Ingrown Toenail? Here’s Some Solid Advice from Your Toronto Podiatrist

Chris Hastings has the Toronto podiatrist experience you’re looking for. He has served in hospitals and institutions as a consultant. His private practice is thriving and he is a community leader as well. He has information about a variety of issues including ingrown toenails. He has also brought an associate on board, whom he has mentored and passed on years of knowledge to.

Simply put, ingrown toenails occur when the sides of the nail break away and grow into the skin on the toe. It happens a lot and causes redness and swelling. If it’s not treated properly, an ingrown toenail can get infected.

Here’s what you need to do.

As soon as the symptoms start to appear, you should contact us. We are the Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist that look after people with this issue. We are especially concerned if you have diabetes. Complications can also occur if you have foot circulation problems and nerve damage.

Keep in mind that over-the-counter medicines won’t solve the problem. They only mask any pain you’re feeling.

Removing the Nail

Removing the nail is one of the treatment options. That’s because the area can get infected. If that’s the case prescription antibiotics are a good treatment plan.

If your ingrown toenail persists, we might suggest some simple surgery to remove part of the nail. Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins has experience as a Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist in this area. Chris is an accomplished leader in his field. Chris also understands the importance of being a community leader. His resume includes work with Crime Stoppers and the Cancer Society. Take a few minutes to go through the services offered on his website. You’ll see that Toronto nail care is one of the options. Laura Desjardins is an athlete herself and is no stranger to knowing the trauma toenails are exposed to in running and sports, which may lead to ingrown toenails.

Accurate Diagnosis

You will be able to get an accurate diagnosis for several different conditions with Chris and Laura, the practitioners at Podiatry on Yonge at King. These aren’t just limited to ingrown toenails. Finding out that you have toenail fungus in its early stages allows for prompt treatment.

Establishing regular checkups with our Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist clinic is the first step to good foot health.

Bacteria in the Wound

One of the biggest concerns with an ingrown toenail is infection. This occurs when bacteria enters the wound. If you have any symptoms like redness or swelling, book an appointment with us today.

Your feet need to be well looked after so they can last you a lifetime. Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins understand this because they are compassionate and professional. Avoiding serious issues means finding out about problems before they become large.

Finally, remember that both Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins are the Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist that makes a difference.

Big Toronto Foot Problems and Treatments

We understand your feet take a lot of daily punishment and suffer through Toronto foot problems. Whether you’re climbing, walking or running, you might suffer from a variety of issues.
That’s why we put together a list of Toronto foot problems and treatments.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes can cause nerve damage and high blood sugar levels can make things worse. Diabetic neuropathy occurs when blood sugar levels have not been maintained properly. Symptoms include pain and tingling in your feet. Diabetics suffer from a lack of sensation. This makes diabetic neuropathy more serious since cuts and other injuries go unnoticed.

If you have diabetes, you should get regular foot examinations. Toronto foot problems relating to blood sugar levels can be avoided. One of the first steps is to maintain control over your blood sugar.

You should also have your toenails trimmed professionally. Don’t hesitate to get medical attention as soon as you notice a cut or injury on your feet.

Bunions

Bunions are very common. They usually develop as a bump on the big toe and can cause the big toe to migrate outwards. Women are more likely to have these particular Toronto foot problems because they wear narrow shoes.

People with a family history are also at risk. There are other conditions like arthritis that can increase your chances of getting a bunion. There are several symptoms including tenderness and a visible bump on the big toe.

A bunion can also appear like a callous. If you’ve got trouble moving your big toe, you might have this issue. One of the most common symptoms is pain when you are walking.

We have experience in looking after Toronto foot problems just like this. As your Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist, we can prescribe shoes with inserts that are custom-made. When the situation doesn’t correct itself, surgery is another option.

Plantar fasciitis

When the strong connective tissue, called fascia, on the bottom of the foot becomes enlarged, Plantar fasciitis is the result. This is one of the more common causes of heel pain for most adults. Symptoms include discomfort on the bottom of the foot. It gets worse the more you move around. Many patients tell us it is severe early in the morning.

Get in touch with us if you are suffering from any of these issues. We have experience with a variety of Toronto foot problems. We offer a full biomechanical and gait analysis to find the root cause of your plantar fasciitis. Our Podiatrist, Chris Hastings, is one of the most experienced in the city and has a lot of knowledge with this condition. Our Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, is highly focused on sports medicine and foot pain and offers individualized treatment plans,soft tissue treatment, custom orthotics and shockwave therapy for those suffering with this condition.

5 Tips on Achilles Tendon Pain Treatment

5 Tips on Achilles Tendon Pain Treatment 

At Podiatry on Yonge at King, I care about your foot health and would like to take the time to chat about some key factors in footwear that can impact your foot health. Being a runner, I constantly subject myself to repetitive impact and movements. This leads to the susceptibility of overuse injuries or imbalances. Achilles injuries are one of the injuries commonly found in runners and the walking population. Achilles injuries are commonly caused by overuse, fatigue and biomechanical imbalances. Here are some key points to help manage or prevent these injuries and debunk some myths in the footwear and foot health field.

1. Footwear, this has a huge impact on our predisposition to these injuries. The amount of load placed on the tendon can be influenced by our footwear. At a point I recall there was a trend in wearing runners of a lower drop. What does a lower drop mean? It means the difference from the rear foot to the forefoot. That difference in height between the rearfoot and forefoot can make a big impact on the connective tissue around your ankles. Have a little higher heel than the forefoot can help reduce strain on the tendon. Doing high impact repetitive activities in a lower drop causes more elongated and more contraction to happen around the lower limb and ankle. This can lead to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis, especially if there is any overuse or weakness. It is best to stick to a consistent heel height among your footwear. I put an example of a hoe I recommend at the start of this blog. I am a big fan of 10mm drops. I tried to go into a lower drop, proper transition and I still was not a fan of how it sparked an injury in myself!

2. Strength : Walking movement and running requires us to raise our heels off the ground as we move forward. It requires muscular strength in both of the calf muscles. However, overuse can lead to fatigue and weakness in these muscles. In the beginning of strengthening, heel raises may put too much unwanted strain on the achilles. That is why I advise doing a progression in strengthening for the achilles. I typically start out with isometric holds then move to added difficulty with either increasing weight or eccentric heel drops. I am also a big fan of also adding exercises for glutes and core, as weakness in these areas can lead to compensation by excessive overuse on the calf complex. If the calf is not strong enough the achilles will get angry!

3. Flexibility helps connective tissue to stretch within a range of motion. It is important to stretch the calf muscles and achilles especially since we contract them so many times when we walk or run. Those who do wear high heels should try to incorporate more stretching into their day to day regimen.

4. Pronation or flat feet can also cause this injury. Pronation is when the feet collapse inwards toward the middle of the body. This can create excessive strain on the tendon . It is important to also strengthen the ankle with this injury. This can be corrected with exercises and supportive shoes. Someone who has a flat foot should not be in flimsy shoes.

5. Slowly increasing your mileage or intensity. It is not wise to move up more than 10% of weekly mileage in a given week.  Ease back into training if you are injured and trying to get back to running from this injury. I recommend easing back to activity by starting out wearing heel lifts or orthotics with posts in their non flat running shoe. It is not fun being injured, but you can maintain some level of fitness by cross training then progressing to the treadmill. The reason I like the treadmill is because it is lower impact and it isn’t as difficult as outdoor running. Once you are  strong and flexible enough, I remove that lift, while moving you through a progression in difficulty of load and exercises.

Like any injury, it does take time and patience. So do not be too hard on yourself. All we can do is focus on the positive aspects, such as our exercises and rehab in order to get over our injury.

Toronto Foot Doctor Tips for Good Foot Health

As your preferred Toronto foot doctor specialist, we take a special interest in each and every patient we see. We treat a variety of different foot issues. What’s more, we like to be proactive.

That’s why we’ve put together these tips on preventing issues before they start.

Shop for Shoes After Lunch

Your feet are their biggest in the afternoon. That’s why it’s the best time to shop for shoes. If they feel good at that time of day, the chances are you’ll be able to wear them comfortably at any other time.

Wash Your Feet Often

Lukewarm water with a bit of soap is the best concoction to wash your feet on a daily basis. We always caution against letting them soak for too long. That can damage their natural oils. For those who cannot reach their feet or have back conditions, a loofah or scrub on a long handled brush can help prevent falls in the shower while practicing good foot hygiene.

Cut Those Nails Properly

As a Toronto foot doctor with lots of experience, we surprise a lot of our patients by telling them there’s a right way and a wrong way to cut their toenails. Of course, you need to trim them on a regular basis. However, the secret trick is they need to be cut straight and not on an angle.

Using this little insider trick can help prevent ingrown toenails.

Cut Down on High Heel Time

We recommend that it’s best if you save your high heels for events and other types of occasions. If there is no way around wearing these types of shoes, try and lower the heel height as much as possible. If you have to wear heels in the office, wear shoes with good support and that do not hurt your feet on commutes. When you get to the office, change into your professional foot attire.

Scientific evidence points to the fact that a heel height of over 5 cm can do some damage to your feet over the long term.

Make Sure to Wear New Socks Everyday

This one might seem really simple but there’s more to it and just avoiding smelly feet. If you come in and talk to us, we can recommend the right kind of socks for your sporting events.

Generally, socks that are made of wool or cotton will help your feet to breathe. If you suffer from diabetes, your socks should be smooth on the inside to avoid damaging your skin. Synthetic materials are good for keeping the foot try and blister prevention for the more physically active population.

Finally, here’s a tip about your feet and communal areas as the weather gets warmer. It’s a good idea to wear pool shoes when you’re in any public area where you might be swimming or gymnasium showers.

One final note about flip-flops from your Toronto foot doctor. These don’t always have the best support so you shouldn’t wear them continually.

5 Reasons for Top of the Foot Pain

Top of The Foot Pain 

 5 Reasons for Top of Foot Pain 

It is no question that your day to day activities, hobbies and footwear has a direct impact on the aches and pains your feet experience. The changing of seasons usually means a change in footwear. Foot pain located to the top of your foot could be caused by a number of factors and I am here to help you hone in on what it is that may be causing your foot pain. Sometimes, it is not one thing, it is a combination of many factors that result in foot pain. 

  1. Footwear that is too restrictive or high heels can lead to top of foot pain. It goes without question that we all know high heels are bad for us. Why exactly ? Heels and footwear that does not allow the normal ankle range of motion can lead to imbalances in the foot and ankle. Footwear that drastically changes the angle in which our feet meet the ground, over repetitive steps,day after day, leads to injury. This effect of weakening is  similar to wearing a cast after injury, where foot strength in compromised after a period of time from being immobilized. Over time this can lead to weakness and pain on the top of your foot!
  2. Loose fitting footwear can cause foot pain. Yes, unfortunately,  it is kind of like that Goldilocks Theory. Footwear that is too tight or too loose is never too good for us. The middle ground with that happy medium is always best for our feet. Footwear, like flip flips causes overuse in the tendons in the feet. The flip flops place an overuse demand on the foot in a manner it is not used to. Repetition of this load causes reoccurring tendon strain and pain. This is the same situation when shoe laces are too loose, or footwear of slip on nature is used for longer than our feet are used to. 
  3. A neuroma is a condition where the nerves in our feet become inflamed or irritated . Neuromas are commonly found in those with repetitive strain to the feet or those who wear, yes again, high heels. The nerves in our feet migrate in the toe area and this delicate area can be a vulnerable spot of potential injury. I have been able to help restore function with proper rehabilitation exercises with this condition, but conservative care usually has a poor result. Once conservative measures fail, better success is with anti inflammatory injections and last resort surgical intervention. 
  4. Stress fractures are no joke. For those weekend warriors or those tough athletes who love to push through pain, take warning when this top of foot pain does not improve. Other sings include when one cannot even stand or walk without debilitating pain. These injuries are common in people who overtrain, increase in duration too much too soon, have previous foot injury or stress fracture and those who have nutritional deficiencies.Unfortunately X-rays do not always show a stress fracture. A bone scan will show this injury as well as a CT and MRI will also show this injury. Rest and an air cast followed by a proper rehabilitation program and nutrition is the best protocol in this situation.
  5. Other bone conditions that can results in top of the foot pain include Freiberg’s Disease or various forms of arthritis. Freiburg’s disease is a term used for avascular necrosis. This condition is caused by trauma to the bone that results in lack of blood flow to the bone, causing the bone cells to die. This is a serious condition that needs medical attention and time offloading to properly heal. There are various forms of arthritis that can cause foot pain. Arthritis can be caused  from general wear and tear, while others arise from an auto immune condition. 

All of these foot pain differentials are factors that can result in foot pain. Foot health is so important to your every life and there is no medal to be won for enduring unnecessary foot pain. Before your condition worsens or before you need to take more time off from activity or your lifestyle, please seek professional attention for the best advice on your foot health. 

Podiatry on Yonge at King has a vast amount of experience when it comes to foot health.

I, registered Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins would love to get to the root of your foot pain.

3 Points on Plantar Fasciitis for Runners

3 Points on Plantar Fasciitis for Runners  

Runners put a lot of stress onto their feet. In fact the amount of impact placed on the foot is actually 3 times our body weight. Me being a foot specialist and an elite runner, I am here to share some education on running conditions and how footwear plays an impact on our foot health. I actually chose this field as I noticed in my sport most of my injuries were to the foot and lower limb. Makes sense if 3 times my body weight is hammering on my feet each stride! If you have a foot condition, please do seek professional for treatment as neglected pain can result in a more serious injury and more time away from running !

Three Tips on Plantar Fasciitis Include:
1. Plantar fasciitis Signs and Symptoms:
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that typically feels like a stiffness or sharp pain on the heel or arch of the foot. Signs of this condition is stiffness or pain with your first few steps in the morning out of bed. It can also be the first few steps after sitting for a prolonged period of time. I advise my patients that continuing to step down without stretching or working the tissues prior to stepping down, can cause more microtears to the fascia band. It is best to sleep with a GOOD night splint , stretch / roll out the foot before getting out of bed and immediately putting on supportive footwear prior to doing your morning tasks.


2. How This Injury May Happen :
Our body needs time to recover from stresses placed on the tissues. Without adequate attention to strengthening or stretching to help adapt to the repetitive strain placed on the tissue, erratic healing and injury can arise. This is a difficult injury to treat as the bottom of our feet don’t get much rest with the amount of time on our feet in our busy lives.
This condition is commonly found in those who walk a lot, run a lot, on their feet a lot or those who spend a lot of time in high heels. On a whole it is from lack of flexibility and lack of strength. It is proven that tightness is from weakness. Specifically in runners, the microtears from repetitive movements can actually weaken the lower compartment and lead to plantar fasciitis.


3. Treatment Options:
Rest is always best when injured. In most severe cases the goal is to first reduce the amount of pain for the patient. That may mean a prescription of anti inflammatory medications, aggressive taping, and support or an air cast to reduce foot impact. Pool running or spinning is a good way to stay fit while treating this injury. Shockwave therapy is a great modality, also offered at my clinic. There is some skepticism on its efficacy. Those who treat shockwave  a band aid fix by just applying the treatment and send someone on their way, will have little hope for any benefit. The treatment is to be an adjunct approach with proper education and application of effective stretches, mobility, strengthening and footwear education. Soft tissue release and work of the lower leg compartment is also recommended. I tend to stay away from cortisone for runners, those who can take time off weight bearing activity and wear an air cast is only when I would recommend this approach.


In other cases an untreated plantar fascia injury can result in a stress reaction. That is why I always recommend long standing injuries of this nature that mimic bone conditions to be sent for an MRI from a licensed MD. Other options are Platelet Rich Plasma injections which uses the patient’s own platelets to accelerate healing. I do have a referral system set up at my clinic for those who may benefit from this.
Exercises and stretches are very important . As I explained earlier, stretching needs to be executed with the proper form so the stretch is felt. I typically like long stretches of both calf muscles , soleus and gastrocnemius to be held much longer than 30 seconds. Strengthening, I liked my patients to strengthen arches, intrinsics and lower calf muscles. This should all be done along any modality and after proper recovery time has been achieved after prp or cortisone procedures.


Footwear and orthotics are also key in treatment. In my experience footwear and support makes a big impact on foot conditions. Orthotics should be made to support the arch. I am not a big fan of lifts or anything that would exacerbate a tight calf. Only in the very early stages of the injury do I advise lifts, but my goal is to get the calf elongated and strong. I also advise people to wear a couple different heights of footwear from 4mm to 10 mm to help strengthen different angles of the ankle and calf when running. I am a big fan of firm soles opposed to soft flimsy footwear. For flatter feet, like myself, I am not a fan of light shoes for training. I am a big fan of support and the traditional school of stability footwear. Good brands make stability shoes light weight these days with similar Podiatric principles built into them. This includes medial flares, medial posts and even wider forefoot medial flares for forefoot support!

All in all plantar fasciitis is not one quick fix condition. It does require a holistic approach to treat the imbalances and restore function. I hope you will find some tips here if you are going through this painful condition and know help is available.

Our Foot Pain Treatment Toronto Team Highlights These Common Causes

It’s not fun when you have sore feet.. Our foot pain treatment Toronto clinic sees folks everyday from all walks of life. They suffer from a variety of problems. We thought it might be helpful if we listed a few of them so you can see you’re not alone.

Plantar Fasciitis

This is characterized by a nagging pain in the morning that gets better as the day wears on. Usually it feels like a dull throbbing in your heel or arch.

This condition can be caused by something as simple as not getting enough exercise. Our foot pain treatment Toronto clinic has seen people who have jobs where they need to stand on the heels of their feet. They suffer from this ailment too.

For momentary pain reduction we recommend stretching your lower legs for a few minutes every day and icing your heels for 10 minutes. Our clinic offers great treatment options for this pain including an up to date exercise plan, soft tissue release, shockwave therapy, personalized injury specific exercise plan and other podiatric suggestions to help you bounce back from this injury.

Ankles Sprains

If you stop and think about the way that your ankles are connected to your foot, it’s not a big surprise they can get twisted easily. Sprains generally occur when the ankle goes one way and the foot goes another and ligaments on the inside or outside of your ankle pull.

If you have a job where you need to change direction quickly, you’ll find that you’re susceptible to these sprains. Weakness around the ankle can also predispose you to these injuries.

There are a few things that you can do for injuries that aren’t too bad including resting the ankle until you feel better, icing, taking anti inflammatories if you are medically allowed to. You can also use compression wraps or elevate your foot to lower the swelling. Our chiropodist, Laura Desjardins can offer treatments to help facilitate healing and give you a treatment plan of increasing difficulty to help you transition back to proper foot health.

Bunions

If you have a problem with a growth at the bottom of your big toe, the chances are you have a bunion. These bumps are caused by a variety of different conditions including shoes that are too tight, improper foot mechanics, heavy load on the feet, poor foot strength and flexibility and can even lead to arthritis.

That’s where our foot pain treatment Toronto clinics come in. We can help you with professional footwear advice by measuring your foot and determining what footwear is best for you. For some patients, we can help by prescribing orthopedic footwear to help accommodate feet with bony changes requiring extra room in their footwear.

In fact, we are the downtown Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist clinic that help with a variety of foot issues. We specialize in looking after our patients by listening to their personal stories. After that, we take a look at their medical history before finally examining their feet.

It’s a comprehensive foot pain treatment Toronto approach that works for everyone who comes in to our clinic. If you’re suffering from some kind of aliment, why not get in touch today?

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.

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 !