If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right.Switch to Accessible Site
Current Special: $300 orthotics for cash paying patients
Family Foot & Ankle Care in Wheeling, IL 60090 and Chicago, IL 60613

September 2023

Tuesday, 26 September 2023 00:00

Solutions for Cracked Heels

Cracked heels can make life very frustrating and embarrassing when displaying the bare feet. Aside from being unpleasing to the eye, they can also tear stockings and socks and wear out shoes at a faster rate. When severe, cracked heels may cause pain or infection.

Cracked heels are a problem for those who are athletic, those who may walk a lot, and those who have especially dry skin. Those who use medication that dry the skin, those who swim often, wearing certain types of shoes, and those who are diabetic may have trouble with cracked heels. Seniors whose skin produces less oil may also have trouble with cracked feet. There is no one way to develop cracked feet, and there is no cure.

Today, the market consists of numerous products that have a variety of ingredients to promote healing. Some of these are over-the-counter. Others are prescribed by a doctor, especially for those who have chronic dry feet and heels.

Some doctors recommend wearing socks at night for those with rough skin. This helps further healing, and helps creams stay on longer and better absorb into the skin.

One way to alleviate dryness that causes cracked heels is by using moisturizers both day and night. Another way is to make sure the skin is clean and dry at all times. Using a pumice stone to buff away dead skin before putting on moisturizer can also help. Cracked heels will not respond to the cream unless the outer layer of skin is first removed through exfoliation. After exfoliation, lotion or ointment will be absorbed by the skin more easily.

Foods that produce healing and balance can also help the skin from within. Everything that is put into the body can either help it or hurt it. Taking supplements of omega-3 fatty acids and zinc can also be very beneficial.

Nevertheless, not all products are guaranteed to help treat cracked feet. Seeing a professional is best if other treatments options were unsuccessful. A podiatrist should be able to give the best advice to help with this problem.

Cracked heels, a common foot ailment, can be both unsightly and uncomfortable. These painful fissures occur when the skin on the heels becomes dry and thick, and loses its natural elasticity. While cracked heels may seem like a cosmetic concern, ignoring them can lead to infection or more severe issues if left untreated. Several factors contribute to the development of cracked heels. The primary cause is inadequate moisture, often made worse by dry weather, excessive foot soaking, or harsh soaps that strip the skin of its natural oils. Overweight individuals and those who stand for prolonged periods may also be more susceptible due to increased pressure on the heels. Treating cracked heels involves a multifaceted approach. Hydration is key, so moisturize your feet regularly with a thick, emollient foot cream. Exfoliate gently using a pumice stone to remove dead skin. Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes with proper arch support to alleviate pressure. If you have developed cracked heels, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who may recommend prescription creams or therapies to address underlying issues. 

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Anna Petrov from Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Tuesday, 19 September 2023 00:00

Wound Care

Diabetics must be wary of all wounds, regardless of depth or size. Diabetes, a chronic disease in which the body cannot properly use glucose the way it normally would, causes various complications that make wounds difficult to heal. Nerve damage or neuropathy will cause diabetics to have trouble feeling the pain of a blister or cut until the condition has significantly worsened or become infected. A diabetic’s weakened immune system can make even the most minor of wounds easily susceptible to infection. Diabetics are also more prone to developing narrow, clogged arteries, and are therefore more likely to develop wounds.

Wounds should be taken care of immediately after discovery, as even the smallest of wounds can become infected if enough bacteria build up within the wound.  To remove dirt, wounds should be first rinsed under running water only. Soap, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine can irritate the injury and should be avoided. To prevent infection, apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover it with a bandage. The bandage should be changed daily. The skin around the wound may be cleaned with soap.

To prevent further exacerbation, see a doctor—especially if you have diabetes. Minor skin conditions can become larger problems if not properly inspected. As the wound heals, make sure to avoid applying pressure to the affected area.

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 00:00

Negative Pressure Foot Wound Therapy

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy, or NPWT, is a versatile technique that aids wound healing by applying a kind of sub-atmospheric pressure. It is used for complex, non-healing wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers. Implementing NPWT involves placing a porous foam dressing on the wound and applying continuous or intermittent suction to create sub-atmospheric pressure. NPWT is suitable for wounds ranging from open fractures to surgical incisions. The skin's healing process involves acute and chronic phases, with NPWT optimizing these phases. Indications for NPWT include traumatic wounds, wounds that have separated, and skin grafts. Proper preparation and technique are crucial, and closed wounds may be managed outside the operating room, while open wounds require surgical preparation. Complications can include pain, bleeding, infection, foam retention, and loss of suction. Despite challenges, NPWT is a valuable tool in wound care. If you have foot wounds, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to speak about the possibility of this therapy being correct for you.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Anna Petrov from Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 12 September 2023 00:00

Differences between Walking and Running Shoes

Both running and walking are great exercises, but should a person wear the same shoes for both activities? The answer is no, because there is a difference between the way a person’s feet hit the ground when they are walking and when they are running. Therefore, the shoes for each activity are designed differently. Before you begin any exercise program it is always recommended that you speak with your doctor or podiatrist.

Walking is a low impact exercise that is often recommended by doctors to their patients. While walking is a simple activity, it still requires some degree of preparation. If you think about walking and how your feet strike the ground as you move, you will notice that your heel hits the ground first before your foot continues to roll forward and your next step begins. Because of this rolling motion, walking shoes are designed to be more flexible than running shoes. This flexibility helps the walker push off with each step taken.

Because the heel hits the ground first when you walk, walking shoes are designed to absorb most of the shock. Walking shoes should therefore have a beveled or angled heel. The angle of the heel helps absorb the shock and reduces pressure from the ankles. This is especially important for speed walkers, as their feet will hit the ground twice as often as the normal walker.

When people decide to run as a hobby or for their health, they must first realize that running is a high impact exercise. If not done with the proper equipment, running may cause damage to the feet and legs. Running shoes are designed to be more lightweight and to have thicker soles. The thicker soles act as shock absorbers for the rest of the body. Walking shoes often do not have the proper arch support that running shoes do.

A proper fitting shoe can make or break a runner or a walker. If the shoes are too big, their feet will slide back and forth inside the shoe and cause blisters. Whether you will be running or walking, the right equipment can make all of the difference in the world.

Tuesday, 12 September 2023 00:00

How Walking and Running Shoes Differ

Choosing the right footwear helps to maintain foot health and prevent injuries. To make an informed choice, it's essential to understand the differences between walking and running shoes. For walkers, experts recommend lightweight shoes with extra shock absorption in the heel and under the ball of the foot. These features help reduce heel pain and discomfort in the ball of the foot. Some walkers prefer shoes with a rounded or rocker bottom, allowing for a smooth weight shift from heel to toe. Runners, however,  should prioritize overall shock absorption and torsional strength in their shoes to guard against injuries like tendonitis, heel pain, and stress fractures. Ill-fitting or unsupportive shoes can cause or worsen issues such as toe pain, corns, bunions, ingrown toenails, and postural problems. Inappropriate shoes can also contribute to joint pain and stress caused by arthritis. If you have particular foot or ankle issues, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for help in finding the right shoes for your walking or running experience.

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with Dr. Anna Petrov from Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

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

Read more about Differences between Walking and Running Shoes
Tuesday, 05 September 2023 00:00

The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry

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, 05 September 2023 00:00

Problems With Overpronation

Pronation is a natural foot movement that occurs when you walk or run. As you take a step, your foot lands on the outer heel and subsequently rolls inward to distribute weight and absorb impact. Too much pronation, known as overpronation, amplifies this movement and can cause the foot to roll inward too far. This results in excessive weight being forced onto the inner part of the sole, which strains ligaments, muscles, and tendons and increases the risk of pain, injury, and foot ailments. Loose joints and ligaments are thought to be the main cause of overpronation. Numerous conditions can arise due to this problem, including plantar fasciitis, bunions, and Achilles tendonitis. Heel spurs, sprains, and pain in other body parts can also result from overpronation. Genetic factors, pregnancy, excessive weight, and specific foot deformities may also be factors. Diagnosing overpronation can involve a gait analysis to assess walking and running patterns, but many other solutions to manage and alleviate overpronation are available. Included are stabilizing shoes and orthotics that can offer extra arch support, help to curb excessive movement, and reduce lower body stress. If you have foot pain that may be caused by overpronation, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Anna Petrov from Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

Read more about The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry
Friday, 01 September 2023 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.

Connect with us

Family Foot & Ankle Care Wheeling, IL 60090 and Chicago, IL 60640 latest blog posts