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April 2020

Monday, 27 April 2020 00:00

Painful Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain may occur after suddenly twisting it. This may happen from falling, or from unexpectedly stepping off of a curb. It occurs as a result of ligaments stretching beyond their normal capabilities, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. Many people who enjoy running may ignore the symptoms of a sprained ankle, and will continue to run. This is not recommended, as it may impact the gait, which can lead to changes in the running style. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which generally involves having an X-ray taken, proper treatment can begin. This may consist of wrapping the ankle in an elastic bandage, which can provide the stability that is necessary as the healing process begins. Gentle stretching exercises may gradually be introduced, which may be helpful in strengthening the overall foot. Please consult with a podiatrist if you have sprained your ankle so they can recommend the best type of treatment method for you.

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

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

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Monday, 20 April 2020 00:00

High Heels and Foot Conditions

There are a variety of shoes that can be worn that are designed to make the legs and feet appear slender and lean. One of these types of shoes are high heels, which are popular among many women. When high heels are frequently worn, the shape of the toes and toenails may change, and foot conditions, that may include bunions and blisters, may gradually develop. Additionally, the heel may be impacted, and wearing high heels for the majority of the day may lead to heel spurs or plantar fasciitis. Research has indicated that the Achilles tendon may become shorter when these types of shoes are worn, and this may cause difficulty in pointing and flexing the foot. If you would like more information about what the effect high heels may have on the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, 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.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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.

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Friday, 17 April 2020 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

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The painful foot condition that is known as gout typically occurs in men who are between forty and fifty years old. There may be existing factors that can lead to the formation of gout. These can consist of genetic factors, being overweight, and consuming foods that are rich in purines. Additionally, people who have high blood pressure, thyroid conditions, or kidney failure may be susceptible to developing gout. It occurs as a result of excess uric acid in the bloodstream and can cause sensations that resemble crystals attacking the joints in the feet and hands. Common symptoms often include extreme pain and discomfort in the big toe and surrounding area, and it may become difficult to walk. If you are afflicted with gout attacks, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. 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 form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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.

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Research has indicated that there are many benefits of running. People who enjoy this sport are often aware of the positive aspects cardiovascular exercise can provide. These may include producing endorphins, keeping the heart and body healthy, and shedding excess weight. Many runners know the importance of warming up before and after a run, as this may be helpful in preventing running injuries. Achilles tendonitis is a common running injury. This tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel, and can become quite painful if it becomes torn or injured. This type of injury can possibly be prevented by performing heel raises, and this may be beneficial in strengthening the calves. Additionally, patients may experience plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the portion of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. A common prevention technique can include wearing shoes that fit correctly, and practicing specific foot stretches. If you would like additional information about how running injuries can affect the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Bruce Smit of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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.

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