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September 2017

Monday, 25 September 2017 00:00

How to Prevent Falls in Your Home

As we get older, our senses and balance begin to wane and the chance of us experiencing a serious fall increases significantly. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the number one cause of fatal injury among older adults and the leading cause for trauma-related hospital admissions. Even more disturbing, every 19 minutes an elderly person dies from a fall. Following the subsequent tips can help prevent falls among the elderly. To start, remove excess clutter and any debris on the floor. Wearing shoes and socks that provide more grip and having skid-proof rugs are a great way to prevent falls. Exercise classes for the elderly can help increase strength and balance; living a sedentary lifestyle and not getting any physical activity actually makes falls more likely. Proper lighting is another key feature that can also help, and automatic night lights can be very useful for illuminating late night trips to the bathroom. Having your eyes and ears checked by a doctor and making sure that your medications do not cause balance loss is vital. Finally, using a cane or walker and installing railings in bathrooms and on both sides of the stairs can provide further support and help prevent falls.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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, 18 September 2017 00:00

Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis and heel pain can both be very painful and uncomfortable. While stretching won’t eliminate the pain, it can help mitigate it. Some stretches that you can perform include the quadruped stretch, isolated calf raise, and even a foot massage. Before you do these, ask your podiatrist whether stretching is right for you. To do a quadruped stretch, get on all fours and spread your toes on the floor. Next, lean back slowly and sit on your heels while holding this position for 30 seconds. For isolated calf raises, lunge with your left leg forward and right leg back. Then, with your right foot flat, lift up onto the ball of your right foot. Do this for 10-15 reps on each side and for three repetitions. To massage your foot, push down on the center of the bottom of the foot and use a circular motion while applying pressure. These stretches will not eliminate plantar fasciitis and are only meant to temporarily reduce pain. If you have heel pain, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist who can offer effective treatment strategies.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon  from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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, 11 September 2017 00:00

Caring for Your Diabetic Child’s Feet

Diabetes presents a number of problems for those who have it. This is especially true for children, who are more likely to sustain a foot injury from playing. Due to decreased sensitivity, a child may not realize they have a wound and not tell their parent. Coupled with poor blood circulation, the wound may not heal and may become infected; this could be very dangerous and, in extreme cases, potentially result in amputation. Both parents and children should know what to look for and how to care for diabetic feet. This includes doing daily foot inspections for wounds or any abnormal signs. Diabetic children should wash their feet with warm water and make sure to dry them properly. Make sure to avoid extremely hot and cold environments, and check the water temperature first before washing. Children should also avoid walking barefoot. Be sure to inspect shoes for any objects inside and to ensure the interior is smooth. Finally, seeing a podiatrist for an examination several times a year is highly recommended.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. 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 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.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 00:00

Preventing Foot Injuries for the Active Elderly

Compared to younger athletes, elderly athletes are more likely to suffer a foot injury as they get older. Foot conditions and injuries that affect all ages include plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, stress fractures, and Morton’s neuroma. While the sport one plays can vary, there are certain things that athletes of all ages can do to prevent foot injuries. Wearing an ankle brace can help prevent sprains, while quality footwear can prevent foot pain. Proper arch support can be the difference between comfort and discomfort. Custom orthotics may be necessary for some people who have flat or unsupported feet. Stretching is vital, and everyone should stretch not only before an activity but after as well. Finally, keeping your feet dry by changing socks and using foot powder can prevent conditions like athlete’s foot. If you are an elderly athlete, be sure to see a podiatrist to see if certain activities are right for you.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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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