Finding the right Toronto foot specialist

Your feet are those very special parts of your body that help you to get around. As you can imagine, finding the right podiatrist who is both experienced and compassionate can be a little overwhelming unless you have some boxes to check off. Remember you need to find someone that you can feel comfortable with and a person that you can communicate with at the same time.

 

Here’s a few of the things that you should be looking for:

 

  • Finding the right doctor is quite often a matter of referral and there are several places you can go to get the information you’ll need to help keep your feet in good shape. First and foremost is your general practitioner. They will more than likely already know the name of a good podiatrist they can recommend for you. O
  • Foot and ankle problems can be remedied with the right Toronto foot specialist. Making sure that the doctor you are planning on seeing has the proper education is critical. It’s best to ask about any doctor’s licences and credentials. If you see a certificate on the wall, ask about where it comes from and how long it took the doctor to get their license.  
  • Don’t be shy when you finally visit a podiatrist. Asking the right questions is important to getting off on the right foot. For example, you should find out how long it takes to get an appointment and whether their location is handicapped accessible.

 

Before you make any final decisions there is a little preparatory work that you can do yourself to make things go smoother. For example, if you use any kind of special shoes for exercise or walking, you should bring them along to your first appointment. It’s always a good idea to make a list of any of the symptoms that are bothering you.  A good Toronto foot specialist will be able to use these issues to help you through the process.

 

Finally, you should make a list of any medications you are currently using or surgeries that you’ve had. Selecting the right Toronto foot specialist is a process that is helped along when you have the correct information at your fingertips.

The ABC’s of heel spurs

Usually, calcium is beneficial and helps to promote good strong and healthy bones. There are only a few instances where a build up of calcium can be a problem and one of these instances is with heel spurs.

These pointy bony growths at the base of the heel can be associated with plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the connecting tissue that joins the ball of the foot and the heel bone. These calcium deposits build up over many months and there are several types of people that are more at risk than others for developing this foot problem. Some of these groups include:

  • People who enjoy running and jogging on hard services. Although you’re trying to get in shape and improve your cardiovascular performance, this kind of exercise can cause repeated tearing of the membranes covering the heel bone leading to these spurs.
  • Buying shoes that don’t fit properly is another risk factor. Shoes that are worn are also bad for your feet because they’ve lost the proper arch support.
  • Being overweight doesn’t help matters. Obesity and carrying around too much weight in general can bring heel spurs on and cause any inflammations that you already have to get worse.
  • Diabetes is one of the other risk factors.
  • There are even some physical traits that can encourage heel spurs like flat feet and high arches.

 

Prevention:

There’s an old song that starts out “ These shoes were made for walkin,” and that’s a good piece of advice if you’re looking to prevent a heel spur. Well fitting shoes are one of the best ways to prevent this issue. There are a few things that you should know about finding a good pair.

  • Don’t plan on buying a pair that will stretch out over time to feel comfortable. Remember, the ball of your foot should fit nicely in the widest part of the shoe you are thinking about buying.
  • Modern innovation has made it easier to buy shoes with shock absorbent soles that can prevent any heel spurs before they start.
  • Rigid shanks are another option that you should be looking for.
  • Of course, if you are overweight, losing a few pounds can help prevent this issue from cropping up.

 

Finally, it’s always a good idea to do some stretches and warming up before any physical activity to prevent the kind of wear and tear that can lead to heel spurs.

Giving Back to the Community, One Step at a Time

This past year, I had the opportunity to get involved with various charitable events happening around the City of Toronto. It is always a great honour to join other members of our community help raise money for those in need. It’s also an honour to help showcase the City of Toronto as the world-class venue it is.

As a volunteer podiatrist for the OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, I, along with other Toronto podiatrists who work throughout the city, supported the over 3000 participants who walked for their family, friends and other loved ones. Over 6.5 million dollars was raised for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, which is something to be very proud of. I’d like to thank all the podiatrists who supported our dedicated walkers — we tended to sore feet, blisters, and readily gave foot care advice. It was our duty, along with the other volunteer medical professionals, to ensure every walker was safe and had fun. I look forward to next year’s walk, and imagine it will be just as successful!

For more information about the OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, or to get involved in 2017, visit their website here: http://www.onewalk.ca/index.html

The Cold Weather is Back — and So Are Our Cold Feet Socks!

Back by popular demand this winter are our cold feet socks, which are designed to help people who have severe reactions to the cold weather, or who suffer from severe reactions to the cold, diabetes, chilblains, and Raynauds. These socks, available at our downtown Toronto foot clinic, are the best solution to ensure your feet don’t keep you from enjoying the outdoors this winter.

Those with diabetes, circulation problems, or those who just tend to spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter are more likely to experience frostbite (a severe injury of the skin; signs and symptoms include tingling, numbness, changes in the colour and texture of the skin, and loss of feeling altogether, and can result in gangrene if not treated), and other cold-weather ailments, such as chilblains (painful swelling and itching of the skin, usually on the hands and feet when exposed to cold) and frostnip (a milder injury caused by exposing skin to cold weather, characterized by red, numb and tingly skin). Raynauds comes in the form of an “attack”, where mild or slight changes in the temperature can cause a reaction. During an attack, it’s very important to keep the feet warm as the arteries narrow and very little blood flows to the extremities. The feet and toes may turn pale, then blue, feel numb or cold or have the sensation of pins and needles. The attack can last minutes or hours, and can occur daily or weekly.

 

If you do suspect that you’ve come down with frostnip, chilblains, frostbite or Raynauds on your feet or hands, get inside as quickly as possible. Slowly rewarm your extremities by soaking them in warm water only (never hot!), for about 10 to 15 minutes. As you’re warming your feet and hands, you will likely feel a tingling, burning sensation — this just means the blood flow is returning. If you’re experiencing increased pain, call your podiatrist for advice.

To help prevent these ailments, contact Toronto podiatrist Chris Hastings to learn more about the cold feet socks offered at his downtown foot clinic. This winter is slated to be a cold one, so stay warm!