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What Could Be Causing Pain in My Heel?

21 Sep 2021 Blog

Heel pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek the care of a podiatrist. There are a number of conditions that trigger heel pain, with the leading cause being plantar fasciitis. This is a condition in which the plantar fascia—the long band of connective tissue spanning the bottom of the foot from heel to toe—becomes inflamed and painful from overuse, improper footwear, or other factors. Pain in the back of the heel, where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone, is typically due to overuse and repetitive strain. When the fat pads that cushion the heel bone thin down with age (fat pad atrophy) pain can be felt in the heel. A painful bump or redness at the back of your heel are symptoms of Haglund’s deformity. This condition occurs when a bony enlargement causes inflammation in the soft tissue and bursa sac near the Achilles tendon. Psoriatic arthritis can cause inflammation, stiffness, and pain in joints where tendons and ligaments connect with bones, such as the heel. Heel pain may even be a symptom of heel spurs. If you experience any pain, stiffness, or other discomfort in your heel, make an appointment with a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat your condition.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please 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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Foot Pain in Diabetic Patients

14 Sep 2021 Blog

Foot pain that is common among diabetic patients is often caused by elevated blood sugar levels. Intense pain and poor circulation in the feet can be a result of damaged nerve endings that is caused by high glucose levels. Patients who have diabetic foot pain can experience tingling sensations, numbness, and existing wounds may take longer to heal. Some of the foot conditions that can develop if foot pain is left untreated can include calluses, ulcers, cracked skin, and possible amputations. Methods that can be implemented which may help to avoid diabetic foot problems can consist of incorporating exercise and healthy eating habits into your daily routine, and checking your feet daily for cuts and bruises. Additionally, it can be beneficial to wear shoes while inside, as this may limit the number of wounds that can develop on the feet. If you have diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively help you to manage this condition.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, 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.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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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Morton’s Neuroma Treatments

7 Sep 2021 Blog

Morton’s neuroma is a condition in which a nerve in the ball of your foot is compressed as surrounding tissues thicken due to injury. Typically the nerve between the third and fourth toes is affected. This can lead to symptoms such as burning pain, tingling, and numbness in the ball of the foot, as well as the strange sensation that you are walking with a pebble in your shoe. Treatments for Morton’s neuroma vary based on the severity of the symptoms. Conservative treatments like footwear modifications and over the counter pain medications are often effective. In cases where conservative treatments fail, steroid injections directly into the foot or decompression surgery may help. For more information about Morton’s neuroma please consult with a podiatrist.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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 care needs.

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Ankle Sprains and Fractures

31 Aug 2021 Blog

The ankle is designed to help move the foot in various directions as well as support the body. Many patients have ankle pain  that is a result of a disease of the ankle joint, or from an injury that has occurred. A twisted ankle may be the result of unexpectedly stepping off of a curb which can affect the surrounding tendons and ligaments. Other medical conditions that can cause ankle pain include osteoporosis which may weaken the bones in the ankle leading to an increased risk of a fracture. If you have sprained or fractured your ankle, please speak with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat your ankle injuries.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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 care needs.

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Can I Wear Running Shoes for Walking Too?

24 Aug 2021 Blog

If you are new to the world of working out, you may be wondering what type of shoes to get. Running shoes are often found in shoe stores, but what if you just want to walk? Can you still wear running shoes? The answer is yes, but you may want to consider the differences between running and walking shoes. Running shoes have more cushioning and support than walking shoes. This is to protect the feet against the pounding and stronger impacts that occur while running. Running shoes are also less flexible than walking shoes. Finally, because running generates more heat than walking, running shoes are generally made of more breathable materials than walking shoes. Unfortunately, walking shoes can be more difficult to find than running shoes. Stores that sell them often have a limited selection of styles and colors relative to other types of shoes. If you are unsure of what kind of shoes would best suit your needs, a podiatrist can examine your feet and provide you with suggestions on what to look for when shopping for the right pair of shoes for you. 

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

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 care needs.

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Preventing Tinea Pedis

17 Aug 2021 Blog

Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot, is a common fungal infection which affects the skin of the feet. Athlete’s foot causes the skin to become red, itchy, painful, cracked, or flaky. The skin may also peel. More severe infections can involve oozing blisters and a foul odor coming from the feet. Although it is contagious, this very unpleasant fungal infection can be prevented. Fungus thrives in warm, moist places like public pools, locker rooms, and showers. If you frequent these areas, avoid doing so barefoot. Always wear shoes to protect your feet. Keeping your feet cool and dry is also key to making them inhospitable to fungi. Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe, and moisture-wicking socks. You should also avoid sharing personal items like shoes, socks, or towels with others, as fungi can spread through indirect contact with an infected person. If you have symptoms of athlete’s foot, please seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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 care needs.

 

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What Is This Pain in the Ball of My Foot?

10 Aug 2021 Blog

The metatarsal bones connect the toes with the mid-and-hind-foot bones. Because they are weight-bearing bones, they can become overly pressured, which can cause pain or burning in the ball of the foot, or a tingling/numb feeling in the toes. When this occurs, it is known as metatarsalgia.  It is believed that women may be more at risk for developing metatarsalgia, along with those who wear high heels extensively or have a job that requires prolonged standing. Metatarsalgia may also be preceded by bunions or other foot conditions like hammertoes or Morton’s neuroma. If you have pain in the ball of your foot, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam. If you are diagnosed with metatarsalgia, custom metatarsal orthotics, shoe modifications, and other treatments may be used to help ease the pain you are experiencing.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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 care needs.

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Flip Flops Are Not Friendly to Your Feet

3 Aug 2021 Blog

Flip flops may be an easy, breezy accessory for warm weather, but there are many reasons why they are not good for your feet. They offer little to no support or cushioning which can lead to heel pain and problems with your Achilles tendons. You are more likely to trip wearing flip flops, and they can lead to tired, achy feet. They offer no protection from injuries or sun exposure. The worst part is that they can change your foot biomechanics and posture. Your toe muscles need to continuously grip them to keep them on, and they shorten your gait and turn your ankles inward. Contact a podiatrist if you have any pain, instability, or other problems in your feet or ankles caused by flip flops.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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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Hard, Soft, and Seed Corns

27 Jul 2021 Blog

Corns are a buildup of hard skin that usually occurs on the tops or sides of the toes. They get their name from their appearance, which resembles a corn kernel. There are three types of corns: hard, soft, and seed. A hard corn is small, made up of dead skin, and has a packed center. A soft corn is more pliable and typically found between the fourth and fifth toes. A seed corn is tiny, but can be very tender and painful depending on its location. Unlike hard and soft corns, seed corns are usually found on the soles of the feet. Corns generally arise due to friction from ill-fitting shoes or socks. If you have corns on your feet that are bothering you it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist.

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions 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 are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

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

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist 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 Everything You Need to Know About Corns

Vascular Testing For Peripheral Artery Disease

20 Jul 2021 Blog

Poor circulation in the lower limbs can be a sign of peripheral artery disease (PAD). This is a serious condition that can cause leg cramps, muscle weakness, numbness, tingling, foot and ankle wounds, and difficulty walking. Older individuals and those with a history of cardiovascular problems are said to be particularly at risk. Your podiatrist can play a major role in detecting, diagnosing, and helping you manage PAD. Podiatrists can perform diagnostic vascular tests in the clinic. These tests are safe and noninvasive ways to assess blood flow in your lower limbs. Frequently used tests include the Ankle-Brachial Index test and Doppler ultrasonography. To learn more about PAD and to get tested, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist near you.  

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 one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors 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 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 care needs.

 

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