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June 2020

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.

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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.

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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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Monday, 15 June 2020 00:00

How Gout Can Affect the Feet

Gout is an inflammatory form of arthritis that often causes a great deal of foot pain for those affected. One common symptom of gout that negatively affects a patient is called gout flares. These flares cause extreme pain in the joints affected by gout, typically in the toes. When crystals form on the joints due to high levels of uric acid, the joints may become both tender and inflamed. The pain felt due to gout can be excruciating if left untreated. Even the slightest touch can cause a patient to feel a great deal of discomfort. Since gout commonly affects the lower extremity regions of the body, it is recommended to visit a podiatrist for professional care and treatment when dealing with this condition.

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.

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The tissue that connects the heel to the calf muscles is referred to as the Achilles tendon. This tendon is responsible for the ability to walk, run, and jump, and these activities may be difficult to perform if it becomes injured or torn. This type of injury can occur as a result of exercising on an uneven surface or from wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Additionally, if the calf muscles are tight, the Achilles tendon may endure stress, and this can possibly lead to a rupture. Common symptoms many patients experience can  include severe pain in the calf difficulty in pointing and flexing the affected foot. If you have endured an injury to the Achilles tendon, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you with 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.

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Monday, 01 June 2020 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Hammertoe

A common foot condition that affects the toes is referred to as hammertoe. The middle joint in the second toe curls up, forcing the end of the toe to bend downward. The affected toe can resemble a hammer, and additional symptoms may include pain and discomfort. Corns and blisters can also develop on top of the extended toe. Hammertoe can occur as a result of genetic factors, and from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. There may be an existing bunion that can cause pressure on the affected toes. Many patients find it beneficial to perform specific foot and toe stretches that may help to relieve a portion of the pain. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended that can permanently straighten the toes. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can offer you correct treatment techniques.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Bruce Smit of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best 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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