If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right.Switch to Accessible Site
Our Crete office has closed. Please call our Frankfort Office for appointments.
We are OPEN and following CDC Guidelines.

Blog

Blog

Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

Foot-Strengthening Exercises for Runners

Having strong and flexible feet is very important for every runner because the feet bear 2-3 times our body weight at the first point of contact with the ground while running. Strengthening the feet with the following exercises will help with flexibility, stability, and proper foot alignment. First, kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels and have your toes curled underneath you. Rock side to side on your toes to give them a good stretch, and then come up on all fours into a down-dog position and press your heels down. Repeat the cycle five times. Another good exercise is to stand with a ball under the base of the toes on one foot. Apply your weight to the ball, and then slowly curl your toes to grip the ball and then extend your toes straight. Do this ten times. You can then move the ball underneath the ball of the foot and curl the foot and toes around the ball and then extend straight. Repeat this ten times as well, and then switch to the other foot. You can also strengthen the toes and feet by standing with your feet hip length apart. Raise just your big toe on one foot and hold it there for two seconds while the other toes stay on the ground. Then, place the big toe down and raise the other toes, holding them there for two seconds. Be careful not to let the foot roll inward. Repeat this twenty times before switching feet. For additional foot exercises and advanced tips on keeping your feet healthy as a runner, contact a podiatrist.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Bruce Smit, DPM of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

What to Do After a Stress Fracture

The long metatarsal bones of the foot connect the ankle to the toes. Excessive running, jumping, dancing, or other repetitive activities can cause hairline fractures in these bones, causing a condition known as a stress fracture. This is different from an acute break, caused by a fall or other sudden or traumatic injury. Stress fractures can also be the result of osteoporosis, or thinning of bones, arthritis, or nerve damage due to diabetes. Some ways to ease the pain include resting the foot, keeping it elevated, using a walker or crutches, and taking over-the-counter pain medication. You can return to normal activities when pain is no longer present. However, stress fractures can last from four to six weeks. If pain worsens or persists, please consult a podiatrist for further treatment.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Bruce Smit, DPM from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Fractures in the toes and metatarsals (long bones in the midfoot that connect to the toe bones) can be quite painful and should not be taken lightly. Breaks can either be traumatic (acute) that occur instantly due to an injury, or can be stress fractures which develop over time. Traumatic fractures can cause a bone to become misaligned in certain cases. You may hear a snap at the moment of impact and you may even notice that the toe is crooked or misshapen in some way. Pain may be felt at the site of the injury, and bruising and swelling may occur the following day. With a stress fracture, any pain felt while using the affected foot may subside when you rest, and although you may notice swelling there should be no apparent bruising. It is important to see a podiatrist for any broken bone in your toe or metatarsal, even if you have been treated initially at an emergency room. Proper treatment and rehabilitation will help avoid future complications like an improperly healed bone, mobility issues, difficulty wearing shoes, deformities, chronic pain, or arthritis in the joint.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Bruce Smit, DPM from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Tuesday, 02 November 2021 00:00

Psoriasis on the Feet

Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by a red, scaly rash that can appear anywhere on the body, including on the feet. Although there are different types of psoriasis, the most common type is plaque psoriasis. With this type of psoriasis, red, dry patches of skin can form. The scales of the dry skin can get itchy and sore, crack, and even bleed. Another type of psoriasis seen on the feet is palmoplantar pustulosis, which is characterized by tiny, pus-filled blisters on the soles of the feet. Psoriasis is sometimes confused with athlete’s foot, but there are several key differences. While athlete’s foot typically affects the areas between the toes, is itchy, and can make the toenails yellow and brittle, psoriasis typically affects the soles of the feet, causes pain and soreness, can make nails swollen or pitted, and causes joint stiffness. If you have a rash or blisters on your feet, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Bruce Smit, DPM 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 are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can 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.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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

Read more about Blisters
Tuesday, 26 October 2021 00:00

Can Children Develop Toenail Fungus?

While onychomycosis (toenail fungus) is a common condition, it can be rare among infants and children. This is because children’s nails are smaller and grow faster—making their toenails less hospitable to the fungus. However, when pediatric onychomycosis occurs, it should be dealt with swiftly and properly, as it is not good for a child to have any type of infection. Of course, prevention is always the best option, and something that should be highlighted as most children contract onychomycosis from someone in their own home. Don’t share toenail clippers, soap, towels or other personal grooming items with your child. Encourage them to keep their feet clean and dry, and to always wear clean socks and shoes, as well as flip-flops in public showers, locker rooms and around pools. If your child does develop toenail fungus, understand that what may be appropriate treatment for an adult, may not be safe for a child. If your child’s nails are thickened, brittle, crumbling, or yellowish, bring them to a podiatrist to receive an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Bruce Smit, DPM of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Tuesday, 19 October 2021 00:00

All About Bunionectomies

A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure that is used to remove a bunion and bring the big toe (and any other affected structures in the foot) back into proper alignment. During the surgery, anesthesia is used to numb your foot. The surgeon then makes one or more incisions near the bunion to remove extra bone or tissue, realign the bones, or straighten the toe. In some cases, the toe joint may be operated on to rebuild or repair it. Bunionectomies are typically outpatient procedures, which means that you will get to go home the same day as your surgery. You may be given a toe spacer, post-surgical shoe, or mobility device to help hold your foot in the right position and keep weight off of it while you heal. It can take several months to fully recover. To learn more about bunion surgery and to find out if it’s the right treatment for you, please speak with a podiatrist. 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Bruce Smit, DPM of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

Have You Broken Your Ankle? 

broken ankle is a fracture in one or more of the three ankle bones: the talus, fibula, and tibia. This injury may produce symptoms such as pain of varying degrees, tenderness, bruising, and swelling. In the most severe cases, your ankle may have become misshapen, or a bone may be protruding. Applying weight to the affected ankle may be limited or impossible. If you believe you may have broken an ankle, seeking the care of a podiatrist is very important to receive prompt and proper care. This will help prevent your injury from worsening or becoming infected, while making sure your ankle heals properly. After a thorough examination and diagnostic testing, the podiatrist will present you with the best course of treatment for your particular situation. They may help relieve pain and swelling with icing, elevation and prescription painkillers, and use stabilization methods (splints, casts, or boots) to allow it to heal. You will be instructed about when weight may be applied to the affected foot again. If your fracture is severe, your podiatrist may advise that surgery is needed to repair damaged bones, realign the ankle, and avoid long term complications.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact Bruce Smit, DPM from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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

Read more about All About Broken Ankles
Sunday, 10 October 2021 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 00:00

Why Do I Get Foot Cramps?

Foot cramps are spasms that occur in the muscles of the feet, most typically on the top of the foot, in the arch, and surrounding the toes. These spasms can be quite painful and may even lock your muscles and prevent movement until they subside. Foot cramps that occur occasionally are likely no cause for alarm, but if they are chronic and interfere with your ability to perform daily functions, you should go see a podiatrist to have them diagnosed. Possible causes of foot cramps can include dehydration, which starves muscles and causes them to malfunction, tight shoes that cut off circulation and restrict movement, peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), certain medications, and excessive exercising which strains the foot muscles. Additionally, insufficient amounts of potassium in your body—which controls nerve and muscle cell functionality—may contribute to foot cramping. If foot cramps are becoming frequent or more severe, contact a podiatrist.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Bruce Smit, DPM 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 our office located in Frankfort, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Foot Pain
Page 1 of 16
Connect with us