A Downtown Toronto Foot Doctor Supplies Some Advice for Golfers

We’re one Downtown Toronto foot doctor that confesses to loving the links. One of the best times to go golfing is when the leaves start to fall. And that’s soon. Having a good swing is about more than how you connect with the ball. The ball of your foot, heel and toe are all important too.

Here’s a few ideas on how looking after your feet can increase your handicap.

The Issues

There are three issues that can affect your golf swing. A neuroma is a problem with the nerves in your foot. It can cause a problem when you’re shifting your weight as you swing through.
Arthritis is a more common issue that can show up in your big toe. It can make the follow through extremely difficult. Other golfers can suffer from heel pain. This occurs when the tissue in that part of your foot becomes inflamed. It’s a horrible way to ruin an otherwise good golf stance.

Buying Golf Shoes

There’s another area where a Downtown Toronto foot doctor can help your golf game. And that’s in helping you choose the right golf shoes.

Getting the right sized shoe is critical. Think about it. During any given round of golf, you’ll be walking long distances. You’ll be standing for several hours and shifting your weight as you hit the ball.

Measure both your feet before making any decisions. If they’re different sizes, get the one that fits the larger foot. Wearing shoes that are too small can cause bunions and even hammertoe.

Socks are important too. When you’re on your way to buy golf shoes, take a pair that you’ll be wearing with you.

Once you’ve considered the health of your feet, it’s time to take a look at style. There’s a lot to choose from. But basically, you can divide your choices into either traditional or athletic.

Leather Golf Shoes

The traditional golf shoe is generally made from leather. Not always as breathable as we’d like to see, but usually these are waterproof.

From our standpoint, athletic golf shoes have a lot going for them. They are lightweight, breathable and very flexible. Good for the feet and they come in a wide variety of colors and styles.

Spikes are available in both kinds of golf shoe. They give you a little more grip so you won’t twist your ankle. There’s lots of choice with modern golf shoes. They are a little more comfortable.

As a Downtown Toronto foot doctor, we always suggest you consider the health of your feet and your scorecard at the same time.

Downtown Toronto Podiatrist Tips for Your Fall Athletes

Being a downtown Toronto podiatrist for years means we see different issues as the seasons change. Young athletes suffer a sharp spike in the number of foot and ankle injuries when the leaves start to fall.

Basketball, football and soccer are the sports that cause a lot of broken bones and sprains for your children.

Here are some tips to prevent them from getting seriously injured while they play at Autumn sports.

  • Get any injury looked at right away. A simple sprain might be a lot more serious than it first looks. There might be some cartilage damage and even broken bones that could go undetected otherwise.
  • Match the shoe with the sport. As a downtown Toronto podiatrist that sees lots of ankle injuries, we can’t stress this enough. Many ankle related mishaps happen on uneven turf surfaces like playgrounds. Remember, there are differences between football cleats and baseball shoes.
  • Children should warm up before they play any sport. A quick jog before they begin to stretch is a good idea. Stretching a warm muscle is a much better idea than working with a cold one. A brisk walk or even a quick swim are great ways to limber up.
  • Check the field. Uneven surfaces are the culprits for many sports related injuries. Parents should be on the lookout for any kind of divot that can snag a player’s foot. If you find anything, make sure referees and coaching staff know about it
  • Old injuries need to be checked out before a new season. A quick checkup with a downtown Toronto podiatrist can spot anything that hasn’t healed properly.

Children need new shoes for a new season. The bottoms can become worn and uneven. When that happens, the ankle can tilt and cause an injury.

The Best Fall Sports

Soccer is one of the best fall sports for your child to be involved in. Not only do they get a good workout, they also learn the value of teamwork. Shin guards and cleats are the only gear you’ll need. And this is a relatively safe sport for your children to play.

Football is another big draw in the fall. Hightop cleats are one of the best choices here. They provide extra ankle support. If they have rubber outsouls, all the better. That makes slipping a little less likely.

Even the slightest injuries should be treated. We’re the downtown Toronto podiatrist that’s always ready to help.

Foot Pain Often Requires Glute and Core Strengthening

Foot Pain Often Requires Glute and Core Strengthening 

As a foot specialist I spend a lot of time hearing about people’s foot pain. I also am able to listen to their history and connect the dots to what may have resulted in a foot condition. To be honest, it is rarely just one thing, other than a direct blow or trauma, that results in foot pain conditions. Most of what I see is overuse injuries, and that can even be walking for extended periods of time. Doctors and nurses who spend long shifts on their feet are no stranger to foot pain.

Foot injuries can happen from repetitive overuse where some structures become weakened. Sometimes an old injury that was not completely rehabilitated can cause recalcitrant issues later down the road. The foot is directly related to the forces placed upon it. Weaker structures above the foot results in more impact on the foot.

The more and more I see, the more I realize everything in the body is connected. I have always been a practitioner of the philosophy where every body part has a relationship to another. The best way to explain this is if you only treat a painful area, you may not be targeting the original cause of the problem. That is why when I help treat foot pain, I like to encourage a well rounded treatment plan that also includes core and glute strengthening.

I was at Goodlife and it occurred to me the sign on the wall next to the glute machine stated something along the lines of “Glute strength, the most important muscle for athleticism”.  This is so true! Our core and pelvis holds our centre of gravity, much of the pain and ailments related to the foot an ankle also has a relationship to the glutes and core.

Being a person who runs each day, I realized this more and more. Most of all the injuries happening to the feet are directly related ! Do not get me wrong, one still needs to strengthen the feet and rehab that area, however it is of most benefit when we also strengthen above the foot as well. So I wanted to share some tips on keeping your glutes and core strong to help prevent some injuries. Plus, isn’t it a bonus to have a toned booty and core?

Planks

This includes side planks and front planks. The best form is when you squeeze your glutes together and attempt to keep you belly facing the wall, not twist up to the ceiling.

 

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Donkey Kicks

These are great to isolate the glute muscles. Donkey kicks can be done lying flat on the floor or on all fours. This can be done with a theraband around your hips also. The gym does offer a push plate for better glute activation.

 

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Glute Bridges

Again, it is always important to squeeze your glutes at the top. Attempt to hold this for 45 seconds. Marching or transitioning into a single legged glute bridge also makes this one more challenging.

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Standing A

This one is easy to do anywhere! You can stand up in an A stance and squeeze your glute at the top . Holding only in the standing knee up position.

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Single legged Squats

Stand up straight with your back and heels in contact with a wall. Take a small step forward on your leg to be exercised. This step should be around half to one foot distance away from the wall. You can easily incorporate this daily. When you attempt to sit down, slowly lower on one leg or add in a few reps before you sit!

 

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Side steps with therabands

These are great to help activate pelvic stabilization when walking. People with weaker glutes tend to drop their hip when they walk, which can result in knee pain and also subsequent foot pain. Place a band around your ankles and gather some tension. Side-step keeping constant tension on the band. Make sure you do not bring your feet too close together and keep your toes and knees pointing forwards.

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Strengthening should be done at least 2 times a week. You do not need a gym membership in order to do these basic strengthening exercises. You can do 10 minutes twice a week and it will still add up to help keep you healthy.

I encourage that prevention is the medicine .

Plantar Fasciitis – Tips from a Chiropodist and Elite Distance Runner

What is Plantar Fasciits?

The plantar fascia is a deep connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. It helps you walk and aids to stabilize the foot. The cause of this stubborn condition is a combination of tightness and weakness due to overuse.  

Why Does it Happen?

The pain is caused by the plantar fascia band overworking in a compensatory manor, when it attempts to stabilize the foot.  This compensation of the band is due to compounding factors of a tight lower leg, combined with weak muscles specifically the glutes/ core and foot.  Weak glutes/core cause more collapsing down the chain and more pronatory force on the foot. Weak glutes / core can lead to very tight calf muscles and more load placed on the foot than it can handleWeak foot muscles cannot absorb impact properly, thus leading to the fascia band overworking to control the instability. The fascia is not designed to do this and pain occurs as a result. 

Me, being a runner who trains at a high level, has withstood many repetitive overuse injuries in my time. I was told that I should not run as I have a pathological foot type. This means that I am predisposed to a lot of foot injuries. I chose a field which I knew would educate me to help me stay healthy to do what I love to do. Not only do I love to run, but I also love to help people get back to health and continue doing what they love to do.

My entire philosophy has always been rehabilitative in nature as well as promoting adequate support to injured tissues. In fact, in practice I have found that to be the most successful for my patients. A combination of support to the injured tissues, while rehabilitating the imbalances. This is why it is important to have a thorough examination to determine where your individual weaknesses and flexibility errors may be. Not all the time is plantar fasciitis a problem of flexibility. Thus, if one is only given a program of stretches, they may not see the best improvement. Stretching is important but it is only part of the puzzle. I also have experience in plantar fasciiits orthotic prescription for people who wear flats, to those who partake in high impact activity, such as running.

Treatments

I am firm believer in strengthening the weaknesses and I do believe a strong foot is a healthy foot. When the foot is injured I do find orthotics helpful in pain alleviation as orthotics help to offload the injured area as well as adding support to injured tissues. Orthotics also help to provide stability to the foot to help prevent the fascia band from kicking in to stabilize the foot. Orthotics are of benefit while I train people to begin utilizing their lower chain muscles again. I attempt to promote this on a regular basis as well. When standing in line at the grocery store, brushing  teeth, to even waiting at a pedestrian stop light.

I do find shockwave therapy to be a very effective treatment for plantar fasciits. However, it is only effective if the mechanism of action causing the pain is managed properly and addressed. If the proper mechanics are not restored, the forces leading to strain on the plantar band will return, making the cycle a very frustrating experience. The shockwave is of benefit, it just need to be combined with the proper exercise regimen to yield most benefits. If one is doing the proper exercises and gets the treatment, they will see that shockwave therapy does help. Me, being a distance runner, I am no stranger to this injury. I know first hand the benefits of shockwave therapy when combined with the correct therapy protocols. I also may need to prescribe a strong anti inflammatory in more painful conditions. Clinically, I have found prescription grade to be far better than over the counter anti inflammatory medications in getting the inflammation to calm down. In the beginning , I also like to advice a regular daily icing protocol as well.

Footwear is an important topic. When the foot is injured, it is best to avoid flat shoes or shoes of little support. I usually tell people to avoid shoes which can easily bend . I typically like a wider toe box, so one can activate their foot muscles better. A narrow shoe immobilizes the foot muscles,  leading to further strain on the fascia band. I also like soles with a bit more of a medial flare such as the New Balance 840 or 860. I am a big fan of New Balance. They started off as an insole company and they are pretty bang on with most of their footwear engineering.

If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, I am thrilled to help you! That is my passion and I understand how miserable that condition can be. I have had continuing education training from Harvard Medical School focusing on foot and ankle conditions. I look forward to providing a well rounded approach to help those with plantar fasciitis.

Wishing you the best in your foot health!