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Podiatry Chicago, IL main menu

May 2021

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
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It is no secret that high heels are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Although beauty is pain, you should not sacrifice the health of your feet for a stylish heel. Wearing high heels can potentially cause many different foot conditions that may be avoided by wearing proper footwear.

The structure of high heels forces weight of your body to get shifted forward toward the ball of the foot. The higher the heel you wear, the more weight and pressure get shifted forward. The pressure that your toes may experience from wearing heels may lead to hammer toes, bunions, and ingrown toenails. Extra weight and pressure resulting from wearing heels may cause stress fractures. Furthermore, heels may cause pinched nerves which may result in Morton’s neuroma.

High heels are even more dangerous for people who are clumsy. Falling or tripping while wearing heels can cause an ankle sprain or twist.

What many people don’t know is that heels can also cause back and knee problems. In order for your body to stay balanced on heels, your spine has to sway unnaturally, which adds stress to your spine muscles. This may cause you to experience a sore lower back.  

If you decide to wear high heels regardless of the risks associated with them, there are ways you can minimize their harmful effects. One way to reduce injury is to massage and stretch your legs at the end of the day. Stretching can prevent the Achilles tendons and calf muscles from becoming too tight. If you are simply looking for more height, wedges and platforms provide a better surface area to distribute the body weight across compared to thinner heels.

If you experience pain from wearing high heels, it is important to see a podiatrist before any of your symptoms become worse.

Published in Featured
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.

Published in Blog
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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00

Wound Care

Diabetics must be wary of all wounds, regardless of depth or size. Diabetes, a chronic disease in which the body cannot properly use glucose the way it normally would, causes various complications that make wounds difficult to heal. Nerve damage or neuropathy will cause diabetics to have trouble feeling the pain of a blister or cut until the condition has significantly worsened or become infected. A diabetic’s weakened immune system can make even the most minor of wounds easily susceptible to infection. Diabetics are also more prone to developing narrow, clogged arteries, and are therefore more likely to develop wounds.

Wounds should be taken care of immediately after discovery, as even the smallest of wounds can become infected if enough bacteria build up within the wound.  To remove dirt, wounds should be first rinsed under running water only. Soap, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine can irritate the injury and should be avoided. To prevent infection, apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover it with a bandage. The bandage should be changed daily. The skin around the wound may be cleaned with soap.

To prevent further exacerbation, see a doctor—especially if you have diabetes. Minor skin conditions can become larger problems if not properly inspected. As the wound heals, make sure to avoid applying pressure to the affected area.

Published in Featured
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
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Monday, 10 May 2021 00:00

Flipping Out About Flip Flops

Although it may be tempting to wear flip-flops in warm weather, they are not the best choice of footwear for your feet. Flip-flops may be ideal for the beach, pool, spa, and shared showers, but you should avoid wearing them unless it is completely necessary.

Flip-flops only have a small strip of fabric holding your foot in place, but your toes need a better grip to keep your foot in place. The repetitive gripping can lead to an overuse of your muscles, which could result in tendinitis. This is only one of the many problems that stem from wearing flip-flops too often.

Flip flops aren’t good for extensive walking because they fail to offer arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption. As a result, people who wear flip flops are at a higher risk of experiencing an ankle sprain. Additionally, these shoes offer little protection for your feet, putting those who wear them at a greater risk for stubbed toes, glass cuts, and puncture wounds.

Although flip flops aren’t recommended for everyday use by anyone, it is especially important for diabetics to avoid them. A diabetic foot injury can easily become very serious, and it may even lead to amputation.

If you are experiencing pain from wearing flip-flops, you shouldn’t be hesitant to replace them with a more comfortable shoe that offers more support. If your flip-flop foot pain doesn’t go away, you should seek assistance from a podiatrist right away. It is possible that you may have a more serious foot problem such as a stress fracture or arthritis.

Published in Featured
Monday, 03 May 2021 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.

Published in Featured

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.

 

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