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.

 

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.

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.

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.

3 Points on Orthotics and Support Downtown Toronto

We are finally getting warmer weather in Toronto!  Warm weather means footwear changes and walks outside in the sunshine! Summer footwear usually means sandals, flats or less supportive shoes. There is a lot of confusion on less supportive footwear, minimal, support and orthotics. I recently went to a Harvard Sports Medicine foot and ankle injuries conference and I want to share some information on the topic.  

1. My Views on Minimal and Flat Shoes:

Firstly, I want to put it out there that I am not pro minimal and I am not against minimal. Minimal shoes take time to transition to. The transition can take anywhere from 9 months to 16 months of diligent strengthening and slowly weening into a less supportive shoe.   The transition to minimal footwear is very intense and requires stages of gait retraining and strengthening the little muscles of the feet all the way up the chain in progression. This includes training your little foot muscles how to activate and stabilize then engaging movements then combine movements with balance then movements with balance and increasing weight load efforts. Then putting it all together to be active for longer duration.  

2. How to Transition to Less Support, if you are Dedicated Enough !

My entire philosophy of practice is based on rehabilitation, finding imbalances, restoring function and getting stronger. However, I know this may not be a practical effort for people who want to wear some less supportive footwear when they change to spring and summer footwear. It is important to note that putting less supportive footwear on, does not simply make your foot stronger. You need to practice and dedicate time to strengthen all the muscles of the foot and lower limb. This has to be practiced regularly and should be guided by someone with knowledge how to do so . I know how to set up a program to strengthen the lower chain from the bottom up to the hips and can give advice on a program how to do so! This is important to do to avoid injuries when running or wearing minimal shoes for an extended period of time. The foot and ankle do adapt to repetitive use of footwear and sudden changes in a few mm of footwear can cause foot pain and an injury. Foot pain and injury can be prevented by wearing support while continuing to strengthen the feet and lower limb. 

3.I Believe in Combining Support and Strengthening for Pain relief

My approach to treatment is that I give exercises for the foot and calf to restore foot function along with support. In an ideal world it would be excellent to have people diligent about strengthening their foot and lower limb to wear less supportive shoes. However, I do know sometimes it can be a challenge for people to find time doing their strengthening even when they are in pain. For those who have foot pain and need support, orthotics or support can help the tissues rest or take the load off, while continuing to strengthen the foot. The feet do not get much rest as we are always on them, so the little support does help alleviate some strain off the tissues. Additionally, the benefits of orthotics are that they are custom and provides the ability to have specific support in an array of footwear, even footwear of less support.  

Those who want to wear less supportive footwear can do so if they take the appropriate measures to retrain and condition their feet to adapt to these changes. For those who experience foot pain when they wear a less support, they may find relief by wearing support/ orthotics to help them manage their pain. I usually recommend women who work downtown Toronto to wear sneakers or flats to the office and only wear their heels in the office. For those who experience pain in flats, I can make orthotics thin enough to go into flats! For trendy footwear commonly worn in summer, I do think a strengthening and stretching the program combined with the proper support can help those who have foot pain and also prevent foot pain from reoccurring.  

 

 

 

 

Our Foot Pain Treatment Toronto Team Highlights These Common Causes

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

Plantar Fasciitis

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

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

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

Ankles Sprains

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

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

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

Bunions

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

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

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

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