pin Our Location 2481 Bloor St. W, Toronto 416.769.3338(FEET)

clock Mon 9am-6pm Tues 9am-6pm Wed-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 9am-3pm calendar Book Appointment

See A Licensed Chiropodist

416-769-FEET(3338)

Why Do I Have Swollen Feet? Causes and Treatments

Did your feet just go from a size 8 to an 8.5? What gives?

Swelling in your feet happens to everyone from time to time to varying degrees. Swollen feet are often caused by standing for long periods of time, or after extending exercise such as walking or running. When your on your feet, gravity pulls blood towards your feet and there can be certain degrees of pooling.

The actual source of swelling (known by its medical term edema) is attributed to your small blood vessels leaking fluid into nearby tissues.

Causes of Swollen Feet

Swollen Feet

Like many foot conditions, possible causes are wide-ranging. If you find your feet ballooning, and are concerned, look out for any of these causes:

  • Pregnancy: A common symptom of late pregnancy is for feet and ankles to swell. This swelling comes from fluid retention and increased pressure on the veins.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: A lifestyle with little exercise means that excess fluid accumulates in the feet.
  • Being overweight
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes: Wearing tight shoes can put pressure on your feet and reduce circulation to the area. This pressure can encourage pooling of fluid in your legs rather than the blood flow you want to aim for in reducing swollen feet and legs.
  • Hot weather: In fact, studies show that Google search trends for ankle swelling are greatest in spring and summer indicating a pattern among the general population. This is due to greater liquid retention in hot weather. In fact, the study found that, “Internet searches for information on ankle swelling are highly seasonal (highest in midsummer), with seasonality explaining 86% of search volume variability.” Although this is not directly related to cases of ankle swelling, it’s well-documented that Internet searches accurately reflect trends in the population.
  • Alcohol: Since your body retains more water when drinking, alcohol consumption can cause swollen feet. If you find your feet are consistently swollen when consuming alcohol, it could be a sign that you’re drinking too much (or too often), or it could be a sign of problems with your liver or kidney.
  • Blood clots: Blood clots in the lower legs can trap fluid in the foot and ankle area as it limits the return flow to other parts of your leg and body.

How Do You Reduce Swelling In The Feet?

Swollen Feet

Fortunaely there are many DIY methods for treating swollen feet. Even better, some of these at-home methods are inexpensive, and highly effective. These include:

  • Soak your feet in cool water.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe and move freely.
  • Rest with your legs elevated.
  • Wear compression stockings/compression gear.
  • Do a few minutes of walking and simple leg exercises: If you sit for long periods of time, make an effort to get up once an hour for a short walk. Even if this is to refill your water bottle or go to the washroom, these regular breaks help with circulation and reduce the pooling in your lower legs.

When Should I Be Concerned About Swollen Feet?

Generally, if you can trace swollen feet back to a specific activity, like hot weather, or standing, then there is little cause for concern. If swelling is a perpetual problem, then you may want to seek medical help to determine the root cause of the condition.

There are a number of foot conditions that can be a greater cause for concern than basic edema.

Types of edema

  • Peripheral edema. It could be a sign of problems with your circulatory system, lymph nodes, or kidneys.
  • Pedal edema.It’s more common if you’re older or pregnant. It can make it harder to move around in part because you may not have as much feeling in your feet.
  • Lymphedema. This type of edema is often causes damage to your lymph nodes, which are tissues that that help filter germs and waste from your body. The damage may be the result of cancer treatments like surgery and radiation.

Blood clots

Blood clots are of great concern. Not only do blood clots cause swelling in your legs (and in other parts of your body), these clots can be life-threatening. If not addressed, a blood clots can travel to the heart and lungs and be fatal. Watch for specific signs of blood clots including swelling in one leg, a low-grade fever, and even possible changes in colours to your affected legs. Call your doctor immediately if you suspect this foot condition, even if it’s just to be safe.

Can high blood pressure cause swollen feet?

Swollen Feet

Swollen feet can be a side effect of certain drugs meant for treating diabetes. For example, calcium-channel blockers for treating high blood pressure may be a culprit. You may want to ask your doctor about dosage and the type of medication if you find that the swelling is out of control or bothersome. (Swollen feet can add not insignificant weight to your body, and make walking difficult.)

People with diabetes also have an increased risk of infection, which can cause swollen feet.

Reduce Swollen Feet With Expert Advice

We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortable as possible. Call anytime to ask about your specific concern and we’ll make sure to provide actionable steps towards getting your feet as happy and healthy as possible!

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Click Above to Book Your Assessment Today!

Stubbed Toe: What To Do When It Happens

Bang. Ouch. Did you hear that? That’s you stubbing your toe. A stubbed toe occurs when you least expect it; this pesky situation is bound to occur a few times a year. Even when we’re extra careful, it seems to happen on occasion. But you can stub your toe outside the house as well, whether it’s playing sports, or at work.

The pain is intense, your toe swells like a balloon, and the area is throbbing. What do you do? One thing’s for sure: you need to do something. Even it that means intentionally doing nothing at all.

What Classifies as a Stubbed Toe?

Stubbed Toe

A stubbed toe occurs any time you jam your toe against another object. This is a trauma injury, meaning it’s a physical injury of sudden onset and severity. It happens at once. Whereas other foot conditions develop over time, like bunions, hallux rigidus, or plantar fasciitis.

Alternatively, you may stub your toe on itself. If you’re ever run around in sand, or barefoot on grass, you know what we mean. The latter is often known as turf toe, a sprain of the big toe joint resulting from injury during sports activities.

When you stub your toe, any one of the following may occur:

  • Throbbing toe pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising (including discolouration)
  • Bleeding from the nail bed (subungual hematoma)
  • Trouble walking
  • Trouble comfortably putting on a shoe, or socks

There’s actually a reason why stubbed toes hurt so much. According to one doctor, it’s the nerve receptors that are damaged when you stub your toe. “Each digit has two nerves, one on either side,” Dr. Botek says. “So no matter where you hit your toe or how you stub it, it’s going to affect a nerve impulse from your toe to your brain.”

How Long Does it Take For a Stubbed Toe to Heal?

Stubbed Toe

Recovery can vary depending on the severity of the injury. A hard and fast rule regardless of the extent of the injury is to follow the RICE method. RICE stands for:

  • Rest. The one thing you should always do is the absence of doing anything at all. Take a rest. Take weight off your foot and sit down immediately. Avoid any strenuous exercise until the swelling and throbbing has subsided.
  • Ice. Use an ice pack (no direct contact with actual ice to the skin) to reduce swelling. This should also help with pain management.
  • Compression. Wrap your toe if necessary with a compression garment. This will help stabilize your toe, and reduce swelling.
  • Elevation. Elevate your feet to above your heart, whether that’s lying down or sitting down with your feet up on an object. This will encourage blood flow and help reduce swelling.

Anti-inflammatories can also help lessen the pain, and reduce swelling. Additionally, you can use medical tape or bandage to wrap the affected toe with the neighbouring joint. This brace will help stabilize the toe (courtesy of its neighbour), and can prevent further damage through aggravation.

There are a few changes you can make around the house to make stubbed toes less likely. These include:

  • Avoid walking barefoot
  • Be mindful of “stub-worthy” objects, such as bed frames, floor boards, and chair legs, especially when you’re in a rush. Alternatively, cover the bottoms of the objects with something that would physically block you from stubbing your toe
  • Wear closed-toe shoes
  • Wear protective shoes if on the job site

Stubbed Toe

If your toe is broken, a realistic timeline for recovery is 4-6 weeks. Whereas with a sprain, or a minor strain, you may look at a few days to 1 week of recovery time. With a sprain, or strain, the immediate pain from the stubbed toe should dissipate rather quick, and transition to a dull pain or feeling. With a break, you may experience uncomfortable pain for days, even weeks, as the bone heals.

Is My Toe Broken or Stubbed?

This is tricky because self-diagnosing a stubbed toe is difficult. There’s only one way to know for sure: get X-rays. That’s not always necessary however since non-fractures often heal on their own. Sprains, fractures, and contusions can all feel similar in some ways. The real indicator is in the length of experiencing symptoms. If pain and symptoms don’t subside within a few minutes, hours, or even days, then the likelihood of a fracture is high. After all, there are 14 bones in the toe. With sprains, and non-fractures, pain typically subsides, and will continue to do so if you don’t re-aggravate the injury. With a fracture, bone only heals so fast, so you may experience pain for a few days, if not weeks. Watch for severe discolouration, pain after a few hours, or a clear sign of a break if you’re unsure of whether it’s a fracture or a sprain.

Can You Break Your Foot by Stubbing Your Toe?

Stubbed Toe

Yes, you can break a bone by stubbing your toe. In most cases, treatment for a broken toe and sprained toe are the same. The time for recovery is lengthened, and you will need to avoid strenuous activity or pressure to it. Your doctor may advise (or you can do this yourself) to use tape on a neighbouring toe to create a loose splint.

It’s not just your toe that’s affected when you smash it. There’s also the skin, and the toenail that you’ll want to monitor.

We’ve Got You Covered!

We’re confident in our ability to help inform you and solve your concern with the least amount of discomfort as possible. Got a question about your toes? Call us for whatever concerns you have, whether that’s a quick question or booking an appointment, and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction!

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Click Above to Book Your Assessment Today!

Why Your Feet Change Size Over Time

Were you once a size 8 and now you’re a size 9? No, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you. And your memory hasn’t disappeared. This change is actually quite common.

After all, your feet absorb a lot of impact. Decades of it, in fact. It should come as no surprise that this shock absorption can alter our feet, albeit quite subtly. More likely than not, you will only notice this change over months, if not years. A drastic change in shoe size shouldn’t happen overnight (if it does, you should seek medical advice).

Generally, ageing has a number of effects on our feet, including changing its size and shape. Our feet typically stop growing in our early 20s (depending on when you started and finished puberty), but in our later years, our feet may grow again.

Why Do My Feet Change Size?

A number of factors can result in changes to our shoe size over time. Some are age-related, others are more event-related including pregnancy or as the result of a condition. Below you’ll find some of the contributing factors.

Flat Feet

As we age, our feet flatten. Time and gravity widen and lengthen our feet naturally as the body absorbs years of impact. Ligaments and tendons begin to weaken over time as well causing flatter and larger feet. Imagine if you had higher arches when you were younger. If those arches begin to collapse over time, there is less upward range of your feet, and your feet get longer.

Foot and Toe Deformities

Additionally, adults can develop foot conditions and deformities over time that change the foot’s anatomy. Bunions, or hallux rigidus, for example, either add volume or change the width of the foot which may require larger footwear. If not larger footwear, many brands also offer wide variations of their most popular lines of shoes. These have wider toe boxes, and otherwise are true to size.

Body Changes

Slower metabolism, or changes in your diet can mean either weight gain or weight loss. These greater changes to your body have effects on your feet. Weight gain, for example, means greater pressure on your feet. Additionally, the fat pads on the base of your feet diminish over time.

Diabetes and Arthritis

These conditions can affect our feet. Diabetes and arthritis can impact the amount of swelling in your feet as well as blood flow which can greatly change the shape of our feet.

Pregnancy

Bigger feet during pregnancy is 100% normal. This is likely temporary and a direct result of your feet swelling. In some cases, this increase may be permanent, but only if the ligaments and tendons in your feet weaken to the point where they don’t recover post-pregnancy.

What Time of Day Should I Try on Footwear?

Feet Change Size

You want to account for your feet at their largest. Since feet swell throughout the course of the day, trying on footwear is best done in the late afternoon or evening. If your schedule restricts you to try on footwear in the morning, remember to account for the difference in your feet between morning and night.

Always try shoes on with both feet. Not all feet are created equally, and you can even have as much as a half-size difference between your left and right feet.

Get Your Feet Measured by Professionals

Feet Change Size

 

Ill-fitting shoes that are the leading cause of foot pain and foot problems and eight out of 10 people’s shoes fit incorrectly.

Follow these tips when trying on a new pair of shoes or winter boots.

  1. Try on footwear later in the day to ensure a proper fit.
  2. Try on both shoes, and use the larger foot to dictate the size of shoe you buy.
  3. Stand up while measuring your feet.
  4. Stand and walk for a few minutes before determining proper fit. Take your time.
  5. Try on different brands, and models of shoes.
  6. Try on different size shoes including 0.5 sizes.
  7. Wear the socks or garment you would normally to mimic real-world conditions.

Here at Feet First Clinic, we offer every customer a comprehensive footwear assessment free of charge to ensure that you invest in the healthiest footwear for your unique feet. Our footwear specialists and chiropodists will help match your foot shape, structure, and alignment to specific shoes and footwear features that answer to your corrective, supportive, or accommodative needs.

Customize Your Shoe Size

Feet Change Size

 

If you find your shoes fit well, but they could fit better, consider shoe stretching.

Shoe stretching is best suited to expanding shoes that are close to the right size but barely too tight. Stretching your shoes can increase:
  • Width: Increase of up to one size widthwise
  • Length: Increase of up to 1” inch lengthwise
  • Toebox: Increase of up to 1” in the height of the toe box
  • Instep: Increase of up to 1/2” in the vamp and instep area

This fine-tuning can give you that extra bit of room in your shoe to ensure the fit is just right. Most types of footwear can be stretched, and we offer this service here at Feet First Clinic, located at 2481 Bloor St W. Whether it’s buying shoes, measuring your feet, or stretching shoes you already own, we’re your one-stop shop for all of your footcare needs.

Your Footwear Solutions Live Here

All under one roof! Our team is trained to handle any and all your foot health concerns. From mild, to critical, we cover all sides of the foot needs spectrum. Call us to ask about actionable steps towards your solution today!

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

10 DIY Foot Product Gifts For Less Than $60

Christmas and the holidays are approaching. It’s time to prepare your wishlist, and plan what your gifts for your loved ones will be. Encourage proper foot health by opting for any number of these foot product gifts this holiday season.

Why not buy your loved one a gift that they’ll actually use? Buy the gift of healthy feet, and proper foot hygiene with some do-it-yourself products. These 10 DIY foot product gifts encourage proper foot care, and can be purchased for less than $60, making them a great option for stocking stuffers, or as a wrapped present.

As Toronto’s leading foot clinic, Feet First Clinic carries all 10 of these foot product gifts in-house. Open six days a week including Saturday for your convenience. For even more options, check out our full product list for what we carry in-store.

10 DIY foot product gifts for less than $60

Superfeet insole – $45-$55

Foot Product Gifts

You won’t find a better pre-made orthotics than Superfeet. These premium insoles and shoe inserts come in a variety of options, including for sport and for casual use, and retail for less than $60. Best of all, you can easily swap these in and out of each pair of shoes you use with zero hassle.

If you’re looking for something a bit more durable, and moulded to your foot, we at Feet First Clinic also do custom foot orthotics.

Link

Gehwol Med Deodorant Foot Cream – $20

Foot Product Gifts

Oh no, Foot Odour. Thanks to this deodorant foot cream, you can avoid smelly feet all together. With regular application, this Gehwol product helps prevent foot odour, and protects the skin against fungal infections, while leaving the skin soft and smooth.

Link

Gehwol Refreshing Foot Bath – $18

A refreshing foot bath formula can help counteract sore, aching and sweaty feet while invigorating tired feet, soothing sore feet and eliminating any unpleasant burning sensation. Gehwol’s Foot Bath has a lasting deodorizing action and promotes the circulation with essential oils. The skin is deeply cleansed and kept resistant and supple with sodium carbonate which softens hard skin, corns and calluses.

Link

Orthosleeve FS6 – $50

Compression attire is great way to reduce swelling, improve circulation, and relieve foot pain. The Orthosleeve FS6 hones in on the ankle and plantar, reducing pain resulting from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, swollen feet, and more. If you’re on your feet all day – including as a nurses, teachers, retail workers, hairdressers, food service workers, and more – this compression sleeve may be just what you’re looking for if you experience foot pain and swelling. As standing for long periods of time pools blood in your legs, compression gear can help encourage blood flow. The FS6’s shaped-to- fit design allows it to mold perfectly to your foot shape, support your arches, and relieve your foot pain.

Link

Strassburg Sock – $50

The Strassburg sock helps relieve heel pain when you sleep. Specifically, this sock is designed to hold the plantar fascia in the optimum healing position at night. Whole you sleep, the sock keeps the foot at dorsiflexion, and over the course of 2-3 weeks, can help lessen the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. The Strassburg sock is particularly appealing because you don’t need to wear it throughout the day. Rather, wear it at night, and you’ll forget you even have it on.

Link

Massage ball – $10-$15

One of the most effective do-it-at-home foot treatments is self-massage. Whether it’s through foam rolling, or with a massage ball, self-therapy helps encourage blood flow, and can help prevent many common foot conditions. Medilogics massage balls are affordable, durable, and portable.

Link

Foot file – $20

Sometimes the simplest measures can be the most effective. Pamper your feet at home with a Feet First Clinic-approved foot file. This handy tool gently buffs away rough, dry, and calloused skin. Portable too, you can bring a foot file on vacation, or wherever you go for extended periods of time. At just $20, this affordable product is the gift that keeps on giving, for weeks, months, and years to come.

Link

Dermal Therapy Medical Grade Creams & Lotions – $15

Dermal Therapy Heel Care actively moisturizes, exfoliates, and smoothes thick, callused, severely dry heels and feet. This medical grade cream includes a 25% urea formula that helps relieve severely dry skin. Urea is an important part of healthy young skin’s natural moisturizing system.

Link

Naot Scandinavian Footbed Footwear – $50

Foot Product Gifts

Make any shoe you own more comfortable by a Naot footbed. A footbed is like an insole, that over time moulds to your foot, and provides optimum comfort and support. These can be particularly useful when wearing formal footwear that don’t offer the support of everyday shoes. Swap these in, or out, and you’re good to go in seconds.

Link

Infracare bunion exerciser – $14

Bunions are an angular boney protrusion that forms at the site of the large joint that connects your big toe to your foot. It’s a prevalent condition, affecting up to one in three people over the age of 18. For many, bunions pose no problem, and you can absolutely live comfortably with bunions. However, there are a number of exercises and products that can make your life more comfortable. This centres aroud strengthening toe joint and related muscles. Enter, the Infracare bunion exericser. This toe strengthener is made of a durable elastic and soft toe pads that give you a comfortable grip on your toes to enable a gentle stretch of the muscles of the toe joint.

Additional exercises for bunions include: Toe spread-outs, toe circles, foot rolls, item pickup, and barefoot walking.

Link

Your Footcare solutions live here!

All under one roof! Our team is trained to handle any and all your foot health concerns. From mild, to critical, we cover all sides of the foot needs spectrum.

Call us at 416-769-3338 to ask about actionable steps towards your solution, or Click Above to Book Your Assessment Today!

How to Defeat Dry Skin This Winter

There are plenty of positives of winter: snowy walks, cozy evenings by the fireplace, outdoor winter activities and the holidays. One not so great aspect of winter is dry skin.

Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition characterized by scaling, itching, and cracking. It can result from a variety of factors, or be totally natural. Although you can have dry skin anywhere on your body, your feet can be particularly prone to this condition.

Why Dry Skin is Prevalent in Winter

Winter is especially brutal for dry skin. This is the case for a number of reasons:

  • Dehydration is more evident in winter
  • Indoor heating and showers can dry out the layer of skin that locks in moisture
  • Low humidity levels can degrade the skin’s natural moisture barrier. This can lead to flaking and peeling

Generally, humans’ desire to stay warm, either through indoor heating or hot showers, is particularly conducive to having dry skin in the winter. If you’ve ever come inside from the cold and take lengthy hot showers to warm up, you know what we mean.

Dry Skin

Beyond peoples’ habits, the environment plays a role. As Harvard Health Publishing explains it, the water content of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) tends to reflect the level of humidity around it.

Modify Your Home

Start by optimizing your home environment for the winter. Drier air means drier skin. Using a humidifier in the room that you spend the most time can help prevent your feet from drying out.

Keep the temperature on the cooler side as warmer temperatures will quickly dry out your skin.

Use a Moisturizer

Moisturizer For Dry Skin

One key component to avoiding dry skin is using moisturizing creams and products. Skin moisturizers specifically rehydrate the epidermis (the outermost of the three layers that make up the skin) and seal in the moisture. As a general rule of thumb, the thicker and greasier a moisturizer, the more effective it is. For example, petroleum jelly and moisturizing oils are highly effective as they help prevent water loss.

Use moisturizing products in damp conditions (like after taking a bath, or a shower) to seal in the water. By moisturizing your skin, you can help prevent calluses, blisters, and cracked heels.

Products we carry in-store here at Toronto’s Feet First Clinic include:

  • Gehwol Fusskraft Herbal Lotion Spray
  • Dermal Therapy Heel Care Cream
  • Gehwol Refreshing Foot Bath
  • Gehwol Fusskraft Soft Feet Cream

Visit the clinic any time – no appointment required – for a wide selection of skincare products, footwear, and footcare products.

Skin Ageing and Dryness

Your skin gets drier as you age. It’s inevitable. In fact, more than 75% of people over age 64 have dry skin.

Dry skin and ageing are related through a number of factors: cumulative effects of the sun over time as sun damage can thin the skin’s layer that absorbs moisture, and the production of natural oils slows as we age. Generally, dry skin doesn’t cause serious foot or skin conditions, but they can. These conditions can include chronic eczema, bleeding, or even bacterial infection.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are another side effect of ageing. When the skin on the bottom of your heels becomes overly dry, it can split and crack. This condition is known as Cracked Heels. These fissures can be painful and bleed. If they persist, your heels can become infected.

What You Can do About Dry Skin

Dry Skin Avoid Long Showers

Combat dry skin this winter by incorporating (or avoiding) some of these habits into your routine:

  • Use a humidifier in the winter
  • Limit yourself to 5-10-minute baths or showers
  • Use lukewarm water rather than hot water
  • Minimize your use of soaps. Alternatively, use moisture-rich hygiene products
  • Avoid deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps, and alcohol products
  • Use bath oils
  • Use moisturizer immediately after bathing or after washing your hands
  • To reduce the greasy feel of petroleum jelly and thick creams, rub a small amount in your hands, and then rub it over the affected areas until neither your hands nor the affected areas feel greasy.
  • Avoid scratching or itching dry areas
  • Use sunscreen in the winter (not just in the summer)
  • Use a cream or gel a few minutes before shaving
  • Avoid fabric softeners and use fragrance-free laundry detergents

We Can Help With All of Your Foot and Skincare Needs

We’re confident in our ability to help inform you and solve your concern with the least amount of discomfort possible. Call us to inquire about any concerns or questions you have and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction!

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Click Above to Book Your Assessment Today!

Effects of Sitting On Our Legs And Feet

As the workforce goes increasingly remote, Canadians are sitting more than ever. For those who work office jobs, long hours in a chair in front of a computer is commonplace. On the one hand, working an office job means you’re likely commuting, either by foot, bike, transit or by car. At least with commuting, you’re moving in one way or another. At home, you can go an entire day without reaching 500-1000 steps. The long-term effects of sitting can be real, and serious. The remote work trend may continue too. In fact, two-thirds of Canadians who currently work from home expect the trend to continue, according to research by the Angus Reid Institute. Whether that will actually occur or not is another question.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadians are sedentary for, on average, 10 hours per day. (This number grows as we age too.) Statistics Canada also cites a study from 2010 stating that “research has shown that physical inactivity or sedentary time is associated with higher risk for chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer independent of physical activity levels.” Regardless of the workplace, there’s no doubt about it: people sit for long periods of time. Combine sitting at work with sitting elsewhere: on your commute, when you’re eating, or relaxing on the couch. It wouldn’t be a shock for some people to say they spend more hours in a day sitting than in any other position. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can have several of effects on our body. The effects extend to our feet and legs too.

Does it matter how I sit?

Common Foot Conditions Associated With Sitting

It’s important to start off by saying that foot conditions can arise from sitting, or they can arise from the opposite: being on your feet all day. Regardless of your line of work, your Job Affects Your Feet in different ways. Remember: a balanced approach to foot care, and spending 5-10 minutes each day with some self-care will go a long way. At Feet First Clinic in Toronto, we can help you with a plan of preventative care, and can help you with whatever foot pain or discomfort you experience.

Below you’ll find a list of foot conditions linked to sitting for long periods of time.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein in your legs. DVT can cause leg pain or swelling. Especially when sitting, blood pools in your legs, and blood flow lessens. This can lead to blood clots as your blood isn’t entering and exiting your lower extremities as quickly.

Edema

Edema is the medical term for swelling. Have you ever noticed that your legs are more swollen later in the day, especially because of sitting? Edema occurs when your blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues. There are some related conditions including lymphedema, peripheral edema, and pedal edema, all of which are variations of swelling.

Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins are swollen, twisted veins that are typically visible just below the surface of the skin. The actual cause is weak or damaged vein walls and valves. Beyond visible signs, there several symptoms of varicose veins. These include: bulging, bluish veins; swelling; aching pain; a feeling of heaviness in the legs and feet; itching; changes in skin color; and nighttime leg cramps. Those who sit for long periods of time may be at an increased risk of developing varicose veins in their legs.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) occurs when your veins are unable to properly transport blood back to your heart. This inability causes swelling and blood to pool in your legs. Valve damage may occur as a result of sitting for extended periods of time, and from general inactivity. This is largely due to the valves being weakened, and blood pressure rising to compensate. CVI occurs more in those aged 50 and over, and it’s more common in women than in men.

Does it Matter how I Sit?

The most popular perception around sitting is sitting cross-legged. Although varicose veins can form due to heightened blood pressure, it’s not because of sitting. In fact, the effects of sitting don’t extend to causing varicose veins. That’s a myth, says one doctor.

“Crossing your legs does not cause varicose veins. They result from an intrinsic problem with the veins themselves. Standing for long periods of time is another habit that has been questioned as a cause of varicose veins. In truth, standing may exacerbate existing problem with veins but should not cause them.”

Additionally, how you sit can affect other parts of your body including your neck, back, shoulders, and arms. Although not directly connected, poor posture can lead to problems in your legs and feet. You should also be cognizant of how your feet are planted on the floor. Aim to have flat feet, with weight distributed evenly, instead of putting undue pressure on the outside or inside of your feet. This is particularly important if you suffer from conditions like hallux limitus, hallux rigidus, or bunions.

Two Desks With Chair and Computer Monitors

How to Reduce the Effects of Sitting

Take the following precautions and incorporate a few of these tips into your routine to reduce the long-term effects of sitting.

  • Proper footwear: Even when we’re sitting we put pressure on our feet. Invest in proper footwear and avoid high heels when possible if you know you’ll be sitting for 8-10 hours. Even if you keep a pair of sneakers under your desk, you can easily swap in and out of various footwear. (If your workplace has a dress code, for example.) Here at Feet First Clinic, we carry top-of-the-line Orthopedic Footwear, and can Properly Fit You to a pair of shoes that fits your body’s needs.
  • Compression socks: Compression Socks can help with blood flow, and can help reduce swelling in your legs.
  • Get up and move: Set a timer, or only fill up your water bottle halfway as an excuse to get up and walk around every hour. Try to sprinkle in physical activity throughout the day to break up long periods of sedentary (in)activity.
  • Proper chair: No more sitting on your couch or a kitchen chair all day for work. Invest in a proper ergonomic chair and your entire body will thank you. In many cases of foot conditions, the problem stems from other parts of our body. We only feel pain in our legs, but the source of the problem is elsewhere. Address the condition, not the symptom.
  • Use a standing desk: The advice here would be to use a standing desk. But, not just a standing desk. Swap in and out of using a sitting desk, and a standing desk for a more balanced lifestyle. If you don’t have room or access to a standing desk, consider taking some of your calls while standing up or while out for a walk.

Your Foot Care Solutions Live Here!

All under one roof! Our team handles any and all your foot health concerns. From mild, to critical, we cover all sides of the foot needs spectrum. Call us to ask about actionable steps towards your solution today!

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Click Above to Book Your Assessment Today!

Why Are My Feet Always So Cold?

Have you ever had a cold sensation in your feet, even in warm conditions? Or have you noticed your feet turning white, then blue, or even red?

Cold feet is a catch-all term for when you experience a freezing sensation in your feet. What makes the actual cause trickier to determine is that cold feet is often a common symptom for a number of other conditions (foot and all). Now, we know winter is fast approaching, and you might be worried about having this annoyance happen on a daily basis. As with any foot condition, we’re here to help. Here at Feet First Clinic, we’re experts in diagnosing and treating the Most Common Foot Conditions. Generally, cold feet is not something to be particularly worried about. But, there are some instances where it’s advised to get a second opinion. Like with any foot condition, the longer you wait to get a proper diagnosis, the higher the likelihood that a condition will develop, or worsen. Find everything you need to know about cold feet including causes, and what you can do about it, below.

Causes Of Cold Feet

Red Feet Cold Temperatures

The two most common causes of cold feet include: decreased circulation or a problem with nerve function. Below you’ll find a list of conditions that may cause cold feet, or underlying conditions where cold feet can be a symptom.

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a condition characterized by limited blood supply to your limbs. Restricted blood flow for those with atherosclerosis is typicaly due to the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls (plaque). Since your feet do not receive the proper oxygen and blood supply, your feet may appear blue or purple when you are sitting, and pale or white when you are lying down. You may also feel pain in your calves when you walk. Ask your doctor to check the pulse in your legs as a test for this foot condition.

Raynaud’s syndrome

Raynaud’s Syndrome is a condition of toe discolouration after exposure to hot and cold temperatures. Your toes may turn white, then blue in response to cold temperatures. Conversely, your feet and toes may turn red in response to warmth since the small blood vessels overcompensate for the temperature change. According to WebMD, there are two types of Raynaud’s syndrome: primary and secondary. Primary’s cause is unknwon, and typically harmless. Secondary Raynaud syndrome is linked to diseases that affect your autoimmune system including Rheumatoid Arthritis or lupus.

Neuropathy (nerve damage)

Neuropathy is damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves. In the feet, neuropathy directly affects the nerves that detect temperature. Damaged or dynsfunctional nerves do not work correctly so the affected person experiences cold feet. In reality, the foot may not be cold to touch.

Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which you lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues. Cold feet can be a result of iron deficiency anemia. People with anemia don’t have enough red blood cells to provide oxygen to their tissue.

Should I be worried if my feet are always cold?

Generally, don’t fret over cold feet. Especially with Raynaud’s syndrome, if there are no underlying diseases, then there’s no cause for concern. However, one should be aware of the possible symptoms of more serious conditions associated with cold feet. People with Raynaud’s should be aware of associated skin changes, including tightening or thickening of the skin, nail changes, or cracks and sores that don’t heal. Additionally, if you notice fatigue, weight changes, a fever, joint pain, or a rash, consult a medical professional to get a second opinion and to determine the exact cause of cold feet. It’s always smart to be proactive, not reactive when it comes to foot health.

How can I improve circulation in my feet?

Cold Feet

There are a number of tried and true methods of improving circulation to your feet. A few tips include:

  1. Exercise. Regular activity can increase circulation to the feet. Whether it’s going for a run, bike, or walk, even getting up to move around every hour, especially when in the workplace, can do wonders for circulation, and can help control swelling in your lower legs.
  2. Elevate your feet. Put your legs up from time to time to help encourage blood flow to, and away from, your feet. Allowing gravity to help do some of the work in a natural way.
  3. Compression socks. Compression Gear is specially designed to apply pressure to your lower legs. This helps maintain blood flow, and reduces swelling.
  4. Iron supplements. If you have anemia, consider asking your doctor about iron supplements. Raising your red blood cell count can increase the oxygen going to your feet, which can help with circulation, and reduces instances of cold feet.
  5. Quit smoking. If you’re a smoker, consider quitting for the sake of your feet, as well as your overall health.
  6. Warm socks. Since your feet are prone to large swings in temperature, wearing warm socks will keepm your feet at a steady state.
  7. Proper winter boots. Invest in a Proper Pair of Winter Boots to prevent your feet from getting cold during the dark winter months.

Winter Boots In Cold Temperatures Looking Down From Above

Cold Feet? Worry Not!

We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortable as possible. Call anytime to ask about your specific concern and we’ll make sure to provide actionable steps towards getting your feet as happy and healthy as possible.

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

Numb Toes — Causes, Symptoms, and Fixes

Numb toes are an intriguing phenomenon. Unlike so many foot conditions where pain is the symptom, numbness is the absence of feeling. And while a numb sensation may not be cause for concern, there are certain instances where it can be damaging.

The most common cause of numb toes is compression. By this, compression means the act of pressing something into a smaller space or putting pressure on it. Typically, ill-fitting footwear or a narrow toe box can put undue pressure on your toes. Given the fact that we wear shoes for hours on end, one can understand how continuous compression can have a negative effect.

Toe numbness can be a cause of concern, but rarely a medical emergency. If you experience numb toes on isolated occasions, continue to monitor your feet. If, however, a numb sensation is a regular occurrence, contact a medical professional for possible causes.

Numb Toes: Why/How Do They Occur?

There are a number of causes to a numbing sensation in your toes. From improper footwear to a serious disease like diabetes, there is a broad range of factors to consider. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list to why you may be experiencing numbness to your toes.

Are Numb Toes A Sign Of Diabetes?

Diabetes Equipment On A Table

High sugar and fats in your blood can cause your toes to go numb. Poor circulation to your toes causes a numbness sensation as it limits blood supply to the region. The condition that causes damage to your nerves as a result of diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy.

First and foremost, ask your doctor to check your blood sugar levels to see if diabetes is the cause. Additionally, you can

  • Check your toes regularly (i.e.: daily);
  • Moisturize your feet;
  • Take care of your toenails, and consult a podiatrist for a plan of action;
  • Wear proper footwear.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a type of nerve compression syndrome which involves nerves in the smaller toes. The pressure on that nerve may cause pain in the ball of your foot. Nerve compression can also lead to numb toes.

Like metatarsalgia (see below), common ways to reduce and prevent Morton’s neuroma include proper orthopaedic footwear, custom foot orthotics, rest (from any repetitive activity like running and jumping), and icing.

Metatarsalgia

Numb Toes

Metatarsalgia, a term used for any pain found in the ball of the foot, can bring a numb sensation in the toes. Typically, pain starts in the ball of the foot, but like with many foot conditions, the end result can be in another part of the foot. In this case, the toes.

Causes of metatarsalgia are typically specific to overuse. For example, long-distance runners often suffer from metatarsalgia because of the constant pressure to the ball of the foot. However, the shape of your foot may also play a role. High arches, bunions, and curled toes can be a primary, or secondary cause of metatarsalgia.

How do I get rid of numbness in my toes?

  • Swap out shoes
  • Custom foot orthotics
  • Rest
  • Icing

If numbness or pain persists, contact us to book an appointment.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a condition of discolouration of the toes after exposure to changes in temperature (cold or hot) or emotional events. This condition is apparent because of its visibility. Your toes may turn white, then blue, and then red as blood flow diminishes, and then resumes.

According to WebMD, there are two types of Raynaud’s Phenomenon: primary and secondary. Primary occurs by itself, and the cause is unknown. Primary is usually harmless. But secondary Raynaud’s is linked to diseases that affect your autoimmune system, like Rheumatoid Arthritis or lupus.

Why does discolouration occur? There is an abnormal spasm of the blood vessels causing diminished blood flow to the toes.

Frostbite

Winter Boots On A Frosty Ground

It’s around that time of year again. Temperature plummets, and the risk of Frostbite does the opposite—skyrockets. Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. Your toes are particularly susceptible to frostbite, which begins when your skin becomes cold and red, then numb, then hard and pale.

The challenge with frostbite is that it starts out as frostnip. Numbness reduces sensation in the toes, and hides discomfort and nerve damage. If not addressed, frostnip can lead to superficial frostbite followed deep frostbite, the most severe of the three stages.

To prevent frostbite from occurring, taking the following precautions:

  • Wear moisture-wicking socks that fit correctly, and have insulation
  • Change out wet socks as soon as possible
  • Watch for early signs of frostbite like red skin, or numbness
  • Keep moving: encourage blood flow to the area

Check out our complete guide on How To Protect Your Feet This Winter.

Beriberi

Beriberi is a disease caused by a vitamin B-1 deficiency, also known as thiamine deficiency, according to Healthline.com. Specifically, dry beriberi is a concern for your toes, as the condition damages the nerves. The primary cause of beriberi is low thiamine. Those with a rich and well-balanced diet aren’t at risk; those with an alcohol disorder, for example. are at higher risk.

Common symptoms include decreased muscle function, pain and tingling, and loss of feeling in the toes. Fortunately, one can prevent beriberi by following a vitamin-enriched diet, if thiamine deficiency is the cause.

Peroneal Nerve Injury

Peroneal nerve injury and its association with numb toes is a fantastic example of treating the cause, not the symptom. The peroneal nerve branches from the sciatic nerve and provides sensation to the front and sides of the legs and to the top of the feet. However, what you may not know is that the nerve controls the muscles in the leg that lift the ankle and toes upward, according to John Hopkins Medicine.

An injury to the peroneal nerve can affect its ability to control the muscles in the toes, leading to a numbing sensation. Or worse, a sharp pain. Typically, injuries to the nerve include trauma to the knee: fractures, sprains, dislocations, and surgery. Common symptoms of a peroneal nerve injury include:

  • An inability to point the toes upward or lift the ankle up
  • Numb or tingling toes
  • Reduced ability to move the foot

If you think you may have an injury to your peroneal nerve, consult a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

Toe Deformities

Toe deformities, like Bunions, can also put uneven pressure on your toes. This skeletal deformity for example can put pressure on the outside of your feet.

Experiencing Numb Toes? Have No Fear!

We have all your solution under one roof. Open 6 days a week, we’ll be happy to help inform you and solve all your concerns any day at your convenience! Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

Ankle Popping And Cracking—Causes And Remedies

Does your ankle crack or pop when you rotate it? You’re not alone. Ankle cracking and ankle popping are quite common, and there’s no immediate need to worry.

In fact, joint popping has a medical term. Crepitus is abnormal popping or crackling of a joint, which may be sometimes uncomfortable or painful. There are two variations to crepitus:

  • Bone crepitus: When two fragments of a fracture are moved against each other.
  • Joint crepitus: When the affected joint is passively moved with one hand, while the other hand is placed on the joint to feel the crepitus.

an

Why Does My Ankle Crack Every Time I Rotate It?

Ankle cracking or ankle popping can occur for two primary reasons

  • Tendons rubbing over a bone
  • Gas being released from the joint

A snapping sound in the ankle is most commonly caused by the tendon slipping over the bone. As you rotate your ankle, this triggers the snapping or clicking sound. Alternatively, an ankle may crack when rotated because as a force is exerted on the joint, bubbles of nitrogen in the synovial fluid burst. This can happen after long periods of sedentary, or if your muscles are tight.

Peroneal Subluxation / Dislocation

Ankle cracking and ankle popping may be due to the peroneal tendon rubbing over the joint. The peroneal tendons help support and stabilize the foot and ankle, and protects your lower leg from sprains. One peroneal tendon attaches to the outer part of the midfoot, while the other tendon runs under the foot and attaches near the inside of the arch. If either tendon is damaged, or slips out of place due to injury, it can rub on the bone cause cracking and popping. This cause is relatively uncommon, and seen mostly in athletes who severely sprain their ankles.

As you may know, cracking and popping is not exclusive to your ankles. In fact, many parts of your body can be ‘cracked’ in the traditional sense. Have you ever heard of the expression, “cracking your knuckles?” Understandably, knuckles, your hallux (toes), and neck joints can be easily cracked with minimal effort.

Is It Bad That My Ankles Crack?

A common claim to cracking your joints is that it causes arthritis. However, this argument is not backed by evidence. One study on joint cracking concludes that, “the evidence for the association of knuckle cracking and osteoarthritis comes mainly from observational studies that have failed to show an association.”

The truth of the matter is that ankle popping or cracking is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if when your ankle cracks, pain and swelling occur, then you should seek advice from a medical professional. As Healthline recommends, strengthening your ankles with Ankle Exercises can help prevent injuries, like ankle sprains. Ankle exercise can also help strengthen the muscles and tendons that help stabilize your lower leg.

crackedheels

How Do You Get Rid of Cracks In Your Ankles?

Cracks in your ankle are typically not a cause for concern. If you’re annoyed by the cracks, clicks, or pops, then there are some DIY treatment methods aimed at strengthening your ankles.

Ankle Exercises

Perform these ankle exercises to heklp prevent ankle popping or cracking:

  • Ankle circles
  • Calf raises
  • Single-legged balance
  • Draw the alphabet

Doing these in the morning will help loosen up your ankle and prevent stiffness, especially shortly after waking up. Incorporate these ankle exercises with the other Morning Foot Exercises you perform to start off your day.

Custom Foot Orthotics

If you have chronic ankle pain, Custom Foot Orthotics may be just what’s needed. Orthotics are custom-built corrective shoe inserts that provide personalized support for your lower legs. These devices work to correct faulty foot mechanics and redistribute pressures along the bottom aspects of the foot.

As always, if you have any questions about or concerns with your feet, please don’t hesitate to reach out to speak with one of our Licensed Chiropodists.

Is it OK to Crack Your Toes?

One of the most common joints in your body to crack is your hallux, the medical term for a person’s big toe.

According to WebMD, “as a rule, painless cracking of joints is not harmful.” But, if it’s painful or if there is signs of discomfort, then there may be a greater underlying problem.

Your Leg Solutions Live Here!

Does your ankle bother you? Our team is trained to handle any and all your foot health concerns. From mild, to critical, we cover all aspects of the foot. Call us to ask about actionable steps towards your solution today.

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

How To Choose Winter Boots

Winter is approaching, fast. For better or for worse, cooler temperatures and shorter days are on the horizon. Winter doesn’t have to be a season of dread. Proper preparation starts with your feet. Investing in proper winter boots for harsh conditions is essential for a healthy body.

Here in Canada, there’s no shortage of harsh winter weather. Your footwear should do it all: protect against the cold, be waterproof, yet be stylish. Above all else, your winter boots should be comfortable. After all, you’ll be wearing your boots for 3-4 months, sometimes for hours on end. Canadians Walking In The SnowWe’re here to make your life easier. That’s why we’ve put together this complete winter boot guide. Below you’ll find how to recognize the signs of needing new winter boots, how to choose the right pair, and what’s actually available.

Signs You Need New Winter Boots

Winter Boots In Snow That Need ReplacingThere are a number of signs to look for when considering whether you should buy new winter boots. To start, if you develop any sort of foot pain or condition like blisters, calluses, or aggravated bunions, consider new boots.

Beyond the immediate discomfort, look for signs of muscle soreness or fatigue. These may be signs that your body is compensating for improper footwear, and may lead to problems down the road. Look for these signs that you need new winter boots:

  • Experience Blisters and calluses often.
  • Develop foot pain.
  • Trip or slip more often.
  • Have sore muscles after walking in your shoes.
  • Visual wear and tear on the boots itself.
  • Holes in the sole.

If you experience any of these conditions or problems, book an appointment with one of our licensed chiropodists for a thorough assessment.

Tips for Buying Winter Boots

There are many variables to consider when buying winter boots. After all, you’ll likely want to mix fashion and function. Follow these tried and true tips for choosing the right winter boot for your feet.

  • Arch support: Choose a boot with proper arch cushioning and support to prevent conditions like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Morton’s neuroma.
  • Avoid high heels: High heels can put strain on your hips and feet, as well as be unstable given winter footing conditions.
  • Tread: depending on the climate and your needs, certain treads are more suitable for uneven grounds, more rugged footing, or for walking flat
  • Waterproof: keeping moisture away from your feet is essential in winter. Dark and moist places are a ground for athlete’s foot, blisters, and frostbite.
  • Fit: Be sure your boots have plenty of toe space, especially if you wear thicker socks in the winter or suffer from a foot condition like Bunions, Hallux Rigidus, or hallux limitus.
  • Buying: Did you know our feet are larger in the second half of the day? Our body retains water and our feet expand slightly. Trying shoes on at the end of the day accommodates for sizing.
  • Cost: This is the elephant in the room. Choose a boot that’s within your price range. However, consider winter boots an investment. These boots could last you multiple years depending on the quality of the product.
  • Warmth: If you live in an extreme cold climate, find boots with proper insulation to avoid frostbite.

OK, But What’s Available?

Our clinic take a preventative approach to foot care in which the patient is empowered to be an active participant in his or her treatment. Our on-site shoe store provides patients with therapeutic tools and resources including orthopaedic footwear, insoles, medical devices, and over-the-counter solutions.

We carry a selection of top winter boots from the following:

Below you’ll find a few of our favourites from Sorel, MEPHISTO, Clarks, and Ara. These brands are a mix of fashion and function. Sorel are more rugged and tougher in Canadian winter while MEPHISTO are more stylish and better for everyday occasions.

Sorel Caribou Boot

Winter Boots

MEPHISTO Agatha

Winter Boots

Clarks Batcombe Alp Gore-Tex

Winter Boots

Ara Aubrey Boot

Winter Boots

Visit the clinic to get a feel for each boot and to try on a pair. The clinic is open six days a week including on Saturday to accommodate your schedule.

Avoid The Winter Blues—Visit Feet First Clinic For Your Winter Boots Needs

If you’re looking for tips on how to prepare for winter, book an appointment with one of our Licensed Chiropodists for a thorough assessment or visit the clinic to browse our wide range of footwear options.

From leading brands to Shoe Fitting to Custom Foot Orthotics, we’re your one-stop shop for your footwear needs. Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!