As the world of podcasting evolves, there are more professionals from different walks of life engaging on this platform. Today, with a little view into the variety out there, we here again from podiatrists, engaging with medical, fitness, and beauty professionals. In continuance of the Podiatry Podcast series, here are 3 more episodes for your listening pleasure.
Hosted by bodybuilder Ben Pakulski, his guests range from fitness to medical experts, discussing optimal functionality for your physical body.
In episode 139, Dr. Emily Splichal discusses: “Why Orthotics are just a quick fix and how healthy feet function.” Tapping into the importance of your gait and how building healthy glutes impact every step you take. In addition, finding your own primal movement with a gait analysis will help you to increase your mobile longevity.
A beauty driven podcast, led by Jessica Matlin, the beauty director of Harper’s Bazaar and Jennifer Goldstein, writer for the likes of Marie Claire and O, The Oprah Magazine, the candid and engaging duo speak to other professionals about all things aesthetics.
In the particular episode curated, #156, they speak to yet again, Dr. Emily Splichal discusses the safe practices within self-care through spa rituals. Learning more about medical pedicures such as what Feet First offers are mentioned as well. Everything from ingrown toenails to discoloured toenails, and making sure you are visiting a professional who knows how to properly administer a medical pedicure.
Looking to have a safe, and effective procedure on your feet?
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?
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
Bruising (including discolouration)
Bleeding from the nail bed (subungual hematoma)
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?
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
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?
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.
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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!
I liken myself to a load-bearing wall. Structurally, to stay sound, that is what a building needs in addition to the foundation. So imagine my feet being that foundation and the rest of the weight I impose upon myself to be that wall. I take great pride in my strength in all of its facets. From a physical perspective, I can lift heavy weights (within reason, I’m not asking for a challenge here,) carry all of the grocery bags into the house at once, and have conquered my goal of running a decent distance with a toddler in each arm simultaneously. There was a patch of mud on our hike, so I had to carry them, according to them.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling pretty happy. I got my bottled green juice out of a fridge (an important point to this story and also a friendly reminder to ingest your greens daily.) My beloved cat wanted some attention right at the top of our wooden stairs. So I snuggled her in my left arm, and with my juice tucked under my right, we confidently embarked on our descent. Now, these stairs I speak of have become notorious over the years for taking grown men down. Going back to toddlers for a moment, I wished I had some of those fancy grip socks on because yes, you guessed it, with two steps left, we fell and went boom.
Cats have nine lives, right? Well, my four-legged friend could outplay any dog in a game of fetch. She hurls herself down those stairs regularly, and she is by far the fluffiest cat I have ever known. So I immediately turn to her as she narrowly escaped my weakened clutches, and she was on the other side of the room, honestly kind of disappointed with me. Concerned, but disappointed. That guilt will live on in my psyche for years to come. She did come around moments later when my shock turned to tears, but still. Oh, and the coveted green juice? Sealed and safe.
Whenever I hurt my lower extremities, whether falling in the forest on a trail run or moving my knee slightly askew mid-squat at the gym, I remember a few traumatic moments I have experienced personally or witnessed. I think in these times, it is vital to remember how durable we truly are, but also that initial state of shock we feel can live on in our pain bodies for years to come if not properly healed. Weakness is somewhat of a struggle for me as I admire endurance athletes and their ability to humanize pushing beyond our perceived boundaries and limitations. I still have to remember how sensitive I am and that if I want to keep being that pillar of strength, I need to practice self-care for longevity.
At Feet First, we have many great options for the athlete or everyday home or office warrior. Insoles and orthotics to support you with every step you take is our specialty. We offer Custom Orthotics designed for your needs. We can create orthotics for Sport, Dress, or Casual and break down your requirements even further to aid in the reduction of shock absorption from your daily activities and the off-chance you are clumsy like me and fall. We also have our Superfeet Insoles. Our over-the-counter option and great for the athlete. They fit perfectly into your skates or other athletic footwear. For those of you dealing with bunions, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, or forefoot pain, these are a great option. Stock up on the variety of colours we have available!
Looking to Reduce Shock Absorption in Your Active Lifestyle?
Podcasts have become so popular over the past few years; the demand is consistently growing. Through a search on the various platforms out there, you can find content relating to just about anything. Wellness podcasts are my personal preference. Whenever I have been working from home, I am enriching my overall health by listening to positive, thought-provoking, and inspiring interviews and stories.
Carefully curating podcast episodes for you as inspiration is the goal of the series of articles that lie ahead. Today, to kick things off and put my best foot forward (double pun, you’re welcome,) I have found some Podiatry specific podcasts. Whether this is your professional space or you are looking to diversify your knowledge, here’s a list for you to peruse:
When the first episode on the list was simply called Bunions, I knew I was in the right place. Hosted by Ian Griffiths and Craig Payne, British and Australian podiatrists, the show episodes hold a theme similar to what is reflective here on the Feet First blog. Well versed in the industry and continually striving for more knowledge, the duo stays current with foot health and shares that with their audience. You can find PodChatLive here.
The Foot Collective Audio Project hosts a variety of guests to talk about proper foot health. The list includes runners, shoe designers, kinesiologists, and podiatrists/chiropodists. The podcast is based in Canada, though The Foot Collective has a British connection. The variety of voices within the content intrigues me, and I look forward to tuning in. You can find The Foot Collective here.
The Podiatry Legends Podcast highlights Podiatrists from across the globe, sharing their insights and stories from their time within the profession. The show’s audience benefits from the discussion of the business side of things and they aim to help students on their way to building their practice. Offering up a diversified view on the aspects available to focus on as a niche, Podiatry Legends boasts great guests to help you move beyond the thoughts of basic foot care.
The list of episodes per series holds a heavy-hitting roster that would appeal to not only those within the field of Podiatry and Chiropody but also those who are wellness enthusiasts alike. They appeal to me as someone who is a fitness fanatic and looking to maintain mobility, taking better care of myself now, and always. You can find Podiatry Legends here.
Podcasts make a great daily addition to your content consumption. I listen to them while working, working out, and anytime I need a little inspiration. The shortlist above is the beginning of exploring great content out there related to feet. It has been very cool to find podiatry specific podcasts that cater not only to the field itself but the avid wellness junkie like myself!
Looking For More Guidance In Person With Your Feet?
This past spring, I was heading out for my routine run. Running for me has always been mentally therapeutic, idea provoking and a great workout activity.
I enjoy long distances and feel more value from the endurance aspect of the sport. The challenge over the years has been my high activity level, genetics, and settling into proper footwear to suit both my skeletal needs and exercise goals.
On this particular spring day, a little on the cooler side, I was a bit worn down from the mileage I had put on thus far, and I was breaking in new shoes. Though they were comfy and incredibly well-designed, they had some design elements within that did not work so well with my slightly smaller left foot. It was in this moment of lacing up to head out for this 5-miler that I could see my left big toe turning inward toward the others, as though it was whispering some venomous lie into their ears about our upcoming run.
As I began to grow nervous, yet in my usual defiance, I Searched What a Bunion Was and how to prevent it, then went out anyway. The interesting experiences that stood out on this particular run are a whole other story. I began to dissolve my fears by remembering that there are preventative measures I can take now. Things I can incorporate into my pre-existing regimen to reduce my chances of suffering a bunion filled future.
With your heels firmly planted on the ground, lift your toes and spread them apart from one another. Splay your toes, hold for a moment, and repeat for 10-20 times. This is a good stretch for the front of your foot overall. I find that this exercise has been the most effective for me and during my runs, I focus on spreading out my toes with each foot strike with each and every further step into my awareness.
This mobilizes the joints in your toe and helps to reduce stiffness. While sitting on a chair, lean over and grip your big toe. Begin circling the toe clockwise, 20 times. Stop and reverse the direction for another 20 circles. Complete 2 to 3 sets on each toe.
If you have a tennis ball or something of similar size, I have a yoga ball that is great for massage, gently take the ball under your foot and roll it back and forth. This feels great on my arch and helps to alleviate some of the strain caused by the other muscles in my feet that either over or undercompensate. Roll under each foot nice and slow, focusing on the momentum for a few minutes on each one.
Find a small object that you can grip with your large toe. Marbles seem to be a popular choice, but I would get creative and test my toe’s strength and agility. I have been working with pencils lately as a challenge. With each foot, grip and pick up your item, moving it either laterally or outwardly from it. Drop it and repeat the process. Working on the grip strength of your big toe particularly will help to rework the muscles in your feet. Try this 10-20 times with your object(s.)
A simple and easy to accomplish task. Get outside and plant your feet on a slightly uneven surface such as grass, sand, etc and focus on grounding yourself in your stride. Feel the texture of the ground beneath your feet and move your foot around to diversify its mobility. There are many scientifically balanced benefits to Grounding, and it is a way to reconnect your physicality with the earth.
With my mind geared toward longevity and preventative measures, I am incorporating these actions into my running routine. I believe it is never too late to start and shift your focus toward ongoing functionality with whatever activity you enjoy. Even if bunions transpire, a positive mindset matched with taking action will inevitably lead to better support for your body in the future.
Looking for more support?
If you find these activities are not enough to help your bunion, whether in a preventative stage or full-on, we here at Feet First are here to help!
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.
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.
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.
Perform these ankle exercises to heklp prevent ankle popping or cracking:
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 Orthoticsmay 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.
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.
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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.
Ageing is inevitable. Foot problems aren’t. Understandably, as we age, our bodies are no longer what they once were. This includes ageing feet. After all, we put our bodies under immense wear and tear over the years. Ageing feet are prone to a number of conditions. In fact, many older adults are prone to certain foot conditions they’ve never experienced before. As we age, prevention is key. Treatment and recovery can be more difficult as the body ages. Learn about the various foot conditions that may affect the older population.
Fat Pad Atrophy
Fat Pad Atrophy is the thinning of the pad that protects the underlying structures of your feet, such as neurovascular tissues, ligaments and tendons. This is the “cushioning” of your feet. The fat pad protects your feet in everyday activity. Over time, this 1-2 cm pad begins to wear down as you age. According to the Ontario Podiatric Medical Association, by the age of 50, people lose half of the fat pad. Treatment includes custom foot orthotics, and orthopaedic footwear, both of which are sold in-store at Feet First Clinic.
Morton’s Neuroma is foot condition in the ball of your foot. It occurs most commonly in the area between your third and fourth toes. Morton’s neuroma can feel like you’re walking on a pebble and worsens with tight footwear and high heels. Neuroma is more common in females and inactive individuals, usually aged 15-50.
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.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue (plantar fascia) along the bottom of your foot between your heel bone and toes. This condition of the arch is most commonly associated with overuse. Pain is gradual, but can be sharp upon first steps after prolonged rest—like when waking up.
Osteoarthritis is a common condition for adults over 70. This degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis. Breakdown of cartilage and formation of osteophyte (bony outgrowth) are common symptoms.
Risk factors include:
Gender: women are more likely than men to suffer from OA, especially in the hands and knees.
Joint injury: prior trauma can alter joint alignment and cause more overuse in certain areas.
Obesity: increased weight will increase load on the joints, causing earlier onset of osteoarthritis.
Biomechanics: deviations in foot and knee joints can cause excess wear on certain joint areas.
Bone spurs are bone outgrowths caused by osteoarthritis. Often, bone spurs develop at joints, and where bones meet. The most common place for bone spurs is in the foot. Conditions include hallux rigidus and heel spurs.
Hallux rigidus is the medical term for stiff big toe. Hallux rigidus is a stiff first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) characterized by a bone spur on the big toe. This condition develops over time due to osteoarthritis and progressively worsens. Since it’s a wear-and-tear condition, ageing feet are particularly prone. Custom foot orthotics and stiff shoes with a rocker midsole can help prevent and limit the onset of hallux rigidus. Otherwise, surgery may be your best option.
Heel Spurs are a bony growth from the underside of the heel bone that forms due to repetitive muscular and ligament strain. Common activities include: walking, running, and jumping. Heel spurs are managed by rest, exercise, custom foot orthotics, supportive footwear, a night splint, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, and cortisone injections.
One in three people older than 18 have bunions making it one of the most common foot conditions. Bunions are bony protrusions along the edge of the big toe. At the site of the MTPJ, which bears up to 60% of our body weight, bones are particularly susceptible to shifting. Herein lies the start of a bunion. The bones of the big toe and foot can deviate from proper alignment and create the angular protrusion that juts out from the base of the big toe. Studies show that bunion deformity occurs more frequently in women and older individuals.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the side of the toenail curls down and pierces the flesh of the toe as the nail grows. Older adults are prone to ingrown toenails because of curved or thick nails. Thick and curved nails make ingrown toenails more prevalent.
Cutting your toenail too short or rounding the edge of the nail
Wearing shoes or socks that don’t fit well can also cause an ingrown toenail
Have an ingrown toenail? Visit Feet First Clinic for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Flat feet occur when your arch collapses, and can be a sign of ageing feet. Adults may get flat feet because of an injury, obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure. Over time, the tendons supporting your arch weaken, and your feet flatten. Orthotics, physical therapy, braces, and surgery help.
Middle-aged men’s ageing feet are most susceptible to gout, a common and complex form of arthritis. Gout is due to a condition known as hyperuricemia, which occurs when there is too much uric acid in the body. Red meat, shellfish, alcohol, and sugary foods all contribute to the build of uric acid. As you age, avoid the aforementioned to limit your chance of gout.
According to Harvard Medical School, bursitis is most common in people who are overweight, elderly or diabetic. Bursitis is an inflammation of a bursa, and often occurs in the foot. Bursae, which are small sacs of fluid that protect your tendons, bones, and joints, can swell and become painful due to repetitive impact. Fortunately, ice, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can help.
Hammertoes look like curled toes. (Read: I Have Curled Toes — Is There Something Wrong?) Hammertoe is a toe deformity in which the middle toe joint is abnormally contracted a bent causing the toe to curl downward. This can typically affect one or more toes and can either be fixed or mobile, and the second toe is most often affected.
Stress fractures are a small crack in a bone. Repetitive use, or trauma can cause the bone to break. According to one study, “the incidence of stress injuries in older athletes is noticeably increasing, associated with a more active, older population.” Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do with a stress fracture other than to rest, or stay off your feet. However, non-impact exercise like swimming is a way to stay active, but be careful of aggravating the bone.
Ageing Feet? We’re Here To Help!
As we age, regular foot health check-ups are essential. Be proactive, not reactive. Book an appointment with one of our Licensed Chiropodists for a thorough assessment to determine an appropriate preventative plan, or for treatment.
For most people, feet are unknown territory. Being that they are the farthest body part from our eyes, they don’t get as much attention as they should. Feet should be cleaned thoroughly once a day and assessed for changes to the skin and or structure. Pain is another sign that you should not ignore. If you happen to notice changes to your feet, to help you decipher what it may be, we have come up with the following list. Continue reading to discover common foot problems and the signs to look out for if you have them.
A plantar wart is a small growth that appears in weight-bearing areas of the foot. They are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus and are relatively harmless. At times, warts do resolve spontaneously on their own; however, some do require treatment from a medical professional.
What to look for:
Small, fleshy, round, rough growth usually with overlying callus
Tiny black dots in the lesion
A lesion that disturbs the normal skin lines
Pain with standing or pinching of the lesion
Athlete’s Foot is known as tinea pedis in the medical world. It an infection of the skin, the culprit being a fungus. As the name suggests, Athlete’s Foot is common in athletes or people who have sweaty feet.
What to look for:
Peeling, scaly skin in between the toes or bottoms of feet
If chronic, can present as very dry, flaky skin
What to look for:
A bony bump at the side of the base of the big toe
Redness, swelling, pain at the 1st MTP joint
Big toe may start to turn towards the smaller toes beside it
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a fibrous band that runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. It works to support the arch of your foot and absorb the shock when you walk. When it becomes strained, it can develop small tears, usually near the heel, which cause inflammation and pain.
What to look for:
Sharp heel pain, usually at the inner heel
Pain is worse with your first steps in the morning out of bed
Pain tends to subside as you go about your day
Pain may return with initial steps after sitting or resting
Flat feet can only be diagnosed with you standing in a weight-bearing position. It is described as a low or nonexistent arch profile. You can check your arch by wetting your feet and standing on a piece of paper or concrete ground. If the imprint of your foot is relatively the same width along the length of your foot, you likely have a flat foot. If you have flat feet, you are also likely to roll your feet towards your arches when you walk (ie you overpronate).
What to look for:
Low or nonexistent arch in the foot
Widening of the foot when you stand
Possible pain at the arch of the foot, ankle, knee, or low back
If you think you have any of the above foot problems, it is of your best interest to see a Licensed Chiropodist for further assessment. A chiropodist is a foot specialist who is trained to assess and treat various diseases and conditions of the foot.
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Running is a great form of exercise that helps burn calories, strengthen muscles and bones, and improve cardiovascular fitness. Being that you only need a pair of running shoes and an open path, makes it very accessible, which is an added bonus. On the other hand, running also generates a lot of biomechanical stresses on the lower limb and that can potentially combine to result in injuries. Here are 8 common injuries that may occur with running.
IT Band Syndrome
Also known as Runner’s Knee or Cyclist’s Knee, IT Band Syndrome is the most common cause of lateral (outer) knee pain in runners. It is caused by excessive friction between the iliotibial band and the end of the femoral bone where the knee is located, resulting in tightness, irritation, and inflammation when the knee is bent. Pain usually occurs a few kilometers into the run and is typically worse with downhill running.
You are more likely to develop IT band syndrome if you have bowed legs, your foot overpronates, you have a tight IT band, or you have changed the intensity or frequency of your training.
Shin splints, medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is described as pain at the inner portion of the shin bone. It is caused by repetitive microtrauma to the bone and/or surrounding soft tissues.
Athletes who do not build up their mileage gradually or abruptly change their workout regime by increasing intensity or changing from a flat road to hills are more likely to experience shin splints. It is also associated with weak muscles, improper footwear, and a hypermobile, pronated foot type.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and it is caused by inflammation of the fibrous band that runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. The tell-tale sign of plantar fasciitis is heel pain that is worst with the first steps in the morning out of bed. Pain also occurs with initial steps after sitting or rest.
Running puts a great deal of stress on the heel bone and strain on the plantar fascia as the arch of the foot depresses 50% more relative to walking. Overpronators, as well as increased body weight, puts you at higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, which is a tendon that connects the calf muscle to the back of the heel bone. Repetitive strain and stress to the tendon or tissue encapsulating the tendon can result in irritation and therefore, inflammation. Pain may be along the tendon or closer to the heel bone and worsens with increased activity (ie after a run). Pain or stiffness may also be experienced in the mornings. Chronic inflammation may lead to thickening of the tendon and decreased flexibility of the ankle. Tight calf muscles, a sudden increase in running mileage, overpronation, and having bone spurs can all cause Achilles tendonitis.
The most common ankle sprain is an inversion ankle sprain, specifically at the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL). It occurs when you “roll” your ankle inwards and the ligament is stretched or torn causing pain and swelling. The more severe the sprain, the longer the recovery.
Ankle sprain treatment requires PRICE (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for the first three days. Minor ankle sprains will then move onto range of motion exercises and then strengthening exercises. For more severe injuries, splints or immobilization is necessary before rehabilitation commences. You may be more likely to sprain your ankle if you have a varus deformity of the lower limb and foot, you have a hypermobile foot, you train on uneven terrain, or you have a history of ankle sprains. Improper footwear, as well as participation in sports that require dynamic foot movements, can also predispose you to ankle sprains.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as Runner’s knee results from overuse and overload of the patellofemoral joint resulting in an “achy” pain at the front of the knee and around the knee cap. Pain is worse with activity and worsens with downhill running, running on an uneven surface, or prolonged sitting.
Having a high arched foot, knock-knees, muscular imbalance such as weak quads and tight hamstrings, or an overpronated foot, all predisposes you to developing patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Anterior Compartment Syndrome
Compartment syndrome, specifically chronic or exertional compartment syndrome occurs when pressure builds up at the front of the lower leg as the muscle expands in volume during exercise but the tissue encasing the muscle does not. This results in a deep aching pain, tightness, and swelling. It can also lead to reduced circulation and sensation resulting in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and in severe cases, foot drop. Exertional compartment syndrome is caused by regular vigorous exercise and overtraining. It is initiated by activity and ceases with rest.
A subungual hematoma is the medical term for bruising and bleeding under the toenail caused by trauma. With running, bruising usually occurs from the toe repetitively hitting the end of the shoe. Wearing properly fitted footwear will decrease your chances of developing a subungual hematoma. Silicone toe caps may also help.
If you are experiencing one or all of the injuries discussed above, incorporating a chiropodist in your circle of care may be of great benefit. Have your feet assessed today to determine if they may be a contributing factor to your pain.
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We all know regular exercise is good for our health. It has many benefits such as helping with weight loss, reducing risk of chronic diseases, and improving overall mental health.
Exercise or sport activity also builds your bones and muscles and makes them strong. On the other hand, it also puts a tremendous amount of stress and pressure on them. The feet, ankle, and legs in particular, undergo high levels of biomechanical stress during various kinds of rigorous weight-bearing activity. On top of this, each sport activity requires specific movements and are played on different surfaces. Fortunately, we live in a time when shoes are designed with all these factors in mind. Wearing activity-specific shoes will not only help to improve performance and comfort but prevent commonly associated lower extremity injuries.
Types of Activity Specific Footwear
Running generates a large impact on the lower limb. Forces acting on the body can reach up to ten times a person’s body weight. In addition, the arch of the foot tends to depress 50% more than in walking and the rate of pronation is generally increased. As such, running shoes are built with increased support, cushioning, and shock absorption properties. This is done in varying degrees to accommodate different foot types. The more pronation your foot exhibits, the greater amount of control and stability you should look for in a running shoe.
Basketball and tennis are sports that require a bit more dynamic movement across the court relative to running. Basketball in general, involves a lot of jumping, landing, starting, and stopping motions. As such, basketball shoes tend to have a higher upper to increase support around the ankle to increase stability and prevent ankle sprains. Court shoes tend to also have a thicker and wider outer sole that features a herringbone pattern for better grip, balance, and stability in all directions.
Baseball and soccer are both sports that require cleat shoes. Cleats are protrusions on the sole of the shoe that provide adequate traction on soft or slippery surfaces, such as a grass or dirt field. The shorter cleats found on soccer shoes as well as their low-cut uppers and lightweight design provide ankle manoeuvrability and better agility. A baseball cleat has an additional toe cleat in front to dig into the dirt to increase stability during sudden moments of acceleration such as running from base to base.
Hiking is a long vigorous walk on trails and paths of uneven, rough terrain. You may walk through a forest, cross a river, pass a waterfall, and even climb a cliff. Wearing the proper shoes will ensure your feet are protected and able to withstand various impacts. Good hiking shoes have a wide and thick rubber lug sole to provide stability and good traction. They also have sufficient cushion and shock absorption properties as well as a waterproof membrane to keep the feet dry.
All in all, are sports shoes worth it? Absolutely!
Sports Foot Injury? We’re Here To Help!
If you have acquired a sport-related injury, book an appointment with one of our Licensed Chiropodists for a thorough assessment to determine an appropriate treatment plan.