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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.

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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. 

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