Diabetic Foot Care Tips from Your Downtown Toronto Podiatrist

As a downtown Toronto podiatrist with experience, we see people suffering from diabetic foot problems quite often. These types of complications can cause serious issues if left untreated. Here are a few diabetic foot care tips you can use to keep your feet in good shape if you suffer from this disease.

The best philosophy is preventing any issue before it starts. Looking after your blood sugar level and having a good foot care routine is a great idea.

Foot Care Routine

One of the first things that you can do is put together a kit to look after your feet. A plastic mirror that’s unbreakable and some nail clippers and a file should go inside. Putting all of those things together in one place makes following your foot care routine much easier.

  • The temperature of the water you use to wash your feet matters. We tell patients at our downtown Toronto podiatrist facility that it shouldn’t be too hot. Use warm water and mild soap. We also caution against soaking your feet to prevent the skin from drying out.
  • Inspecting your feet every day can help you head off larger issues. Look for any blisters or swelling and redness. If they feel sore, you should be checking for blisters and cuts. Here’s where that unbreakable mirror in your kit comes in handy.
  • Keeping your toenails trimmed is critical too. A hang nail can cause an injury that can lead to neuropathy. We can trim your toenails if you can’t reach them on your own. Our downtown Toronto podiatrist services include comprehensive treatments by skilled professionals.
  • If you’ve cut or scraped your feet, clean the wound with mild soap and water. You should use an antibiotic ointment as well. Cover it with a sterile bandage that’s designed for sensitive skin.

Your shoes are important. Making sure they are properly sized can prevent bunions and other issues. Something like a callous is usually a minor issue unless you have diabetes. Taking extra precautions is a proactive way of heading off serious problems.

When you suffer from this disease, everything that has something to do with your feet can make a difference. For example, we suggest that you wear white socks as much as possible. That way you’ll be able to see any injuries much quicker.

We are the downtown Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist facility with the experience and dedication you expect.

Downtown Toronto Podiatrist and Chiropodist Tips on Foot Pain

Laura Desjardins, a Downtown Toronto Chiropodist, is passionate about foot rehabilitation, treatment and injury prevention.  Here at downtown Toronto chiropodist and downtown Toronto podiatrist, Laura takes deep motivation in helping people get back their foot health. Being an elite runner / athlete, she understands injuries and has had her share of her own experience managing foot and lower limb pain.

Laura realized most of her own injuries were foot and lower limb related, so she chose a field that would help her manage foot and lower limb pain.  This has given her first hand experience with foot pain. 

Here are a  couple tips from Laura , a downtown Toronto chiropodist, who works with an experienced downtown Toronto podiatrist. 

Common foot conditions and what to do about them.

It is recommend that if any of these issues still persist to come on in and see Laura Desjardins at our foot clinic downtown Toronto.

Bunions 

Footwear 

The initial treatment is footwear modification. While you wait to see a chiropodist or podiatrist, it is best to avoid any shoes that makes the pain worse. Simple, it may seem. You may not be aware that most of your footwear could be a source of your pain. In fact changing footwear is the number one treatment people do for their foot pain. Chose a wide toe box and forgiving material without seams across the big toe joint.

Home Treatment

Toe spacers, a certain type, can offer hassle free management to keep the toe aligned. Laura Desjardins also recommends particular splints to help the joint capsule and the muscular imbalance around the big toe. It is hog wash to think a splint will reduce the bunion, it may help improve the space between the big toe and the second and pain, but the bunion will not go away. 

Icing and anti inflammatories, oral or topical. These types of medications are to help wth joint irritation and inflammation, as long as no contraindications exist for these medications. 

Bunions can arise from other issues other than just the foot. That means there is a more complex issue requiring the help of an experienced foot practitioner, like Laura Desjardins to help you find that missing link . 

Plantar Fasciitis 

This one is a very painful and stubborn condition once it starts. Laura has personal experience with plantar fasciitis and understands what works and what does not. She also has great insight to guide you through this condition in stages through to recovery. Laura also offers Shockwave therapy along with exercises and treatment for this condition. She also has extra training from Harvard Sports Medicine for rebuilding foot strength. 

Footwear

Avoid anything that lacks support and flat. A good test is to attempt to bend the twist the shoe as if you were to twist out a dish rag. If you can completely twist the shoe, it is not good for you! This means you want a stiff sole for plantar fasciiits. 

Wide toe box, this is important to allow the foot muscles in the toes to move and strengthen while you walk and move. 

Home Treatment

Rest is always best. Laura’s rule of thumb is do not do anything that causes pain. Pain is your best navigation tool in this injury. Towel scrunches, stretching and working on rolling the foot out as well as ice is good in an acute phase. If not contraindicated, anti inflammatories can help. 

Plantar fasciitis is one of the foot injuries that can take a long time to heal because of the location on bottom of the foot. If you do not see improvements in a timely fashion, it is recommended to seek help as this condition can become chronic plantar fasciitis and even debilitating. 

Laura’s approach to plantar fasciitis includes gauging your individual phase of the condition and your individual biomechanical assessment. There are certain exercises and activities that should be or shouldn’t be done based on where your injury is in the healing phase. 

Keep in mind it is not abnormal for this injury to take months to heal. UNFORTUNATELY, the located is right under the foot in a large weight bearing area so it is bound to undergo repetitive stress. However, the chiropodist and podiatrist at our foot clinic downtown can help reduce the healing time and help give you the tools to help manage it. 

Our chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, is very keen on foot conditions and being a runner, she understands the value in getting your health back as soon as possible. Her approach is holistic in nature where she really wants to determine your underlying issue and uses Podiatric skills as well as her sports medicine knowledge to help teat those with foot pain. 

Here is a link from the Globe and Mail advocating the important of foot health and the body. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/how-the-feet-run-the-show-in-a-healthy-body/article23790241/

Orthotics Downtown Toronto Podiatrist and Chiropodist

Orthotics

The season is here to be changing into boots and enclosed shoes. The correlation of injuries and poorly supportive footwear is known. Speaking from experience, each time I would train in a lighter supportive shoe for an extended period of time, I ended up with an injury. This was even after taking precaution to strengthen the foot and slowly adapt to lower supportive footwear. According to a study of Sports Medicine , running in minimal footwear lead to the  increase in the likelihood of injury risk.
This brings me to my next point. I have learned the hard way . I hate foot injuries and orthotics did help in preventing my injuries along with proper footwear. This also goes for those who are walking around on their feet in Downtown Toronto. Repetitive strain is strain and certain types of footwear can predispose the likelihood of these injuries to arise.

What do orthotics do ?

They help to control abnormal forces, support the injured foot and help to prevent injuries of the foot. The nice thing about them is that you can add support to an array of your shoes. Now I understand most of the fashionable shoes do not give the most support, so it is nice you can have a custom foot orthotic with your individual prescription needs to add extra support to your footwear for your foot pain. Orthotics can also be practical , sleek and easy to move from shoe to shoe.
According to Rehabilitation Sports Medicine , orthotics are seen as a very important and useful tool in the rehabilitation process for injuries.

When would an Orthoic be needed?

Pain is a good indication that you may be a candidate to be fitted for custom foot orthotics at our Podiatry and Chiropody office Downtown Toronto. Not all orthotics are built the same and that is why they are custom. Your foot is casted and then placed into a corrected position. From there further corrections can be made. Depending on your foot pain and condition, the orthotics will be made based of that as well. It is very important to see the correct professional for your custom orthotics that your insurance recommends as they know they will do the best job at accurately prescribing the device for you.
I had great success to ward off an achilles issue with a pair designed for and achilles issues. Bunions , plantar fasciitis , metatarsalgia, hallux limitis , turf toe are all things that can be adequately treated with custom foot orthotics to help the foot heal.

What to expect?

Custom foot orthotics do take some time expect anywhere from 2- 4 weeks. I always follow up to ensure patient satisfaction. There is also a break in period to help start firing other muscles that may not have been firing before. I know I experiences this in the top of my foot and shin when I had worn an orthotic with a more control . That just felt like the soreness you get when you workout.
My approach not only includes orthotics, but I do believe in a well rounded approach which addresses strengthening and stretching as well as a biomechanical evaluation. As with any injury , time and patience as well as rest and treatment is your best approach to a speedy recovery !

Downtown Toronto Foot Doctor Supplies Interesting Facts About Aging Feet

Your feet are designed to last you a lifetime. As your downtown Toronto foot doctor, we are always here to look after them with you. For us, that means supplying the excellent care and information you need. Here are some interesting facts about aging feet that should come in handy.

Being heavy can make foot pain worse

A study that was done two years ago and published in a journal dealing with obesity has some interesting facts. As your body mass index moves from a normal number towards obesity, the odds of suffering foot problems increase as you get older.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or woman. This is true for both sexes. It’s a vicious cycle. The heavier people get, the less likely they are to exercise. That means the foot issues can become even worse.

Blood flow to your feet is important

As your Toronto podiatrist and Toronto chiropodist, we warn people who already suffer from foot pain that compromised blood flow can make it worse. There are a variety of factors that can affect this situation. For example, if you have diabetes you might suffer from neuropathy or even blood clots.

Poor circulation in your feet can make foot pain worse. From a medical perspective, the soft tissues in your foot are not getting adequate blood flow which can cause ulcers, infections and skin conditions.

Poor Circulation?

If you’ve injured your feet, poor circulation can make healing an issue.

If you’re suffering from any tingling or numbness , we want to know about it right away.

Having a downtown Toronto foot doctor like Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins on your side is important. If you have any symptoms that are causing you discomfort, we want to know about them. For older people suffering from foot pain, our diabetic foot care supervision services come in handy.

You can call our downtown Toronto podiatrist facility. You can also book an appointment online by using the convenient tab on our website.

Common Foot Issues

Finally, it’s important to remember that certain foot issues become more common as we get older. Posterior tibial tendonitis is one we see a lot of. That’s where there is an overuse injury to a muscle that lies behind your calf muscle. It supports arch and the muscle attaches to the bones on the inside of your foot.

Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins is a well-known downtown Toronto foot doctor and Downtown Toronto Chiropodist with excellent credentials and a compassionate nature. If you have persistent foot pain and you’re getting older, you should get in touch with either of them today.

Do the Outsides of Your Feet Hurt? Your Downtown Toronto Podiatrist Knows Why

We know feet. It’s what we do as a downtown Toronto Podiatrist and Chiropodist. That’s why when our patients come to us complaining about the outside of their feet hurting, we generally look to these places first. After all, pain in that part of your foot is common.

Ligaments

Play sports? Got a job that requires a lot of physical activity? Rolling over on your ankle happens all the time to cause torn ligaments. Symptoms include pain on the outside of the foot as well as instability and bruising.

Twist an ankle and you can tear a ligament. Then you’ve got what’s commonly called an ankle sprain. Damaging a ligament at the side of your foot accounts for over 80% of all the ankle injuries we see.

Fractures

We’ve been in business for years as a downtown Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist. In that time, we’ve seen little fractures that are left untreated become big problems in the long run. It’s one of the reasons we tell our patients to ease into strenuous exercise.

Sports are the number one offender. Sometimes a fracture can be only the width of a human hair. But ask anyone who has one and they’ll tell you how painful that can be.
When we treat stress fractures they heal quickly. Break into a new training level slowly. That will help you avoid this issue. Taking up a new sport is always a good idea but you will need to take the same cautious approach at first.

Bunions

When your big toe starts to rotate inward, painful bunions follow. You can’t leave the situation alone for too long. There’s a lot of pain involved and your toes can even cross over each other. Tight fitting shoes are quite often the culprit.

However, those stylish loafers aren’t the only reason that you can get a bunion. Genetics play a big role. If someone in your family has this issue, your chances go up of getting it yourself.

Research has shown that bunions are rare in cultures where people don’t wear any shoes. We’re not advocating for that given the Toronto winters, but getting the right shoe size is important. Truth be told, both genetics and footwear play a role.

There is another factor. As you get older, the risk for getting bunions increases. Getting them treated by a downtown Toronto podiatrist stops the symptoms from getting worse.

Foot Friendly Tips for Picking Healthy Shoes from Your Downtown Toronto Foot Doctor

Working with you to keep your feet in great shape is what we do. Finding the right shoes that fit is a big part of good foot health. Here’s a few great tips from your downtown Toronto foot doctor that will steer you in the right direction.

Find the Right Fasteners

Style is the first box most of us check off when we’re looking for the right footwear. We want new shoes to look good. That doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice shoes that are good for you.
Start with the fasteners. Laces and buckles add a touch of elegance. But at the same time, they allow for adjustment. Even Velcro straps do their part to keep your tootsies comfortable.

Heed the Heel

Make sure the heel doesn’t slip back and forth. Try to slide it with your hands when you try the shoes on in the store. It’s a simple test that can prevent issues down the road. They should be snug.

Timing Is Everything.

The chances are you’ve heard that phrase before but never expected it to relate to your feet. We are the downtown Toronto foot doctor team that knows how important the right shoes are. Shop for them in the afternoon. Your feet expand during the day and this is the best time to get a fit that works for you.

Don’t Tinker with the Tread

Everything about picking healthy shoes is important. Make sure the tread extends from the toe all the way back to the heel. It’ll give you a good grip on slippery surfaces. You might not go out hiking in your new shoes, but a good tread can come in handy on a wet city street.

Stand in Them

Standing up in your new shoes is about more than checking them out for comfort. Your longest toe needs to have about 6 mm of space. Anything less can cause problems down the road like bunions or hammertoe.

Walk around in them to get a real feel for the fit. Don’t lie to yourself. If they don’t fit well don’t tell yourself they just need to be broken in.

Stick your fingers inside the shoe. It’s the best way to check for tags or seams that can cause problems like blisters.

The socks you wear matter. When you’re shopping, make sure you bring along the kind you’ll be wearing in the shoe. Got questions? Your downtown Toronto foot doctor is always ready to help.

Orthotics Toronto and Support

Who Can Get Foot Pain?

Being a distance runner, I have had my fair share of experience with overuse conditions. It does not matter whether you are a runner or someone who walks everywhere for transportation, or even an office worker, repetitive movements over time can result in overuse injuries. There has been many trends in the minimal footwear approach. I have also had my fair share of personal experience in trying to adapt to minimal footwear. Each time I did try to transition into this type of footwear, I did encounter more aches and pains and even injuries. I seemed to always stay healthy longer in supportive footwear, orthotics and staying on top of injury prevention drills.

My Approach

My approach to care emphasizes a well rounded approach that addresses foot injury as well as the mechanism of action which causes fatigue to the foot as well. A foot injury requires treating and rehabilitating the foot in a progressive manner that also encompasses restoring other imbalances above the foot. The underlying mechanism of action of injury should be addressed or else the foot injury may return if the original reason why it happened was not corrected.

How Orthotics Help

Orthotics, with proper footwear can also help deflect forces on the foot and provide support for injury prevention. Orthotics helped me keep injuries at bay. Each time I slowly tried to ween into a less supportive footwear, I would be on the brink of injury, notice more tissue strain or even injury. I liked the feeling of fast but I ended up feeling beat up.

Bottom of the foot pain and general foot pain is sometimes stubborn to treat as the foot takes the load of the body. It is very difficult to rest the tissues . Supporting an injured foot helps to let the injured area rest and reduce load to heal. I always promote a well rounded strengthening and stretching program combined with support and to encourage people to solely not rely on support .

For my assessments I like to perform a full lower extremity biomechanical to locate individual weaknesses. Foot pain can result from weakness above the foot which can result in adding more stresses placed upon the foot. When the foot  is injured I approach treating the area by a progressive treatment plan as well as addressing the other imbalances that may have lead to more foot strain. I do find the use of orthotics to help reduce these forces placed upon the foot and provide support.

 

 

A Downtown Toronto Foot Doctor Supplies Some Advice for Golfers

We’re one Downtown Toronto foot doctor that confesses to loving the links. One of the best times to go golfing is when the leaves start to fall. And that’s soon. Having a good swing is about more than how you connect with the ball. The ball of your foot, heel and toe are all important too.

Here’s a few ideas on how looking after your feet can increase your handicap.

The Issues

There are three issues that can affect your golf swing. A neuroma is a problem with the nerves in your foot. It can cause a problem when you’re shifting your weight as you swing through.
Arthritis is a more common issue that can show up in your big toe. It can make the follow through extremely difficult. Other golfers can suffer from heel pain. This occurs when the tissue in that part of your foot becomes inflamed. It’s a horrible way to ruin an otherwise good golf stance.

Buying Golf Shoes

There’s another area where a Downtown Toronto foot doctor can help your golf game. And that’s in helping you choose the right golf shoes.

Getting the right sized shoe is critical. Think about it. During any given round of golf, you’ll be walking long distances. You’ll be standing for several hours and shifting your weight as you hit the ball.

Measure both your feet before making any decisions. If they’re different sizes, get the one that fits the larger foot. Wearing shoes that are too small can cause bunions and even hammertoe.

Socks are important too. When you’re on your way to buy golf shoes, take a pair that you’ll be wearing with you.

Once you’ve considered the health of your feet, it’s time to take a look at style. There’s a lot to choose from. But basically, you can divide your choices into either traditional or athletic.

Leather Golf Shoes

The traditional golf shoe is generally made from leather. Not always as breathable as we’d like to see, but usually these are waterproof.

From our standpoint, athletic golf shoes have a lot going for them. They are lightweight, breathable and very flexible. Good for the feet and they come in a wide variety of colors and styles.

Spikes are available in both kinds of golf shoe. They give you a little more grip so you won’t twist your ankle. There’s lots of choice with modern golf shoes. They are a little more comfortable.

As a Downtown Toronto foot doctor, we always suggest you consider the health of your feet and your scorecard at the same time.

Downtown Toronto Podiatrist Tips for Your Fall Athletes

Being a downtown Toronto podiatrist for years means we see different issues as the seasons change. Young athletes suffer a sharp spike in the number of foot and ankle injuries when the leaves start to fall.

Basketball, football and soccer are the sports that cause a lot of broken bones and sprains for your children.

Here are some tips to prevent them from getting seriously injured while they play at Autumn sports.

  • Get any injury looked at right away. A simple sprain might be a lot more serious than it first looks. There might be some cartilage damage and even broken bones that could go undetected otherwise.
  • Match the shoe with the sport. As a downtown Toronto podiatrist that sees lots of ankle injuries, we can’t stress this enough. Many ankle related mishaps happen on uneven turf surfaces like playgrounds. Remember, there are differences between football cleats and baseball shoes.
  • Children should warm up before they play any sport. A quick jog before they begin to stretch is a good idea. Stretching a warm muscle is a much better idea than working with a cold one. A brisk walk or even a quick swim are great ways to limber up.
  • Check the field. Uneven surfaces are the culprits for many sports related injuries. Parents should be on the lookout for any kind of divot that can snag a player’s foot. If you find anything, make sure referees and coaching staff know about it
  • Old injuries need to be checked out before a new season. A quick checkup with a downtown Toronto podiatrist can spot anything that hasn’t healed properly.

Children need new shoes for a new season. The bottoms can become worn and uneven. When that happens, the ankle can tilt and cause an injury.

The Best Fall Sports

Soccer is one of the best fall sports for your child to be involved in. Not only do they get a good workout, they also learn the value of teamwork. Shin guards and cleats are the only gear you’ll need. And this is a relatively safe sport for your children to play.

Football is another big draw in the fall. Hightop cleats are one of the best choices here. They provide extra ankle support. If they have rubber outsouls, all the better. That makes slipping a little less likely.

Even the slightest injuries should be treated. We’re the downtown Toronto podiatrist that’s always ready to help.

Foot Pain Often Requires Glute and Core Strengthening

Foot Pain Often Requires Glute and Core Strengthening 

As a foot specialist I spend a lot of time hearing about people’s foot pain. I also am able to listen to their history and connect the dots to what may have resulted in a foot condition. To be honest, it is rarely just one thing, other than a direct blow or trauma, that results in foot pain conditions. Most of what I see is overuse injuries, and that can even be walking for extended periods of time. Doctors and nurses who spend long shifts on their feet are no stranger to foot pain.

Foot injuries can happen from repetitive overuse where some structures become weakened. Sometimes an old injury that was not completely rehabilitated can cause recalcitrant issues later down the road. The foot is directly related to the forces placed upon it. Weaker structures above the foot results in more impact on the foot.

The more and more I see, the more I realize everything in the body is connected. I have always been a practitioner of the philosophy where every body part has a relationship to another. The best way to explain this is if you only treat a painful area, you may not be targeting the original cause of the problem. That is why when I help treat foot pain, I like to encourage a well rounded treatment plan that also includes core and glute strengthening.

I was at Goodlife and it occurred to me the sign on the wall next to the glute machine stated something along the lines of “Glute strength, the most important muscle for athleticism”.  This is so true! Our core and pelvis holds our centre of gravity, much of the pain and ailments related to the foot an ankle also has a relationship to the glutes and core.

Being a person who runs each day, I realized this more and more. Most of all the injuries happening to the feet are directly related ! Do not get me wrong, one still needs to strengthen the feet and rehab that area, however it is of most benefit when we also strengthen above the foot as well. So I wanted to share some tips on keeping your glutes and core strong to help prevent some injuries. Plus, isn’t it a bonus to have a toned booty and core?

Planks

This includes side planks and front planks. The best form is when you squeeze your glutes together and attempt to keep you belly facing the wall, not twist up to the ceiling.

 

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Donkey Kicks

These are great to isolate the glute muscles. Donkey kicks can be done lying flat on the floor or on all fours. This can be done with a theraband around your hips also. The gym does offer a push plate for better glute activation.

 

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Glute Bridges

Again, it is always important to squeeze your glutes at the top. Attempt to hold this for 45 seconds. Marching or transitioning into a single legged glute bridge also makes this one more challenging.

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Standing A

This one is easy to do anywhere! You can stand up in an A stance and squeeze your glute at the top . Holding only in the standing knee up position.

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Single legged Squats

Stand up straight with your back and heels in contact with a wall. Take a small step forward on your leg to be exercised. This step should be around half to one foot distance away from the wall. You can easily incorporate this daily. When you attempt to sit down, slowly lower on one leg or add in a few reps before you sit!

 

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Side steps with therabands

These are great to help activate pelvic stabilization when walking. People with weaker glutes tend to drop their hip when they walk, which can result in knee pain and also subsequent foot pain. Place a band around your ankles and gather some tension. Side-step keeping constant tension on the band. Make sure you do not bring your feet too close together and keep your toes and knees pointing forwards.

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Strengthening should be done at least 2 times a week. You do not need a gym membership in order to do these basic strengthening exercises. You can do 10 minutes twice a week and it will still add up to help keep you healthy.

I encourage that prevention is the medicine .