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.

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/

Plantar Fasciitis – Tips from a Chiropodist and Elite Distance Runner

What is Plantar Fasciits?

The plantar fascia is a deep connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. It helps you walk and aids to stabilize the foot. The cause of this stubborn condition is a combination of tightness and weakness due to overuse.  

Why Does it Happen?

The pain is caused by the plantar fascia band overworking in a compensatory manor, when it attempts to stabilize the foot.  This compensation of the band is due to compounding factors of a tight lower leg, combined with weak muscles specifically the glutes/ core and foot.  Weak glutes/core cause more collapsing down the chain and more pronatory force on the foot. Weak glutes / core can lead to very tight calf muscles and more load placed on the foot than it can handleWeak foot muscles cannot absorb impact properly, thus leading to the fascia band overworking to control the instability. The fascia is not designed to do this and pain occurs as a result. 

Me, being a runner who trains at a high level, has withstood many repetitive overuse injuries in my time. I was told that I should not run as I have a pathological foot type. This means that I am predisposed to a lot of foot injuries. I chose a field which I knew would educate me to help me stay healthy to do what I love to do. Not only do I love to run, but I also love to help people get back to health and continue doing what they love to do.

My entire philosophy has always been rehabilitative in nature as well as promoting adequate support to injured tissues. In fact, in practice I have found that to be the most successful for my patients. A combination of support to the injured tissues, while rehabilitating the imbalances. This is why it is important to have a thorough examination to determine where your individual weaknesses and flexibility errors may be. Not all the time is plantar fasciitis a problem of flexibility. Thus, if one is only given a program of stretches, they may not see the best improvement. Stretching is important but it is only part of the puzzle. I also have experience in plantar fasciiits orthotic prescription for people who wear flats, to those who partake in high impact activity, such as running.

Treatments

I am firm believer in strengthening the weaknesses and I do believe a strong foot is a healthy foot. When the foot is injured I do find orthotics helpful in pain alleviation as orthotics help to offload the injured area as well as adding support to injured tissues. Orthotics also help to provide stability to the foot to help prevent the fascia band from kicking in to stabilize the foot. Orthotics are of benefit while I train people to begin utilizing their lower chain muscles again. I attempt to promote this on a regular basis as well. When standing in line at the grocery store, brushing  teeth, to even waiting at a pedestrian stop light.

I do find shockwave therapy to be a very effective treatment for plantar fasciits. However, it is only effective if the mechanism of action causing the pain is managed properly and addressed. If the proper mechanics are not restored, the forces leading to strain on the plantar band will return, making the cycle a very frustrating experience. The shockwave is of benefit, it just need to be combined with the proper exercise regimen to yield most benefits. If one is doing the proper exercises and gets the treatment, they will see that shockwave therapy does help. Me, being a distance runner, I am no stranger to this injury. I know first hand the benefits of shockwave therapy when combined with the correct therapy protocols. I also may need to prescribe a strong anti inflammatory in more painful conditions. Clinically, I have found prescription grade to be far better than over the counter anti inflammatory medications in getting the inflammation to calm down. In the beginning , I also like to advice a regular daily icing protocol as well.

Footwear is an important topic. When the foot is injured, it is best to avoid flat shoes or shoes of little support. I usually tell people to avoid shoes which can easily bend . I typically like a wider toe box, so one can activate their foot muscles better. A narrow shoe immobilizes the foot muscles,  leading to further strain on the fascia band. I also like soles with a bit more of a medial flare such as the New Balance 840 or 860. I am a big fan of New Balance. They started off as an insole company and they are pretty bang on with most of their footwear engineering.

If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, I am thrilled to help you! That is my passion and I understand how miserable that condition can be. I have had continuing education training from Harvard Medical School focusing on foot and ankle conditions. I look forward to providing a well rounded approach to help those with plantar fasciitis.

Wishing you the best in your foot health!

When You Need to See a Toronto Podiatrist / Chiropodist

People have bumps and bruises on their feet all the time. This blog will tell you when you need to see a Toronto Podiatrist/ Chiropodist

Heel Pain

Achilles /tendinitis and Plantar Fasciitis are two big reasons for heel pain, especially in the morning. Plantar Fasciitis is characterized by a sharp pain directly underneath your heal. It may feel like a big bruise or a burning sensation. Many patients report it is the worst in the morning or when they are sitting down.

Tendon Disorders

One of the most common areas to have a problem is with the Achilles/tendon. This tissue connects the ball to the muscle at the back of your foot. When this particular tendon gets inflamed, the result is called Achilles Tendinitis. For many patients, it’s just a short-lived experience.

However, there is always the possibility of a small tear in the tendon. These can degenerate into a more serious issue if they don’t get looked at by a qualified Toronto podiatrist or chiropodist.

If you have a concern with your feet, it’s a concern for us. We offer a variety of different services. They are designed to make your life pleasant and comfortable. These include surgical correction of deformed joints as well as treatments for foot pain and sports injuries. A lot of foot pain can be resolved without a surgical intervention!

Bunions

This is another common foot problem that can become serious if you don’t treat it properly. It happens when the big toe’s joint moves out of place. You might think that it’s just a bump and nothing to worry about. However, it needs to be treated by a Toronto podiatrist. Think of it this way, the big toe carries a lot of your weight when you are walking.

The corrective services we offer can give you pain relief, which include a rehabilitative program, corrective orthotics, modalities and corrective toe spacers / splints.

There’s no need to wait until one of these issues affects your mobility. If you have any of the above conditions, you can book an appointment to see us!

Booking your consultation if you think there’s a problem is the first step. Chris Hastings has years of experience. Not only does he have a private practice, he also works as a consultant. Chris has also been a community leader in several different organizations. Our recent Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins has extra training from Harvard Sports Medical school in Foot and ankle rehabilitation and is passionate about treating foot pain!

If you take a look at the services offered, you’ll see they are comprehensive and thorough. When you need to see our Toronto podiatrist or chiropodist Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins should be at the top of your list.

Toronto Podiatrist/Chiropodist Tips for Keeping Senior Feet Healthy.

As your Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist who cares, we keep on top of all the latest information for seniors. Recently, we found some data from The Centers for Disease and Prevention Control in the United States. It reports slips and falls are the number one reason seniors hurt themselves.

Studies have found those with foot pain and weakness are more likely to fall.  It’s a good idea to make sure your feet are in the best condition. That’s the best way to avoid accidents. Here are some Toronto Podiatrist and Chiropodist tips for keeping senior feet healthy.

  • Pay attention to pain. Some older people think pain is just a natural part of aging. As a Toronto Podiatrist/ Chiropodist with experience, we can tell you differently. A lot of what ails you as you age can be treated. The first step is making sure you get a proper diagnosis from us.
  • Keep those tootsies clean. Good foot hygiene is important as you age. It doesn’t always need to be in the bathtub or shower either. Preventing bacterial infections is as easy as wiping your feet down with warm water before you go to bed, ensure they are dry also. You can use a hair dryer as well!
  • Trim those nails. Long toenails can make it hard for older people to walk. Many senior people have balance problems as they age. Older people with diabetes need to be especially careful to prevent cuts and scrapes from untrimmed nails.
  • Stretch. Simple exercises are a great way to keep senior feet healthy. Stretching is a great way to keep your feet and ankles strong and mobile. Appropriate exercise can even help lessen the pain you’re feeling from arthritis. Talking to our Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist experts can help match you up with the right exercise routine.
  • Fit your footwear properly. Footwear is one of the most important aspects. If your shoes are too small it can cause blisters and other problems for your ability. Here’s a simple rule to follow. Your shoes should support your foot width and ankle as well as your arches.
  • Look your feet over. Self-examination is a great way to find problems before they become bigger issues. Make at-home examinations a routine. Look for lumps, bumps and any strange changes. It is easy to examine your feet during your morning hygiene routine or when you are putting on your socks!

Finally, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any kind of skin irritations on your feet. Seniors who continually rest their tootsies on pillows and mattresses need to keep an eye out for sores.
We are always available to have a look when you find something. It’s important for us to be part of your mobility.

Ingrown Toenail? Here’s Some Solid Advice from Your Toronto Podiatrist

Chris Hastings has the Toronto podiatrist experience you’re looking for. He has served in hospitals and institutions as a consultant. His private practice is thriving and he is a community leader as well. He has information about a variety of issues including ingrown toenails. He has also brought an associate on board, whom he has mentored and passed on years of knowledge to.

Simply put, ingrown toenails occur when the sides of the nail break away and grow into the skin on the toe. It happens a lot and causes redness and swelling. If it’s not treated properly, an ingrown toenail can get infected.

Here’s what you need to do.

As soon as the symptoms start to appear, you should contact us. We are the Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist that look after people with this issue. We are especially concerned if you have diabetes. Complications can also occur if you have foot circulation problems and nerve damage.

Keep in mind that over-the-counter medicines won’t solve the problem. They only mask any pain you’re feeling.

Removing the Nail

Removing the nail is one of the treatment options. That’s because the area can get infected. If that’s the case prescription antibiotics are a good treatment plan.

If your ingrown toenail persists, we might suggest some simple surgery to remove part of the nail. Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins has experience as a Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist in this area. Chris is an accomplished leader in his field. Chris also understands the importance of being a community leader. His resume includes work with Crime Stoppers and the Cancer Society. Take a few minutes to go through the services offered on his website. You’ll see that Toronto nail care is one of the options. Laura Desjardins is an athlete herself and is no stranger to knowing the trauma toenails are exposed to in running and sports, which may lead to ingrown toenails.

Accurate Diagnosis

You will be able to get an accurate diagnosis for several different conditions with Chris and Laura, the practitioners at Podiatry on Yonge at King. These aren’t just limited to ingrown toenails. Finding out that you have toenail fungus in its early stages allows for prompt treatment.

Establishing regular checkups with our Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist clinic is the first step to good foot health.

Bacteria in the Wound

One of the biggest concerns with an ingrown toenail is infection. This occurs when bacteria enters the wound. If you have any symptoms like redness or swelling, book an appointment with us today.

Your feet need to be well looked after so they can last you a lifetime. Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins understand this because they are compassionate and professional. Avoiding serious issues means finding out about problems before they become large.

Finally, remember that both Chris Hastings and Laura Desjardins are the Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist that makes a difference.

Big Toronto Foot Problems and Treatments

We understand your feet take a lot of daily punishment and suffer through Toronto foot problems. Whether you’re climbing, walking or running, you might suffer from a variety of issues.
That’s why we put together a list of Toronto foot problems and treatments.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes can cause nerve damage and high blood sugar levels can make things worse. Diabetic neuropathy occurs when blood sugar levels have not been maintained properly. Symptoms include pain and tingling in your feet. Diabetics suffer from a lack of sensation. This makes diabetic neuropathy more serious since cuts and other injuries go unnoticed.

If you have diabetes, you should get regular foot examinations. Toronto foot problems relating to blood sugar levels can be avoided. One of the first steps is to maintain control over your blood sugar.

You should also have your toenails trimmed professionally. Don’t hesitate to get medical attention as soon as you notice a cut or injury on your feet.

Bunions

Bunions are very common. They usually develop as a bump on the big toe and can cause the big toe to migrate outwards. Women are more likely to have these particular Toronto foot problems because they wear narrow shoes.

People with a family history are also at risk. There are other conditions like arthritis that can increase your chances of getting a bunion. There are several symptoms including tenderness and a visible bump on the big toe.

A bunion can also appear like a callous. If you’ve got trouble moving your big toe, you might have this issue. One of the most common symptoms is pain when you are walking.

We have experience in looking after Toronto foot problems just like this. As your Toronto podiatrist and chiropodist, we can prescribe shoes with inserts that are custom-made. When the situation doesn’t correct itself, surgery is another option.

Plantar fasciitis

When the strong connective tissue, called fascia, on the bottom of the foot becomes enlarged, Plantar fasciitis is the result. This is one of the more common causes of heel pain for most adults. Symptoms include discomfort on the bottom of the foot. It gets worse the more you move around. Many patients tell us it is severe early in the morning.

Get in touch with us if you are suffering from any of these issues. We have experience with a variety of Toronto foot problems. We offer a full biomechanical and gait analysis to find the root cause of your plantar fasciitis. Our Podiatrist, Chris Hastings, is one of the most experienced in the city and has a lot of knowledge with this condition. Our Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, is highly focused on sports medicine and foot pain and offers individualized treatment plans,soft tissue treatment, custom orthotics and shockwave therapy for those suffering with this condition.

Toronto Foot Doctor Tips for Good Foot Health

As your preferred Toronto foot doctor specialist, we take a special interest in each and every patient we see. We treat a variety of different foot issues. What’s more, we like to be proactive.

That’s why we’ve put together these tips on preventing issues before they start.

Shop for Shoes After Lunch

Your feet are their biggest in the afternoon. That’s why it’s the best time to shop for shoes. If they feel good at that time of day, the chances are you’ll be able to wear them comfortably at any other time.

Wash Your Feet Often

Lukewarm water with a bit of soap is the best concoction to wash your feet on a daily basis. We always caution against letting them soak for too long. That can damage their natural oils. For those who cannot reach their feet or have back conditions, a loofah or scrub on a long handled brush can help prevent falls in the shower while practicing good foot hygiene.

Cut Those Nails Properly

As a Toronto foot doctor with lots of experience, we surprise a lot of our patients by telling them there’s a right way and a wrong way to cut their toenails. Of course, you need to trim them on a regular basis. However, the secret trick is they need to be cut straight and not on an angle.

Using this little insider trick can help prevent ingrown toenails.

Cut Down on High Heel Time

We recommend that it’s best if you save your high heels for events and other types of occasions. If there is no way around wearing these types of shoes, try and lower the heel height as much as possible. If you have to wear heels in the office, wear shoes with good support and that do not hurt your feet on commutes. When you get to the office, change into your professional foot attire.

Scientific evidence points to the fact that a heel height of over 5 cm can do some damage to your feet over the long term.

Make Sure to Wear New Socks Everyday

This one might seem really simple but there’s more to it and just avoiding smelly feet. If you come in and talk to us, we can recommend the right kind of socks for your sporting events.

Generally, socks that are made of wool or cotton will help your feet to breathe. If you suffer from diabetes, your socks should be smooth on the inside to avoid damaging your skin. Synthetic materials are good for keeping the foot try and blister prevention for the more physically active population.

Finally, here’s a tip about your feet and communal areas as the weather gets warmer. It’s a good idea to wear pool shoes when you’re in any public area where you might be swimming or gymnasium showers.

One final note about flip-flops from your Toronto foot doctor. These don’t always have the best support so you shouldn’t wear them continually.