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Biomechanics and its related study deal with the forces that act against the body and affect things like our movement. In podiatry, biomechanics are studied to determine the movement of the ankle, toes, and the foot, as well as the forces that impact them. Podiatrists who train in this specialty are able to effectively diagnose and treat conditions that affect people’s everyday movement.

Regardless of your lifestyle, age, or any other factors, many people experience foot problems throughout their lives. Twists and turns, improper balance, and added weight are just a few of the things that can add stress to the feet. These issues can also limit our bodies’ mobility that we often take for granted. Pain in the feet and ankles can also trickle up towards the lower legs, knees, hip, and even back area. This affects the way you move around on a daily basis.

Biomechanics and its related study deal with forces that act against the body and affect things like our movement. In podiatry, biomechanics are studied to determine the movement of the ankle, toes, and the foot, as well as the forces that impact them. Podiatrists who train in this specialty are able to effectively diagnose and treat conditions that affect people’s everyday movement.

Regardless of your lifestyle, age, or any other factors, many people experience foot problems throughout their lives. Twists and turns, improper balance, and added weight are just a few of the things that can add stress to the feet. These issues can also limit our bodies’ mobility that we often take for granted. Pain in the feet and ankles can also trickle up towards the lower legs, knees, hip, and even back area. This affects the way you move around on a daily basis.

The history of studying biomechanics dates back to ancient Egypt at around 3000 B.C., where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded. Throughout the centuries, advances in technology, science, and an understanding of the human body led to more accurate diagnosis of conditions such as corns for example. In 1974, biomechanics garnered a large audience when Merton Root founded Root Lab to make custom orthotics. He proposed that corrections of certain conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area. Due to his research, we still use his basic principle of foot orthotics to this day.

As technology has improved, so have the therapeutic processes that allow us to correct deficiencies in our natural biomechanics. Computers can now provide accurate readings of the forces, movements, and patterns of the foot and lower leg. Critical treatment options can be provided to patients now who suffer from problems that cause their biomechanics to not function naturally. The best results are now possible thanks to 3D modeling and computing technologies that can take readings and also map out what treatment will do to the affected areas.

These advanced corrective methods were able to come to light thanks to an increase in both the technologies surrounding biomechanics and also the knowledge of how they work naturally. For example, shoe orthotics are able to treat walking inabilities by realigning the posture deviations in patients caused by hip or back problems. Understanding foot biomechanics can help improve movement and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot. Speak with your podiatrist if you have any of these problems.

Tuesday, 02 April 2024 00:00

A Closer Look at Plantar Fibromas

Plantar fibroma is a condition that affects the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot, particularly the arch area. This condition often manifests as a small, firm nodule or lump that develops gradually over time. While the exact cause remains unclear, factors such as trauma or genetics may play a role in its development. Plantar fibromas can vary in size and may cause discomfort or pain, especially when walking or standing for prolonged periods. In some cases, they can interfere with footwear, making it uncomfortable to wear certain shoes. Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination by a podiatrist, and sometimes imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI’s are needed. It is essential for individuals with plantar fibromas to work closely with their podiatrists to determine the most appropriate management plan for their specific situation. If you have a plantar fibroma, it is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment with this type of doctor who can effectively treat this condition.

A plantar fibroma may disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Ankle N Foot. our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Plantar Fibroma

A plantar fibroma is a fibrous knot in the arch of the foot. It is embedded in the plantar fascia which is a band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes along the bottom of the foot. There can be multiple plantar fibromas in the feet at the same time. There are no known causes for this condition. If you have a plantar fibroma, there will be a bump in the arch of your foot that cannot be missed. Any associated pain is most often due to a shoe rubbing against the nodule. Non-surgical options, such as steroid injections, physical therapy, and orthotics should be tried first. Surgery is a last resort and is the only thing that will remove a plantar fibroma entirely. Consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and to determine the treatment regimen that is right for you.

What Causes a Plantar Fibroma?

While there are no specific causes identified, a plantar fibroma can possibly come from genetic predisposition or the formation of scar tissue that forms from healing the tears in the plantar fascia.

What Are the Symptoms of a Plantar Fibroma?

There will be a noticeable lump in the arch of the foot that may or may not cause pain. If pain is felt, it is typically because a shoe is rubbing up against the lump or when walking or standing barefoot.

Treatment and Prevention

A plantar fibroma will not disappear without treatment, but it can get smaller and be a non-issue. If pain persists, a podiatrist examines the foot and when the arch of the foot is pressed, pain can be felt down to the toes. An MRI or biopsy might be performed to help diagnose or evaluate the plantar fibroma. The following non-surgical options are generally enough to reduce the size and pain of these nodules:

  • Steroid injections
  • Orthotics
  • Physical therapy to help apply anti-inflammatory creams on the bump 

Surgery is considered if the mass increases in size and the patient continues to feel pain after non-surgical methods are tried.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, Elmhurst, Bartlett, IL and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 02 April 2024 00:00

Plantar Fibroma

A plantar fibroma is a knot in the arch of the foot. It can cause pain when repeated pressure is applied by walking barefoot or wearing tight shoes. While plantar fibromas can appear in anyone, men who are middle-aged or older are said to be more susceptible. The main symptom of a plantar fibroma is a firm lump on the arch of the foot. If there is pain, it can be intensified by putting pressure on the nodule. The lump can stay one size or grow larger. You may have one or more fibromas in the feet and there tends to be a high incidence of recurring plantar fibromas.  Generally, a plantar fibroma can be treated without surgery. Treatment might include steroid injections to help shrink the lump, orthotics to help redistribute weight away from the nodule, plantar fascia stretching, or physical therapy to help use anti-inflammatory medication on the lump. If a lump grows larger or more painful, a podiatrist can be consulted to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor will palpate the lump and this may cause pain that can be felt all the way to the toes. An X-ray, MRI, or biopsy might be done if further evaluation is necessary. A lump in the arch of the foot might be something other than a plantar fibroma, such as cysts, nerve or fatty tumors, swollen tendons, or an infection in the foot. It is important to see a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment of plantar fibromas.

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 00:00

Exercise May Provide Relief for Arthritis

Arthritis, a condition characterized by inflammation and stiffness in the joints, can significantly impact one's quality of life. While medications and therapies are commonly prescribed to manage arthritis symptoms, the power of exercise in providing relief cannot be overstated. Regular physical activity helps to maintain joint flexibility, strengthen muscles surrounding the joints, and improve overall mobility. Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling are particularly beneficial for individuals with arthritis, as they minimize stress on the joints while promoting cardiovascular health and muscle strength. Additionally, exercises focusing on range of motion and flexibility, such as yoga and tai chi, can help alleviate stiffness and improve joint function. Engaging in consistent exercise routines not only reduces pain and inflammation but also enhances mood and promotes a sense of well-being. If you have arthritis and it is affecting your feet, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can provide you with specific stretches and treatment targeted for relief.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Ankle N Foot. our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, Elmhurst, Bartlett, IL and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 26 March 2024 00:00

Arthritic Foot Care

During your lifetime, you will probably walk about 75,000 miles, which is quite a lot of stress to put on your feet. As you get older, the 26 bones and 30 joints in each of your feet will lose flexibility and elasticity. Your foot’s natural shock absorbers will wear down as well. Having arthritis added to this mix only makes matters worse. Your joints will become distorted and inflamed, which is why arthritic foot care needs to be something to think about every day.

When dealing with arthritis, having additional foot complications, such as bunions, hammertoes, or neuroma, can be a serious detriment. To avoid these, buy well-fitting shoes with a lower heel and good support. Arthritis causes you to lose your arch, so having shoes with good arch support is also highly recommended.

Aside from getting good arch support, the shoes need to fit comfortably and properly as well. A good place to start is by leaving a finger width between the back of the shoe and your foot to gauge proper size. It is also helpful to have a square or rounded toe box in the front to provide even more comfort. Another thing to look for is a rubber sole that can provide a cushion and absorb shock as you walk. This adds flexibility to the ball of your foot when you push off your heel to walk.

Exercise is another key aspect of arthritic foot care. Exercise not only strengthens and stretches your muscles and joints, but helps to prevent further injury and pain as well. Stretching the Achilles tendon, the tendon located in the back of your heel, will give you added mobility and reduce pain due to stress. Another thing you can do is massage your feet, kneading the ball of your foot as well as your toes from top to bottom.

Stretching the Achilles tendon is a simple exercise that you can do at home anytime. Lean against the wall with your palms flat against the surface while placing one foot forward, towards the wall, and one foot behind you. Bend your forward knee towards the wall while keeping your back knee locked straight, and make sure both your heels are completely touching the ground at all times. This will stretch your Achilles tendon and calf muscles as well. You will feel the stretch almost immediately. You can also stretch your toes in a couple ways. One involves taking a rubber band and wrapping it around both your big toes while your heels remain together. Then, pull them apart to stretch your big toe. You can also place a rubber band around all the toes of one of your feet. Then, try to separate each individual toe, stretching them all.

A final step you can take to help your arthritis is taking non-steroid, non-inflammatory drugs or topical medicines with capsaicin. Unfortunately, there is no complete way to remove all of your arthritic pain. However, following some of this advice can go a long way in staying as pain-free as possible.

A broken toe, medically termed a toe fracture, can occur due to various reasons, ranging from accidental trauma to repetitive stress on the foot. Accidental mishaps such as stubbing the toe against furniture or dropping a heavy object on it are common causes of toe fractures. Additionally, sports injuries and sudden impacts during physical activities can also result in toe fractures. The small size and vulnerability of toe bones make them susceptible to fractures from seemingly minor incidents. Complications of a broken toe may include persistent pain, swelling, and difficulty in walking or bearing weight on the affected foot. In some cases, untreated fractures can lead to improper healing, deformity, and chronic pain. Moreover, individuals with underlying conditions like osteoporosis may be at higher risk of sustaining toe fractures and experiencing complications. Understanding the causes and potential complications of a broken toe underscores the importance of prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment to ensure optimal recovery and prevent long-term problems. If you have broken your toe, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can confirm the diagnosis, and offer the treatment option that is best for you.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Ankle N Foot. our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, Elmhurst, Bartlett, IL and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 27 February 2024 00:00

What to Know About a Broken Toe

The forefoot is composed of five metatarsal bones and fourteen phalanges. Each toe has three phalanges except for the big toe which only has two. Our toes play an essential role to the walking process, which is why a broken toe could seriously disrupt one’s ability to move around. Toe fractures are common and can be very painful. Fortunately, these injuries rarely require surgery and usually heal with rest and a change in activity.

Broken toes typically result from a traumatic event such as falling, stubbing the toe, or dropping something on the toe. Traumatic toe fractures may be categorized as either minor or severe fractures. At times, one may hear a “pop” or “crack” sound when the bone breaks. Common symptoms of a traumatic toe fracture include pain, throbbing, bruising, swelling, and redness.

Another type of toe fractures is a stress fracture. These injuries usually appear in the form of small hairline breaks on the bone. Stress fractures develop after repetitive activity instead of a single injury. Stress fractures occur when the muscles in the bone become too weak to absorb impact. Consequently, the toe bone becomes vulnerable to any pressure and impact it endures. Symptoms for a stress fracture in the toe include swelling without bruising, tenderness to the touch, pain that goes away with rest, and pain after walking or running.

If you suspect that you have a broken toe, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist. He or she will likely diagnose you by performing a physical exam and an X-ray. Treatment for a broken toe may include the R.I.C.E. method, buddy taping, surgery, or antibiotics. The R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is a common treatment method for many injuries because it decreases pain. Buddy tapping involves wrapping the injured toe next to an adjacent toe to keep it supported and protected. These two methods have proven to be effective in the healing process for toe fractures. The estimated healing time for a broken toe is approximately four to six weeks. If the injury becomes infected or requires surgery, the estimated healing time may take eight weeks or more. 

Tuesday, 20 February 2024 00:00

Pain and Foot Fractures

Treatment for a broken foot typically involves rest, elevation, and taking anti-inflammatory medications to manage pain and swelling. Healing times differ depending on the severity of the break. Symptoms also vary, including pain, difficulty moving the foot, and tenderness. Differentiating between a broken foot and a sprain can be challenging, but fractures generally result in more intense and continuous pain. Treatment options include immobilization with a cast, surgical intervention for severe cases, and rehabilitation exercises. Prevention measures include wearing appropriate footwear and maintaining bone health with a balanced diet and regular exercise. If you have sustained a foot fracture, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as quickly as possible. Prompt medical attention and adherence to treatment guidelines are essential for successful healing.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Ankle N Foot. our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, Elmhurst, Bartlett, IL and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot

One out of ten broken bones is reported to be in the feet. When an object crushes, bends, or stretches the bone beyond acceptable ranges, bones break. A break in the foot is either a fracture or a straight break.

The location of any break can tell you how the break happened. Toes, for instance, break typically as a result of something being kicked hard and with great force. Heel breaks almost always are a result of an improper landing from a tall height. Twists or sprains are the other two frequent occurrences. As with all usual breaks, they result from unexpected accident or sudden injury. As with stress fractures, breaks form as a process over time from repeated stress on already present cracks. Runners, dancers, and gymnasts are the usual athletes who receive this type of break. Stress fractures result from incredible pressure on the feet. It is no surprise these athletes bear the majority of reported fractures.

Pain, swelling, bruising, and redness are all indicative of the typical symptoms from a broken foot. Severe pain—to the point of not being able to walk—usually depends on the location of the break in the foot. Toes are on the lower scale of pain threshold, but heels are high, as are a few other particular bones. As the severity of the broken foot increases, symptoms like blueness, numbness, misshaping of the foot, cuts, or deformities will become apparent. These symptoms indicate the need to see a medical professional with access to an x-ray facility.

Prior to seeing a specialist, precautions should be taken to reduce pain and swelling. Elevate and stabilize the foot, and refrain from moving it. Immobilization of the foot is the next priority, so creating a homemade splint is acceptable. Keep in mind that while creating a splint, any increase of pain or cutting off blood circulation means that the splint should be removed immediately. Use ice to decrease swelling and relieve pain symptoms.

When dealing with a medical center, the patient should note that the treatment can vary. The treatment will depend on the severity of the fracture and the cause of the break. Crutches, splits, or casts are common treatments while surgery has been known to be used in more severe cases in order to repair the break in the bones. 

Tuesday, 05 March 2024 00:00

Preventing Blisters While Running

Blisters, though seemingly small, can wreak havoc on a runner's performance and comfort. Prevention is key to ensuring an enjoyable and pain-free running experience. This can begin by investing in properly fitted running shoes. Ill-fitting shoes can rub against the skin, causing friction and blisters. Additionally, moisture-wicking socks help keep feet dry and reduce the likelihood of blisters forming from sweat and friction. Gradually increasing mileage and intensity during training allows the skin to toughen gradually, decreasing vulnerability to blisters. It is also essential to address hot spots or areas of irritation immediately by covering them with a bandage to prevent further damage. If you have a blister on your foot that is bothersome or has become infected, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can offer you relief and prevention methods.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Ankle N Foot. our doctors 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 our offices located in Chicago, Elmhurst, Bartlett, IL and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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