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December 2017

Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:00

Possible Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis

A disease involving the immune system in which the joints are inflamed is rheumatoid arthritis. Standing and walking may often become difficult, as these movements involve use of the joints. Recent research has shown that common treatments for this condition may include anti-inflammatory drugs or surgery if no other option is available. Occasionally the feet may produce symptoms indicative of rheumatoid arthritis, such as stiffness and pain in the ankle that spreads throughout the foot. It has been shown that there may be a link between higher body weight and this particular form of arthritis developing faster than other forms. Certain remedies may bring comfort, including choosing shoes that have proper arch support. Stretching may be another option, possibly relieving pain and providing joint mobility. Consult with your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment if you think have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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

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Published in Blog
Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

Reasons for Stretching the Feet

There are numerous bones, joints and muscles in the foot, therefore making it a complicated structure. The intrinsic muscles that are attached to the foot help in forward movement and maintaining balance, whereas the extrinsic muscles allow pointing and flexing of the foot to occur. It’s important to stretch these muscles to avoid certain painful conditions, such as plantar fasciitis. Sitting in a chair with your right foot on top of your left thigh and pulling the toes of your right foot back until you feel a pull on the bottom of the foot is an effective way to stretch these muscles. Repeating a few times with each foot will help the muscles stay limber, in addition to restoring the foot’s natural motion. Helping the arches stay strong by performing proper stretches may be beneficial for flat-footed patients. Please consult a podiatrist for foot stretches that are recommended for you.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. 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 Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 11 December 2017 00:00

Causes of Cracked Heels

If left untreated, minor cracked heels can worsen and turn into painful openings or fissures. There are numerous causes for cracked heels; some may be aging, skin conditions, and vitamin deficiency. The older you get, the more the skin loses its ability to stretch, which can lead to the skin cracking. Standing for long periods of time in ill-fitting shoes may be an additional reason for cracked heels. Calluses may develop, causing pain and pressure associated with walking and running, possibly causing small cracks to develop and even bleeding to occur. Typically, the skin will become red and inflamed, and some patients may feel a decrease in sensitivity in the heels.  Remedies may include topical creams and pumice stones, which may help in the removal of dead skin. Additionally, custom-made orthotics may be another treatment option. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised for learning about other ways to treat and prevent cracked heels.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

Does Your Child Have Sever’s Disease?

If your child has heel pain it could be an indication of Sever’s disease, or the inflammation of the growth plate of the heel. It can be caused by an increase in physical activity such as running or from having a tight Achilles tendon. This condition may be painful; it can cause limping or walking on the toes in order to keep the heel from striking the ground. Sever's disease commonly occurs in physically active children aged 8 to 12. Because the foot grows rapidly throughout youth, the condition often develops during the first stage of puberty. Basically, the muscles have difficulty keeping up with the rapid growth of the bones. The tendons will typically tighten around the heel, preventing flexibility and causing pain. Common treatments may include stretching exercises, wearing pads in the heels, or possibly using ice for relief. Avoid physical activity while your child heals. If you feel your child may have Sever’s disease, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. 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 Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
Published in Blog
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