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Physical therapist Steve Miller says that Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is a fairly prevalent condition. Miller says that Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is most likely to occur among people with flat feet and participants that go into intensive physical activity unprepared.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is basically the compression on the tibial nerve in the ankle. The compression in the tibial nerve can cause a shooting pain in the lower areas such as the foot, ankle and lower leg. To treat the condition, a physician can provide soft tissue massages and nerve glides to lower the pain and pressure placed on the tibial nerve.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very painful. If you have any pain in your foot or ankle, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat your foot and ankle needs.

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.

For more information about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, 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.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 16:43

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, also called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon form of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. Peripheral nerves are the nerves that carry signals from the brain and spinal cord to the other parts of the body. 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 causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome involve 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, or trauma to the tibial nerve can result in tarsal tunnel syndrome. Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. However, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

Feeling different sensations in the foot at different times is a common symptom of tarsal tunnel syndrome. An afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of affected leg, with primary problems occurring on the bottom of the foot. The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling toes or flexing the foot becomes difficult. If the condition worsens, the person may develop infections and ulcers on the affected foot because of the lack of sensation. The affected foot can become permanently deformed, and sensation loss, particularly in the toes, is sometimes permanent.

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.

Occasionally, a person with tarsal tunnel syndrome can recover without specific treatment, but over the counter pain medication is still used to reduce the discomfort associated with the condition. Treatments for more severe tarsal tunnel syndrome focus on regaining sensation and strength in the affected toes and foot. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescription painkillers if the pain isn't managed by over the counter pain relievers. A surgery designed to lessen pressure on the tibial nerve can help in some cases. The surgeon enlarges the patient's tarsal tunnel, a ligament and bone structure in the foot that the tibial nerve passes through, relieving some of the pressure on the tibial nerve. 

Published in Featured

According to a study that was published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, nerve decompression procedures may aid diabetic patients. The procedure is believed to drastically reduce the recurrence rate in ulcers for patients, particularly those contending with diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSP).

Lead author D. Scott Nickerson, MD told Medscape Medical News.  "Almost every amputation is preceded by an ulcer wound. If we can do something that changes the risk of having a repeat ulcer or a first ulcer event, we can probably do something to greatly reduce the risk of an amputation.”  However, the topic of whether operative nerve works completely is subject for debate, with some who argue that there is not substantial evidence to support its use.

Diabetics need good foot care. If you or a loved one is diabetic, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat your podiatric conditions.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people of all ages each year. Diabetes damages blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. When damage occurs to nerves in the feet, they may be unable to send the proper signals to the peripheral nervous system, resulting in a condition known as neuropathy. Once a diabetic patient develops neuropathy, it is imperative that the feet are well taken care of to avoid possible amputation of the feet.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

- Regularly check your feet for bruises or sores.
- Wear socks that fit your feet; socks shouldn’t be tight.
- Wear properly fitting shoes that are comfortable.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their Hemoglobin A1C levels as this test lets the physician know how well the blood sugar levels have been controlled during the past 3 months. It is important to keep the blood sugar levels in a normal range (70-110mg/dl). It is advisable to visit a podiatrist if the diabetic patient is experiencing any conditions involving the feet.

For more information about Diabetic Foot Care, 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.

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Laura Caradonna-Dubiel  was a participant in five Boston Marathons. Unfortunately, she could not participate for two years as a result of Morton’s Neuroma. "I didn’t run the last two years, as I had Morton’s neuroma. That is nerve damage between toes. It causes your toes to go numb, and it can be extremely painful if you try to run on it," Caradonna-Dubiel said.

To ensure she participate this year, the runner was administered cortisone shots and received orthotic inserts several weeks prior to the race.  "My feet were cramping up. I was keeping a good time, but the heat killed me," said Caradonna-Dubiel. "I was determined to finish. I kept thinking ‘Boston Strong.’ I’ve never seen crowd support like I did that day."

Morton’s Neuroma is painful. If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, talk to podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can help treat your foot and ankle needs.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the third and fourth toe and the ball of the foot, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible to this condition. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.  Women are more likely than men to have an occurrence of this foot condition.

What Increases the Chances of having Morton’s Neuroma?


-Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot area.
-Jogging, running and any sports that involve constant impact to the foot area.
-Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformity may put you at a higher risk for developing Morton’s neuroma.

If you suspect that you may have this condition, you should visit your podiatrist. A podiatrist will first conduct a thorough physical examination to check for palpable masses between the bones of the foot. The podiatrist will also apply pressure to the foot or toe area to replicate the pain a person experiences when active.

For more information on the treatment of diabetes, visit our 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.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 13:32

Morton's Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the third and fourth toe and the ball of the foot. Other areas of the foot can also be susceptible to this condition. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.  Women are more likely than men to have an occurrence of this foot condition. When a person has Morton's neuroma, it can feel as if they are walking on stones or marbles.

There are risk factors that can increase a person's chance of having Morton's neuroma. Ill-fitting high heels or shoes can add pressure to the toe or foot area. Jogging, running and any other sports that involve constant impact to the foot area can make a person more susceptible to this condition. If a person has flat feet, bunions or any other foot deformities, it can put them at a higher risk for developing Morton's neuroma.

There is no one major sign that indicates a person has Morton's neuroma, but rather certain symptoms to look for. A person who has burning in the ball of the foot or tingling and numbness in the toe areas are signs they may have Morton's neuroma. The pain increases greatly when wearing shoes or being active. There usually is little or no pain at night.

If a person suspects that they have this condition, they should visit their doctor. A physician will check for palpable masses between the bones of the foot. A doctor will also apply pressure to the foot or toe area to replicate the pain a person experiences when active. Range of motion tests and X-rays are other options a doctor may offer a patient to rule out other conditions or problems.

Treating Morton's neuroma can be as simple as changing the type of shoes a person wears. Wear wider shoes or flat shoes with a soft sole. Doing this may help reduce the pressure on the nerve that is aggravated. If necessary, a person can have a cortisone injection to help reduce swelling and pain in the foot area.

If these methods don't relieve the symptoms, consulting with an orthopedic surgeon should be the next option. During a consultation, a patient will find out about the treatment methods available for Morton's neuroma. A surgeon can release the tissue around the nerve that is causing this pain, or they can remove a small area of the nerve completely. There is a short recovery time for this type of surgery, and afterward, patients can return to their normal lifestyle.

 

Published in Featured

Unlike many women, Maedhbh Cleary does not have the luxury of wearing high-heels or even lighter clothes. The Dublin resident suffers from a condition called Raynaud’s Disease, which can starve the extremities of blood, cause deformity, and even attack the body’s vital organs, according to Independent.ie.

"I have to wear really warm clothes and I cannot wear high heeled shoes because it puts pressure on my toes and they'll go numb and this will affect my balance,” Cleary said.  Raynaud’s results in color shifts in any place her body may be exposed. One in fifteen men in Ireland suffer from this condition.

High heels may be popular, but they can also cause podiatric problems. If you are experiencing pain from wearing heels, see podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat your foot and ankle symptoms.

 

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because they are associated with femininity.  Despite their appeal, they can cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

What parts 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.  Also, 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. 

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 the Effects of High Heels on the Feet

Published in Blog
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

 

Louisiana State senior Kaleigh Dickson tore the plantar fascia in her right foot while performing a routine at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional earlier this season. Despite Dickson’s injury, her team was able to not only set a national record but also earn a chance to compete in the NCAA Championships.

 

Coach D-D Breaux wants to bring in reserve members of the squad in order to find suitable contenders in the floor and vault categories. Dickson is one of her team’s best gymnasts, which may hurt her team’s chances of scoring in the championship overall.

 

Plantar fasciitis can be a real drag in the heels. If your heels are in pain and you think it could be plantar fasciitis, speak with podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick can treat your foot and ankle conditions.

 

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

 

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissues on the bottom of the foot, causing pain in the heel and arch of the foot.

 

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

 

  • Lack of adequate footwear
  • Obesity
  • Excessive running
  • Poor foot support
  • Overpronation
  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices. 
  • Shockwave therapy – sends sound waves to the areas where pain is experience.  Requires multiple sessions.  This is used for very persistent cases of plantar fasciitis. 
  • Ultrasound-guided technique with steroid injections into the plantar fascia.  This is from a relatively new and small study, but was shown to be effective in most cases treated.

 

 

 

How Can Plantar Fasciitis Be Treated?

 

For more information about Plantar Fasciitis, 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 Plantar Fasciitis

 

Published in Blog

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 19:49

Running Injuries Based on Habit not Shoe

There has been a fierce debate going on in the running field. Advocates of barefoot and minimalist running believe that wearing shoes does not reduce the chance of getting an injury, while champions of ‘maximalist’ or regular shoes believe the opposite.  

To quell the debate, some scientists are saying that what you wear on your feet hardly matters at all. They assert that the only way to truly prevent running injuries is to improve your running habits. “The best shoe for a runner is highly individualized,” Allison Gruber, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s biomechanics laboratory, told Outside. There are many factors that play into running injuries besides footwear, such as one’s BMI, training history, pronation, and more.

Barefoot running has its advocates, but it’s not for everyone. If you want to know more about this practice, call podiatrist Dr. Catherine J Minnick, DPM of Chicago. Dr. Minnick will help you decide what works for you best.

Barefoot Running

The Impact of Barefoot Running
-Running without shoes changes the motion of your running, as most running is done by landing on the heel of the feet.
-Running barefoot requires a different way of running; the landing is done on the front part of the feet.

The Advantages of Barefoot Running

-When running and landing on the front feet, the impact on the feet and ankle is reduced, this can reduce stress injuries.
-It strengthens muscles in the feet and ankles and the lower legs.
-Balance of the body is improved and there is a greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body.

The Drawbacks of Barefoot Running

-No protection while running, makes it likely that runners will land on sharp objects and scrapes, bruises and cuts on the feet will result.
-Blisters may form.
-Possibility of plantar fascia problems.
-Risk of getting Achilles tendonitis.

It’s best to make a slow transition from running shoes to barefoot running. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increasing the distance.

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.

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