Achilles tendinitis is caused by overuse of the band of tissues that connects the lower region of your calf muscle to your heel bone, also known as your Achilles tendon. Those at a higher risk for Achilles tendinitis are runners engaging in intense training or middle-aged people who participate in sports on occasion.
If you’re experiencing Achilles tendinitis, you may encounter mild aching, tenderness, and/or stiffness in the back of the leg or above the heel. Fortunately, most cases can be treated, and your highly qualified doctor will discuss ways to perform at-home care to prevent recurring episodes. For more serious cases that lead to tendon tears, surgery may be required. Your doctor will conduct a thorough examination and will discuss the best course of action with you.
A sprained ankle occurs when you twist your ankle in an abnormal way causing the ligaments holding your ankle bones together to stretch or tear. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. Treatment for a sprained ankle depends on the severity of the injury. Although you may just need proper rest and pain medications to heal, it is important to have the sprain looked at by a professional to determine the severity and proper treatment.
Chronic ankle instability is usually caused by repeated ankle sprains and is described as the gradual giving way of the outside of the ankle. Some symptoms of ankle instability include constant inflammation or swelling, tenderness, and instability in the ankle. After a sprained ankle, the ligaments become stretched and torn. Proper rehabilitation is required to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and rehabilitate the tissues within the ankle that affect your balance. In addition, physical therapy, medications, and bracing can help treat chronic ankle instability. Failure to do so may result in repeated ankle sprains, or possibly surgery.
Arthritic Foot & Ankle Care
Arthritis, or joint pain or joint disease, is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children are suffering from some type of arthritis. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to perform normal day-to-day activities, and has the potential to cause permanent joint damage.
To determine whether or not you may be suffering from arthritis or to determine the severity, your medical professional will perform blood tests and conduct an imaging scan (ie: x-ray, CAT scan or MRI). Eating healthy, staying active, and understanding your type of arthritis and treatment options is crucial to decreasing your discomfort and paving the way for an enjoyable, happy life.
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a specific type of fungal infection that typically begins between the toes. A common cause of athlete’s foot is sweaty feet that are confined to tight shoes for a long period of time. Signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include a scaly rash that usually causes itching, stinging and burning. Athlete’s foot is contagious and should be carefully monitored and treated. Athlete’s foot can easily be treated with antifungal medications, but the infection is likely to recur. Prescription medications also are available.
A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. They can develop from an inherited structural defect, excess stress on your foot, or can result from an existing medical condition.
For the most part, bunions require no medical treatment. However, if you are experiencing one or more of the following, a podiatrist can help alleviate your symptoms:
- Persistent big toe or foot pain
- A visible bump on your big toe joint
- Decreased movement of your big toe or foot
- Difficulty finding shoes that fit properly
Corns & Calluses
Corns and calluses are not the same things.
Corns tend to be smaller than calluses and are the hard center is surrounded by irritated skin. While corns can be found on the bottom of the foot where pressure is usually applied, it is more common that you find corns on the tops and sides of your toes and even between your toes. When pressure is applied, corns can cause significant pain and discomfort.
Calluses, on the other hand, don’t usually cause pain. They usually develop on the soles of your feet, especially under the heels or balls, on your palms, or on your knees. Calluses vary in size and shape and are often larger than corns.
Be cautious about wearing ill-fitting shoes, not wearing socks with shoes, and constantly playing instruments or using your hands as these things can increase the risk for corns and calluses.
A crush injury in the foot is serious and can cause major changes in your day to day activities if not treated properly. It occurs when the foot is compressed with considerable force between two hard surfaces. This can happen as a result of a car accident, heavy objects falling, or heavy machinery running over a foot. Always seek medical attention in the event of a crush injury.
You may experience a variety of symptoms resulting from a crush injury. Some can lead to further complications so it is important to be aware.
Infection and other serious complications can arise from a crush injury depending on the severity of the foot injury. Don’t delay calling us to help you recover from a crush injury. Contact us today so we can do a physical examination of the foot and take X-rays to check for fractured bones. From there, a treatment plan will be developed for your specific situation.
When you have diabetes, your feet become susceptible to specific risks. Knowing about these risks can educate you in preventative care and tips to prevent developing other conditions.
Daily preventative care can help you decrease your risk of developing these other serious conditions like ulcers and infections. Inspecting your feet at the end of the day to look for any abnormalities, maintaining proper hygiene, keeping your feet warm in cold weather, encourage blood flow in the feet, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle can discourage other conditions from developing.
Flat foot is a condition where the arches on the inside of your feet are flattened which causes the sole of the foot to touch the floor when standing upright. It is likely for flat feet to caused by the arches not fully developing during childhood and is considered very common and painless condition. On the other hand, flat feet can occur after an injury or from the normal aging process.
While it is common not to experience any pain or symptoms of flat feet, some people do tend to sense pain in the heel or arch area. Physical activity can irritate the area and inflame the foot along the inside of the ankle. This can be caused by the tendon that is supporting the arch being stretched as it is depreciating.
Fungal infections in the toe or fingernails can appear as thickened, discolored, or disfigured. While it may seem like the condition is just an aesthetic concern, fungal infections can lead to worsened symptoms and pain. Diabetes, a weakened immune system, and the normal aging process are all causes associated with fungal infections. It is more likely for senior citizens and adults to develop a fungal infection as opposed to children.
- Fungal nail infection usually does not cause any painful symptoms unless the nail becomes so thick it causes becomes irritated when wearing shoes.
- As the nail thickens, fungal nail infection may interfere with normal day to day activities.
- Loss of self-esteem, embarrassment, and social problems can also develop.
Treatments options vary depending on the severity. Call us today for an evaluation to find out more on how we can help you!
Geriatric Foot Care
During the natural aging process, stress on your feet becomes prolonged and can cause pain and discomfort that need to be treated and managed. Some symptoms of elderly foot issues include dry and brittle skin and nails, tingling sensations, and feelings of numbness. It is important to seek medical assistance if you notice any of these symptoms so Dr. Conenello can assess a treatment plan to help alleviate and manage the normal changes in your feet.
Hammertoe is a deformity where one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes begin to bend outside of their normal alignment. Pressure can begin to weigh heavy on the toes as you wear shoes which is where pain and other symptoms develop.
Hammertoes typically begin with small symptoms and deformities and continue to worsen with time. In its beginning stages, hammertoes are often impressionable which means they can be controlled using minimal treatment. It is important to know the signs of hammertoes to get them evaluated early. If left untreated, hammertoes can become more firm and difficult to manipulate, requiring surgery.
Common symptoms of hammertoes include:
- Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes.
- Corns and calluses (a buildup of skin) on the toe, between two toes or on the ball of the foot. Corns are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending on their location.
- Inflammation, redness or a burning sensation
- Bending of the toe
- In more severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.
Heel spurs occur in at least 50% of people who have plantar fasciitis. Past treatments for heel spurs, a bony growth that begins on the front of your heel bone and points toward the arch of your foot, included surgery to remove the growth. Nowadays, surgery is rarely a treatment option and more plans for physical therapy, ice, and pain medications are used to treat heel spurs.
Ingrown toenails are a common condition where the corner of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding the toe (usually the big toe). Ingrown toenails can be very uncomfortable, painful, and can easily lead to an infection in the toe. It is possible to take care of ingrown toenails on your own, but if the pain does not subside, Dr. Conenello can take steps to relieve the pain and help you avoid further complications caused by ingrown toenails.
Metatarsalgia is a condition that causes pain in the ball of the foot—the area between your arch and toes. The area under your toes can be a common source of pain because it supports your weight when standing, walking, or running. Metatarsalgia is described as painful swelling that occurs in the ball of the foot. The pain can feel like a tingling or numbness, or sharp shooting or burning pain. You may feel pain in a small area under your toes, or it can be felt across the whole width of the foot. Symptoms should be caught early since the condition worsens over time.
This condition can be irritated by standing for a long period of time, stretching your foot, or walking barefoot or with minimal support. Intense exercise like running or jumping can also worsen the symptoms. A few ways to manage the pain is to wear cushioned footwear that supports the arches of your feet and resting your feet regularly. If you participate in high-impact sports or run, consider taking breaks for a few days or weeks. Try low-impact activities like swimming or cycling until the symptoms are alleviated.
A neuroma can occur in many areas of the body when nerve tissue thickens. Morton’s neuroma is the most typical neuroma that occurs in the foot and it occurs between the third and fourth toes. Also known as an intermetatarsal neuroma, the name describes its location in the ball of the foot.
Compression and irritation typically cause the nerve tissue to thicken. This pressure creates inflammation of the nerve, ultimately causing untreatable damage to the nerves in the foot.
If you have a neuroma, you may experience one or more of these symptoms:
- Tingling, burning or numbness
- A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot
- A feeling that there is something in the shoe or a sock is bunched up
After a careful evaluation of the neuroma, our doctors will begin forming your treatment plan. Treatment plans vary depending on the severity of the neuroma.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It is caused by the irritation and inflammation of the large band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia). Some symptoms include stabbing pain that usually occurs in the mornings. As you walk around on the foot the pain normally decreases, but it can return after standing for long periods of time.
Runners, those who are overweight, and those who wear shoes with minimal support are some people that are at a higher risk of plantar fasciitis. In addition, age and intense exercise that focuses on using the ball of the foot (i.e. dancing) are likely to cause plantar fasciitis.
It is important to pay attention to the symptoms of plantar fasciitis since leaving it untreated can result is constant heel pain.
Below are some of the most common sports and sports-related injuries we see in our office.
– Martial Arts and Kickboxing: Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, and ankle sprains. Proper stretching is vital to injury prevention, specifically, a minimum of 15 minutes before beginning exercise.
– Aerobics: With impact forces reaching up to six times the force of gravity and 26 bones in the foot, proper shoes are extremely important when participating in aerobics. Shoes must provide shock absorption and proper cushioning, as well as stability.
– Team Sports: Baseball, basketball, soccer, football, field hockey, and lacrosse often lead to foot and ankle injuries. Artificial surfaces, improper footwear, and inadequate stretching are recipes for disaster. Make sure to wear proper shoes and stretch for at least 15 minutes before playing sports.
For more information on sports injuries or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (630) 759-4411!
Plantar warts are caused by the HPV virus and cause tiny cuts and breaks on the bottom of your feet.
While most plantar warts are not a major health concern, it is advised you see a doctor to have the warts examined and removed. Some symptoms include small, rough lesions on the base of the foot, calluses in one spot, and tenderness when walking or standing for long periods of time.
Here at Bolingbrook Foot Specialist, we provide custom foot orthotics. Custom orthotics are specifically designed to fit your feet and provide the utmost support and comfort. They match the shape of your feet and are designed to keep up with your day to day activities. We will conduct a thorough evaluation of your feet, ankles, and legs, creating a completely custom shoe designed just for you and your needs.