When You Need to See a Toronto Podiatrist / Chiropodist

People have bumps and bruises on their feet all the time. This blog will tell you when you need to see a Toronto Podiatrist/ Chiropodist

Heel Pain

Achilles /tendinitis and Plantar Fasciitis are two big reasons for heel pain, especially in the morning. Plantar Fasciitis is characterized by a sharp pain directly underneath your heal. It may feel like a big bruise or a burning sensation. Many patients report it is the worst in the morning or when they are sitting down.

Tendon Disorders

One of the most common areas to have a problem is with the Achilles/tendon. This tissue connects the ball to the muscle at the back of your foot. When this particular tendon gets inflamed, the result is called Achilles Tendinitis. For many patients, it’s just a short-lived experience.

However, there is always the possibility of a small tear in the tendon. These can degenerate into a more serious issue if they don’t get looked at by a qualified Toronto podiatrist or chiropodist.

If you have a concern with your feet, it’s a concern for us. We offer a variety of different services. They are designed to make your life pleasant and comfortable. These include surgical correction of deformed joints as well as treatments for foot pain and sports injuries. A lot of foot pain can be resolved without a surgical intervention!

Bunions

This is another common foot problem that can become serious if you don’t treat it properly. It happens when the big toe’s joint moves out of place. You might think that it’s just a bump and nothing to worry about. However, it needs to be treated by a Toronto podiatrist. Think of it this way, the big toe carries a lot of your weight when you are walking.

The corrective services we offer can give you pain relief, which include a rehabilitative program, corrective orthotics, modalities and corrective toe spacers / splints.

There’s no need to wait until one of these issues affects your mobility. If you have any of the above conditions, you can book an appointment to see us!

Booking your consultation if you think there’s a problem is the first step. Chris Hastings has years of experience. Not only does he have a private practice, he also works as a consultant. Chris has also been a community leader in several different organizations. Our recent Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins has extra training from Harvard Sports Medical school in Foot and ankle rehabilitation and is passionate about treating foot pain!

If you take a look at the services offered, you’ll see they are comprehensive and thorough. When you need to see our Toronto podiatrist or chiropodist Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins should be at the top of your list.

Treating Plantar Fasciitis with Shockwave and Orthotics Downtown Toronto

The Nature of Plantar Fasciits

If you are one of those many people who suffer from foot pain, we have solutions for you! I try my best to stay current in the recent advances in academic literature. I want to share some recent findings with you! One of the most common conditions I find in practice, is plantar fasciitis. It can be characterized as a pain in the heel or pain along the arch of the foot. Increased pain in this condition may arise from prolonged standing or activity on the feet. People tend to feel it after a period sitting or when waking up in the morning. Stretching out the band does offer some instant, temporary pain relief. Sometimes, the fascia band has been injured for some time that the healthy tissues are no longer working properly and become known as degenerative. What does that mean? It means the tissues no longer lay down healthy tissue in the manner it used to. The injury to the tissue changes the ability to repair and heal.  

My Approach to Treating Plantar Fasciitis – Extracorporeal Shockwave

How I typically treat plantar fasciitis is by the same principles of rest, support, strengthen and treating the tissue. Treating the injured area will have best benefits when one corrects the underlying issue causing the strain on the foot. This means restoring the strength and flexibility to the areas needed so that the strain on the band no longer happens. The problem about this injury is that the bottom of the foot is difficult to rest. That is why the use of an orthotic will help to lessen the strain on the tissue and offer support while standing on it. My preferred method of treatment for this is extracorporeal shockwave therapy.  

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy sends pulses into the degenerative, injured tissue to help speed up recovery. The pulses promote regeneration of healthy cells to heal the tendons and soft tissue. The treatment results in new blood vessel formation, reversal of chronic inflammation, stimulation of collagen production and loosens tissue. The treatments are usually spaced 1 week apart. I do feel the best results are when this is combined with the proper exercises so the underlying mechanism of injury is addressed. This treatment is really what helped me when I had plantar fasciitis in my earlier running years.  

Footwear and Plantar Fasciitis

Footwear can be a tricky one! Some people respond better to a lower heel drop and some respond better to a higher heel drop. I still have yet to find a holy grail which to advise people on this one. The higher heel in a shoe can alleviate the strain on tissues that don’t have flexibility. However, sometimes a higher heel in footwear can cause more focal compression on the injured tissue of the plantar fascia.  It is a bit of trial an error process. It is okay to gradually go into a little lower of a drop for those whose pain scale is quite reduced. I also implement a lot of stretching, mobility and strength work into my rehabilitation program for plantar fasciitis.  

What The Research Says for Pain Relief :

 In the academic journal Comparison of extracorporeal shock wave therapy with custom foot orthotics in plantar fasciitis treatment, it was found that both options were of benefit for those suffering with plantar fasciitis problems.  The results : Both group I and group II achieved significant improvements in our evaluation parameters (morning and evening pain) at 4, 12 and 24 weeks compared with their baseline values (P<0.001), and significant improvement observed in the group II continued at 48 weeks (P<0.05).

The study demonstrates both groups reported improvement in either scenario. Both are found to have benefit for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. I like to combine both in my practice! Orthotics can get mixed views as the person prescribing must have a sound understanding of the foot and lower limb. I am confident in my experience with my sport medicine background, that I understand the interaction of orthotics with the mechanics of the foot. Orthotics can be of great benefit when injured, to help the tissue rest and alleviate strain when recovering from an injury. 

Toronto Podiatrist/Chiropodist Tips for Keeping Senior Feet Healthy.

As your Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist who cares, we keep on top of all the latest information for seniors. Recently, we found some data from The Centers for Disease and Prevention Control in the United States. It reports slips and falls are the number one reason seniors hurt themselves.

Studies have found those with foot pain and weakness are more likely to fall.  It’s a good idea to make sure your feet are in the best condition. That’s the best way to avoid accidents. Here are some Toronto Podiatrist and Chiropodist tips for keeping senior feet healthy.

  • Pay attention to pain. Some older people think pain is just a natural part of aging. As a Toronto Podiatrist/ Chiropodist with experience, we can tell you differently. A lot of what ails you as you age can be treated. The first step is making sure you get a proper diagnosis from us.
  • Keep those tootsies clean. Good foot hygiene is important as you age. It doesn’t always need to be in the bathtub or shower either. Preventing bacterial infections is as easy as wiping your feet down with warm water before you go to bed, ensure they are dry also. You can use a hair dryer as well!
  • Trim those nails. Long toenails can make it hard for older people to walk. Many senior people have balance problems as they age. Older people with diabetes need to be especially careful to prevent cuts and scrapes from untrimmed nails.
  • Stretch. Simple exercises are a great way to keep senior feet healthy. Stretching is a great way to keep your feet and ankles strong and mobile. Appropriate exercise can even help lessen the pain you’re feeling from arthritis. Talking to our Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist experts can help match you up with the right exercise routine.
  • Fit your footwear properly. Footwear is one of the most important aspects. If your shoes are too small it can cause blisters and other problems for your ability. Here’s a simple rule to follow. Your shoes should support your foot width and ankle as well as your arches.
  • Look your feet over. Self-examination is a great way to find problems before they become bigger issues. Make at-home examinations a routine. Look for lumps, bumps and any strange changes. It is easy to examine your feet during your morning hygiene routine or when you are putting on your socks!

Finally, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any kind of skin irritations on your feet. Seniors who continually rest their tootsies on pillows and mattresses need to keep an eye out for sores.
We are always available to have a look when you find something. It’s important for us to be part of your mobility.

Pain on the Ball of the Feet

Do you suffer from pain located on or near the ball/ balls of the feet? This term is a generic name for metatarsalgia, which has many different forms of manifestation.  It can be localized to the smaller area or it can be located under the big toe. Typically those who use their feet a lot in their jobs, commute often or athletes can be susceptible to this. The balls of the feet are actually the anatomical metatarsal heads. They can have many different symptoms including sensations of bruising, tenderness, aching , burning and even electric sensation .

Common causes for metatarsalgia include improper footwear, overuse , poorly fitting footwear,  or sudden impact injuries . Improper footwear, such as high heels, can cause strain or injury to the ligaments around the joint . This can lead to pain and swelling . Overuse is from repetitive wear and tear can result in the forefoot arch flattening or potentially stress fractures. Sudden impact injuries can lead to sprains around the joint .

Although there are different conditions of metatarsalgia causing this pain, the treatment options are quite similar. Treatment typically is comprised of assessing the nature of the injury, cause and a treatment plan . Initially reduction in overall impact is recommended, although most activities can still be performed with support added to the forefoot in footwear. Padding can be used short term to help support the foot while rehabilitating the foot.

One thing to note is that material comprised of these pads can lead to friction as the material absorbs sweat and may cause chaffing.  That is why an orthotic with a pad embedded into the device is better to prevent blistering, increase compliance and comfort, especially in runners . I highly recommend strengthening the foot and mobility exercises to help restore function. I always advice against flexible footwear that leads to excessive bending on the forefoot in ligament joint injury conditions. I also like to combine treatment with modalities to help speed up the healing process . The modality I like to use is shockwave for foot conditions .