Foot and Ankle Center Blog
By Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois
November 04, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Foot Care   Baby Feet  

A child's feet grow rapidly during the first year, reaching almost half of their adult foot size. This is why podiatrists consider the first year to be the most important in the development of the feet. Proper care at a young age is essential for healthy development.  Since many adult foot ailments develop in childhood, periodic visits to your child’s podiatrist and basic foot care can help minimize these problems later in life.

A child’s feet are formed from soft, pliable cartilage which makes them more susceptible to deformities. A young child can be affected by foot conditions such as:

  • Intoeing
  • Out-toeing
  • Flat feet
  • Warts
  • Heel pain

Tips for Parents

Parents can help promote normal, healthy foot development for their baby.

  • Examine your baby’s feet regularly. If you detect anything unusual, contact your child’s pediatrician or podiatrist right away.
  • Encourage exercise.  Lying uncovered allows the baby to kick and move feet and toes freely so not to inhibit normal development.
  • Cover feet loosely. Tight clothing or covers restrict movement.
  • Alternate your baby’s position several times a day. Lying too long in one spot may place unnecessary strain on the feet and legs.

Growing Up

As your baby continues to grow and develop, so will the feet. It may be necessary to change shoe and sock size every few months, as tight-fitting footwear can aggravate pre-existing conditions. After your child takes their first steps, you should also carefully observe walking patterns. Intoeing, out-toeing, and gait abnormalities can be corrected when they are detected early.

A baby’s feet will carry them throughout life, so it’s important to begin good foot care at a young age. Neglecting your child’s foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the back and legs. Whether you have questions about your child’s foot health or suspect a problem with the development of your child’s feet, please contact our office. We want every step your child makes toward adulthood to be pain-free and easy!

By Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois
October 25, 2019
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Healthy Feet  

Older adults across the country are developing plans to age in place and to reach lifelong health. The AARP estimates that over 90% of the population over age 65 are striving to remain in their homes as long as they possibly can and live independent lifestyles. 

According to Joseph Coughlin, Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Age Lab, older adults are making an investment in home improvements for longevity.* The top trends for aging in place include access and lighting improvements throughout the home, moving bedrooms to the main floor with more accessible closets and beds, creating kitchens that are more accessible for wheelchair use, and partnering with providers who offer home assistance services.* 

Older adults are also preparing for the next stage in life to live life to the fullest.

Many are transforming good intentions into new lifestyle habits to age well. According to Kay Van Norman, President of Brilliant Aging, older adults are spending more time deciding where they want to live, what they want to do, and what they need to do to make that happen. They are making plans to create a strong foundation for lifelong health.* 

Marc Middleton, author of Growing Bolder and creator of the Growing Bolder Ambassador Movement, is rebranding aging with energy and enthusiasm for life. Middleton aspires to the belief that you don’t have to dread aging. He believes that this new life stage can become an exciting journey! 

According to Dr. John Sigle, founder of the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois, “many of our older adults are undergoing a major transformation in their lives. They are changing their lifestyle and fine tuning their bodies to prepare for the next stage. Many of them seek help to resolve long-standing foot problems to resolve pain and improve mobility.”

According to the American College for Foot and Ankle Surgeons, there is a common misconception that growing older means having to cope with sore feet; however, foot pain is not the consequence of aging. Although many older adults have foot pain, aging alone is not responsible. Foot pain is not a normal part of aging. 

According to Dr. Grant Gonzalez, Associate podiatrist at the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois, “most common foot and ankle problems can be treated successfully with the right diagnosis, conservative treatments, and proper rehabilitation. Some conditions require more advanced diagnosis and surgical corrections. We use advanced 3D CT Imaging to diagnose and preplan surgeries for bunions, hammertoes, stress fractures, and Flatt-foot corrections.” 

According to Dr. Sigle, some of the more serious foot and ankle problems associated with aging include joint deterioration that often lead to painful Arthritis. “Arthritis in the big toe (Hallux Rigidus) is a common problem that causes improper biomechanics and structural abnormalities of the foot. The ankle is also prone to Arthritis if there is a history of trauma or sprains. Often, these conditions lead to end-stage Arthritis requiring advanced surgery.” 

According to Dr. Gonzalez, “We encourage older adults to take proactive steps to live an independent lifestyle. We will partner with you to reach your goals and transition to the next stage of life!” 

If you are seeking advanced foot and ankle surgeons call the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois at (217) 787-2700 to schedule an appointment. Clinics are located in Springfield, Decatur, Taylorville, Carlinville, Shelbyville, and Sullivan. Visit the medical library at myfootandanklecenter.com to obtain information on foot and ankle treatments. 

*Growing Bolder/Spring 19

By Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois
September 27, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Bunions  

With the ability to cause nagging discomfort throughout the day and prohibit daily movements as simple as walking, bunions can quickly turn from a barely noticeable bump on your toe, to a painful deformity that detracts from your over wellbeing. Fortunately, if caught early, you can prevent this podiatric issue from developing into a serious problem. Read on to learn if you could be suffering from this condition, and whether you should take a visit to your local podiatrist.

 

Signs That You May Have a Bunion

Generally forming on the side of your big toe, bunions are hard, bony lumps that are often caused by wearing poorly-fitted shoes (especially high heels), having genetic predispositions, or experiencing a foot injury. If you think that you may have a bunion, be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • A bony protrusion at the base of your toe
  • A generally red discoloration
  • A feeling of tightness in previously comfortable shoes

The above-listed symptoms describe the beginning stages of a bunion, a point during which your podiatrist will likely recommend a conservative approach to treatment. However, you may require more extensive medical care if you begin to notice these signs:

  • Persistent pain and swelling
  • Periodic numbness of the foot
  • Restricted and slowed movement of the toe/foot

 

Treatments

For less serious bunion cases, ones in which there isn’t pain yet and movement is still unrestricted, your podiatrist may recommend:

  • Soaking your foot in warm water
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as Aspirin
  • Wearing appropriate shoe inserts
  • Avoiding tight-fitting footwear

In severe bunion cases, your podiatrist will likely recommend a more rigorous treatment approach in order to alleviate pain and increase mobility. Some of these options include:

  • Custom-made orthotics to maintain toe alignment
  • Regular physical therapy and a specialized exercise regiment
  • Bunionectomy, a surgery to remove the bunion and realign the foot (this is only necessary in the most extreme of cases)

 

Concerned? Contact Us

If you feel that bunions are disrupting your life, then take the pro-active approach and schedule an appointment at our office to learn how to regain your health.

By FOOT & ANKLE CENTER OF ILLINOIS
September 10, 2019
Tags: Sports Injury  

Make sure you are doing everything to protect yourself both on and off the field.

Injury prevention is the name of the game when it comes to the longevity of an athlete’s performance. We all know how important it is for woman playing soccerevery athlete to keep themselves healthy and strong. Foot and ankle injuries are some of the most common sports-related injuries. Our podiatrists Dr. John Sigle and Dr. Grant Gonzalez at Foot and Ankle Center of Illinois, with offices in Springfield, Decatur, Carlinville, Shelbyville, Taylorville and Sullivan, IL want athletes to know how to safeguard against these problems.

 

Always Warm Up First

While some cars may be able to go from zero to 60 in a few seconds, our bodies weren’t meant for that kind of sudden intensity. You need to give your body time to warm up and prepare for activity. Jumping right into your training could lead to injury.

Before training or a game, make sure that you give yourself ample times to warm-up (about 15 minutes). Get the blood flowing to all areas of your body with simple activities such as light jogging, riding a stationary bike and dynamic stretches.

 

Wear the Appropriate Shoes

You also need to be wearing the right shoes for your activity. Not all athletic footwear works the same and the type of shoes you need will depend on your sport or even the intensity of your training (low-impact versus high-impact workouts). The ideal shoe will cushion and support the foot, particularly the heels and arches.

You also need to replace shoes once they are worn out to reduce your risk for fractures, sprains and strained muscles. Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts can also provide additional support and stabilization for active feet. Ask our foot doctors if orthotics are right for you.

 

Gradually Build Up Your Workout

Again, just as you wouldn’t immediately jump right into an activity without first warming up you also shouldn’t suddenly increase the intensity or severity of your activity. You need to give your body time to adjust and strengthen the appropriate muscles, ligaments and tendons for the job first. Putting a lot of unnecessary stress on these unconditioned soft tissues can leave you prone to some serious injuries including fractures.

If you are faced with an injury it’s important that you turn to a doctor who understands the unique needs of athletes and their bodies. You’ll find the care you need at Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois with offices in Springfield, Decatur, Carlinville, Shelbyville, Taylorville and Sullivan, IL. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

By Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois
August 30, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Foot Odor  

The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, which means they have the ability to sweat profusely. With your feet encased in your shoes all day and the sweat unable to evaporate, bacteria will begin to grow rapidly. Bacteria then begins to break down the sweat, generating an unpleasant odor. Other factors can contribute to increased perspiration, including anxiety, hormonal changes, medications and various skin conditions.

Foot odor is a common problem, especially among those who perspire excessively, but it can be both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable. If you suffer from foot odor, rest assured that simple lifestyle changes and improved personal hygiene can help reduce and eliminate the smell.

Easy Ways to Eliminate Foot Odor

Since most foot odor is caused from excess sweat and the growth of odor-causing bacteria, it's relatively easy to control and reduce foot odor on your own. Start by taking the following preventative steps:

  • Keep your feet clean by washing them with an antibacterial soap on a regular basis to minimize bacteria.
  • Keep feet dry as moisture enables the growth of bacteria.
  • Alternate shoes and avoid wearing the same pair for multiple days in a row.
  • Choose open shoes such as sandals when possible, allowing air onto the feet which evaporates sweat and slows the growth of bacteria.
  • Wear cotton socks which wick away moisture and absorb perspiration.
  • Apply foot sprays and powders to the feet. Ask your podiatrist for recommended products.
  • Disinfect, wash and discard foul smelling shoes as necessary.

The causes of foot odor are typically not harmful to your health, but do create an environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria. It's not unusual for infections such as toenail fungus and athlete's foot to develop as a result.

When improving your foot hygiene doesn't help reduce the smell, you may need to visit your podiatrist, as persistent foot odor can indicate an infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem. Visit our office, and we'll work with you to determine the cause and most effective treatment for your condition!





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