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Monday, 10 August 2020 00:00

Sever’s Disease: An Overuse Injury

Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is not a disease at all, but rather an overuse injury. This condition affects the growth plate of the heel bone and is therefore most common in children and teenagers who are still rapidly growing. Sever’s disease causes inflammation in the heel, stiffness in the foot, and pain when standing, walking, running or jumping that usually improves with rest. Children who are involved in sports are the most at risk for developing Sever’s disease because they put frequent, repetitive pressure on the heel. Other risk factors for developing this condition include wearing ill-fitting shoes, having flat arches or pronated feet, and obesity. If your child is experiencing heel pain and stiffness, it is recommended that you take them to a podiatrist for treatment.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Frankfort, and Crete, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
Monday, 03 August 2020 00:00

All About Broken Toes

The pain that is experienced with a broken toe can be debilitating. It may be difficult to walk, and any pressure that is exerted on the toe can cause severe pain and discomfort. A common cause of a broken toe is stubbing it against a piece of furniture. Additionally, if a heavy object is dropped on it, the result may be a fractured toe. Symptoms can include bruising of the toe and surrounding areas, and in severe cases, the toe may look deformed. In many cases effective treatment can consist of using a method that is referred to as buddy taping. This consists of taping the affected toe to the toe next to it, and this is often helpful in providing the stability that is necessary as the healing process occurs. If you feel you may have a broken toe, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can offer you correct treatment options.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Bruce Smit of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Frankfort, and Crete, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Monday, 27 July 2020 00:00

Fungus and Athlete's Foot

The foot condition that is known as athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus. This type of fungus is referred to as tinea pedis, and lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These can include public shower room floors, locker rooms, pools, and their surrounding areas. Some of the symptoms that patients experience may include red and itchy skin, especially between the toes and the bottom of the feet, and small blisters, which may develop in severe cases. There are methods that can be implemented which can help to control the spread of athlete's foot. These can consist of wearing appropriate shoes while frequenting these types of areas, and avoiding sharing towels, shoes, and socks. Mild relief may be found when an antifungal powder or spray is used. If you are afflicted with this type of fungus, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can prescribe medicine that can promote recovery.

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 Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor 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 Frankfort, and Crete, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
Monday, 20 July 2020 00:00

Types of Foot Pain

Each foot consists of twenty six bones, numerous ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Everyday wear and tear or an injury can compromise general foot function, and uncomfortable foot conditions may occur. A bunion is a bony formation that develops on the side of the big toe, and can happen from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Blisters can occur on the back of the heel or on the bottom of the feet, and this is generally a result of increased friction. A corn is a hardened area that can gradually develop on top of the toes or between them, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. If you have these or other conditions that can lead to chronic foot pain, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment techniques.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor 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 Frankfort, and Crete, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Foot Pain
Friday, 17 July 2020 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

While flip-flops are commonly worn in the summer, over-wearing them can cause potential problems for the feet. Due to the lack of support flip-flops provide, the toes often over-grip the shoe, which can lead to multiple foot conditions. This over-gripping can cause tendonitis to occur and can potentially make existing bunions or hammertoes worse. The strain of the grip can also lead to irritating the plantar fascia and may cause the ailment known as plantar fasciitis. The lack of support from flip-flops can also lead to a higher potential of an ankle sprain. Since there are so many risks involved, it is important to find a flip-flop that is supportive by having thicker straps and soles, as well as an arch support. If you are experiencing any type of foot pain due to your flip-flops, it is important that you consult with a podiatrist for proper care and different ways to implement preventative measures.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor 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 Frankfort, and Crete, IL.  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flip Flops and Feet
Monday, 06 July 2020 00:00

The Heel and Plantar Fasciitis

A common symptom of the medical condition that is known as plantar fasciitis is mild to severe heel pain. The plantar fascia is the portion of tissue that connects the heel to the toes, and severe pain and discomfort can result from possible inflammation. This can happen from standing on hard surfaces for the majority of the day, or from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Additionally, people who are overweight may experience this condition as the feet endure the weight of the body. Mild relief may be found when the affected foot is elevated, and specific foot stretches are performed. If you have heel pain, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can diagnose plantar fasciitis and begin effective treatment methods.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Bruce Smit  from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Frankfort, and Crete, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 29 June 2020 00:00

What Causes Blisters?

Blisters form when the skin raises into a bubble and becomes filled with fluid. Blisters can form anywhere on the foot where the foot and shoe rub together and cause irritation and friction. However, the most common blisters occur on the sides of the foot or on the back of the heel. Blisters can form due to excess friction caused by any repetitive motion, therefore having properly fitted shoes, and shoes designed for your activities, are key to preventing blisters. If you find that you are frequently experiencing blisters, it is important that you consult with a podiatrist about your treatment options, such as shoe inserts. 

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Bruce Smit of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Frankfort, and Crete, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Blisters on the Feet

If you are someone who struggles with diabetes, neuropathy, or poor circulation, you may be aware of the benefits stretching has for the body, particularly the feet. Staying active by going for walks or performing routine stretches and exercises can be helpful for improving blood circulation within the feet. Ankle pumping, for example, is a great stretch you can perform by laying down on your back with your feet straight ahead, and flexing your toes upwards. You can even perform useful stretches while seated. Heel raises, for example, is a stretch that is done by sitting in a chair, and slowly raising your heels, holding for three seconds, and lowering them back down. You can do one heel at a time, or raise both heels together. This stretch can also be performed standing straight up and lifting the heels as well. For more advice on what stretches can help to benefit the functionality of your feet, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Frankfort, and Crete, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet
Wednesday, 17 June 2020 00:00

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

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