Neuropathy
Thursday, 26 March 2020 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

There are many patients that enjoy the benefits of getting regular foot massages. Research has indicated that it has become a popular form of foot therapy, and that it may benefit the overall body. This type of massage is performed by applying warm lotion on the entire foot, and rubbing the top of the foot with firm motions. The toes can be massaged by pulling them away from the body, while also supporting the arch of the foot. Additionally, another method of massaging the toes can be performed by sliding your fingers between each toe, while moving your fingers toward the bottom of the toes. If you would like additional information about how to perform foot massages, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What to Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

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 Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries
Monday, 16 March 2020 00:00

Methods That May Help to Prevent Falling

It is crucial for elderly patients to protect themselves in their homes. This may be helpful in preventing falling, which can cause serious health issues and complications with the feet. It may be beneficial to slow your pace as you walk and complete tasks in your home. Additionally, it can help to wear slippers that have a non-slip sole. Research has indicated that when grab bars are installed in the shower and bath area, the risk of falling may be reduced. It is important to have routine medical exams so current prescriptions may be evaluated, in addition to having a thorough eye exam. If you would like more information about falls prevention techniques and how to help protect your feet, it’s suggested that you 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.

Read more about Falls Prevention
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