Bunion Pain and Treatment from Toronto Downtown Chiropodist


Bunion pain can be debilitating for those coping with it. Most people think they need to resort to surgery as the initial step in treatment, but surgery should be considered a last treatment option in bunion pain management. That is the philosophy at our Toronto Downtown Chiropody and Podiatry clinic.   

What is a Bunion:

The medical term for a bunion is Hallux Abducto Valgus, meaning big toe with a lateral deviation and a twist. Our chiropodist Laura Desjardins approaches these injuries by coaching her patients how manage this condition. Our chiropodist understands that the bunion is a complex injury. The foot moves in three directions, called tri-planar and abnormal foot function of any of those movements can contribute to a bunion. Not only are abnormal foot mechanics a contributing factor, but footwear should also be addressed when treating this injury.

Our chiropodist will give you a musculoskeletal examination where she takes measurements of your foot, bony movements, flexibility, strength, foot type as well as balance and other tests. She will also advise certain exercises or stretches for your particular bunion case.  Our chiropodist has a well rounded approach to care where she may also examine your hip strength and leg mechanics. Weak hips can also relate to bunion pain! In painful conditions anti- inflammatory medication and activity modification may be advised.  While rehabilitating, orthotics can be a useful tool in restoring foot mechanics and helping to deflect abnormal forces on the foot. 

Typically a pronated foot type and flat feet are prone to bunions, but that is not always the case. Even high arched feet can acquire a bunion. That is why it is very important to figure out what your individual mechanical issue contributing to your pain is. Rehabilitation can take weeks to see a benefit, so it does mean being a bit patient. After a hard effort in rehabilitation, footwear modification and adherence to other treatment plans suggested by our chiropodist, and orthopaedic surgeon referral may be the next step. The chiropodist may also advise an X-Ray referral to determine if ongoing pain is related to arthritis. 

Surgery is the only method that will remove the bump on the side of the bunion. However, if one does not address the underlying foot weakness or mechanical issues contributing to bunions, the bunion may come back. Footwear, such as heels, will also contribute to the recurrence of a bunion. 

If you are experiencing bunion pain, our downtown Toronto Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, will help you each step of the way when dealing with your injury.

Plantar Fasciitis – our downtown Chiropodist and Podiatrist can help!

Common foot pain pathologies that our downtown Toronto Chiropodist and podiatrist can help with include plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis is a very common foot condition that impacts people who are physically active or have occupations requiring them to be on their feet for long hours. Plantar fasciitis can last for months and become very frustrating to those suffering from it.

What is fascia? The fascia is called aponeurosis, which is a white fibrous tissue that is similar to a flattened tendon on the bottom of the foot. It is known to be an extension of the Achilles’ tendon to help propel us forward when we walk. Many factors can combine to create this injury. The onset of this injury is likely to include one or many factors such as overuse, lack of flexibility, lack of strength combined with improper footwear / lack of support. This is a very painful condition that our downtown Toronto chiropodist and podiatrist are experienced in treating.


When we stress our muscles we make micro tears to our tissues and with proper recovery they heal. This is a natural process of training. However, when the demands on the foot tissues are greater than the ability to repair, an injury happens . This is why it is very important to gradually scale up in duration or intensity of activity . Without slowly integrating the demands placed on the foot, the tissues may take on more load than they can tolerate and plantar fasciitis may arise. The same principle applies when returning back to training after injury, it is important to slowly scale back up in duration and intensity. In severe cases chronic plantar fasciitis may lead to a stress reaction in the heel.

How do we prevent overuse ?

By slowly increasing the duration and intensity of your activities. It is also important to include proper rest days and less intense days with a recovery routine to allow for tissues to heal and repair. If you are a runner, our chiropodist is an elite runner and has experience with elite coaches . If you need any advice on training to prevent your running injuries, or how to come back from one, she would love to help!


Flexibility and strength is interrelated. Sometimes a weak muscle may compensate by tightening up to meet the demands placed on it. The problem with this is that sometimes tightness is compensatory and the muscle works in ways it is not supposed to. Muscles  attempt to tighten up to meet the demands placed on them or other muscles start to compensate and tightness is a result of improper function. This can lead to pain and injuries such as plantar fasciitis or tendonitis.


If we always use a muscle group and never stretch it, it can create imbalances in our bodies that contribute to deformity and structural changes . An example of this, is tight calf muscles from always walking or running. The calf muscles ( gastrocnemius and soleus), are always lifting body weight and with time, microtears can weaken or cause an imbalance. This can cause tightness / lack of flexibility to form. Without adequate stretching, flexibility will diminish. Our downtown chiropodist, Laura Desjardins is experienced in assessing which calf muscle is tight and which muscles are imbalanced and prescribe an appropriate rehab program based on your individual findings.

Support and footwear

Certain foot types can benefit from extra support, especially when battling a foot injury.A flatter foot type is one where the ankles may buckle in and the toes splay outward. This is called a pronated foot type. A certain amount of pronation in regular gait is required, but excessive amounts can lead to a torsion / twisting strain placed on the fascia band and cause plantar fasciitis. At our downtown Toronto chiropody and podiatry practice we encouraged strengthening the lower leg and foot and will help educate on a supportive shoe or orthotic to help control these forces.

If you would like to seek a well rounded approach to plantar fasciitis, our chiropodist Laura Desjardins will help guide you through a thorough rehabilitation plan. She is also experienced with soft tissue release and a well structured return to exercise plan. Orthotics are also an excellent tool utilized in the prevention and treatment of plantar fasciitis.

In summary, plantar fasciitis is a very frustrating injury one does not have to live with. In our practice, for severe chronic cases, we may refer you out to Platelet Rich Protein Injections or Cortisone Injections. These severe cases may require offloading with an air cast. This injury is not merely just a foot injury and structures above and below the site of injury should always be strengthened, rehabilitated and stretched . Here at Podiatry on Yonge at King, Laura Desjardins is on your team and will help you get through this !

Let’s Talk About Orthotics

Our downtown Toronto Podiatry on Yonge and King practitioners want to educate people how orthotics help foot pain. Mixed views and theories exist on the role orthotics. We would like to clarify why this may be. First of all, an orthotic needs to be moulded the by the gold standard method. Additionally, it should be prescribed by a practitioner who greatly understands foot mechanics.

The gold standard for making orthotics is by plaster cast or by a 3D laser with the foot held in neutral. Other methods may not have as great of an outcome, as they may not correct the foot during the moulding procedure. Specific skills in prescription writing also plays a key role in the outcome of an orthotic. Chiropodist and Podiatrist have special training in this area.  In specific conditions a podiatrist or chiropodist may further correct to the foot while casting.

Podiatry on Yonge and King has experience and expertise in prescribing orthotics for foot pain and treatment in foot rehabilitation. We understand the mechanics of the foot and know certain orthotic modifictions cannot be done for certain foot conditions. Why? That can result in iatrogenic conditions. This means some conditions should avoid particular orthotic modifications as this can lead to foot and lower limb problems down the road.

A practitioner with an extensive understanding of foot mechanics will know when to include or exclude modifications in an orthotic. Our Chiropodist Laura Desjardins has a sound understanding of how to apply orthotics to active patients. She runs in orthotics and understands the interaction of footwear and the orthotic. Chiropodist Desjardins not only has clinical experience, but first hand personal experience of lower limb injuries and orthotic management. 

In academic literature of sports medicine, rehabilitation and physiotherapy, orthotics are known as a helpful tool in the treatment of foot injuries. Orthotics offer support to injuries and weakness of the foot, offload painful areas and control abnormal forces placed on the foot. They can help prevent and treat conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis and shin splints to name a few.

In addition to offering orthotics at our downtown Toronto Podiatry and Chiropody clinic,  our approach to care is to address the underlying foot problem. This is done by a thorough history,  biomechanical and gait assessment. Depending on the nature of your pain, we may advise you to see your family Doctor for an X-ray, MRI or Ultrasound. Unless in obvious or foot emergency circumstances, it is suggested to try conservative measures first to limit the amount of radiation exposure.

At Podiatry on Yonge at King we take pride in offering a quality orthotic to our patients. We try our best to prescribe an orthotic suitable for your style of footwear. However, we may advise changes to your footwear for best management outcomes. Chiropodist Laura Desjardins has great experience with orthotics for athletes and runners. She can also help ladies find the correct orthotic for their business attire. Our downtown Toronto Podiatrist Chris Hastings and Chiropodist Laura Desjardins are her to help guide you through you foot pain! 

What You Need to Know About Pronation

Pronation is a situation where the weight moves from your heel to the front of your foot. It’s commonly called flat foot and it usually occurs when the arch collapses both inward and downward at the same time.

Here’s what you need to know about this common ailment.

First off, people who have pronation are more susceptible to a variety of different kinds of injuries. One of the reasons for this is your body’s natural alignment is thrown out by this particular situation. There are a variety of common problems that go hand-in-hand with pronation including heel pain and chronic lower back pain to name just a few.

Although many people are born with flat feet, there are some other situations that can cause pronation and these include:

  • Being overweight. There are a variety of different negative consequences to being obese and over pronation is one of them.
  • Activities that involve using your feet in a repetitive manner. Runners often suffer from pronation after years of striking their feet on hard surfaces like concrete.
  • Women who are pregnant often have flat feet from the extra weight they carry during their pregnancy.

There are a few do-it-yourself ways you can use to check for this issue. If you don’t see a space between the heel and front of your foot when you’re standing, the chances are your arches have fallen and your suffering from over pronation.

Try taking a few steps on a wet surface. If you see a print that shows your heels and the front of your foot with your toes and nothing in between, you don’t have an issue. However, if your print shows one continuous mark from your heel to the front of your feet you’re likely suffered from over pronation.

Choosing the right kind of foot wear can make a big difference. For example, if you fall into this category, you should be looking for a pair of shoes that have the kind of extra stability that you’ll need.

Orthotics are another route that you should consider taking. Custom orthotics are created by a podiatrist. These are created after carefully measuring a person’s gait to decide on the best fit.
Preventing pronation isn’t always easy. However, if you carry some extra weight losing it can help. If you are suffering with ankle pain or calluses and bunions on the outside of the foot, you should come and see us.