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 !

 

 

Best Footwear for Foot Pain

How Footwear Is Changing

I have noticed a recent trend in footwear companies across the board.  Specifically, in their stability and support lines. Support used to have medial posting, which is a foam made of a higher density on the inside of the sole. Sometimes these shoes also have a raised heel on the inside relative to the outside. This makes a wedging effect to prevent the foot from rolling inwards. A lot of foot problems are related to problems in the mechanics along the kinetic chain of the leg. However, not all foot types can tolerate a wedging effect. For instance, a Pes Cavus foot type or a supinating foot should not be forced into excessive supination. This can result in other foot problems.

How Footwear is Using Podiatry Concepts

The latest footwear technology is something similar to what we use in Podiatric Medicine. The new trend attempts to guide the foot to remain straight by having support above the sole of the shoe on either side of the foot. This concept is similar to what is used in Podiatric Medicine, which are “flanges” on medial and lateral sides of the foot. Flanges are designed to prevent the foot from rolling in or rolling out. However, in an actual orthotic this modification can be difficult to tolerate as it may not be the most comfortable. With a  shoe having this design, that makes a flange more tolerable.

This new design does not mean the foot is posted in either direction, it just guides the foot from rolling inwards or outwards. Brooks has changed a lot of their shoes to this new technique called Guide Rails. Similarly, Nike has so called replaced their Structure with the Nike Infinity React Shoe. he footwear companies have claimed that this new design has the potential to help reduce the occurrence of running injuries. Nike compared the Structure to the Infinity React and apparently found the athletes in the study had missed fewer training sessions in the new React Infinity shoe.

A Foot Specialist’s Opinion of the Stability Concept 

I have personally tried the Brooks Adrenaline and do really like this philosophy for foot health. The shoes are lighter without the heavier density of foam from the posting on the medial aspect of the shoe. I do like this new concept because it is shifting to a more neutral trend of support across the board.The other reason I do like a more neutral shoe is that it also does accommodate an orthotic well for those who need it. Orthotics should be in neutral shoes to avoid the effect of “ over-correction”. The shoe provides those “flanges “ for support and works well to help an orthotic do its job. The amount of “correction” can be done in an individualized manner in an orthotic based on individual biomechanic numbers, opposed to having a shoe with posting that is one size fits all among a population.

Additionally, in a study of Runrepeat, it was found that neutral shoes in combination with custom foot orthotics had a better impact on foot and lower limb injuries opposed to just stability shoes themselves. https://runrepeat.com/arch-support-study

I do really like this new trend in footwear and have tried it. I approve !

Got Big Toe Issues? This Toronto Chiropodist Can Help

We like to think of ourselves as the Toronto Chiropodist team that has every part of your feet covered. Of course, that includes all of your toes generally and your big toe specifically for the purposes of this blog.

That said, here’s a brief rundown on some of the big toe issues our Toronto Chiropodist team has handled.

One of the more common problems we see is osteoarthritis that starts in the big toe joint. If you’ve ever suffered a fracture or dislocated the big toe, you can be in a higher risk category. There are a few symptoms that tell our foot clinic downtown specialists you’ve got a problem.

Osteoarthritis in your big toe is most noticeable when you are walking and/or standing. There are other red flags like stiffness that you need to watch out for.

Issues with your big toe can include problems with the nail. We are the Toronto Chiropodist team that’s able to diagnose and treat any of these issues. Even when the problem is not so much with the toe but with what’s called Fungal Nail.

A Break or Crack

This problem starts when fungi sneak through a break or crack in your toenail and there’s a resulting infection. This situation can make your toenail brittle and discoloured. Without the proper treatment, the infection can spread and cause quite a bit of discomfort.

Some of the other reasons that your big toe can give you problems are ones that you’ve heard about before but might not know much about. Like gout. There is an involved medical explanation we can skip here. Most people reading this will only want to know the symptoms of gout include a painful big toe joint.

Overweight?

If you are overweight, consider going on a diet. Making sure that you eat a good portion of vegetables and low-fat dairy as well as other high-grade foods is good. Taking a few measures like this can help prevent a future gout attack.

Regardless of the issues you’re having with your big toe, we are here to help. We have a variety of services including surgical correction of deformed joints and toes. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or even having a problem walking, you might have a bunion which is a bony bump in that area.

We’re the Toronto Chiropodist and Toronto Podiatrist dedicated to keeping you moving ahead on healthy feet.

What you need to know about Plantar Fasciitis- Downtown Toronto

What You Need to Know About Plantar Fasciitis Treatment 

After going through my own foot injury, I discovered the benefits of using a stiffer orthotic to help my foot heal during rehabilitation. 

What is the Plantar Fascia 

Plantar Fascia is a thick dense, fibrous band that runs along the bottom of your foot. It has three bands, on the sole comprised on the outside and inside and middle of the foot. It starts at your heel and inserts onto the balls of your feet. 

What Does It Do:

It helps with to absorb shock from the ground when you run or walk.It helps to stabilize the foot from when your foot lands on the ground to when it pushes off.  Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common foot injuries. 

Factors Leading to Plantar Fascia Injuries:

PronationPronation is when forces placed on the foot fall inwards.This can arise from hip weaknesses, ankle weakness, hamstring weakness and tightness also tight calf muscles.

Imbalances in the body lead to abnormalities in gait, which alters how the foot functions, leading to injury. 

Pronation  tends to happen mostly in people with flat feet. Their feet undergo more movement due to hypermobility, thus leading to more strain on the band. The foot muscles get fatigued and weakened, then the plantar fascia gets injured.  However, pronation can also happen to those with high arches. Their pronation origin may not be from the foot but up the chain or lack of flexibility and can still tax the foot intrinsics. 

Foot Weakness : This is very important and foot strengthening should be implemented into any plantar fasciitis rehabilitation. The calf and the foot muscles have to be strengthened in order to  withstand kiad demands during walking or running. This can be the most difficult part. Depending on form, calf strengthening exercises can cause further irritation or pain. I know exercises to help the foot and calf get stronger without irritating the plantar fascia injury.

Lack of Flexibility: Stretching the calf muscles and hamstrings are important. Stretching also makes the plantar fascia feel better momentarily. You should hold the calf stretches with the knee straight bent for 1 minute. 

Shockwave treatment does work well. It promotes healing to the tissue by sending pulses to the tissue. My philosophy is that it needs to be combined with the proper strength training program in order to effectively work. If the underlying issue is not addressed the pain will return. 

My philosophy combines strengthening in a progression, stretching, rest, modalities, footwear changes and orthotics.

This is the airplane . Focus on activating the foot muscles and do not allow the ankle to roll inwards. The standing leg lengthens and strengthens the hamstring , the lifted leg helps strengthen hips and hamstring.  Try holding for 20 seconds and do a few times.

 

Here’s A Few Toronto Orthotics Tips for Vacation Footwear.

Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins have years of experience that’s important when you’re looking for the right Toronto chiropodist and Toronto Podiatrist. Their practice covers a variety of services including gate correction with Toronto orthotics. These are the devices fitted that align the ankle and the foot so they are in the right position.

They can look after you at their foot clinic in downtown Toronto. Chris has been a practitioner in Toronto for years. He knows that people living here are planning getaways in the winter months. That’s why Chris and Laura supplied a few Toronto orthotics tips for vacation footwear.

Tip # 1: Match Your Choices with Your Plans

For example, you might be planning some time away from it all hiking in the great outdoors. There are a variety of hiking boots to choose from including lower cut versions with flexible midsoles. These are great when you’re planning on hiking during the day.

The high cut models and backpacking boots are designed for more strenuous trails. Planning on being out in the woods for any amount of time? Look for the boot that has a high wrap going above the ankles for support.

Don’t forget to match up any Toronto orthotics we supply with the size of the boot. These fit correctly when they lie flat at the base of the shoe.

Tip # 2: Get the Proper Fit

Planning a vacation getaway from the cold Toronto weather is better with the right footwear. Fitted for Toronto orthotics? Make sure to bring them along. Getting the proper fit for any of the shoes or boots you need is just as important. They also fit the orthotics to desired footwear of your choice.

Chris and Laura are the Toronto chiropodist and Toronto Podiatrist that can fit you with the right orthotics at their foot clinic in downtown Toronto. They are also happy to supply some tips on fitting your vacation footwear properly.

Later in The Day

Here’s another useful tip. It’s always a good idea to try on new shoes later in the day. Feet tend to swell as the day goes on. Your heels shouldn’t slip around when you try new loafers on either.
The best way to make sure those new shoes you want to wear at the beach fit properly is to walk around in them in the store. Take note of any pressure points like the seams.
Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins listen to each and every client and supplies Toronto orthotics solutions that work.

What Our Foot Clinic Downtown Can Tell You About Ankle Arthritis

A big part of our population is getting older and we see more cases of ankle arthritis at our foot clinic downtown. When people think about arthritis, they don’t necessarily focus on their foot and ankle. However, this disease is an inflammation in any one of your joints. It causes stiffness and pain and is quite common for middle age and older patients.

In fact, there are over 100 types of this disease that we see at our foot clinic in downtown Toronto. The more common ones include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and what’s called post traumatic arthritis.

Diagnosis is important and that’s where we come in. Your concerns are looked at individually. We start the process by listening to your story and then reviewing your medical history. An examination follows.

Here’s a few symptoms of ankle arthritis that can tell you if you need to book an appointment.

Swelling

Osteoarthritis is the most common type. The swelling that you might suffer from around your ankles is due to the breakdown of the cartilage that acts as a cushion. It’s this cartilage that provides a buffer at the very end of your bones where they join the joints of your foot.

Osteoarthritis can cause the bones to rub against each other. This in turn causes swelling, pain and stiffness as well as loss of movement.

Investing in foot friendly shoes that have a proper fit is one solution. The custom orthotics that we supply include thick soles and arch support.

Pain

There could be other reasons why you experience pain while you are exercising. However, one of the most common is ankle arthritis. Both feet are usually affected by rheumatoid arthritis. This is different from osteoarthritis that usually only affects one specific joint.

The first line of defense is a proper diagnosis from our foot clinic downtown. Once we’ve pinpointed the issue, will be able to prescribe the proper treatment. That could include gate correction with orthotics or a variety of other treatments that deal with foot pain and injuries.

There are some things that you can do. If you’re suffering from this type of arthritis, setting a weight loss goal is often a good course of action. We are interested in taking an active role in any treatment plan.

Adopting an exercise program also works together with professional solutions from our foot clinic in downtown Toronto.

Your Toronto Chiropodist Lists Some Children’s Foot Issues

As your Toronto chiropodist who cares, Laura Desjardins and Chris Hastings, want to treat every member of the family. That’s why he put together a list of some children’s foot issues. It’s always a good idea to recognize these and treat them so they don’t become larger problems in adulthood.

Flat Feet

For example, a fair number of toddlers suffer from flat feet. It’s important for parents to know what to look for and usually children who suffer with this problem get easily fatigued. More often than not they have a hard time keeping up with the other kids in the playground.

Quite often this problem will disappear by the time your child is six. However, a few children out of every 10 will continue to have this issue past that age. Parents might think Toronto orthotics or shoe inserts are the answer, but that’s not usually the case.

As your Toronto chiropodist, we have found that a different approach might be necessary. For example, if your child suffers from a tightness of the Achilles tendon, the motion of their foot might be limited. This can actually be the reason for persisting flatfoot.

Sometimes the remedy is a series of stretching exercises that can lengthen the Achilles’ tendon.

Injuries

Most children are generally pretty active. If they injure their feet, they don’t always tell Mom and Dad. Keep in mind that if your child complains of foot pain, you should be checking their feet over. Look for any small injuries before they become a bigger problem.

If you notice anything that looks serious, Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins are the Toronto chiropodists who can make an accurate diagnosis. They have seen many different types of foot complaints ranging from ankle and heel pain to toe injuries. The approach is always the same.

Whether he’s treating your child or you, the aim is to reduce the pain so that you can function in a healthy way again.

There are some other children’s foot injuries that parents need to be on the lookout for. If you have a very active youngster, the chances are they might suffer from a foot or ankle sprain at some time. Ankle sprains can be a big problem when they affect your children’s cartilage.

Come in to see Chris or Laura if your child has one of these injuries.

Keeping every member of your family mobile on healthy feet is what this Toronto chiropodist does best.

Orthotics and Bunion Treatment in Downtown Toronto

Orthotics and Bunion Treatment in Downtown Toronto

As Downtown Toronto Chiropodist and Podiatrist, we focus on the management and treatment of foot pain. Some conditions respond well to rehabilitation exercises and some  require support to help prevent the progression of foot pain. Sport medicine literature recommends those with bony problems, such as bunions, benefit from a stiffer and more supportive orthotic. 

Rehabilitation and orthotic prescription is what  Downtown Toronto Chiropodist,  Laura Desjardins has a lot of experience with. She has a lot of experience in making orthotics that prodive the rigidity needed for athletes as well. In fact she runs in a rigid orthotic herself. After finding out soft orthotics still cause her foot pain, she now feels even runners with bunion issues should be in a more supportive device for best pain relief.

 Downtown Toronto Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, is fortunate to connect with various sport medicine researchers leading in tendon research and professors from top ranked sport medicine faculties across North America. This knowledge has helped her understand foot injuries in more detail.  Bunions are one condition that can benefit from orthotics.

What are Bunions ?

The medical term is Hallux Abducto Valgus and best described as the big toe deviating and a bony province over the inside of the joint. It can present with or without pain.

What causes them?

This problem can arise from tight fitting/ narrow toe boxes, high heels, flat feet, and pronation of the leg and foot. Pronation is when the bones fall inwards towards the midline of the body. Bones can shape based on repetitive movement in this pattern.

Treatment and Orthotics

Initial bunion pain can be treated with shockwave therapy, anti inflammatories, joint mobilization , rest ,splints, spacers, ice and support. Later stage treatment includes hyaluronic acid injections or surgery. At Downtown Toronto Chiropody clinic, Laura Desjardins treats this condition by addressing alignment, hip and foot strengthening, orthotics and footwear education. If needed, one may be referred for hyaluronic acid injections for joint pain. If conservative measures fail, then bunion surgery is the next step.

How Orthotics Help Bunions:

The condition is due to hypermobility and the foot collapsing inwards. Orthotics have to be stiff with the correct prescription to correct for your individual foot deformity. Casts or 3D scanners are the best impressions for taking your orthotic casts. That is where the true correction can be made from. Foam box and the pressure mapping are not considered gold standard with orthotic prescription making. The outcome of the effect of these devices can be compromised.

Quick tips For Bunion Treatment

Icing the area, using topical pain creams and anti-inflammatories can help lessen the ache. Simple bunion splints you can purchase, help stretch the joint capsule and offer temporary relief. These splints do not fix the bunion as the underlying issue is from the trauma. This is trauma from wear and tear on your feet such as standing, walking and running.

Key Points

Bunion pain does respond well to orthotic treatment. Bunion treatment orthotics need to be made with the correct prescription for support or else they will not prevent the collapsing of the foot . Orthotics for bunions need to be stiff with the foot corrections made in them. The casts should not be foam box. If  treatment of orthotics , exercises, footwear changes, spacers and splints do not offer relief, you should be referred to an orthopedic surgeon.

Why You Need Good Orthotics

Your feet need to last you a lifetime and that’s the big reason you need good orthotics. Of course, when you come into our foot clinic downtown, we’ll explain it and show you in better detail. One of the first things we tell her patients is hip, knee and ankle and foot biomechanics can be complicated.

It’s best if you stay away from those corrective shoe inserts that you can find at the local mall. No two sets of feet are exactly alike. That’s why the orthotics that we custom design for you are the end result of a professional process.

What They Are

In a nutshell, orthotics are special shoes and custom-made inserts that we design for you. Although they are usually designed to be worn on your feet, they can treat a variety of other issues. Some of our patients come to us complaining of back, leg and, of course, foot problems. Many of these situations can be helped with the right orthotics.

Why You Need Them

These inserts can help with a variety of issues that include:

  • Arthritis. There are two different types that orthotics can help correct Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis can he helped with these treatments.
  • Back Pain. There’s even some evidence that back pain can be lessened.
  • Diabetes. People who suffer from diabetes also often have neuropathy. This is part of a condition where they can lose sensation in their feet. Proper fitting custom made shoes can help reduce any stress so they don’t injure themselves.
  • High arches are another condition that can benefit from the right orthotics. Muscles can be stressed in the feet with high arches and that can lead to conditions like knee pain and shin splints.
  • People who have been injured playing sports or in other types of accidents can use extra support.

Big Benefits of Custom Orthotics

The idea behind these accessories is to give your foot a little extra support. The right kind of custom product can add to what the ligaments and tendons in your foot are already doing. Well-designed orthotics give your feet support exactly where you need it.

That means that you get the kind of relief from pain many patients are looking for. These specialized products can also help prevent foot ulcers and injury.

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto can help you get the information you need about orthotics and other treatments.