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. 

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!

Neuromas: Here’s What You Need to Know from Your Toronto Chiropodist and Podiatrist

Any type of running related injury is important to a Toronto chiropodist and Podiatrist. We’ve put together some information for runners on common types of foot issues. Running is a good way to stay in shape and get out of the house during the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing what to look for when it comes to neuromas helps to keep you active.

A neuroma occurs when the tissue between the third and fourth toes hardens and thickens. The thickened tissue puts pressure on the nerve and causes pain.

At first, you might feel like there’s a little pebble on the inside of your shoe. You could also experience a tingling sensation between the third and fourth toe. A neuroma does not appear in an obvious way like a lump between your toes. The main symptom of this condition is pain.

Shooting Pains in The Ball of Your Foot

If the situation worsens, you might feel shooting pains in the ball of your foot or base of your toe. Female runners are at a higher risk for developing this problem. Women who enjoy running and have flat feet are also prone to developing these neuromas.

It’s time to call your Toronto chiropodist and book an appointment if the pain lasts longer than a few days. If you’re suffering, it’s a good idea to back off on running for other types of exercise. Swimming is a good way to stay active because it doesn’t put much pressure on your feet while you heal.

There are different treatment options available. They depend on how far the situation has progressed. Early on, icing can reduce the swelling and over-the-counter medications can take care of any discomfort.

Treating a Neuroma

There are a few things to avoid if you think you suffer from a neuroma. Some runners misinterpret the pain they’re feeling and treat this condition like a stress fracture. However, the treatment for a stress fracture is different from what’s best for treating a neuroma.

Ignoring the early symptoms is another mistake. Runners with this condition often complain of feeling like there’s a wrinkle in their sock. If you exhibit the early signs and symptoms of neuroma, book an appointment with your Toronto chiropodist. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto stays up-to-date on the latest treatments so you can continue to exercise outside.

Stress Fractures and Toronto orthotics: Here’s What You Need to Know

Here’s a few words on Toronto orthotics and stress fractures.

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto knows that your foot has many bones. We also understand that a stress fracture might take a while to become apparent. Now that people are out running in the summer months, they need to be aware of what to look for.

These are usually caused by ramping up your training or the intensity of your run. Some of our patients are unlucky enough to trip on a pothole or rock. You’re even more likely to experience a stress fracture if you suffer from arthritis or take certain medications.

Too Much Too Quickly

For most of our patients, these happen when they do too much too quickly. If you are a runner who hasn’t trained over the colder months, it’s not a good idea to pick up where you left off.
Watch out for tendinitis, bunions or blisters. These can increase the risk for one of these fractures.

If the problem with foot pain is an alignment issue, we have Toronto orthotics treatments that can help. Fitting the device so that it aligns properly with the foot and ankle is what this service is all about.

Older Runner

If you’re an older runner in the summer months, you’ll need to consider this alignment issue. A stress fracture can be the catalyst for your pain.

Checking for symptoms is the first step to getting the right kind of treatment. Here’s a few red flags that you should be looking for regardless of your age.

Pain that lessens when you stop running and take a rest. Putting pressure on a stress fracture can cause it to act up. That includes any discomfort during daily normal activities. Make sure to look for swelling on the outside of the ankle or the top of the foot.

Keep in mind, it’s not just athletes who suffer from these types of injuries. The routine demands of your work and commuting can add up to a lot of stress on your feet as well.

Downtime Involved

If you wind up fracturing a bone in your foot, you’ll need to take some time away from running. Usually there’s about six weeks of downtime involved so the bone can heal. X-rays are a good way to diagnose any issue that you have with the bones in your foot. These can find something as tiny as a small crack.

Toronto orthotics can help correct your stride to prevent these injuries. Orthotics also help with coming back from a stress fracture.

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.

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 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.

Common Causes of Foot Pain from Your Toronto Chiropodist

Chris Hastings is a Toronto chiropodist with years of experience.He has added an associate to his team, Laura Desjardins, whom he shares his wisdom to. He currently runs a foot clinic downtown in the city with his associate, Laura Desjardins, but his other ventures have taken him to places like the Muskoka’s.

Here’s a list from him on the common causes of foot pain he has seen over the years.

Heavy Drinking

Everything in moderation. That’s one of the standard phrases you’ll hear from experts like Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins. Over the years he’s been in practice, he’s seen his fair share of people who abuse alcohol and have corresponding foot issues.

In fact, excessive drinking can lead to a type of nerve damage called alcoholic neuropathy. One of the early symptoms is a burning sensation in your feet.

Claw Toe

This is another cause of foot pain that Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins sees quite often. The condition is also called clawfoot since the second toe joint points one way and the first toe joint points another. It’s important to know this issue can be a sign of a more serious problem like arthritis.

Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins have the experience as a noted Toronto chiropodist to diagnose the issue and prescribed the right orthotics. Laura Desjardins also have extra training in sports medicine and rehabilitation and can show you some exercises for this condition.

Other Neuropathies

Some of the reasons for excessive foot pain and burning in the feet need to be diagnosed properly so they can be treated. For example, small fiber sensory neuropathy is characterized by short severe bursts of pain. It occurs when a sheath protecting the nerves on the underside of your feet gets damaged.

Diabetes is quite often the reason for this affliction.

Some of the other issues patients have with their feet occur after surgery. Nerve damage that causes a burning sensation and swelling is often what’s called complex regional pain syndrome. This issue can be severe. In some cases, it can even affect your immune system.

All the more reason to get a proper diagnosis from a professional Toronto chiropodist like Chris Hastings. He has the experience to be able to pinpoint any and all of your issues accurately. What’s more, Chris has compassion for each and every one of his patients. His priority is to make sure your feet are in good shape so they can get you from point A to point B for years to come.

If you’re suffering from foot pain, relief can be found at this foot clinic in downtown Toronto. Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins are Toronto chiropodists and a professional you can count on.