Thursday, October 24, 2013

What are Shin Splints?

You are undertaking a new exercise program or trying to increase your current program, and suddenly, you get pain along the front of your legs. Obviously, many things could be causing this, but one of the common causes is shin splints. Increasing training too rapidly, hard training surfaces, shoes with inadequate support, high heels, and arches that are too high or too low can all cause inflammation on the front of the legs. The periostium that lines our bones can become irritated (even having small tears) where the muscles meet the bone, specifically on the tibia (one of our two leg bones). If you experience this problem, it is important to begin RICE: rest, ice, compression or strapping, and elevation. Further, anti-inflammatory medications like motrin can be used if you are medically able to take these over the counter drugs. New shoe gear that is more supportive is critical. Additionally, it is important to see your podiatrist for custom molded orthotic devices that will support the feet and control abnormal motion. Finally, avoiding hard training surfaces, high heels, and shoes or activities that aggravate the condition will help reduce pain and recurrence. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580,

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cold Weather and Slippery Surfaces

The cool, frosty air has descended on us in Chicago! This morning, I took my daughter to school and was amazed that the new playground surface was covered with frost and very slippery! It is only October! Slippery, icy surfaces are dangerous for all of us, whether in kindergarten or in adulthood. It is important to select shoes and boots that are supportive and have soles that can grip. You should not be able to twist or bend your boots or shoe. If you can do that, they may not have adequate support to protect you on slippery surfaces. Also, the soles should have a material that provides traction on ice, snow, and slick surfaces. Now is the time to begin thinking about the upcoming cooler temperatures! If you have concerns about your feet, schedule your appointment today with Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580 or 773-776-3166. Dr. Bender practices in Oak Park and Chicago/63rd. Visit our websites at and

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What are the Signs of a FOOT Infection?

An infection occurs when a type of microorganism invades the body, multiplies, and begins to damage surrounding tissues by releasing toxic substances. Typically, in the foot, the microorganism enters through an opening in the skin: a blister, wound, ulcer, ingrown nail border, or injured area of skin. The signs of infection are redness, heat, swelling, pain, drainage or pus, and loss of function (inability to use the foot). Infections are diagnosed by an exam with your doctor, vital signs (like temperature), lab work, and sometimes, other testing. Antibiotics are used for treatment, and surgery may also be needed to drain the area and remove any damaged tissue. Infections can become very serious if not treated properly and can infect the bone or bloodstream. Some patients with chronic diseases, like diabetes, HIV, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral vascular disease, and other conditions may have an altered or lesser response during infection. In other words, they may not exhibit the same signs of infection as a healthy person. Foot infections can be very serious. Consult your foot doctor if you think your foot is infected, as it is essential that you get treatment quickly. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How are Neurma's Treated?

The last post discussed Morton's neuromas. The neuroma is usually diagnosed by a clinical exam with your podiatrist. Conventional x-rays or MRIs may be used to further diagnose the condition or rule out something else. After the diagnosis is made, treatments typically start with conservative measures: injections, padding, and orthotic devices. Many patients get significant relief with these modalities. However, in some cases, the neuroma must be surgically excised. If you have a neuroma or other foot condition, call Dr. Bender for an appointment. She will help you feel better FAST! Dr. Bender has had three surgeries on her own feet, including removal of a neuroma, so she knows first hand about foot pain! 708-763-0580, Oak Park.