Children’s Foot Care Tips From Your Toronto Chiropodist

As a Toronto Chiropodist, we stress the importance of looking after your children’s feet. A few foot care tips like the ones below can help prevent problems.

A Weekly Inspection

Listening to your child is important. However, just because they don’t complain about foot pain doesn’t mean they aren’t experiencing a problem. Children have flexible bones in their feet. They can be twisted and moved out of position without your youngster being aware. That’s why it’s important to look at their feet at least once a week.

Here’s an excellent development tip for toddlers. When a toddler first starts walking, letting them go without wearing shoes inside helps them develop control over their toes. What’s more, walking barefoot on the floor helps to strengthen foot muscles.

Walking Patterns

Take notice of their walking patterns. Look for things like if their feet turn out or in. Look for gate problems and other issues like knock knees. A Toronto Chiropodist can help you manage any of these issues if they get diagnosed early enough.

Your children’s toenails should always be kept trimmed and they should be cut straight across. This helps to prevent ingrown toenails which can be painful. If you notice any symptoms like swelling, redness or pain, you can ease the discomfort by putting a small wad of cotton between the skin and the ingrown toenail.

If your son or daughter has an ingrown toenail, come in and see us. A simple procedure in the office can fix the issue.

The rise in childhood obesity also has an effect on foot health. Studies have found that excess weight that continues through childhood and into adulthood can affect their feet. Encourage them to stay active and supply a balanced meal.

Hygiene

Proper foot hygiene is also critical. Washing your children’s feet when they take a bath can prevent fungal and bacterial infections. Dry their feet afterwards and make sure to get in between the toes. Athlete’s foot thrives on moisture.

Your baby’s feet need special attention too. A Toronto Chiropodist has a good suggestion for new parents. Tight covers around their feet can actually lead to retarded development. Allowing them to kick their legs and feet strengthens muscles. It’s good preparation for walking.

Finally, walking on their toes is normal when your children first start to walk. However, you should talk to professionals if it persists after they turn two.

Toronto Orthotics and Arthritis

Toronto orthotics are specifically designed to align your foot and ankle and make sure they are in the correct position. Foot damage and joint inflammation from arthritis is common. The combination of gait correction and orthotics can help control this type of situation.

Here’s an overview of what you need to know about how arthritis affects your feet.

  • Osteoarthritis generally affects the joint connecting your foot and big toe. However, it can also be found in the ankle and midfoot.
  • Gout generally affects just the feet and quite often only the big toe.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is quite often seen in both feet. It can also affect the same joints.

As you age, there’s a higher risk of getting arthritis. The joint damage that’s associated with this condition can cause pain, swelling and other physical changes in your ankles and feet.

  • Posttraumatic arthritis occurs after there’s been an injury with the bonelike a fracture or dislocation. Unfortunately, you might not notice anything is wrong for years.
  • Psoriatic arthritis happens in several different joints at once and can include the end of your toes and ankles.

Arthritis can cause stresses and abnormal movements in your feet and other parts of your body. The resulting unusual walking gait can be treated with the right Toronto orthotics.

The Symptoms To Watch For

There are several symptoms that you should be watching out for including pain when you move your foot. Trouble putting weight on one of your feet or difficulty walking and moving are also red flags.

Pain and swelling when you are sleeping or sitting is also another indicator you have arthritis.

Investing in the proper kind of footwear helps. Patients who have osteoarthritis in their feet often benefit from Toronto orthotics and shoes that have a thicker than normal soul and a curved heel.

Research shows that footwear that has this type of sole can reduce the pressure on a big toes joint by a significant amount.

There are some other things you can do to combat this condition. They include:

  • Staying as active as possible. It’s especially difficult for people who have arthritis. Remember that any kind of movement including standing while you talk on your phone and walking the dog counts.
  • Pampering your feet is also a good way to combat this problem. Smoothing calluses and clipping your nails are good practices.

Toronto orthotics are always a good treatment option. However when all else fails you’ll need to learn about surgical intervention.

Returning to Running From Foot and Tendon Injuries

Return to Running From a Tendon Injury

This blog is specifically discussing tendon type injuries. That includes tendonitis, tendinosis and plantar fasciitis. In podiatric medicine, we treat plantar fasciitis as a tendon injury. 

Let say you go for a hard workout, sometimes you do not feel the injury during or after the run. Then all the sudden, you wake up and feel pain. This is sometimes how tendon injuries present. 

 

Managing An acute injury 

An acute injury is when most of the pain and swelling occurs and usually lasts 1 week long. This must be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation. This phase is important to ween back. What can be done for exercises in this stage is gentle range of motion and very light isometric exercises that does not irritate the tissues/ cause more pain. Anti-inflammatories can also help in this phase. You only want to completely rest the foot for a short amount of time . Too much rest can be detrimental to the tendon health, unless there is a tear or rupture , which brings us to the importance of loading the tissue in the next phase. Remember, exercise is the best form of medicine.

The Subacute Phase 

This is after an acute injury . There still may be swelling and throbbing in this phase. This is where strength must be initiated to help load the tendon to become stronger. However, it must be catered to the individual pathology and not too difficult. If it is too difficult it can relapse to the acute phase. Here it is not suggested to run yet. 

Exercises that may be done in this phase are again, range of motion but more specifically isometric exercises. This allows the tendon / injury to be loaded but in a manner that does not provoke pain. Certain movement that may provoke pain are fast movements or up and down. It is important to strengthen the injury in a movement specific order as particular movements will aggravate the area more. Isometrics can be done each day for 4 sets .

After a week of isometric movement, slow heavy eccentric movements are suggested. That can be done every other day with the isometric movements in between them.

As pain diminishes it is good to start implementing the spring like capabilities of a tendon. Tendons have this ability to allow us to jump and release and store energy. So this needs to be trained especially before running. This can be done by doing 2 footed hops say 5 x 1 min with 1 min rest. Wait 24 hours. If there is pain , or increases stiffness in the morning or next day, then that was too much load. What can be done is cutting the load in half by then trying to do 3 x 1 min the next time. These movements can be done every 2 times so there is plenty of recovery time  in between.

 

Once double leg hops is achieved then one moves on to single leg hops with the same protocol. If that is fine, then one can move onto a return to running program. 

Here is an example of the layout.

 

 

During the time of return to run, one may not want to forget the importance of strengthening the tendon and loading it properly. Hopefully one can remember the importance of strengthening so one does not succumb to injuries that can sideline them.

 

Managing Injuries 

Managing Injuries

As a foot specialist and runner, an important factor about injuries is nipping them prior to them becoming a bigger issue. Some people are afraid to rehabilitate in the early stages, however proper rehabilitation in the early stages can speed up recovery. Where doing too much too soon can also interfere with the healing process.

What happens in an injury

Acute phase means a recent time period from when the injury occurred. Inflammation usually happens in the initial time period of an injury and it can be painful.
Inflammation is meant to help heal the tissue by replacing damaged and injured tissue to restore function. Acute phase usually lasts 4-6 days . Here it is important to try reduce pain, reduce inflammation, wearing supportive footwear / braces or taping. Within this time period, most of the emphasis should be placed on rest and reducing pain.

Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation should be done to help to mitigate pain. Rest is key! Icing the area is helpful in trying to reduce swelling. Compression can be done with wraps, but more easily, compression socks or sleeve are easy to apply and help reduce swelling. Elevation helps with lymphatic drainage, which helps to move inflammation away from the injury site away to be metabolized. This phase is mostly just resting and icing

If no medical contraindications, prescription anti-inflammatories help to reduce the amount of inflammation and pain. It is very important to reduce the overall load on the injured tissue. That includes wearing Birkenstocks, or supportive sandals or shoes in the house, braces or in severe cases, an aircast to reduce the load on the injury. When throbbing reduces, then you know it is okay to carefully start doing rehabilitation exercises. Rehabilitation exercises should be provided by a licensed health care provider, physiotherapist, chiropodist, massage therapist or chiropractor.

Subacute – Intermediate phase 4-21 days

This phase is where rehabilitation exercises are started. Here exercises should be done in a pain free manner. In this phase the healing tissue is immature and fragile. Exercise should be gentle and cause no harm. The tissue may revert back to acute phase if stressed too soon. If that occurs, revert back to PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation).  In the beginning low resistance exercises and high reps should be done to help strengthen the site and surrounding muscles. Gentle stretches can also be done in this phase.

The final stage is to prep the body to handle sport specific exercises to handle their activity . It is important to monitor along the way and anything that makes pain again, may have to revert back to earlier stages. That may include resting, icing, compression, protection and easier exercises.

Chronic phase

This is typically when an injury is longer than 3 months. Sometimes, we cannot totally rest out feet. Some occupations require us to constantly be on the move and that may not provide the rest needed to allow an injury to heal. Emphasis should still be focused on reducing the amount of load on the tissue, when possible. To allow it to rest and also do rehabilitation exercises in a manner that does not flare up the tissues or aggravate the tissue. This phase can also respond well with treatment such as shockwave therapy. Orthotics also help in this phase to help reduce the overall strain and load on the tissues.

The main point is to see someone as soon as possible when in an acute phase of a foot injury. Conditions of the feet can be very stubborn, as we cannot completely let the feet rest. Plantar Fasciitis, is one of the more difficult conditions to treat once it has turned chronic. Signs of chronic plantar are first morning step pain and stiffness.

Injuries can be stressful and impact our quality of life. Hopefully these few tips can help you manage a foot injury you may encounter.

Why Your Feet Are Peeling and Remedies From Your Toronto Chiropodist

Spring is here and we see an uptick in visits to our Toronto Chiropodist Clinic. Your feet undergo a lot of different strains as the weather warms up. Being exposed to the elements and wearing tight fitting shoes can cause them to peel.

Here’s a few common reasons for that condition and what you can do about each.

Athlete’s Foot and Other Fungal Infections

Lots of patients don’t associate peeling skin on their feet with one of these infections. However, a fungal infection like athlete’s foot can spread to your toenail if it’s left unchecked. A minor problem can usually be tackled by an antifungal spray or cream.

If you have a more severe case, you might need a prescription. You’ll more than likely need to spray your shoes as well.

There are a variety of other causes for peeling feet. The next one isn’t as common, but it can still cause redness and irritation.

Hyperhidrosis

This is a medical condition that causes excess sweating. It can affect one area or your entire body. It shows up quite often on the soles of your feet. Even though this condition isn’t usually serious, you should come in and see a Toronto chiropodist :

  • If you are a diabetic, your feet are peeling and there are signs of an infection.
  • If there is an odour that doesn’t go away.
  • If the situation is accompanied by a fever.
  • If this peeling is accompanied by a rash that doesn’t go away after a short time.
  • If there’s discomfort that goes with the peeling that persists.

There are several treatments including prescriptions that can help to reduce sweating. Toronto orthotics are another workable solution if your shoes don’t fit properly.

Eczema

This is a skin condition that is common on your elbows, arms and scalp. It can develop on your feet too and the symptoms include dry and itchy skin. Although the causes are unknown, people with asthma and allergies are more likely to develop this disorder.

When eczema causes your feet to peel, over the counter and prescription medications and moisturizers are two possible solutions.

Your feet can peel for several different reasons. Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can help alleviate the symptoms. If the condition doesn’t improve, consult a Toronto chiropodist.

Our Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto Treats Heel Spurs. Here’s What You Need To Know

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto can treat those bony growths between your arch and heel bone. Heel spurs might not be visible at first but they can affect other parts of your feet. They can be tricky to detect because they aren’t always painful. These are usually a calcium deposit found on the underside of your heel bone.

Here’s some other things you need to know about heel spurs and how they get started.

The calcium deposits that build up to cause a heel spur occur over several months. There are several different causes like strains put on the plantar fascia and tearing the membrane that covers the heel bone itself. Athletes and other active people who run and jump a lot are at risk.

There are several symptoms you should be watching for including pain and inflammation. Look for swelling as well. A good Toronto chiropodist knows this issue may not come with any symptoms at all.

If that’s the case, heel spurs are only usually discovered by x-rays.

The Causes

Repeated ligament and muscle strain is usually the culprit behind this condition. Wearing the wrong shoes that don’t have the proper support also causes them. Basically you are at risk if you walk, run or jump on a hard surface over a long period of time.

There are other possible causes including arthritis and being overweight. Some patients have heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Having one of these conditions increases your chances for getting the other.

The Treatments

Reducing inflammation to avoid reinjury is the number one goal. Orthotics and shoe inserts are helpful. These take the pressure off the heel spurs. Reducing stress on the Achilles Tendon by using heel lifts is another treatment that works.

Active people should buy running shoes with cushioned soles to help reduce the inflammation and irritation.

The Big Takeaway from Your Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto

Even though the two conditions are closely related, there’s a big difference between plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. The first condition is an inflammation at the point where plantar fascia attaches to your heel bone and then to your toes. It’s a condition that affects tissue.

A heel spur is a bony growth that starts at the front of your heel bone and points itself back towards the arch of your foot. Heel spurs occur in about 50% of the people who have the other condition.

The ABC’s on Calluses and Corns from Your Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto Specialists

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto looks after a variety of services for our patients including smoothing over corns and calluses. These areas of thick skin can develop from ill-fitting footwear and an improper walking gait. They can also form from friction and pressure caused from wearing high heeled shoes and footwear without socks.

Corns can be found on the sides of your toes and the bottom of your feet and they can hurt. Calluses are a layer of skin that develops on the feet and hands or anywhere else there’s friction.

The Difference Between Corns and Calluses

Here’s the ABC’s on what you need to know about both.

Corns can be divided into several different types. Look for them on the sides or tops of your toes.

  • If the ones you notice are white or gray, you probably have a soft corn. These have a rubbery, soft texture and are found more often than not between your toes.
  • As the name suggests, hard corns are dense and small. They usually form on the tops of your toes.
  • If you find these growths on the soles of your feet, you more than likely have what’s called a seed corn.

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto can identify situations that irritate existing calluses or corns or promote new ones. We can suggest the best shoes to relieve pressure points where your existing footwear rubs against your feet.

Calluses are thick and hard. They are larger than corns with a less defined and wider shape. Look for them on the sides and bottom of your feet. They can also form on your big toe, heel and the ball of your foot.

How They Get Started

Our patients often ask us how corns and calluses start to develop. We tell them they result from pressure and repeated friction on the skin. Constant rubbing or any kind of pressure can cause them to occur.

Remember, these hard layers of skin protect what’s underneath from further irritation and damage.

There are people who are more susceptible to calluses and corns than others. If you wear ill-fitting shoes that are too narrow or you walk around without socks, you’re on the list. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto can diagnose and treat a variety of ailments to alleviate foot pain and increase mobility.

Buying Winter Boots? Our Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto Has These Tips

It’s that time of year again. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto is seeing an uptick in patients getting ready for the cold weather. Our team has many years of experience. Chris Hastings has even served as a consultant in provincial hospitals. Everything comes together when they ask us about how to go about buying winter boots.

Here’s a few things we suggest.

Look For Warmth

Being practical is important. That means being aware of the fact that we lose most of our body heat through our feet, hands and head. Before you buy any winter boots, check out the material the linings are made from. If you’re looking for heavy duty boot liners for the winter, some suggestions include multilayer foam and Thinsulate.

This material keeps its shape and the same density for long periods of time. It’s the best way to keep your feet warm for as long as possible. Other options include Zylex that is layered and has a thermal foil covering that acts as a defense against the cold.

Look For Grip

Choose the boots that have rubber soles with a good tread. You’ll be walking through snow and over hidden icy patches in the winter. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto sees a spike in ankle sprains due to slips and falls under these conditions.

Here’s another helpful tip. If you’re unsure about the boot’s ability to provide good traction, by a pair of strap-on crampons or ice cleats. Some boots now have picks that flip out from the sole.

Get The Right Fit

Finding a boot that is the right size will make all of the difference. It’s best to try on any new ones with the socks you will be wearing.

Here are a few more things that you should consider to get the right fit:

  • Winter boots need to fit comfortably. They need to supply insulation and support but hug your foot at the same time. Watch out for loose fitting boots. They might provide a little extra warmth but you’ll have issues when trying to walk in them for long distances.
  • Try the kick test. Put your new snow boots on and gently kick a wall. If you feel your toes hitting the end of the boot, they might rub and irritate your toes when walking.

The experts at our Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto suggest that you should be able to wiggle your toes in the boots without hitting any pressure points.

A Quick Guide to Toronto Orthotics

Toronto orthotics are shoe and/or heel inserts prescribed and custom-made. These help with a variety of back, foot and leg issues. The ones we prescribe for our patients do a number of things including aligning the ankle and foot. Here’s some other things you should know concerning the best way to break in your orthotics and basic cleaning advice.

Getting Accustomed

Getting accustomed to wearing prescription medical appliances is a process. It’s a good idea to start out gradually and wear the inserts for short time periods. Begin with one hour a day and slowly extend the time you wear them as your comfort level increases. If you begin to feel any pain or irritation, we suggest resting your feet for several hours.

Maintenance

Following this pattern, you should be able to wear your orthotics full-time within three weeks. Here’s another quick tip you’ll find useful. At the end of each day, you should remove the customized inserts. Wipe with a dry cloth to remove any moisture and allow time to air dry before reinserting into your footwear.

Wearing Toronto orthotics At Play

We often recommend this type of treatment for patients with strenuous jobs or those who play sports. In tennis, for example, these special shoe or heel inserts supply motion control and shock absorption. It’s best to get used to wearing these devices in athletic shoes during practices before a game. Research indicates orthotics lessen fatigue on the lower body and actually help stabilize your feet in sports such as golfing.

Relief from Pain and Discomfort

Many people enjoy running and walking. The orthotics custom-made specifically for our patients offer relief from ailments like knee pain, shin splints and lower back discomfort. It stands to reason that you want to know the best practices for cleaning them too. This will help these devices to keep their shape and last longer.

Easy Cleaning Tips

Once you are able to use your orthotics on a regular basis, they will require occasional cleaning. The routine you’ll need to adopt involves several factors like your activity level and weight. It’s a good idea to avoid using cleaning solvents and detergent. Usually, dampening a cloth in a solution of water and soap is all that’s needed to wipe the insert clean.

Simply allow your Toronto orthotics to dry naturally at room temperature and avoid exposure to sunlight or other direct heat sources.

Common Winter Running Injuries From Your Toronto Chiropodist—And What to Do About Them!!

As your Toronto chiropodist and Toronto podiatrist, we are always available to administer the latest treatments and provide up to date advice. As the weather turns colder, people who exercise outside will encounter uneven terrain and hard frozen surfaces to move across.

If you’re running outside during the colder weather, you stand the risk of suffering a number of injuries if you don’t plan properly. Here’s a few common winter running injuries and what you can do about them.

Frostbite

Exposed skin can freeze when the temperature goes below zero. It’s important to make sure feet, hands and your face are covered in layers. Remember there is the wind chill to consider as well. We recommend running with your back to the wind as part of your exercise routine.

You’ll also want to avoid hypothermia. Make sure that you are wearing moisture wicking socks and other apparel that’s both wind and waterproof. Socks made of wool are sure to keep your feet warm and dry. Our chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, always wears wool compression socks in the winter to help her feet stay warm.

Knee and Ankle Sprains

Our Toronto chiropodist sees quite a few of these injuries. They are quite often the result of walking or running on uneven terrain that’s snowy or icy. Exercising in this kind of weather means putting extra strain on what are called ankle stabilizers. Running or even hiking in the snow shifts the pressure point from your heel to your ankle. This situation can be made worse by running and walking in other people’s footprints.

Avoiding any of these types of injuries means being proactive. Taking the time to purchase footwear that has extra traction, support and cushioning helps.
Lower Leg Injuries

Every time your foot hits the ground in colder weather, the extra stress puts a greater impact on your feet and lower legs. Conditions like plantar fasciitis can result. Achilles tendinitis is another injury that’s common.

A good workaround to avoid these mishaps is warming up your muscles to increase flexibility. Make sure that your footwear is still in good shape. Take a look at the cushioning to see if it’s worn.

Groin Pulls

Even walking on wet and icy surfaces can cause problems. Many pulled and/or strained muscles occur in the winter because falls and slips are more common. It’s a good idea to pre plan your route. Try to find even surfaces and well-lit clear areas to go for a walk or run in the colder months.

If you get injured in the winter, we are the Toronto chiropodist that has all the latest innovative treatments. We offer treatment plans and modalities for this.