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.

Read more about Athlete’s Foot

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 but are not limited to amniotic. 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: https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ct-illinois-golf-reopens-twosomes-only-20200424-es3wrcbsabgcnocneytefupqqe-story.html

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

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.

Laser Therapy Now Covered by Insurance!

1 May 2020 Blog

I want to share exciting news with all my patients.  Recently we determined most insurance plans are now covering medical laser therapy!  Now this includes both musculoskeletal / pain therapy lasers as well as nail laser used to treat toenail fungus.  Previously laser therapy was only available as a self-pay product.  Now that insurance carriers are covering the therapy we have seen a large increase in the number of patients that are able to be helped by this impressive technology.

Conditions that are treatable with the Lasers:

  • Joint Pain
  • Ankle & Foot Sprains
  • Arthritis Pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Post Surgery Recovery
  • Neuropathy / Nerve Pain / Neuromas
  • Inflammation & Swelling
  • Sore Muscles & Joints
  • Bursitis
  • Sports Injuries
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Toenail Fungus

The laser works by emitting light that enters the body and stimulates the injured/damaged tissue to regenerate and heal.  Red, near-infrared light causes a reaction and the damaged cells respond with a physiologic reaction that promotes healing.  The best part about this laser technology is it does not create heat and is fast and completely painless!

While most insurance companies are now covering laser therapy I am recommending to all my patients that can benefit from this technology to request us to check their insurance to verify their benefits.  Our staff will be happy to do the leg work for you, and then carefully review your benefits and options so that you can make an informed decision.

Dr. Peter F. Lovato

Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists

Board Qualified ABFAS -Foot, Reconstructive Rearfoot & Ankle Surgery

Director at Large Illinois Podiatric Medical Association

Director Cary-Grove Chamber of Commerce

JOB FAIR | May 9th 1-3pm

1 May 2020 Blog

Join us on Saturday, May 9th for a Job Fair!!

It will be hosted at our Crystal Lake office located at;

750 E Terra Cotta Ave, Unit C, Crystal Lake, IL 60014

We are hiring for the following roles:

  • Call Center (Cary Location)
  • Receptionist (Multiple Locations)
  • DME Coordinator
  • DME Lead
  • Site Manager (Hoffman Estates and Cary Locations)
  • IT (Part-Time)
  • Medical Assistant (All Locations)
  • Lead MA

To RSVP please email your resume & cover letter to christyj@illinoisfoot.com (PLEASE NO CALLS)

How Can I Tell If I Have a Hammertoe?

1 May 2020 Blog

Research has found that the second toe, next to the big toe, is most likely to develop a hammertoe if an injury occurs, along with other causes. Hammertoes typically occur due to genetic factors, ill-fitting footwear, or from arthritis. This condition is most notably recognized by the appearance of the affected toe. Like its name suggests, a hammertoe will typically point downward, in a hammer-like fashion. Hammertoes can be incredibly uncomfortable and can make completing daily tasks difficult. To help ease the pain of mild hammertoes, a professional may suggest wearing custom orthotics. For more severe cases, it may be necessary to have surgery performed in order to correct this ailment. For more advice on how to treat and correct a hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

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