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Items filtered by date: April 2018

Monday, 30 April 2018 00:00

Pregnancy and Foot Health

Many pregnant women complain about foot pain while they are expecting. Foot pain can primarily be caused by weight gain and hormonal changes taking place in the body. By understanding how pregnancy impacts the health of a woman's feet, a pregnant woman can take action to keep her feet as healthy and comfortable as possible.

Because a woman's weight changes during pregnancy, more pressure is brought to bear on both the legs and the feet. This weight shift can cause two major foot problems: over-pronation, also known as flat feet, as well as edema, which is swelling of the feet. Over-pronation occurs when the arch of the foot flattens, causing the foot to roll inwards when the individual is walking, and can aggravate the plantar fascia tissues located along the bottom of the feet. If these tissues become inflamed, a pregnant woman can experience pain in the heel of the foot as well as severe foot pain while walking or standing. Swelling of the feet, or edema, often occurs in the later stages of pregnancy. It is caused by slow circulation and water retention, and may turn the feet a light purple color.

To keep feet in good health and prevent over-pronation, pregnant women should avoid walking barefoot and be sure they are wearing shoes that offer good arch support. A device known as an orthotic can be added to regular footwear in order to provide additional support for the feet during pregnancy. Any expectant mother whose feet hurt should first check to see if the shoes she is wearing are old, worn out and not offering the proper support necessary for distributing the weight of her body during pregnancy.

To treat edema of the feet, a good start is to wear quality footwear which offers support and good circulation. Keep feet elevated whenever possible by using a foot stool while seated. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water to prevent water retention in the feet. Any swelling that occurs in only one foot should be examined as soon as possible by a doctor.

Good foot health during pregnancy can help expectant mothers avoid foot pain that leads to other health problems. Massaging the feet and doing regular gentle exercise like walking aids foot health by contributing to good circulation. Supportive shoes are also a good investment that will support foot health during pregnancy.

Published in Featured
Monday, 30 April 2018 00:00

Why Do My Feet Itch During Pregnancy?

A condition that women may observe during pregnancy can be itchy feet. Other symptoms that may be experienced include extreme fatigue, loss of appetite or vomiting, which may indicate serious health complications. If the feet experience severe itching, this may be referred to as cholestasis, and this condition typically affects the liver. Additionally, vitamin deficiencies may occur, which may possibly harm the fetus and may also occur in future pregnancies. Research has shown that possible hormonal changes may be responsible if cholestasis occurs and may be diagnosed properly through laboratory tests. Lotions may be chosen to help alleviate all or a portion of the itchy feeling, contrary to ingesting oral medications, which may harm the baby. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist if you are affected by itchy feet during pregnancy.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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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If you notice a small area filled with clear liquid on your foot, you may be observing what is referred to as a blister. It generally begins with a sore that appears to be red, and a blister will develop as pressure on the area continues. Common reasons for this condition to occur may include friction, which is often caused by poorly fitting shoes, in addition to burns, insect bites, or frostbite. Blisters naturally form to protect the damaged skin and will typically last for a few days. Research has shown that it’s beneficial to allow blisters to heal on their own, and this may prevent any bacteria or fungus from entering the body through the affected site. If you notice the fluid in the blister has turned a reddish or yellow color, it generally indicates an infection has developed, and it’s advised that medical attention be sought immediately. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about blisters on the feet.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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, 23 April 2018 00:00

Blisters on the Feet

Blisters are a common ailment of people who wear shoes that are either too tight or rub against the feet in an uncomfortable way. Knowing the basics of blisters is important for understanding how they are formed and what treatments should be used for them.

A blister on the foot, or any other part of the body, is a small pocket that is filled with fluid. It usually forms on the upper layer of the skin because these layers are loose enough to allow a blister to form. The most common fluid in a blister is just a clear, watery-like fluid that usually isn’t cause for concern. However, blisters can fill up with blood if they are deep enough and pus if they have become infected with bacteria.

Blisters almost always form on the feet due to shoes rubbing up against the foot, where the friction causes blisters. These can occur after you have walked for a long period of time or when your shoes do not fit you properly. Your feet are also more prone to blisters if they are moist, so keeping them dry and clean is one preventative step you can take.

Preventing infection should be the number one concern when treating blisters, as well as relieving the pain they can cause. Using a bandage to cover up the blister will help it heal and prevent bacteria from entering it. New skin will form under the blister and eventually cause it to pop. You can also take a sterilized pin and try to pop it yourself.

If the blister is filled with pus or blood, seeking treatment from a doctor is ideal. Antibiotics may need to be taken in order to completely eliminate the bacteria inside the blister. See a doctor to have an antibiotic prescribed.

The best way to treat blisters is to prevent them all together. Keeping your feet dry and making sure that your shoes fit properly are just two of the steps you can take to prevent blisters. Shoes that are too tight or shoes that are too loose and allow your feet to slide in them will cause blisters. Applying a bandage to an area where you think a blister is about to form is another way you can prevent them.

Published in Featured
Monday, 16 April 2018 00:00

What is a Bunion?

bunion is typically found at the bottom of the big toe. It is comprised of a growth that appears to be of a bony texture, and severe pain is often experienced. The causes for this ailment developing may originate from a predisposed inherited gene or from an injury the foot has endured. There are several ways to determine if you have this condition, which may be noticing reddened skin, a tingling sensation, or swelling in the affected area. Treatment typically involves specific surgery that can be performed to remove the bunion or choosing a more conservative method where partial relief may be obtained. Recent research has shown that wearing shoes with a bigger toe area is helpful in accommodating the bunion, in addition to pads that are placed on the bunion which may help in relieving pressure. Seeking a consultation with a podiatrist is highly recommended if you are experiencing pain or discomfort.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • 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 care needs.

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Monday, 16 April 2018 00:00

Bunions

A bunion is an enlargement of the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot, often formed from a bony growth or a patch of swollen tissues. It is caused by the inward shifting of the bones in the big toe, toward the other toes of the foot. This shift can cause a serious amount of pain and discomfort. The area around the big toe can become inflamed, red, and painful.

Bunions are most commonly formed in people who are already genetically predisposed to them or other kinds of bone displacements. Existing bunions can be worsened by wearing improperly fitting shoes. Trying to cram your feet into high heels or running or walking in a way that causes too much stress on the feet can exacerbate bunion development. High heels not only push the big toe inward, but shift one's body weight and center of gravity towards the edge of the feet and toes, expediting bone displacement.

A podiatrist knowledgeable in foot structure and biomechanics will be able to quickly diagnose bunions. Bunions must be distinguished from gout or arthritic conditions, so blood tests may be necessary. The podiatrist may order a radiological exam to provide an image of the bone structure. If the x-ray demonstrates an enlargement of the joint near the base of the toe and a shifting toward the smaller toes, this is indicative of a bunion.

Wearing wider shoes can reduce pressure on the bunion and minimize pain, and high heeled shoes should be eliminated for a period of time. This may be enough to eliminate the pain associated with bunions; however, if pain persists, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed. Severe pain may require an injection of steroids near the bunion. Orthotics for shoes may be prescribed which, by altering the pressure on the foot, can be helpful in reducing pain. These do not correct the problem; but by eliminating the pain, they can provide relief.

For cases that do not respond to these methods of treatment, surgery can be done to reposition the toe. A surgeon may do this by taking out a section of bone or by rearranging the ligaments and tendons in the toe to help keep it properly aligned. It may be necessary even after surgery to wear more comfortable shoes that avoid placing pressure on the toe, as the big toe may move back to its former orientation toward the smaller toes.

Published in Featured
Monday, 09 April 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Broken Ankle

If you have endured a fall or have experienced an intense injury to the ankle, you may have sustained a broken ankle. Symptoms of a broken ankle typically include severe pain around the ankle and surrounding areas that is accompanied by visible bruising and swelling. Is important to obtain immediate medical attention if you have what appears to be a broken ankle, as this may avoid the possibility of nerve and artery damage. A diagnosis typically includes having an X-ray performed, followed by an MRI, indicating a more detailed view of the ankle for more severe fractures. It may be suggested to wear a cast or a boot, which promotes stability in the ankle, and this may take 6-8 weeks to properly heal. During this time, crutches are generally used to prevent the ankle from incurring any weight. After the healing is completed, exercises may be necessary in recovering  foot and ankle flexibility.

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 April 2018 00:00

All About Broken Ankles

Broken ankles are a serious injury that can lead to an inability to walk, function, and also cause a significant amount of pain. A broken ankle is a break in one of the three bones in your body that connect at the ankle joint, the tibia, the fibula, and the talus. The tibia and fibula are your two primary leg bones that connect at the knee, which sit directly upon the talus bone. This is protected by a fibrous membrane that allows for movement in our ankle joint. A broken ankle is usually caused by the foot rolling under or twisting too far, causing one of these three bones to snap.

A broken ankle is different from an ankle sprain, which occurs when the ligaments are ripped or torn but no bones have been broken. A sprain can still be very severe, causing bruising in the foot and an inability to hold your own weight, much like a broken ankle would. If you’re unable to stand, and suspect that you have a broken ankle, the first thing to do would be to get an immediate x-ray to determine the severity of the break.

A common cause of broken ankles is when the ankle is rolled over with enough pressure to break the bones. This usually happens during exercise, sports, or other physical activity. Another common cause is a fall or jump from a tall height.

One immediate treatment for pain relief is elevating the feet above your head to reduce blood flow to the injured area. You can also apply ice packs to your ankles to help reduce swelling, redness, inflammation, and pain. After these initial steps, getting a cast and staying off your feet as much as possible will aid in the recovery of the broken ankle. The less movement and stress the ankle has to endure, the more complete it will heal. A doctor can determine if surgery is needed in order to heal correctly. In these cases, an operation may be the only option to ensure the ability to walk properly again, followed by physical therapy and rehabilitation.

It is highly important to determine if surgery is needed early on, because a broken ankle can become much more severe than you realize. If not professionally treated, the broken ankle will inhibit your walking, daily functioning, and produce a large amount of pain. Treating your broken ankle early on will help prevent further damage to it.

Published in Featured
Monday, 02 April 2018 00:00

Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is a frustrating problem that affects many people. It can be persistent and hard to get rid of. As many different types of fungi are present throughout the environment, it is very easy to contract toenail fungus.  

The feet are especially susceptible to toenail fungus because shoes and socks create the ideal dark and moist environment that fungal infections thrive in. While fungal infections of the nail plate are quite common, if left untreated they can spread beyond the toenail and into the skin and other parts of the body.

Signs of toenail fungus include a thickened nail that has become yellow or brown in color, a foul smell, and debris beneath the nail. The toe may become painful due to the pressure of a thicker nail or the buildup of debris.

Treatment for toenail fungus is most effective during the early stages of an infection. If there is an accumulation of debris beneath the nail plate, an ingrown nail or a more serious infection can occur. While each treatment varies between patients, your podiatrist may prescribe you oral medications, topical liquids and creams, or laser therapy. To determine the best treatment process for you, be sure to visit your podiatrist at the first signs of toenail fungus.

Published in Featured
Monday, 02 April 2018 00:00

How To Prevent Toenail Fungus

There are several early signs that can indicate you may have toenail fungus.  Such indicators may include the nails becoming thick and yellowed, and may crumble when touched. An infection is likely to develop if the nail is left untreated, allowing the fungus to grow. The aging process may be a factor in developing this ailment, in addition to having poor blood circulation. Medical conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or athlete’s foot allow easier access for the fungus to enter the body through the tiny openings in the skin these conditions may cause. Toenail fungus lives in moist environments, and socks and shoes that are worn without proper ventilation make it ideal for this fungus to grow. There are several ways to prevent this condition from developing, and these may include trimming the nails straight across, wearing appropriate shoes in public showers or pools, and utilizing a moisturizer to prevent cracked skin. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested for a complete diagnosis and possible treatment options that are right for you.

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.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

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.

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