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April 2021

Monday, 26 April 2021 00:00

What Can Be Done for Hammertoes?

Hammertoes are a common foot deformity in which the toes bend downward at the middle joint, causing the toes to develop a claw or hammer-like appearance. When this occurs, the toes may feel stiff and painful, and finding comfortable shoes that don’t rub up against the bent toes and cause corns and calluses can be difficult. In their early stages, hammertoes are usually still flexible and can be managed with conservative treatments such as wearing orthotics. As hammertoes progress, they can become rigid, and you may no longer be able to straighten your toes. In these cases, surgery is sometimes suggested to straighten the toes and alleviate pain. If you have hammertoes, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please 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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Tuesday, 20 April 2021 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

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If you are a runner, stretching the feet helps strengthen them, improve their flexibility, and prevent foot injuries. There are several simple foot stretches that you can do prior to and after running. One exercise that can help stretch the plantar fascia ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot is the foot flex. You can do this stretch by sitting down in a chair with one foot placed on top of your knee. Use your hands to gently press your foot into a pointed position and hold for several seconds. Then gently pull your foot into a flexed position and hold for several seconds. Repeat 10 times on each foot. For more information about the benefits of stretching your feet, please 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. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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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Many people have had blisters on their feet at some point in their lives. They can be bothersome, and may hinder performing daily activities. They generally develop as a result of excess pressure that occurs from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or from routinely performing the same activities which often includes running. A blister is defined as a small area on the skin that resembles a bubble, and is filled with liquid. This is the body’s natural defense for protection when an injury occurs that affects the skin. The blister will gradually drain as new skin forms. Runners may find it beneficial to wear a protective covering over the blisters, as this may keep the blister from draining prematurely. If you would like additional information about how to treat blisters and prevent them from developing, please consult with a podiatrist.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can 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.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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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The tarsal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the inside of the ankle that protects the veins, tendons, arteries and nerves within it, such as the tibial nerve. Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve becomes compressed. Symptoms range from a shooting pain, numbness, or a burning/tingling sensation anywhere along the tibial nerve from the ankle down through the heel, arch, and even toes. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome (which occurs in the wrist) in that both conditions involve a nerve being compressed within a confined space. Common causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome include flat feet, ankle sprains, diabetes and arthritis, and other conditions that contribute to compressing, or squeezing the tibial nerve. It’s important to seek prompt treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome because if left untreated the condition may permanently damage the tibial nerve. If you believe you are suffering from tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact a podiatrist who can properly diagnose your condition and provide a variety of treatments and therapies.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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 Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
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