Proper Foot Care May Prevent Unwanted Foot Conditions

1 Jun 2020 Blog

Research has indicated many people pay little attention to their feet until there is pain and discomfort. This may be prevented by practicing daily foot care habits. These can include stretching the feet, trimming the toenails correctly, and keeping the feet clean. It is beneficial to wear shoes that fit correctly, which may be helpful in preventing unwanted foot conditions from developing. These can consist of ingrown toenails, bunions, blisters, and hammertoe. When the skin becomes dry, it is suggested that a good moisturizer is applied. If you would like additional information about the importance of proper foot care, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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What is Regenerative Medicine? by Dr. Elizabeth Bondi

28 May 2020 Blog

Regenerative Medicine is the use of a biological substance to help accelerate and restart the healing process, shorten the inflammatory phase, and provide symptom relief for patients. The goal of these treatments is not just to repair the injured tissue, but to replace the damaged tissue with healthy tissue that is fully functioning with minimal to no scar tissue. 

Frequently, when tissue heals on its own it is not as elastic or pliable as it was pre-injury. Scar tissue and adhesions can form and the tissue’s original protein composition changes. However, with regenerative medicine the tissue can potentially regain that elasticity and pliability by helping fibers align properly and encouraging the correct type of protein, collagen, to form.

Often, with chronic injuries, the healing process can come to a standstill and it no longer produces an inflammatory response that aids in bringing important reparative cells to an injured area. Regenerative medicine can serve to jump-start the healing process so that the injured tissue gets what it needs to help heal and strengthen. These treatment options can be used to address a multitude of conditions from tendon or ligament injuries, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, fracture healing, and wound care. 

Here at Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists, we are able to offer regenerative treatments such as platelet-rich plasma, amnion, bone marrow aspirate, prolotherapy injections, and laser therapy. For more detailed information on those treatment options click through to the next few pages.

  • Page 2 – Platelet-Rich Plasma
  • Page 3 – Amnion injections
  • Page 4 – Interfyl Injections
  • Page 5 – Bone Marrow Aspirate (BMA)
  • Page 6 – Prolotherapy
  • Page 7 – Laser Therapy

To get more information or to find out if you are a candidate for any of these regenerative medicine options, please call to make an appointment. We are more than happy to discuss these options with you and answer any questions you might have.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Feet

26 May 2020 Blog

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory form of arthritis that can create complications with the feet. This condition may cause swelling within the joints of the feet, making it very painful to complete daily tasks. Other symptoms include joint stiffness, fatigue, muscle pain, and numbness. Some risk factors for developing rheumatoid arthritis include genetics, bacteria and viruses, physical trauma, and obesity. In order to treat this condition, it may be beneficial to visit a doctor for prescribed medication, partake in physical therapy, and in more severe cases, surgery. It’s been said that having a well balanced diet may help relieve some of the symptoms associated with this condition. For a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan, it’s suggested that you consult with a podiatrist for professional care.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

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

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Lawn Mowing and Foot Injuries by Dr. Summer Bochat

22 May 2020 All, Blog

Many people enjoy the outdoors by mowing their lawns in the Summer months. We all know that the lawnmower blades are dangerous, but people continue to mow their lawns barefoot. The blades on the lawnmower whirl at 3,000 revolutions per minute and can produce kinetic energy 3 times that of a .357 handgun! Caution needs to be exercised when mowing the lawn to prevent injuries.

  • Losing control on wet grass is the leading cause of foot injuries caused by power mowers.
  • Do not wear sandals or sneakers. Heavy shoes and work boots are recommended when mowing.
  • Use extreme caution when children are around. They should not be allowed to ride on your lap, as injury can occur when they are getting on and off the machine. Keep them away from the lawnmower to protect them from projectiles. 
  • Never go down or up slopes, always mow across them.
  • Do not pull backwards when the mower is running.
  • Protect from projectiles by keeping the clip bag attached when operating a power mower.
  • The release mechanism on the lawnmower handle should always be used to automatically shut off the mower when the hands let go.

If someone is injured by a lawnmower they should seek medical treatment immediately. Severe wounds may need surgical debridement, but superficial wounds can be treated at an office or outpatient center to prevent infection.

Lawn care should be enjoyable and not dangerous if you use proper caution.

Where Did I Get Athlete’s Foot From?

18 May 2020 Blog

Fungus is the cause of a medical condition that is known as athlete’s foot. The official name is tinea pedis, and is considered to be contagious. It lives and thrives in warm and moist environments, often consisting of public swimming pools, locker rooms, and communal shower rooms. It may pass from one person to another through clothing, or from walking without shoes. Noticeable symptoms that many patients experience can include skin between the toes becoming red, cracked, and blistered, in addition to being severely itchy. The healing process may be accelerated when antifungal cream or powder is used. Prevention methods can consist of wearing appropriate shoes while in these areas, and avoiding sharing shoes, socks, or towels with other people. If you have been afflicted with athlete’s foot, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can prescribe the correct medication for you.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists.  Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tendinitis: A Common Spring & Summer Injury by Dr. Bret Musser

14 May 2020 All, Blog, Tendinitis

As the spring and summer months inch closer and closer, more and more are beginning to exercise again. It is important to be educated and not overdo it in the early stages of working out. Your body fatigues quickly without the proper exercise routine. This can lead to injuries. One of the most common spring and summer injuries we see is tendinitis. Tendons are structures in the body that cause motion by moving joints. If tendons undergo too much stress, then these structures start to fatigue and break down. This is called tendinitis. Tendinitis is an overuse injury. The tendon is being worked too hard and starts to break down. This is commonly seen in our patients who get into exercise and do too much too fast. Signs and symptoms of tendinitis include pain with motion, swelling, and stiffness. 

Seeing the signs and catching tendinitis early is the key to successful treatment. Treating tendinitis in its early states is fairly simple. All you need to do is reverse the cause. Since tendinitis is an overuse injury, its treatment is to underuse the tendon. Which means rest. Reducing the strain and motion of the tendon in the early stages allows the tendon to recover. This reduces swelling within and around the tendon. Other important treatments are anti-inflammatories, compression, and ice. Once the pain resolves, a course of physical therapy is recommended. Working on flexibility and strengthening techniques is vital for reducing recurrence.

In many cases, tendinitis can be worsened by poor foot function. This is usually due to flat feet or high arch feet. Orthotics are a great way to give the foot proper function and displace pressures on the foot. This allows the tendons to function at maximum capacity and reduce the chance of tendon flare-ups. I highly recommend orthotics for my active patients. Especially runners.

If tendinitis goes untreated the tendon continues to wear down. This can lead to chronic swelling and possible tears of the tendon. This may require more advanced treatment, including immobilization in a boot or a cast. Other advanced techniques include amniotic or platelet-rich plasma injections. Both of these injections are rich in healing factors that can help accelerate the healing process in advance stage tendonitis. In some cases, further imaging may be needed to evaluate the tendon. Our practice has a new, state of the art extremity MRI to further evaluate these injuries. Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle is proud to have the most advanced treatment options in medicine today.

If you are experiencing symptoms of tendinitis, call and schedule an appointment to see one of our specialists today. We are here to keep your body healthy and make sure you exercise smart!

The key is early recognition!

How to Safely Treat a Corn on Your Foot

8 May 2020 Blog

If you notice you have formed a thickened layer of skin either on the bottom of your foot or on your toes, you may have developed a corn. Corns are similar to calluses, but are sore to the touch and can make simple activities, like putting on shoes, very painful. They may develop due to excess friction, typically caused by ill-fitting footwear. If you believe a corn has formed, it’s very important that you safely remove it. You should not use razor blades or knives in an effort to cut the corn off. Instead, soak your feet in a foot bath with warm water to soften the skin. Once soaked, use a pumice stone to file it down and apply lotion. For professional help and to remove your corn safely and properly, it’s suggested to seek the counsel of your local podiatrist.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctors to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them

How Can My Feet Become More Flexible While Working?

8 May 2020 Blog

Nursing is an example of a profession that requires standing and working on your feet for the majority of the day. Research has indicated it may be beneficial to rest the feet periodically during the day, which can be done by elevating them while eating or relaxing during a break. It can help to gently stretch the feet as well, which may generally help to improve the blood flow to the feet. Yoga has been known as an effective form of exercise that can be performed on days off, and this may help to increase flexibility and strength in the feet. If you would like additional information about how to protect your feet while working, please consult with a podiatrist.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Working on Your Feet

Foot Pain on the Golf Course By Dr. Summer Bochat

7 May 2020 All, Blog

When the weather starts to warm up, many people take to the golf courses to make the most of the Spring weather. Foot pain on the golf course can directly affect how well you play the game. 

Heel pain during stance can affect critical parts of your swing. Pain in the heels can also limit the amount of walking exercise you would get if it is painful to walk from tee to tee. 

Big toe joint pain can also be a problem, especially with the golf swing. Wear and tear to the big toe joint over time can lead to arthritis. This arthritis can be painful with activity, as well as limit the amount of motion that is available to the joint.

If you have pain in the ball of your foot, it can also affect your golf swing. During follow through of your swing you transfer weight from one foot to the other. Pain to the ball of the foot may be due to compression or irritation of the nerves to the ball of the foot.

If you are concerned about foot pain affecting your golf game, make an appointment with our office by calling 847.639.5800 for evaluation and treatment options!

For more on the news surrounding the May 1st rules on the Golf Courses re-opening please read this article:

Safe Running Tips During Covid-19

4 May 2020 Blog

Running is a great way to stay active and also maintain social distancing during these trying times. It is important to stay educated on how to reduce your risk of injury, especially for newer runners. Here are some educational tips to keep you running healthy.


Tendinitis is the wear and tear of tendons that control the motion of your joints. This is usually caused by overuse or misuse of tendons. This is very common in runners. Running puts 3-5 times the stress of your body weight on your tendons and joints. This can cause fatigue and swelling to the tendons, causing pain. It is important to work on good running form to reduce forces in the foot and the leg. More importantly, gradually increasing your mileage over time, can reduce injury risk. 

Plantar Fasciitis 

Plantar fasciitis is the most common reason for heel pain and very common in runners due to excessive force on the arch and heel. Making sure to perform stretches before and after running heavily reduces risks of a plantar fascia flare-up. Maintaining flexibility is the key to long term success for runners. Supportive devices such as orthotics can help support the arch and relieve dress off the plantar fascia.

Stress Fractures

With the repetitive stress that running causes the foot, the risk of bone weakening and breakdown can happen. This can cause a stress fracture. Although a stress fracture may not be a complete break of the bone, the pain and symptoms can be just as bad. Stress fractures typically involve swelling and bruising. Stress fractures require a period of rest and immobilization to heal completely. Proper shoes and orthotics to reduce abnormal pressures to the bone is vital to reduce recurrence.

Ankle Sprains

Unfortunate accidents can happen while running. Twisting the ankle is one of the most common running accidents. From stepping off a curb to a miss-step while running on a trail can lead to a bad ankle sprain. Making sure you run on smooth surfaces and keeping an eye on the terrain will help reduce risks of ankle sprains. It is important to rest and immobilize ankle sprains quickly to prevent long term ligament damage and to prevent an unstable ankle joint. Simple devices such as an ankle brace or a stabilizing orthotic can help reduce the risk of sprains but also keep you running.

When to see one of our specialists?

If you are experiencing:

  • Persistent pain that does not subside with rest, ice, and elevation
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Severe pain to where you cannot put pressure on your foot

Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists offer same day telehealth visits during the Covid-19 pandemic. Schedule an appointment today at 847-639-5800.

Footnote: According to the state of Illinois you must wear a mask; even while running; unless you can maintain 6 feet of distance between you and others at all times during the run. Most sports apparel companies sell special breathing masks for exercise.

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