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Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Foot Massages Are a Form of Foot Therapy

Research has indicated that a foot massage is a popular form of foot therapy. Many people enjoy the benefits of this type of therapy, and have realized the positive effects the overall body may enjoy. According to chinese medicine, when pressure is exerted on specific areas of the feet which is referred to as reflexology, it may aid in healing conditions that may be present in the body. Patients who endure chronic pain throughout the body may be helped by the practice of foot massages. Additionally, general pain throughout the body, lower back pain, and anxiety are uncomfortable ailments that may gradually ease when pressure is applied to certain pressure points in the feet. If you would like additional information about the benefits of foot therapy, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly guide you.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What to Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries
Published in Blog
Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Barefoot Running vs Running with Shoes

Barefoot running has become a trend in recent years. Many runners feel that they benefit from going shoeless and that shoes impede on their natural state. So what are the actual differences between running barefoot and running with shoes on? One of the main differences is how your foot hits the ground. Runners’ shoes usually hit the ground with their heels first, which creates a force up to three times the body’s weight. This amount of force can lead to certain injuries; two examples of these injuries are Achilles tendinitis and stress fractures. Barefoot runners strike the ground with the balls of their feet, which results in less force upon impact. Also, barefoot runners naturally shorten their strides, therefore reducing the force on their lower bodies. This reduced force automatically flexes joints, which creates a softer landing on hard surfaces. Shoes offer support that has made the muscles in feet move differently, because they don’t have to work as hard. Without shoes, your calves and feet will have to work harder to accommodate for the change in landing and your stride, but your body will be more attuned to your natural stride. If you are thinking about going barefoot while running, it is recommended that you consult a podiatrist first, especially if you have a history of foot problems.

Barefoot running has grown in popularity in recent years and has been found to offer some benefits over running in shoes. If you are interested in running barefoot, consult with Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and whether barefoot running is right for you.

What Is Barefoot Running?

While running shoes provide excellent support and protection to our feet, they can negatively impact the way we run. Those who run in shoes have been found to be more likely hit the ground with their heels first. This running style has been found to increase the risk of injury from ankle sprains, stress fractures, and Achilles tendinitis. Those who run barefoot tend to land on the balls of their feet which generates less impact.

Benefits of Running Barefoot

Some reported benefits of running barefoot include:

  • Less impact on the feet
  • Increased sensation and feedback from the feet
  • Increased efficiency from less weight from shoes
  • Potential for less injury from footwear
  • Reported increases in strength to foot and leg muscles

Downsides to Running Barefoot

  • Less protection from debris on the ground
  • Increased risk of contracting bacterial or fungal infection
  • Potential for injuries from overuse

Those with diabetes should avoid barefoot running at all costs. This is due to the risk of sustaining a wound that could become infected. If you do decide to run barefoot, inspect the area you are running in for lots of debris. Furthermore, it is best to start off slow and to not push yourself too hard the first time out, even if you run in shoes regularly. Another substitute for running shoes are minimalist shoes which reduce the weight of shoes but provide better protection.

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.

 

Read more about The Benefits of Barefoot Running
Published in Blog
Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Try Soft Soled Shoes for Baby's First Shoe

Research has shown that a baby’s foot is generally flexible and padded with fatty tissue until walking begins. Babies will typically begin walking at approximately 12 months of age and many toddlers are flat footed. This condition will generally disappear once walking has begun, and this may be a result of the increased strength of bones and muscles that are present in the feet. When the walking process starts, a soft soled shoe is ideal to begin wearing and this may enable the toddler to feel the ground while walking, in addition to protecting their feet. The correct shoe size may be determined by measuring your child’s feet frequently and this may aid in monitoring the speed of their growing feet. Please make sure there is plenty of room for the toes to move freely in, in addition to confirming the shoe is comfortable in width and length. It is suggested to consult with a podiatrist if you would like additional information about how to take care of children’s feet.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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.

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Published in Blog
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

If you have ever experienced an ingrown toenail, you may be familiar the pain and discomfort it may cause. It is defined as the result of the nail pushing into the skin as the growth process occurs. Many patients notice obvious symptoms that may accompany this condition, including swelling, redness and tenderness in the area surrounding the nail. Research has shown there may be several reasons why ingrown toenails may develop. These may consist of improperly trimming the toenails, wearing shoes and socks that may be too tight, or having a predisposed genetic trait. Moderate relief may be found in soaking the nail several times throughout the day, and this may ease the inflammation. If you have developed this ailment, it is important to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly extract an ingrown toenail.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Published in Blog
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Is Obesity Connected to Plantar Fasciitis?

Research has shown there are several uncomfortable foot conditions that may develop as a result of being overweight. The excess weight may put additional pressure on the plantar fascia, which is the tissue that connects the heel to the toes. If this tissue should become torn or inflamed, the condition that is known as plantar fasciitis may develop. It is known to cause severe pain and discomfort and the ability to perform daily activities may be compromised. The pain is typically felt in the heel and surrounding areas and wearing custom-made orthotics may provide a moderate level of relief. Patients who are obese may have trouble in practicing a routine exercise regime, and this may be a result of the inability to move freely, often caused by uncomfortable heel pain. If you have any form of heel pain, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can properly guide you to correct treatment options.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and Your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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 Obesity and the Feet
Published in Blog
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