Stress Fractures and Toronto orthotics: Here’s What You Need to Know

Here’s a few words on Toronto orthotics and stress fractures.

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto knows that your foot has many bones. We also understand that a stress fracture might take a while to become apparent. Now that people are out running in the summer months, they need to be aware of what to look for.

These are usually caused by ramping up your training or the intensity of your run. Some of our patients are unlucky enough to trip on a pothole or rock. You’re even more likely to experience a stress fracture if you suffer from arthritis or take certain medications.

Too Much Too Quickly

For most of our patients, these happen when they do too much too quickly. If you are a runner who hasn’t trained over the colder months, it’s not a good idea to pick up where you left off.
Watch out for tendinitis, bunions or blisters. These can increase the risk for one of these fractures.

If the problem with foot pain is an alignment issue, we have Toronto orthotics treatments that can help. Fitting the device so that it aligns properly with the foot and ankle is what this service is all about.

Older Runner

If you’re an older runner in the summer months, you’ll need to consider this alignment issue. A stress fracture can be the catalyst for your pain.

Checking for symptoms is the first step to getting the right kind of treatment. Here’s a few red flags that you should be looking for regardless of your age.

Pain that lessens when you stop running and take a rest. Putting pressure on a stress fracture can cause it to act up. That includes any discomfort during daily normal activities. Make sure to look for swelling on the outside of the ankle or the top of the foot.

Keep in mind, it’s not just athletes who suffer from these types of injuries. The routine demands of your work and commuting can add up to a lot of stress on your feet as well.

Downtime Involved

If you wind up fracturing a bone in your foot, you’ll need to take some time away from running. Usually there’s about six weeks of downtime involved so the bone can heal. X-rays are a good way to diagnose any issue that you have with the bones in your foot. These can find something as tiny as a small crack.

Toronto orthotics can help correct your stride to prevent these injuries. Orthotics also help with coming back from a stress fracture.

Running Injuries – A Well Rounded Strength Program Can Ward off Injuries

Pain in the Foot is not fun. Especially when you are trying hard to stay fit during the COVID-19 outbreak. No access to gyms has forced people to be creative and move their exercise routines outdoors. It may even mean taking up new exercise. That may mean new aches and pains, because our body is not used to the form of exercise.

Here are some tips to help keep our body well rounded when taking up running.

First of all. My philosophy has always been that the foot is part of the kinetic chain of the entire leg. Forces acting on the foot can contribute or exacerbate foot pain.

A lot of the time we do not spend enough time focusing on staying strong in a well rounded approach. Weakness is why we get hurt. So lets try our best to avoid weaknesses.

Please note this is me sharing what I do. I have worked together with a physio to ensure I have my proper form so I do not hurt myself.

Exercises to do to help up stay injury free!

Strength training we should aim to do 2-3 times per week.

Lunges or Split Squats

The main point here is that how you position your body can impact where you feel the strengthening. Your back should be straight . Hinging at the hip and sinking backwards when you lower can target the glutes more. While hinging slightly forward can target the quads more. I specifically like to target the glutes. Running and walking already makes you quite quad dominant.

Lunges are also a great warm up to do prior to runs. Simple walking lunges helps to wake those muscles up!

Step Ups

This is where there is a step or a stool in front of you. You place one foot on the step and then press up . You straighten the leg and drive the other leg up. You pause at the top for a couple of seconds and then slowly go back to the ground.

Calf Raises

This is a big one for runners. The calf muscles work hard during runs. Over working can lead to wear and tear and actually weakness. The calf helps to absorb the impact of running as well as drive you forward in toe off phase of gait. Keeping this area strong can help reduce foot and ankle related injuries

To do this exercises you can do on two feet or one. You simply go up on the balls of your feet while attempting to not roll your ankle in or outwards. You want to think of maintaining the even weight distribution on all balls of the feet.

If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, I can help guide you to build up to this exercise. As doing this when injured can hurt the fascia band more, depending on the severity of the injury.

Hip Abduction

This can be done lying down or standing up . Lying down is a good place to stat initially. To do Stand with band around your shins and then raise the leg outwards. Keep the foot in line with your hip, try to not have it migrate in front of you your behind you . Keep your toes pointed forwards.

Hip Extension

Place a band around your shins and keep both feet facing forwards. Lift one leg back behind you and then return to normal. This works the hamstrings and the glutes.

Hip Flexors

This helps with running and form. You place a loop band around both feet and drive the bent knee up towards your chest.

Core Exercises

I am a big fan of planks for the core. This is done on the floor with your elbows bent. You can squeeze your glutes and ensure your back does not sag . To make this more difficult you can lift one leg up and hold. This is a hip extension variation. The other exercise you can do is side planks. This helps to work the hip abductors. A more difficult variation is to extend your arm and then raise one leg up in the air and hold.

 

Do not forget to also stretch!

 

Your Toronto chiropodist Offers These Shin Splint Tips

We’re the Toronto chiropodist and Toronto Podiatrist that wants you to be well-informed as you head into the warm weather. For many people in the GTA, running outside is a big part of summer. If part of that activity results in a nagging pain in your legs, you might be suffering from shin splints.

Here’s a few things you can do about them.

Get New Shoes

In your excitement to get outside and exercise, you might be wearing the wrong shoes. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto has seen lots of runners who’ve been wearing old sneakers for too long. Hanging onto those old shoes when they are past their prime is a big reason for shin splints.

Don’t forget to look for some wiggle room when you’re buying a new pair. That means about the width of your thumb between your big toe and the front of the running shoe.

Apply Ice

Pain and swelling can be reduced with an ice pack. If you’ve already got a shin splint, apply one of these for 30 minutes every three hours for several days. Stop when the injured leg is every bit as flexible as the other one.

If you could push on the spots that used to hurt, that means the ice packs are working.

Take Smaller Strides

As your Toronto chiropodist, we know how motivated you are to start running in the summer. It’s easy to take a long stride with the sun shining down on you and the birds singing in the trees. However, that’s not always the best bet for your lower legs.

There is research that says longer strides put more pressure on your shin bones. Short quick steps are the better bet. Remember to let your feet touch down quickly and briefly between each one. In fact the best is to aim for 180 strides each minute. You want to feel smooth and limit the amount of bobbing up and down. One way to do this is to imagine your head staying level as you run.

Stretch Before You Run

Stretching before you run helps you to avoid injuries like shin splints. Sit down and extend your left leg out to the side. Lean forward and bend your back and waist towards your left foot. This is a good stretch for your hamstrings. Try and hold it for 30 seconds at a time.

To stretch your calf muscles, stand with one leg behind the other. Bend one leg forward while keeping the other one straight. Press the heel to the floor.

Finally, if you injure yourself running, play it safe and come in and see your Toronto chiropodist or Toronto Podiatrist.

Running Shoes – Footwear Advice !

Foot Pain Running? How and Why Footwear Matters. 

Lets face it, we are trying to make the most of this time of isolation. We want to be healthy and maybe take the opportunity to reach our fitness and health goals.  Without access to the gym or our fitness groups we are forced to get outside and get moving! Running is easy, right? We put on a pair of shoes on, put one foot in front of the other and get our heart rate up. An unexpected pain in your foot has put a road block into your plans. 

What to do if you get foot pain.

The first thing people should do, who experience foot pain, is rest and also take a look at what they have on their feet. I am offering some suggestions for what types of shoes to look for when you are experiencing pain in certain areas of your feet. 

Simple Terminology You Should Know When Buying Shoes 

Heel Drop – this is the difference of the heel height in relation to the forefoot height. A heel drop from 8 mm up to  12mm is seen as a higher heel drop. A lower heel drop is from 6mm down to 0 mm. 

Neutral shoe does not offer any gait correction. Stability offers gait correction for people that have flat feet or their knees and feet collapse inwards. Support is defined as non corrective gait movement guidance, this is seen in Brooks footwear as guiderails.

Foot Pain Symptoms and Shoes to Look For 

A key note – With any foot pain issues, a stiffer sole of some substance is better for foot pain. A soft sole may feel nice, but a stiffer sole adds stability to the foot. Brooks tends to have their shoes on a firmer sole across the board. Other lines may have firmer options. 

Achilles pain. Achilles issues can arise from lack of flexibility, calf weakness and pronation issues. Depending on if your issue is a result of pronation or not you should shop for a shoe at least a 10mm drop. 10 -12 mm heel drop brings the ground up to the foot and helps to alleviate strain off the achilles.

Tibialis Posterior Pain. Pain on the inside of your shins or inside of your arch. A 10 – 12 mm drop.Stability or support shoe will help with this. This problem usually arises from weak hips, calf and feet.

Plantar Fasciitis – 8-10 mm heel drop.  A firmer soled shoe with pronation control and a wide toe box. This problem usually is a complex one! I like a more supportive shoe with pronation control and a wider toe box. Intrinsic weakness is common with this condition. Having a wider toe box allows one to use toe spacers to help work their intrinsics when exercises. I also like a higher drop as calf tightness and weakness is also common with this condition. Bringing the ground up to the foot helps to take off some tension from the foot. 

Pain bending the toes upwards or a toe sprain – Any of the carbon plate shoes will to go well with this . These fancy shoes include the zoomfly, TC New Balance, Saucony Endorphin Pro and Hoka Carbon X shoe. 

Metatarsalgia or pain in the ball of their feet- Now these people would respond well to a lower drop 4-8 mm. I also recommend more cushion in the forefoot and wearin a met pad. Certain met bads are better than others for running. Materials that absorb sweat can lead to hot spots and friction/ blisters. That is no fun!

There you have it ! A few common foot conditions with footwear choices. 

A key note, when going down into a lower drop be careful. It takes time to adapt to that drop to avoid any achilles or ankle issues. 

Happy Running !