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Tuesday, 30 July 2019 00:00

Gout is Arthritis

Gout is a painful condition that typically affects the joints of the big toe. It occurs as a result of excess uric acid in the bloodstream, which can cause crystals to form in the joints. Gout is a form of arthritis, and the symptoms that are most associated with this ailment often include swelling and redness surrounding the affected joints, severe pain and discomfort, and the area may feel warm. There are specific foods that have elevated purine levels, and this is a contributing factor to the onset of gout. These consist of red meat, alcohol, and certain types of seafood. It is beneficial to have a proper diagnosis performed, and this is often accomplished by extracting a portion of fluid that contains the crystals. Incorporating healthy lifestyle changes may be helpful in preventing future gout attacks. If you have this painful condition, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this ailment.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout

Heel pain is a rather common foot problem. The pain will usually occur under the heel, towards the front of the heel, or just behind it, where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel bone. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is pain under the heel. Other causes include arthritis, heel bursitis and bumps, tarsal tunnel syndrome, stress fractures, Sever’s disease and Achilles tendinitis. The most common remedies for heel pain are rest, proper fitting footwear and applying ice to the afflicted area. If you are experiencing some kind of heel pain, it is suggested to go see a podiatrist.

 

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

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 Frankfort, and Crete, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Monday, 22 July 2019 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a form of arthritis that can affect anyone. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Monday, 15 July 2019 00:00

Are Flip Flops Dangerous to Wear?

There are numerous people who enjoy the warm months of summer, and wearing flip flops is no exception. They are easy to wear, and are available in a multitude of colors. If they are worn for a minimum amount of time, there is typically limited damage that occurs. This type of shoe has no arch, and if they are worn frequently and for the majority of the day, the result may be overall foot pain. The plantar fascia may become sore, and this type of pain is felt on the bottom of the foot. Additionally, the toes will naturally grasp the top of the shoe so it can stay on the foot, and this can lead to strained ligaments. Some patients have endured ankle sprains, and the lack of support may cause the ankle to roll on one side. If you would like additional information about the dangers of wearing flip flops, please consult with a podiatrist.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. 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

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

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 Flip Flops and Your Feet

There are several systemic diseases that can both display symptoms in the feet and impact the health of the feet. Common systemic diseases in the foot include gout, diabetes mellitus, arthritis and neurological disorders such as diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. These can all have a significant impact on your feet. At the same time, these systemic diseases can be effectively treated to minimize both joint and muscle damage if they are diagnosed early and treated with medication. Diabetics with a systemic disease must closely monitor their blood sugar levels. People with arthritis that also have a systemic disease must ensure they are taking the proper treatments. If you feel you may have a systemic disease, it is important to see a podiatrist as soon as you can.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Dr. Bruce Smit from Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the 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 needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Foot
Monday, 01 July 2019 00:00

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury

The Achilles tendon is located at the back of the calf, and its function is to connect the heel to the calf muscles. It is important for this tendon to remain strong, as it is necessary in performing running and jumping activities. Achilles tendonitis occurs if it becomes irritated, inflamed, or swollen. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including increasing the intensity of a new sport, wearing inappropriate shoes while exercising, or from having tight calf muscles. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can include pain and discomfort near the heel, and some patients may have difficulty in flexing and pointing the injured foot. Effective treatment options can include resting the foot, performing exercises to strengthen the calf muscles, in addition to possibly wearing orthotics. If you feel you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is strongly advised to consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Monday, 24 June 2019 00:00

What Causes a Bunion to Develop?

If you notice a bony protrusion at the base of your big toe, you may have a bunion. A bunion is considered to be a bone deformity and may develop for specific reasons. These reasons can include certain genetic factors. The disorder causes the big toe to move toward the toe next to it, and the joint will gradually extend outward. There are additional reasons why bunions may form, which can include forms of arthritis, low arches, or foot injuries. The symptoms that are often associated with this condition are pain and discomfort on and near the affected area, swelling, numbness, and a burning sensation. Mild relief may be found when proper shoes are worn and when ceasing any activity that causes pain. If you have a bunion, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can treat this condition.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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.

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 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 Bunions
Saturday, 22 June 2019 00:00

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Monday, 17 June 2019 00:00

Is Heel Pain Common?

There are many people who experience heel pain at some point in their lives. It can originate from a variety of factors. These include the conditions known as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Achilles tendonitis. The former is caused by an inflamed band of tissue on the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia. This can occur as a result of overstretching the feet, and may be common in diabetic and obese patients. Heel spurs are described as a calcium growth that develops as the sole of the foot endures strain from daily activities, or from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. The latter condition can form when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed. This can arise from specific types of arthritis, or from excessive running and jumping activities. If you have any type of heel pain, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat foot conditions.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

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 Frankfort, and Crete, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

The Feet and the Gait Cycle

Walking is a task that occurs subconsciously for most people. However, the gait cycle, or the manner in which one walks, is a complex process. The gait cycle includes the nervous, musculoskeletal, and cardio-respiratory systems. Any dysfunction with the foot or ankle can disrupt this entire process. It is vital to understand the basic components of the gait cycle in order to know if your foot or ankle issue is causing complications. One part of the gait cycle is the various stances. The first form of contact that your foot has with the ground is the heel strike. This is when the ankle is in a neutral position. The next stance is when the foot is completely flat and the ankle is flexed. During mid-stance, when the body begins to move over the foot, the ankle begins to flex in the opposite direction. The fourth stance occurs when the heel lifts off of the ground. The final stance is when the toes leave the ground. If you have any foot or ankle complications, such as flat feet, calluses or hammertoes, the gait cycle may be disrupted. Considering how often most people walk, it is vital to discover any issues in this process as early as possible. It is suggested to consult with a podiatrist if you experience any issues while walking.

If you have any concerns about your feet, 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.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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 Biomechanics in Podiatry
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