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Tuesday, 20 May 2014 13:48

Proper Footwear is Key to Outdoor Fun

Katey Behney, co-owner of Mountain Tops Outdoors, grew up in Beacon, and spent most of her time with her family hiking up the mountain which was conveniently located nearby.

Now, Behney and her husband are on a mission to help others get their hike by ensuring they select the proper outdoor footwear.

"With an outdoor activity, you have to look at your clothing and footwear as equipment and having the right equipment is going to make the experience a better one," Behney said. "If you don't have the right shoes on, you could be cold, you could be slipping. Your feet could get wet." According to the Outdoor Industry Association in 2013 consumers spent $28.9 billion on outdoor apparel, running footwear held the first position contributing to almost half of the category's sales, with sandals following 7 per cent. 

When it comes to finding a properly fitting shoe, pick a supportive, comfortable shoe. For more information, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can work with you to find the right shoe for your feet.   

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in properly fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improperly fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

To learn more about proper shoe fitting, please follow link below.

If you have any questions, please contact our office in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Proper Shoe Fitting

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 13:47

Proper Shoe Fitting

Proper shoe fitting is one of the most common concerns people have when it comes to the health of their feet. To some this may not seem like a major issue, but the reality is that improperly fitted shoes account for a tremendous amount of injuries to the foot. Because our feet, our posture, and our gait directly affect the bio-mechanics and the overall structure of our entire body, pains and discomforts felt elsewhere within the body can frequently be attributed to improperly fitted footwear. Here are a few factors to consider, which will help you select the proper footwear when shopping.

Do not purchase shoes with the expectation that they will stretch to accommodate the size of your feet. You are looking for shoes that fit correctly right away. If the shoes you purchase are too large and are slipping in the area of the heel while you walk, do not purchase them. Do not look favorably upon shoes that slip with the intention of wearing thicker socks to compensate for the slippage. Make certain that in the widest portion of the shoes, the ball of your foot, fits comfortably in the shoe.

It may be difficult to focus on these things with all the distractions of shopping, or tempting to ignore them because you badly want an uncomfortable shoe. However, if you cannot wear shoes because they hurt too much to use, your money and time will be wasted. When you get your new shoes home, put them on and walk around on a carpeted surface to see ensure your shoe's fit comfortably with normal activity.

With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for damage to the sensitive components within the foot are greater than many people realize. Finding a properly fitting shoe is the single most important factor you can do to help prevent injury and maintain optimal foot health. Adults tend to forget the fact that our feet continue to change as we grow older. So, even though they may no longer experience growth spurts associated with youth, their feet still change shape as they mature.

If you already have problems with your feet, wearing improperly fitted shoes can potentially exacerbate those problems. Fortunately, it does not require a tremendous amount of effort to find shoes that fit correctly. When shopping for shoes, keep in mind that improperly fitted shoes can not only cause a whole host of disorders and problems to occur within the feet themselves—they can affect the entire bio-mechanical structure of the body. Your posture and your stride are based on your feet, so your footwear can have a tremendous impact on the legs, back, and rest of your body. Finding the proper shoe fitting is essential to keep your feet and body healthly. 

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 18:13

Effect of High-Heels on the Feet

Women have been wearing various kinds of high-heels for hundreds of years, mostly for aesthetic reasons. Shoes with heels make their wearer appear to be taller and to have longer and thinner legs, and change the wearer’s gait and posture. High-heels’ association with femininity have kept them popular over the years, but there are definite health problems caused by wearing high-heels too frequently.

High heels also limit the motion of the ankle joints as well when they are worn. The ankle is a very important joint in the body when it comes to walking. These joints have a great deal of weight put on them because of their location. This is why it is so important to keep them as healthy as possible. The main tendon in the ankle is the Achilles tendon. Studies have shown that wearing high heels often causes the calf muscle and Achilles tendon to shorten, and stiffens the Achilles tendon as well, which can cause problems when shoes without heels are worn.

By forcing the toes into a small toe box, and putting a great deal of pressure on the ball of the foot, high-heels can cause or worsen many foot problems, such as corns, hammertoe, bunions, Morton’s neuroma and plantar fasciitis. 

Wearing high-heels regularly, especially very high ones, can have long term negative effects on many other parts of the body, as well as the feet. One of the most important joints in the entire body, the knees, can be affected by wearing high heels. Wearing high heels causes the knees to stay bent at all times. It also causes them to bend slightly inward as well. Many doctors believe that constantly walking like this is the reason that women are so much more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis later in life. High-heels also cause increased stress on the knees by limiting the natural motion of the foot during walking.

The back may also be negatively affected by high heels because this shoe style causes the back to go out of alignment. This affects the spine’s ability to absorb shock, and can cause continued pain in the back if high heels are worn constantly. High-heels also compress the vertebrae of the lower back, and can cause overuse of the muscles in the lower back.

This is not to say that high heels should never be worn. They will not cause serious problems if they are worn only occasionally. However, they should not be worn every day in order to avoid long term physical health problems to the feet, knees, ankles and back.

Published in Featured

A new treatment option which combines ultrasound waves and steroid injections was found to be 95% effective in patients suffering from plantar fasciitis, according to a groundbreaking study from the University of Genoa in Italy.

The plantar fascia is a connective tissue in the heel that stretches the bottom length of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of this connective band, causing heel pain and overall discomfort while walking or standing. Although the condition is completely treatable, traditional methods can take up to a year to start being effective.

These conventional treatments include arch support, night splints, certain exercises, and overall rest and staying off your feet.  The previous effective method for curing plantar fasciitis was shockwave therapy, in which sound waves are directed to the area where the pain is being experienced, often the heel. Despite the success of shockwave therapy, it could be considered somewhat painful, requires several sessions before any results are noticed, and is comparably expensive. However, even shockwave therapy does not cure the pain caused by plantar fasciitis in every patient.

The study, conducted by Luca M. Sconfienza, M.D., examined the effects of a new technique that combined ultrasound-guided methods, similar to shockwave therapy, with a steroid injection directly the plantar fascia. Because of the added steroid injection, the method becomes a one-time outpatient procedure involving a small amount of local anesthesia, in which a needle punctures the affected area and causes a small amount of bleeding that aids in the heeling of the fascia. This technique is referred to as dry-needling.

Dr. Sconfienza determined that 42 of the 44 patients involved in the new procedure had their symptoms, including pain, disappear entirely within three weeks. “This therapy is quicker, easier, less painful, and less expensive than shockwave therapy,” Dr. Sconfienza stated. “In cases of mild plantar fasciitis, patients should first try non-invasive solutions before any other treatments. But when pain becomes annoying and affects the activities of daily living, dry-needling with steroid injection is a viable option.”

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 19:48

Barefoot Running

A new trend in running and jogging has popped up recently, called barefoot running. Barefoot running is a popular and growing trend that is just what it sounds – running without shoes. Before deciding to do any running without shoes, it's best to understand how this kind of running affects the feet.

Running without shoes changes the motion of running. Most running is done by landing on the heel of the feet. Running barefoot requires a different way of running; in a barefoot stride landing is done on the front part of the feet. Because of this, the impact shifts from the heels to the front feet. Runners also shorten their strides to create a softer landing.

Running barefoot does have its advantages. When running and landing on the front feet, the impact on the feet and ankle is reduced, which may reduce the incidence of stress injuries. It strengthens muscles in the feet, and also strengthens muscles in the ankles and lower legs that aren't usually worked. Overall balance of the body is improved and there is greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body, making overall position and motion less stressful on the body. It has been found that in countries in which some of the population regularly wear shoes and some do not, numbers of foot and ankle injuries are much higher in those who wear shoes.

People hearing about barefoot running for the first time are skeptical about it, and there are good reasons for skepticism. Running barefoot certainly has its drawbacks, the obvious being no protection of the feet when running. This makes it likely that when runners land on sharp or rough objects, scrapes, bruises, and cuts on feet will result. Blisters will form when beginning this kind of running especially; you may have plantar fascia problems. Landing on the front feet constantly also increases the risk of getting Achilles tendonitis.

So what can runners do to make barefoot running safe? It’s best to make a slow transition from running shoes to barefoot running. The body is used to wearing shoes so to slowly transition to bare feet, start by walking barefoot for a distance and then increase walking distance. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking and then jogging and gradually increase the distance. If you have foot problems talk to the doctor first before attempting barefoot running. When starting out, it may also be helpful to begin by running on pavement or other consistent surfaces to avoid sharp or rough objects. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option, as they allow for many of the benefits of barefoot running while also protecting the feet from cuts and scrapes. 

Published in Featured

At just the age of eight, Jack Hart needed to use a walker and was relegated to having to use a wheelchair. Hart suffers from a rare form of arthritis known as Perthes. Perthes is a form of juvenile arthritis which limits blood flow to the hip, causing the head of the femur to break down and inflammation in the hip joint.

“I noticed a big difference in him,” says Joy Hart, Jack’s mother. “We took him to his family doctor (Jeff White) who sent us to the Janeway right away for an X-ray. We got a call to come see Dr. White on Tuesday afternoon and he told us that Jack had a rare condition called Perthes disease. We had never heard of it. It was all new and overwhelming.” Although Hart is now progressing in his recovery well, including regaining his mobility, he cannot run or jump and must still undergo physio. 

If you suspect you or a loved one has arthritis of the feet or ankle, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat your foot and ankle conditions, injuries and needs.

Arthritic Foot Care

Humans will walk approximately 75,000 miles in the average lifetime. This can put a great deal of stress on the 26 bones and 30 joints that we have in our feet. As we get older, our feet lose flexibility and elasticity. Our shock absorbers weaken, and the joints become inflamed and distorted if arthritis occurs, making medical foot care and treatment crucial.

It is best to take care of your feet by wearing proper shoes. Certain conditions can develop as a result of poor footwear, such as hammertoe, neuromas, or bunions. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet be comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot can be problematic. Buying shoes that contour to your feet with good arch support can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

-Specific exercises that stretch the Achilles tendon can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
-Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications with Capsaicin.
-Massages can help to alleviate pain temporarily.

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

If you have any questions, please contact our office in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more on Arthritic Foot Care

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 19:30

Arthritic Foot Care

In our lifetimes we walk 75,000 miles, putting a great deal of stress on the 26 bones and 30 joints in our feet. As we age, our feet lose flexibility and elasticity. Our shock absorbers weaken, and if you add arthritis to that combination, joints become inflamed and distorted. Arthritic foot care becomes imperative at this point.


Start taking better care of your feet by buying better fitting shoes. Hammertoes, neuroma, and bunions form when our shoes fit poorly. Buy shoes with a lower heel and with more room in the shoe. Rheumatoid arthritis will cause you to lose your arch. Buying shoes with arch support will help, as will buying shoes that contour to your foot.


Leave a fingers width between your foot and the shoe. If your finger cannot fit inside your shoe when it is on your foot, it is too tight. Buy rubber soled shoes. The cushioning of the rubber absorbs shock and the flexibility of the rubber helps the ball of the foot, where you push off from as you walk. Look for square or rounded toed shoes giving your toes lots of room to move.


Exercise will also help. Stretching the Achilles tendon, the cord at the back of the heel, will prevent further pain and injury. This will also increase your foots mobility. Lack of mobility will cause significant stress and pain. Massages will also alleviate some pain. Knead the ball of your foot and your toes from top to bottom.


To stretch your Achilles tendon, lean against a wall, with palms flat on the wall. Place one foot forward and one foot back with the heel flat on the floor, then lean forward. Feel the pull in the Achilles tendon and calf. Hold for five seconds and repeat three times. The big toe stretch is another exercise that may alleviate stiffness. Place one thick rubber band around your big toes. Pull the toes toward the other toes on the foot. Hold for five seconds and repeat ten times. Another exercise to try is the toe pull. Place a thick rubber band around the toes of each foot. Spread your toes for five seconds and repeat ten times.


Pain can be alleviated with non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and ultrasounds. Topical medications with Capsaicin may also help. Thus far, there is no remedy for pain that is one hundred percent effective. Buying shoes that give your feet plenty room with low rubber heels and soles will help. If needed, use heat and anti-inflammatory drugs, and exercise your tendons and toes. Lastly, arthritic foot care should incorporate massages to help your feet with circulation and to relieve the stress locked up in your feet. 

Published in Featured

In the beginning of March 2014, the Brooklyn Nets’ Brook Lopezhad to go through surgery to have a torn tendon repaired and to tighten loose lateral ligaments in his left ankle. Billy King, GM of the Nets, stated that Lopez suffered two ankle sprains last year, one in November and the other in December 2013. Additionally, Lopez had also fractured his fifth metatarsal in his right foot, an injury which required immediate surgery. Even in spite of his injuries the 25 year old player ranks No. 7 in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating at the time of injury.

Ankle sprains can hurt badly. If a sprained ankle is affecting you or a loved one, come and see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat your ankle sprain and work with you towards wellness.

How Do Ankle Sprains Happen?

Sprain injuries take place when the ligaments are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are various ways that the ankle can become injured. In fact even the simple act of walking could cause a sprain. Ankle damage can occur by losing footing or walking on uneven terrain.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Skin discoloration

How Can I Care for my Ankle at Home?

Self-care for ankle sprains includes propping the ankle up and keeping it elevated, applying ice packs as needed, and remaining off your feet. Some may also find that wrapping the ankle with an ACE bandage and taking over-the-counter pain relievers helps. One of the most important things is avoiding further stress to the affected area.

Preventing Sprains

  • Wearing appropriate shoes
  • Stretching before participating in physical activity
  • Knowing your limitations

To learn more about ankle sprains please follow link below.

If you have any questions, please contact our office in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains

Published in Blog
Monday, 24 March 2014 20:18

Dinosaur DNA May Provide Cure for Gout

In a fascinating discovery, scientists are making use of ancientdinosaur DNA to develop a potential cure for gout. The DNA’s effectiveness as a treatment was tested by scientists through reviving a prehistoric protein via E.coli. The E.coli was then able to convert the ancient DNA into live proteins that were workable. The scientists then built a reversed timeline between the differences in DNA sequences from modern to ancient mammals, allowing them to achieve a desired result.

The DNA, which is 90 million years old, turns out to have performed best at eliminating the uric acid build up. Uric acid buildup is known for causing inflammation, a common symptom from gout. A patent has been filed for the protein with the company starting the drug’s production. The FDA is in the process of providing approval for clinical trials.

Gout is a serious condition. If you or a loved one is affected by gout, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat you and your loved one’s foot and ankle needs with professionalism and care.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often affects the foot, especially the big toe, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

The main reason get gout is because of a poor diet. Foods rich in purines like turkey, red meats, and liver can affect the body’s ability to excrete uric acid, which in turn leads to hyperuricema, the blood condition that causes gout to develop. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have as much as a one in five chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet. In particular, low-fat dairy products, fruits high in vitamin C, and coffee are all foods that are known for their ability to help people recover from gout.

For more information about Gout in the feet and lower extremities, please follow the link below.

If you have any questions, please contact our office in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout

Published in Blog

23 year old Australian Rules footballer Jack Steven will be off the field for about 8-10 weeks after suffering an unfortunate injury during training. As a result, the St. Kilda Saints are forced to enter against Melbourne without one of their best midfielders, with the other, Leigh Montagna, under suspension. St. Kilda’s football head Chris Pelchen further said that

“Scans conducted late this afternoon revealed a fracture in his right foot which is obviously disappointing for both Jack and the club on the eve of the 2014 season.” This revealed that Steven’s fracture was a sesamoid fracture and not a stress fracture. “It’s important to note that the fracture is not stress related and followed an innocuous incident during training.”   

A sports related foot or ankle injurycan be devastating. If you suffered a foot or ankle related injury in the game come and see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can determine the scope of your injury and work with you towards rehabilitation.

Sport Related Foot And Ankle Injuries 

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

•           Plantar Fasciitis

•           Plantar Fasciosis

•           Achilles Tendinitis

•           Achilles Tendon Rupture

•           Ankle Sprains

Sports-related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

If you have any questions, please contact our office in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

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