While the feet are the foundation of our bodies (we use them to walk, stand, exercise, and get us from A to B, after all), they’re often overlooked when it comes to pain. Many people say their feet that are “killing them” after a long day, but they are unaware that many painful foot problems are treatable — and preventable — with the right knowledge, and the right podiatrist.
A podiatrist, is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle and parts of the leg. As a specialist in foot care, a podiatrist not only treats painful foot problems, but also provides advice from how to take care of your feet to what kinds of shoes are best for your foot structure.
Experienced Toronto podiatrist, Chris Hastings, treats many clients with foot issues as simple as improper nail care, to conditions that require surgical intervention, such as deformed toes and joints.
The most common ailments he sees in his downtown Toronto foot clinic are:
Heel Pain/Plantar Faciitis
Plantar Faciitis is the most common source of heel pain, and is caused by inflammation of the bottom of the foot when the Plantar Fasica (the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes) is strained or weakened. Ignoring this pain can lead to chronic foot conditions, but your podiatrist can work with you to develop exercises or a custom orthotic that will alleviate the pain.
Corns form when exposed to pressure and friction, and are characterized by hard, thickened areas on the skin. When they develop on the feet, they can cause pain and discomfort when you walk or wear poor-fitting shoes. Those with bony feet are more likely to develop corns, as the feet lack natural cushioning that would prevent excessive friction. Women tend to develop corns more often than men, as well as people with improper shoe choice, sweaty feet, diabetes, or those with bunions or hammer toes. Corns generally aren’t serious; your podiatrist may suggest the best shoes for your to wear, corn pads, or in more serious cases, removal.
Toe nail fungus characteristically causes nails to thicken and yellow, and sometimes, become brittle. Nail fungus can be spread in public places, such as gyms or pools, and might even be spread by your pedicurist — so be aware of the hygiene practices at your favourite spas. The fungus easily enters damaged nails, so always wear sandals, shoes or flip-flops if you’re showering at the gym or using a public pool. Your podiatrist will assess the fungus, and possibly prescribe oral or topical fungus, a washing routine, and in some cases, surgical treatment.
If you’ve ever experienced any of these painful (and sometimes embarrassing) conditions, a podiatrist can help. Contact us now to learn more.
Is your foot pain not described on this list? To learn more about the conditions we treat, click here to learn more.