Foot Mobility, Range of Motion and Flexibilty

Foot pain can result from lack of mobility and certain types of footwear! The amount of time spent on your feet, walking around downtown Toronto, to work and home can add up!  First off let’s start by defining what the difference between range of motion and flexibility!

Range of motion is the available amount of movement of a joint. Flexibility refers to muscles, tendons and connective tissue’s ability to elongate within that range of motion. Range of motion improvement mostly comes from stretching and manual movement of the soft tissue. Massage, active release therapy, soft tissue release, foam rolling, trigger point and cupping are a few examples!  

Move it or lost it as they say! Well it is true, we lose our range of motion by being injured, from surgery, disuse or by not stretching. For a lot of our Toronto people, we spend a lot of our time sitting commuting to the office, sitting while at the office, or standing if you have a stand up desk. Our busy lives make it easy to forget the importance of stretching. Making a little stretching routine into a habit can make big benefits for your foot health! It can help prevent, plantar fasciitis , Achilles tenondonitis and keeping those toes mobile can help improve pain in pre-exiting joint pathologies.

Here are a couple tips on stretching and mobility :

The body responds to stretches much better after they are warmed up. Collagen is a component in our connective tissue and it does not stretch as well at body temperature and responds to stretching better after heat, such as a warm bath or sauna. 

It is best to hold your stretch for a longer duration to yield most benefits from stretching. This means 30 seconds to 1 min. Dynamic stretching is good to perform before activity for mobility and injury prevention. This is where you gently stretch the muscle for a short period of time, repeating a few times. Joints of the feet can benefit from mobilization if they have been injured. 

Another tip is practicing a wind down routine before bed where you can combine upper and lower body stretching before bed. It is proven to help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, especially when combined with foam rolling. Foam rolling before stretching is another good tip your downtown Toronto Chiropodist has to offer!

Our precious feet, which are always confined in shoes, can easily be susceptible to injury. That is because footwear, especially narrow dress shoes, can immobilize our feet making them susceptible to joint immobility and foot pain. Imagine what your hands would be like if you always wore mitts!

If you have any questions on foot mobility, footwear advice or foot pain, your Downtown Toronto Chiropodist, who concentrates on sports medicine and injury prevention would love to help!

Bunion Pain and Treatment from Toronto Downtown Chiropodist


Bunion pain can be debilitating for those coping with it. Most people think they need to resort to surgery as the initial step in treatment, but surgery should be considered a last treatment option in bunion pain management. That is the philosophy at our Toronto Downtown Chiropody and Podiatry clinic.   

What is a Bunion:

The medical term for a bunion is Hallux Abducto Valgus, meaning big toe with a lateral deviation and a twist. Our chiropodist Laura Desjardins approaches these injuries by coaching her patients how manage this condition. Our chiropodist understands that the bunion is a complex injury. The foot moves in three directions, called tri-planar and abnormal foot function of any of those movements can contribute to a bunion. Not only are abnormal foot mechanics a contributing factor, but footwear should also be addressed when treating this injury.

Our chiropodist will give you a musculoskeletal examination where she takes measurements of your foot, bony movements, flexibility, strength, foot type as well as balance and other tests. She will also advise certain exercises or stretches for your particular bunion case.  Our chiropodist has a well rounded approach to care where she may also examine your hip strength and leg mechanics. Weak hips can also relate to bunion pain! In painful conditions anti- inflammatory medication and activity modification may be advised.  While rehabilitating, orthotics can be a useful tool in restoring foot mechanics and helping to deflect abnormal forces on the foot. 

Typically a pronated foot type and flat feet are prone to bunions, but that is not always the case. Even high arched feet can acquire a bunion. That is why it is very important to figure out what your individual mechanical issue contributing to your pain is. Rehabilitation can take weeks to see a benefit, so it does mean being a bit patient. After a hard effort in rehabilitation, footwear modification and adherence to other treatment plans suggested by our chiropodist, and orthopaedic surgeon referral may be the next step. The chiropodist may also advise an X-Ray referral to determine if ongoing pain is related to arthritis. 

Surgery is the only method that will remove the bump on the side of the bunion. However, if one does not address the underlying foot weakness or mechanical issues contributing to bunions, the bunion may come back. Footwear, such as heels, will also contribute to the recurrence of a bunion. 

If you are experiencing bunion pain, our downtown Toronto Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, will help you each step of the way when dealing with your injury.