Toronto Chiropodist Winter Foot Care Tips For The Elderly

Chris Hastings is the Toronto chiropodist who provides services for older citizens like nail care. He can look after concave toenails and clubbed nails. His other services catering to senior citizens include gate correction with orthotics and the smoothing of corns and calluses.

Our Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, now offers a non invasive treatment for ingrown toenails.

With the cold weather here, Chris receives a lot of questions from his patients about winter footcare for the elderly. Here are some of the more common tips he provides.

  • Consider Upgrades to Your Footwear. Thicker socks are standard for colder weather. They keep your feet warm but these can make your boots feel too tight. If you’re looking to upgrade your footwear consider boots with a wide deep toe box that has room for winter socks.
  • Trim Those Toenails. It’s important to remember that toenails need to be trimmed straight across and not at angles. If you let them grow too long with sharp edges they can catch your socks and cause discomfort and pain. FIling the corners also helps.
  • Exercise Your Feet. Even with the cold weather, our Toronto chiropodist clinic recommends foot exercises to relieve pains from bunions and planter fasciitis. Have a look at your local community indoor options for exercises like balls rolls and toe curls.

Here’s a few other ideas for keeping your feet healthy during the winter months. Drying them out after you’ve been outside is important. Even with water resistant boots, your feet can sweat inside thick socks and get soggy or damp.

Take off your boots and socks immediately when you get inside and dry your feet. Not only will this help you to warm up, it will prevent any fungi or bacteria from taking hold.

Drier Colder Weather

Finally, it’s important to remember to moisturize and cleanse your feet in the winter months. It’s drier during the colder weather and that means moisture gets drawn out from the upper layers of your feet. Washing them daily and then applying moisturizer offsets this problem that could otherwise result in uncomfortable sores.

We are the Toronto chiropodist professionals that want you to stay active on healthy feet as you age. Please take a few minutes to look over the services that our Toronto foot clinic provides. An active lifestyle for older citizens can cause some foot pain and alignment issues. We can outfit seniors with the right Toronto orthotics to minimize any abnormal movements and stresses in their feet.

New Year Foot Resolutions From Your Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto

We are your foot clinic in downtown Toronto offering different services including gate correction with orthotics and nail care. Recently, we thought it would be a good idea to put together some New Year’s resolutions for 2021 that can help protect your feet.

Exercise Those Tootsies

Most people know that exercise is good for their bodies. However, we are willing to bet that not everyone knows controlled exercises are great for your feet too. There are a variety you can choose from that will do wonders for your muscle groups. These include sitting in a chair and spreading your toes as far as you can without straining them.

Other exercises that can help pump blood to your feet and keep them healthy include toe curls.

Wear The Right Footwear

Choosing footwear that fits properly will help to keep your feet healthy in the new year. Here’s a tip that you can use when you’re shopping for a new pair of shoes or boots.

race your foot on a piece of paper, you can put any footwear you might think about buying on top. It’s a quick and easy way to find out which ones are too narrow or too short to try on.
Chris Hastings is proud of the work that he does helping his clients find the right Toronto orthotics. These devices fit into your footwear and help to align your foot and ankle.

Laura Desjardins, has experience with building orthotics for runners and also runs in orthotics.

Safety Proof Your Home

Keeping your feet safe and 2021 is also about making sure there are no hazards in your house. If you have relatives who are a little older, adding handles in appropriate places in the bathroom helps. Outside, take a little time to make sure the driveway and walkways are free from snow and ice.

Consider removing any throw rugs. If you’ve got elderly people at home applying non skid treads on stairways is another excellent idea. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto also suggests you take a look for hazards in older homes. For example, additional lighting on stairways and building ramps helps older relatives secure their footing.

Finally, there is no time like the new year to start inspecting your feet daily if you’re a diabetic. Applying moisturizer and cleaning them on a daily basis are good practices to start and continue on through 2021.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment 

Ingrown Toenail Treatment 

 

 

Ingrown toenails are commonly seen in our practice. They can be painful, debilitating and can even keep you up at night! 

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail? 

Your anatomical makeup 

Some people have nails that grow with a curvature on the sides, opposed to flat. What can happen is when the nail grows down and into the sulcus. These nails can be called pincer nails. What also happens is skin and callus buildup and develop in the corners, leading to more pain. When the nails are trimmed, people with curved nails cannot see the nail going down on the sides. They end up leaving a piece of the nail in the corner of the nail sulcus. 

 

Trimming Nails 

How one trims and maintains their nails can lead to ingrown nails. Some people tear their nails instead of cutting them. This is not a good idea because the nail can be torn off extremely far back and left jagged. The further back the nail spicule is, the more likely one is to undergo a surgery to remove that spicule. 

Another issue is that people tend to chase the corners when trimming their nails. It is always best to trim the nails straight across and file the corners with a nail file. I suggest filing with a nail file so the corners are not sharp and do not cut the adjacent toe. Another tip is to make sure the nails are not cut too short. Having some length to the nail ensures that you are going to cut across the entire length of the nail. 

 

Trauma 

Dropping something on your toe nail or stubbing your toe is never fun! What makes this situation a bit tricky is that the nail can break or chip leaving sharp corners. These jagged edges or sharp corners can dig into your skin, leading to a wound that can become infected. 

Improper footwear 

Some people wear tight dress shoes or pointy shoes and are unaware how that impacts their nails. This is more problematic in people who already have nail troubles. The constant pressure on the nails can lead to an ingrown toenail. If shoes are too small, that is also a predisposing factor for ingrown toenails. 

Biomechanical issues 

People who have flat feet or pronate a lot can drive their big toe into the shoe leading to trauma. This can be corrected with strengthening, toe aligners, toe spacers, gait retraining, wider footwear, stability footwear or orthotics. 

Medical Conditions 

Underlying medical conditions can make some people more susceptible to this condition. Fungal nails can become thickened and hard to or break off leaving jagged edges. Some people who have excessive swelling in their feet such as lupus, kidney disease, venous insufficiency to name a few, can be prone to ingrown toenails. The soft tissue around the nail can become swollen, making trimming the nail more difficult to accurately see, thus resulting in an ingrown. 

Why Ingrown Toenails Become Painful 

Ingrown toenails hurt due to the nail creating a wound in the skin. Once there is a wound that becomes a portal of entry for bacteria and infection. Your feet have exposure to bacteria and can become easily infected, especially in immunocompromised people.  The pain is due to the nail but also compounded by the soft tissue infection. 

Treatment 

It is best to seek a foot specialist to take care of your ingrown toenail . While you wait for your appointment here are some tips. Soak your feet in Epsom salts for 10 -15 min one to two times a day. Apply antibiotic ointment around the area. I also suggest Betadine prior to the antibiotic ointment. Some literature advised cotton under the nail to lift the nail. That may be tricky and I just advise seeing a medical professional if it is that bad. Use a Band-Aid to adhere on the affected side to pull the skin away from the nail. Toe spacers can help avoid pressure if the nail is close to a digit. Use Tylenol or Advil for pain relief. 

Wart Treatment Toronto

Warts

The medical term for this lesion is Verruca. Specifically on the foot it is a Verrucae Pedis. The specific virus that causes this Human Papillomavirus.Warts can be located anywhere on the body. The virus infected the skin, specifically a layer called the Stratum Spinosum, which causes thickening and possibly, pain. Common places one may pick up a wart is from a communal location, such as a pool, public change room or a pedicure salon. The virus can spread to other areas of the body. 

Epidermis | Biology for Majors II

 

 

Here are a few different strains that cause warts. 

  • HPV 1 – single / deep plantar warts
  • HPV 2 Mosaic warts 
  • HP2 , 4 , 60 are raised warts

What are Deep  and Single Plantar Warts ?

These can sometimes be mistaken for corns on the feet. They usually have a layer of skin that is cauliflower like in presentation and can have black dots located in them. The black dots are the capillaries in the skin being interrupted by the virus. When pinched there is pain and can throb when first standing 

Mosaic Warts

These are warts that are a bit more superficial but coalesce to form a mass of warty tissue. These tend to be quite painful and people are often concerned about their appearance. 

How to Treat Plantar Warts 

Pain and appearance are reasons people come to our Downtown Chiropody and Podiatry office. Normally how we go about deciding the best treatment options for our patients is by giving them all the options, conservative and aggressive and allowing the patient to pick what treatment they would like.

 

Treatment Options Conservative 

Cryotherapy– this is where liquid nitrogen burns the wart by using very cold temperatures. It aches and hurts for a short period of time. This is the most commonly used in doctors offices. 

This can be a lengthy process. 

Salicylic Acid – Is found to be more successful than cryotherapy in Cochrane reviews. This treatment can come in various strengths, but does take time to resolve. It also requires frequent check ups with your foot specialist, every 2 weeks so they can debride and expose the virus. This medication should be applied weekly. Sometimes this is combined with other treatments and is one of the more painless treatment options for athletes. 

Laser Treatment- This is where the area is burned off with a laser. It can be quite a painful treatment, however does not require much downtime. 

Needling – this is a procedure that requires a local anaesthic to the area. Then the area is punctured multiple times to penetrate the virus into the bloodstream. The downtime feels like a bruising but not as painful  as surgical removal. 

Aggressive Treatment Options 

Canthacur – I place this one in aggressive as it does cause downtime for the patient. It causes a blister to form on the area that can be quie debilitating. Patients need to be aware of how painful this treatment option is. From patient feedback, I have heard the excision of the wart to be less painful than the cathacur treatment. 

Surgical Excision- This is where the warty tissue is surgically excised. The base of the wart will be burned with a chemical or a hyfrecator . 

All of these treatment options should be done with some home care to help prevent complications such as infections. Soaking the area in salt or some antibacterial soap will help drain and clean the area. Sterile bandage with appropriate antibiotic ointment will also help the healing process. 

 

I, chiropodist Laura Desjardins, enjoys discussing treatment options that best suit a patient’s needs and lifestyle. However, it is known the longer a wart has been on the foot, the more resistant it is. The more resistant warts do respond better to aggressive treatment options.

What It Mean When The Balls of Your Feet Hurt and What to Do!

Foot Pain On the Ball of the Foot (Metatarsalgia).

Covid 19 has lead to people walking around barefoot more often. Underlying foot injuries when walking barefooted can worsen the severity of the condition. 

Metatarsalgia 

What is it?  Now there are different types of of conditions categorized as metatarsalgia. 

The main sign and symptom pain at the end of one or more of the metatarsal bones. Those are the bones located near or on the balls of your feet!

  • The pain is typically worse  when you walk or run.
  • You may feel tingling or numbness in your toes. 
  • Athletes who take part in high-impact activities and also have an inflammatory condition like bursitis often have more widespread pain in the ball and middle of the foot.
  • The pain can be sharp, a dull ache, or a burning feeling.
  • You may feel like you’re stepping on a pebble.

Most often, the pain comes on gradually, opposed to all of the sudden. 

Metatarsalgia Causes

This is an overuse problem where, for some reason, there is a lot of load on one focal point on the forefoot. Such activities that pound the metatarsals  like, running, sprinting, plyometrics, jumping , skipping or dancing, result in impact forces leading to pain in the forefoot. Or you may have a predisposition to this injury due to your current anatomy such as:

  • Weak foot intrinsic (muscles)
  • Hammertoes
  • Hypermobile first foot bone
  • Tight calf muscles 
  • A short first metatarsal bone or a long second metatarsal bone 
  • Tight muscles that extend your toes, placing more downward pressure on the balls of the feet. 

Other things that can cause metatarsalgia include:

  • Pronation issues
  • Being overweight
  • Stress fractures in your toes or metatarsals
  • Bunions 
  • Torn ligaments in your feet
  • Tight calf muscles

Morton’s Neuroma is also a condition that is under the metatarsalgia term. This is when the nerve has extra tissue growth around it. It is usually located in the area between third and fourth toes, but can also happen in other web spaces of the feet. People with webbed toes also experience an increased likelihood of this issue. People may say it feels like they are stepping on a pebble or a stone. 

Medical Treatment

To relieve metatarsalgia pain, your downtown Toronto Foot Chiropodist or Foot Doctor may have you

  • Rest the foot. 
  • Orthotics with metatarsal support. Orthotics help control abnormal movement of the foot, as over pronation was mentioned as one the causes of the injury,  and also help with protecting those painful areas of the feet. 
  • Icing the foot 
  • Use compression bandaging
  • Wear cushioned pads, arch supports or other orthotics in your shoes.
  • Do gentle stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • Sometimes callusing can cause pain the foot, so having the callous removed, that can help
  • Sometimes surgery may be required or steroid injections to the area. 

Recovery 

I, Chiropodist Laura Desjardins, suggests If you are an athlete you may want to cross train or do activities that does not require pounding on the feet. 

Gradual return to activity is also recommended. One way to prevent this injury is to wear proper footwear, or orthotics if needed during high impact activity, stretch and strengthen your feet as well as keeping the hips strong. 

If you have any other questions or concerns with your foot pain, our Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, would be happy to help you!

Causes of Foot Pain-Bruised and Thick Toe Nails

Causes of Foot Pain-Bruised and Thick Toe Nails 

 

 

How Do You Get A Bruised Toe Nail

One of the many reasons people seek a chiropodist or podiatrist for foot pain, include bruised toenails. Bruised toenails can happen from repetitive trauma to the nails. This injury is commonly found in runners or hikers. This toenail injury  can also happen to those who wear tight fitting shoes like high heels, to those who kick a ball like soccer or football or even rock climbers. 

 

This type of injury is a repetitive foot injury where the toenails hit the end of the shoe over and over. This causes a subungual hematoma, which is a blood blister under the nail. The nail also responds to trauma by thickening. When the nail thickens, that can become a perpetual issue.  A thick nail can dig into the sides of the skin around your nail, pinching and causing pain. If the nail continues to become injured, skin can become hard around the nail. That can stunt the growth and also contribute to the thickening of the nail. 

What to Do About A Bruised Toenail

Not only can footwear cause issues with toenails, but if socks that are too tight, that can also lead to microtrauma of the  nails. That is why I suggest slightly tugging the end of the sock, to make sure the sock does not pull back on the toes and toenails when you put your shoe on and while running. Some sport medicine textbooks advise a met pad to help prevent the toes from hyperextending. 

Buying footwear that properly fits, is also very important. Toe caps can help blunt the pain, but sometimes I find it takes up more room and can add more pressure onto the nail. 

In very painful conditions, you may need to have the nail gently drilled from a foot specialist to alleviate the pressure from the blood under the nail. In cases where the toe nail injury has been there for a while, the blood will be dried and drilling is not needed. Thinning the nail out will help in this situation. 

 

What really helps to prevent this issue, is to keep  the nails neat and tidy! Another important factor is wearing footwear that has enough room in the toe box. That means keeping them trimmed and filed. If you have troubles cutting the nails, seeing a podiatrist or chiropodist will help you. Filing the nails as thin and best as best as you can will help. If you cannot cut the nails. Not only is the thickness the issue, but getting the corners and nail sulus neat and tidy is also important! 

 

Keeping regular appointments to keep the nails growing properly will help reduce pain and prevent thickening of the nails. From personal experience, as a runner, the regular upkeep of nails was the only thing that helped me!

Why You Need Toronto Orthotics

Many patients who come into our clinic need Toronto orthotics to relieve foot pain. They suffer from a variety of different conditions like heel pain, a pinched nerve, hammer toes and bunions. Orthotics are part of a comprehensive treatment plan to correct foot deformities and help the ankle and foot function better.

Getting the right kind can help support your ankle and reduce the risk of any kind of further injury.

Our team can prescribe orthotics for a number of different medical issues. These include:

  • Back Pain. This problem can be the result of arches that are positioned improperly. Sometimes there is a lack of cushion in this area and orthotics can help to alleviate this issue.
  • Diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy is a condition where some patients can lose sensation in their feet. Toronto orthotics can help to reduce the pressure and stress that can otherwise lead to ulcers on the foot.
  • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis can cause pain in your feet. Custom-made orthotics can help to correct the severity of pain and inflammation resulting from this condition.

It’s a good idea to invest in proper fitting footgear specifically designed for your sporting or work activities. Remember, the width and length of your foot changes with age. You should consider having a professional measurement done in a shoe store if you haven’t had one recently.

A professional examination will help to determine if you need orthotics. People with poor circulation and foot deformities fall into this category. There are different types of orthotics that can be custom-fit to your specific needs.

For example, some materials are rigid and made from plastics and fibers. At the other end of the spectrum are ones that are cushioned and flexible. Some of the options include full shoe inserts and smaller ones positioned in the heel area.

Any of the custom-made orthotics we provide are comfortable and fit the contours of your shoe. Getting a medical evaluation of any issues you have with your feet is the first step.

The devices we prescribe work to align your foot and ankle into the correct position. One of the most common ailments we see is arthritis in the foot as people age. If you think you might benefit from Toronto orthotics, please fill out the contact form on our webpage. It’s a way to help you achieve a pain-free stride in your step.

Useful Women’s Foot Health Tips from Your Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto

We’re the Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto that cares about each and every one of our patients. We assess your concerns by listening to your stories. Then we take a good look at your medical history before an examination.

We offer a variety of services to make your life fuller and more comfortable. This includes some proactive advice like these useful women’s foot health tips.

  • Wash Your Feet Thoroughly. Not taking your feet for granted means washing them carefully with a washcloth on a regular basis. If you don’t have the balance to wash your feet in the shower, there are other methods. Sit on the side of the tub and use your back brush to get in between those toes. Drying your feet is important to lessen the chances of issues like bacteria and athlete’s foot.
  • Look after those calluses. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto suggests using a foot file or pumice stone. This is the best way to smooth these growths on your heel. Make sure to soak your feet for about 15 minutes to soften the skin first. A foot cream containing cocoa butter is just the thing after you’ve removed the dead skin to smooth your feet.
  • Switch Your Shoes. Even your favourite shoes need to air out in order to prevent infections and foot odour. That’s why your Toronto chiropodist suggests you switch your shoes regularly. If your feet tend to sweat a lot, you should change your socks or stockings often.
  • Don’t Forget to Moisturize. We can prescribe treatment if you have cracked or dry heels. For mild cases, there are a variety of different moisturizing products on the market to choose from. Look for one containing lactic acid.
  • Watch Out for Flat Feet. It is important to remember casual sandals or flip-flops don’t provide the kind of arch support women need. Walking barefoot doesn’t do your arches any good either. Women need to look for footwear with good arch supports.

It is essential to try to evenly distribute pressure on your feet. Shoe insoles are one solution. Our Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto team suggests the ones with a plastic shell positioned under the heel provide good support. Finally, you should always use nail clippers with a curved handle. These are designed to follow the curvature of your nails and make nail clipping easier.

Our Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto Supplies Proactive Tips For Buying Running Shoes.

We’re always telling patients at our foot clinic in downtown Toronto to be proactive. Stretch before you run to avoid injuries and make sure to socially distance. We know that running or walking is a good way to keep your feet and body in good shape. Proper footwear is a big part of that.

That’s why we’ve put together some quick tips on getting the right running shoe.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Up in Size

Your shoe size isn’t like your waistline. In other words, there is no need to be afraid of going up a half or full size with your running shoe. In fact, you should get your foot measured each time you look for a new pair. Your feet don’t get any shorter as you exercise. In fact, they grow because the muscles stretch as you work out. This is because there is more blood flow to the feet. It is also best to buy shoes at the end of the day when your feet swell.

In the end, going up a shoe size is no big deal and you’ll be more comfortable. Keep in mind a whole size is only about the same width as a shoelace.

Check The Ankle Collar

Like the name suggests, this wrap at the very top of your running shoe is what holds your heel down in place as you run. There are a few things to look for here. First you want to be sure that your heel doesn’t slip when you try the shoe on. There is also a curve at the back of these ankle collars. Make sure it doesn’t irritate or rub up against your Achilles tendon.

Don’t Wear Your Shoes Out

We are the foot clinic in downtown Toronto that looks after your feet with you. That’s why we caution against keeping a pair of running shoes too long. Wearing worn out shoes for extended periods can cause injuries that can otherwise be avoided.

Having unusual pains in your feet is a red flag.

Look At The Toe Box

This section of your new running shoe includes everything from the front of the last eyelet to the very tip of the shoe. You’ll quite often find a reinforcement at the very end that protects you from stubbing your toes on trails.

Look for a toe box that allows your foot to spread out and flex. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto also suggests you look for outsoles that provide both durability and traction. Ideally, the size your want is where you can place one finger width between the end of the shoe and the end of your toe.

Toronto Orthotics and Exercising Outdoors During The Pandemic

If you’re confused about getting outside for some exercise and how Toronto orthotics fit into that picture to keep your feet healthy, you are not alone. There’s lots of advice about getting exercise outside right now. A lot of it can be confusing.

Here’s a few things we know that can help alleviate your stress.

The virus that causes COVID19 is caused by droplets that get released when people sneeze or cough. In enclosed spaces like your local gym, these droplets can actually hang in the air. Open spaces lower the risk but you still need to keep a social distance to be safe. Wearing a mask is also a good idea since it minimizes your risk.

Custom-Made

If you’re going to add Toronto orthotics into the mix, there’s a few things you should know. First off, here’s a quick definition. The kind of orthotics that we provide are custom-made. They can do a variety of things including keeping the foot and lower leg aligned consistently.

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto supplies products that line up the ankle and foot too so they are in the correct position.

Many of our patients have been active for a long time and are starting to suffer from foot pain that needs gait correction. We’ve also seen quite a few patients that need orthotics because they suffer from arthritis.

As far as exercising outside during the pandemic goes, here’s a few more takeaways that should help.

  • Pick Your Times. It’s best to head outside for a run or brisk walk during slower times. Depending on where you live that could mean the early morning or in the middle of the day. Some active people find the evening or dinner hour is best.
  • Be Aware of Distances. Even with Toronto orthotics to keep your feet healthy, you’ll need to make sure you’re distancing yourself properly. Be especially vigilant when you are cycling or climbing stairs. Keep in mind that not everyone who’s out walking or running will be aware of social distancing rules.

There is no doubt that exercising outside in these times carries a certain amount of risk. However, if you pre plan and exercise caution, these can be minimized. We can help look after some of the other issues that can affect the way you enjoy your outside exercise with Toronto orthotics. Another tip, when our Chiropodist Laura Desjardins runs outside, she pulls her shirt over her face when crowds are in the way.