Plantar Fasciitis – our downtown Chiropodist and Podiatrist can help!

Common foot pain pathologies that our downtown Toronto Chiropodist and podiatrist can help with include plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis is a very common foot condition that impacts people who are physically active or have occupations requiring them to be on their feet for long hours. Plantar fasciitis can last for months and become very frustrating to those suffering from it.

What is fascia? The fascia is called aponeurosis, which is a white fibrous tissue that is similar to a flattened tendon on the bottom of the foot. It is known to be an extension of the Achilles’ tendon to help propel us forward when we walk. Many factors can combine to create this injury. The onset of this injury is likely to include one or many factors such as overuse, lack of flexibility, lack of strength combined with improper footwear / lack of support. This is a very painful condition that our downtown Toronto chiropodist and podiatrist are experienced in treating.

Overuse:

When we stress our muscles we make micro tears to our tissues and with proper recovery they heal. This is a natural process of training. However, when the demands on the foot tissues are greater than the ability to repair, an injury happens . This is why it is very important to gradually scale up in duration or intensity of activity . Without slowly integrating the demands placed on the foot, the tissues may take on more load than they can tolerate and plantar fasciitis may arise. The same principle applies when returning back to training after injury, it is important to slowly scale back up in duration and intensity. In severe cases chronic plantar fasciitis may lead to a stress reaction in the heel.

How do we prevent overuse ?

By slowly increasing the duration and intensity of your activities. It is also important to include proper rest days and less intense days with a recovery routine to allow for tissues to heal and repair. If you are a runner, our chiropodist is an elite runner and has experience with elite coaches . If you need any advice on training to prevent your running injuries, or how to come back from one, she would love to help!

Strength

Flexibility and strength is interrelated. Sometimes a weak muscle may compensate by tightening up to meet the demands placed on it. The problem with this is that sometimes tightness is compensatory and the muscle works in ways it is not supposed to. Muscles  attempt to tighten up to meet the demands placed on them or other muscles start to compensate and tightness is a result of improper function. This can lead to pain and injuries such as plantar fasciitis or tendonitis.

Flexibility:

If we always use a muscle group and never stretch it, it can create imbalances in our bodies that contribute to deformity and structural changes . An example of this, is tight calf muscles from always walking or running. The calf muscles ( gastrocnemius and soleus), are always lifting body weight and with time, microtears can weaken or cause an imbalance. This can cause tightness / lack of flexibility to form. Without adequate stretching, flexibility will diminish. Our downtown chiropodist, Laura Desjardins is experienced in assessing which calf muscle is tight and which muscles are imbalanced and prescribe an appropriate rehab program based on your individual findings.

Support and footwear

Certain foot types can benefit from extra support, especially when battling a foot injury.A flatter foot type is one where the ankles may buckle in and the toes splay outward. This is called a pronated foot type. A certain amount of pronation in regular gait is required, but excessive amounts can lead to a torsion / twisting strain placed on the fascia band and cause plantar fasciitis. At our downtown Toronto chiropody and podiatry practice we encouraged strengthening the lower leg and foot and will help educate on a supportive shoe or orthotic to help control these forces.

If you would like to seek a well rounded approach to plantar fasciitis, our chiropodist Laura Desjardins will help guide you through a thorough rehabilitation plan. She is also experienced with soft tissue release and a well structured return to exercise plan. Orthotics are also an excellent tool utilized in the prevention and treatment of plantar fasciitis.

In summary, plantar fasciitis is a very frustrating injury one does not have to live with. In our practice, for severe chronic cases, we may refer you out to Platelet Rich Protein Injections or Cortisone Injections. These severe cases may require offloading with an air cast. This injury is not merely just a foot injury and structures above and below the site of injury should always be strengthened, rehabilitated and stretched . Here at Podiatry on Yonge at King, Laura Desjardins is on your team and will help you get through this !

A Few Words on Toronto Orthotics

We always like to suggest that Toronto orthotics that are professionally fitted are the best for foot pain. If you find you are suffering from foot pain constantly, this is usually the right way to go. There are generally two different ways to go for foot pain.

Orthotics

As we’ve already touched on, these are prescribed medical devices that are worn inside your shoes. They are specifically designed to correct different types of foot issues and help you with the way you run, stand and walk.

These are also helpful with different kinds of foot pain that can be caused by conditions like arthritis, bursitis and even diabetes. You might even be able to avoid the type of surgery that fixes flat feet with the right orthotics.

Inserts

If you’re looking for simple cushioning and support, you might be able to get away with the kind of inserts that you can buy in a store. Remember that although these are made with plastic or foam and innovative types of gel, they are not custom-made for your individual foot.

Even though they might be able to help you by making your shoes more comfortable, they aren’t designed to correct any kind of these issues you might have with your feet. They also do not provide the quality or durability of custom devices. Our clinic uses a high quality orthotic lab that also provides a guarantee on your orthotics for 6 months!

Toronto Orthotics and What We’ll Look For

As your Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist of choice, we will do a thorough examination to find any foot issues requiring these Toronto orthotics. One of the things that we can do in our office is take a look at the way you walk. That’s the best way to get an accurate appraisal of how your legs, ankles, and feet and hips all move together.
If we find that you need these types of specialized devices, we will be able to take a mold of your feet to get the process started. This mold is then turned into either a rigid or flexible orthotic, depending on your activities or foot type..

The flexible orthotics are generally made from semi flexible carbons or semi compressible materials. Generally, these take the pressure off specific sore spots on your feet and help with other issues like diabetic foot ulcers. The soft orthotics can be somewhat bulky so it’s often the case you’ll need prescription footwear to go with them. Te more flexible soft orthotics do not take up as much bulk.

Like the name suggests, rigid Toronto orthotics are made from more sturdy stuff. These are specifically designed to help you with pain in your lower back and legs and to compensate when your foot doesn’t act properly. As Chris Hastings will say, orthotics typically need to be rigid to have any real biomechanical effect on your foot!

Toronto orthotics are all designed to help you with a variety of issues.

Looking for Tips on Nail Care and Foot Problems? Here You Are!!

Whenever we discuss the topic of nail care and foot problems with any of our patients, we always stress how important your feet are. They are the way that you make your way through the world and help you “stand up” to everything that you need to.

It’s important that you look after your feet because they do so much for you in return. Under the banner of nail care and foot problems, we’ve done some research and come up with these things to do to keep you and your feet moving.

File Those Calluses

Whether you prefer using a foot file or pumice stone you should file those calluses so your feet don’t have any unnecessary friction against your shoes. There is a procedure here and it starts with soaking your tootsies in a foot bath or tub for about 15 minutes so the skin softens up.

If you want to add a little something to your foot bath, tannic acid is a great antibacterial agent that can actually reduce your chances of getting athletes’ foot.

Attack Fungus

Keep in mind there are many different antifungal treatments that you can buy at your local pharmacy. They come in a variety of forms like sprays, liquids and powders as well as creams and lotions.

When you’re looking at handling nail care and foot problems, you should understand that these work on mild cases of athlete’s foot. Quite often they won’t do much for toenail fungus. If you’re looking for a spray or medicated powder to help you with something like sweaty feet, you’ll want to make sure the product you choose has aluminum chloride in it.

If you spend a lot of time outside, it’s also a good idea to put sunscreen on the very tops of your feet. When the warmer weather finally gets here, an SPF of 30 is the best bet when you’re wearing scandals or going barefoot.

Finding the right kind of insoles is another proactive idea. These help you if you have a job where you’re standing for long periods of time. It’s important to look for an insert with a supportive shell at the bottom. Inserts with a firm shell make these types of supports much stronger and function better. If you can, it’s always the best idea to come in and see us so we can fit you with the right kind.

Making sure you keep those toenails clipped is another way to look after nail care and foot problems before they begin.

Let’s Talk About Orthotics

Our downtown Toronto Podiatry on Yonge and King practitioners want to educate people how orthotics help foot pain. Mixed views and theories exist on the role orthotics. We would like to clarify why this may be. First of all, an orthotic needs to be moulded the by the gold standard method. Additionally, it should be prescribed by a practitioner who greatly understands foot mechanics.

The gold standard for making orthotics is by plaster cast or by a 3D laser with the foot held in neutral. Other methods may not have as great of an outcome, as they may not correct the foot during the moulding procedure. Specific skills in prescription writing also plays a key role in the outcome of an orthotic. Chiropodist and Podiatrist have special training in this area.  In specific conditions a podiatrist or chiropodist may further correct to the foot while casting.

Podiatry on Yonge and King has experience and expertise in prescribing orthotics for foot pain and treatment in foot rehabilitation. We understand the mechanics of the foot and know certain orthotic modifictions cannot be done for certain foot conditions. Why? That can result in iatrogenic conditions. This means some conditions should avoid particular orthotic modifications as this can lead to foot and lower limb problems down the road.

A practitioner with an extensive understanding of foot mechanics will know when to include or exclude modifications in an orthotic. Our Chiropodist Laura Desjardins has a sound understanding of how to apply orthotics to active patients. She runs in orthotics and understands the interaction of footwear and the orthotic. Chiropodist Desjardins not only has clinical experience, but first hand personal experience of lower limb injuries and orthotic management. 

In academic literature of sports medicine, rehabilitation and physiotherapy, orthotics are known as a helpful tool in the treatment of foot injuries. Orthotics offer support to injuries and weakness of the foot, offload painful areas and control abnormal forces placed on the foot. They can help prevent and treat conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis and shin splints to name a few.

In addition to offering orthotics at our downtown Toronto Podiatry and Chiropody clinic,  our approach to care is to address the underlying foot problem. This is done by a thorough history,  biomechanical and gait assessment. Depending on the nature of your pain, we may advise you to see your family Doctor for an X-ray, MRI or Ultrasound. Unless in obvious or foot emergency circumstances, it is suggested to try conservative measures first to limit the amount of radiation exposure.

At Podiatry on Yonge at King we take pride in offering a quality orthotic to our patients. We try our best to prescribe an orthotic suitable for your style of footwear. However, we may advise changes to your footwear for best management outcomes. Chiropodist Laura Desjardins has great experience with orthotics for athletes and runners. She can also help ladies find the correct orthotic for their business attire. Our downtown Toronto Podiatrist Chris Hastings and Chiropodist Laura Desjardins are her to help guide you through you foot pain!