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5 Simple Exercises for Bunions

A bunion (also known as hallux valgus) is a deformity of the big toe where the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint is misaligned. With this deformity, the muscles surrounding the big toe are at an imbalance. In particular, the muscle that pulls the big toe towards the lesser toes is at a mechanical advantage, pulling the big toe closer to the one beside it. This is muscle is called the Adductor Hallucis. To counteract this muscle, we have to strengthen the opposing muscle: the Abductor Hallucis.

The following exercises and stretches focus on the smaller muscles of the foot, which is essential in managing bunions and the pain associated with them.

Toe curls and spreads

Curling toes down and spreading toes upwards

Do this exercise sitting with your foot several inches off the floor. Curl the toes down as if you want to grab something with the toes. Hold that position for 10 seconds and release. Then bring your heel to the ground, lift your foot slightly and spread your toes as far apart as possible. Hold that position for 30 seconds. Do this 5 times on each foot.

Towel grip and pull

Curled toes pulling towel towards foot

Place a towel on the ground and put your foot on top of the towel. Then use your toes to scrunch the towel towards you. Do this for 1-2 minutes on each foot.

Toe stretches

Hand gently pushing toes downward

Use your fingers to press your big toe down and hold that stretch for 30 seconds. Then position your toe in the opposite direction and use your fingers to help reach the end range of motion. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Do this 5 times on each foot.

Toe resistance exercises

Use your fingers or your other big toe to create resistance so that the small muscles within the foot are isolated and activated. Place your finger on top of the big toe and while applying a small amount of pressure downwards, move your toe in the opposite direction. Hold this for 10 seconds. Then bring your finger under the toe and apply a bit of pressure pushing the toe upwards. While doing this, push your toe downwards and hold for 10 seconds. Finally, bring your finger to the side of your big toe pushing it towards the second toe. While applying this pressure, move your big toe away from the lesser toes. Hold this for 10 seconds. Do this entire exercise 5 times on each foot.

Toe circles

Do this sitting on a chair. Bring your foot on the knee and use your hand to grip your big toe and run it through circular motions. This keeps the joint mobile.

At first, these exercises may seem unnatural and difficult to do, but with time and consistency, you will get the hang of it!

For more information on bunions, click here!

For more inquiries and hopes to speak to a Licensed Chiropodist, book an appointment at Feet First Clinic.

We are open six days a week!

Foam Rolling 101: Why And How To Do It

Foam rolling is one of the easiest ways to keep your legs at their best.

Foam rolling is a self-therapy method used to eliminate general fascia restrictions. Think of foam rolling as your own personal massage therapist.

What is foam rolling?

Foam rolling involves using a foam roller as a method of release. By using your own body weight, the method is simple, effective and low-cost. Foam rolling is a great injury prevention method and can leave your muscles feeling refreshed afterwards.

Some people who foam roll do it as a warm-up to exercise, as it gets the muscles firing and activated. For example, some runners foam roll before activity to ensure their muscles aren’t cold when heading out the door.

Alternatively, foam rolling can be done after exercise, to break up the fascia, and knots that develop in the muscles.

What type of foam roller to buy

There are a number of different types of foam rollers on the market, from simple to premium.

Foam Rolling

Basic foam rollers can be found at most sporting goods stores for approximately $30.

Depending on your needs, a basic foam roller may do just fine. On the other end of the spectrum are more premium options, including Hyperice and Trigger point. These products are meant more for deep tissue massages and have additional features like vibration. Typically, the foundation of these rollers are made of stiff plastic with a foam outer layer, so they will last longer than a purely foam product. As their cores are also plastic, they also have a lot less ‘give.’

Foam rollers also come in various sizes. You can find travel sizes so they fit in your luggage if you’re a frequent traveller, Or, there are standard versions which cover a greater surface area of your leg and are often less painful because weight is dispersed more evenly across where you’re rolling. Fortunately, because they’re largely inexpensive, owning more than one won’t break the bank.

It should be noted that there are alternative ways to roll, including using tennis or lacrosse balls. The smaller the object, the more precise you can be with targeting trouble spots, or ‘trigger points.’

Foam Rolling

According to the American Council on Exercise, foam rolling  “focuses on reducing pain or the discomfort that comes from the myofascial tissue—the tough, but thin membranes that cover and surround your muscles.”

How to do it

Foam rolling can be tricky at first, but you can get the hang of it pretty quickly. Using your body weight, position the foam roller about two-thirds to the bottom of your body, or to wherever on your legs you want to target. Then, roll slowly and gently back and forth and pause on particularly tight spots.

You can reduce the pressure by bearing more weight on your upper body, or when you’re on your side, by having your torso on the ground. There should be some discomfort, but don’t go as far as feeling intense pain.

You’ll want to avoid bones, and focus on the muscles, specifically trigger points. These refer to specific knots that form in the muscles, that will benefit from being rolled out, which increases blood flow to the area.

Typically, anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes is appropriate for an area before moving on. In total, spend 10-15 minutes rolling various parts of your legs, even if they’re not particularly sore. Remember, sore muscles in one spot may mean the problem is actually somewhere else, so distribute the rolling appropriately.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling doesn’t just have to be on your legs either. You can do your back, hips, arms, shoulders, and whatever else is sore.

Benefits

There are a number of benefits to foam rolling, both as an injury treatment, as well as for injury prevention. Best of all, it’s one of the most affordable methods of self-treatment needing little more than a $30-40 product, that lasts quite a few years too.

According to the American Council on Exercise, foam rolling has been shown to help the following conditions: 

  • IT band syndrome
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee)
  • Shin splints
  • Lower-back pain
  • Infrapatellar tendinitis (jumper’s knee)
  • Blood flow, overall soreness
  • Joint range of motion

If pain continues to persist, and foam rolling doesn’t seem to be helping, your injury may be more serious.

For all of your foot treatment needs, schedule an appointment, or contact Feet First Clinic at 416-769-FEET(3338).

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is fast approaching on October 20th, 2019. You have been training hard for the marathon so here are a few tips to get you feeling your best:

Have the right footwear

Photo of a man tying his shoe lace - A closeup of a man tying his shoe lace resting his foot on a steal fence, after a run work out. He is wearing a red sweater, black shorts and sports shoes. In the distance the sun is setting giving a nice warm light.

Most marathon runners have their favourite trusted brands that they spend months training in. Months before the marathon, you should check the wear pattern on your soles to make sure they will be in good shape for the big day. If you find you are tilting too much on the inside/outside of your heel or there is excessive wear under the balls of your feet then they are too worn out for a marathon. New shoes can take a few weeks to break in so make sure you run a few weeks/months in new shoes to get used to them.

Wear the right socks

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Socks are just as important as good shoes during the day of the marathon. The right socks can help reduce blisters, calluses and corns and they can help keep your feet dry. Seamless socks can reduce friction and aid in redistributing pressure points. Sock material is another important consideration. Consider buying Bamboo socks or socks with moisture wicking technology as opposed to 100% cotton which can hold in too much moisture. If your feet or legs get swollen during a run, try Sigvaris Running Compression Socks. Compression stockings can help reduce swelling and aid in keeping blood flow to your muscles to keep them energized for longer.

Moisturize your heels

If you have cracks in your heels or feet, you should take care of them before the marathon to avoid problems with your performance. Two weeks before the marathon start moisturizing your heels and feet every evening. Products with excellent ingredients to help heel cracks and dry skin are Gehwol Soft Feet Cream, Gehwol Salve for Cracked skin, Dermal Therapy and Camillen 60 Intense Fissure Cream. Avoid walking around barefoot, especially around hard surfaces, to prevent further complications with dry cracked heels.

 

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Wear your orthotics

Orthotics are excellent devices for helping with shock absorption and increasing stability. You need to make sure you have run with your orthotics weeks and even months before the marathon. It is very important to not wear new orthotics the day of your marathon as they can cause blistering, rubbing, instability and soreness if they are not broken in.

Don’t change anything the day of the marathon

You have spent weeks or months preparing for this marathon, perfecting your technique, wearing the right shoes and socks so don’t change anything the day of the marathon. It’s important to remember, there are no last minute changes that can drastically improve your technique. It is the weeks of preparation that will help you succeed.

Get a medical pedicure 

Runners feet are prone to developing bruised and damaged nails, calluses, corns and blisters more so than the average person. At least two weeks before your marathon, get your feet ready by getting a medical pedicure at Feet First Clinic. Our highly trained Chiropodists will safely trim your nails, help fix cracked or bruised nails, and take care of any calluses and corns.

Relax after the race
After spending all day running, you need to take care to relax your muscles and feet. You can relax at home with Gehwol foot bath and afterwards for added relief moisturize your feet with Gehwol Warming Balm.

Shoelace techniques that can reduce foot pain

You wear your shoes for hours on end, if not for the entire day. We all know how shoes are traditionally tied, but have you ever considered tying them in a different way?

Picture this scenario: you’ve chosen the right shoe, done the strengthening and rehab exercises, and still experience pain. Rather than overhauling your shoes, or being frustrated with your strength exercises not working, there may be a simple solution. The culprit may be pressure on various parts of your foot, which can cause foot pain.

For a greater explanation, read this excerpt from Harvard Health Publishing at Harvard University. “If you’re one of them [who experiences foot pain], you might want to try a simple solution that may bring relief — adjusting your shoelaces, especially on your athletic shoes. Today’s mass-produced shoes often don’t accommodate the quirks of individual feet, which may be wide or narrow or have arches that are high or low. Retying your shoes can make adjustments for those differences, and in some cases, ease your pain.”

Simply tying your shoelaces in a specific way could be the solution. Below, we break down various methods beyond the basic shoelace techniques.

For a heel lock

This shoelace technique reduces slippage and blisters around the heel. Through the locking mechanism around the top of the foot, this trick ensures a snug fit around the circumference of the shoe. However, it can also put additional stress on the Achilles tendon so beware of how tight you keep your shoelaces.

The key here is to use the extra eyelet at the top of the shoe. Once you’ve weaved your shoelaces through the second to last eyelet, insert the shoelace into the final eyelet on the same side. Then, extend that same lace across and through the loop you’ve made on the opposite side. This method locks your heel into place and keeps your shoe snug all around the top of the shoe.

For a heel lock, option two

Rather than using all eyelets possible, this technique is similar to the above. The one exception is that you skip the second to last eyelet and go straight to the heel lock as outlined above.

For toe pain

Shoelace techniques 2
The diagonal lacing lifts the toe box and follows the natural curvature of your foot.

This shoelace technique reduces pressure on your toes, and can lessen the likelihood of pesky black toenails. The diagonal set up ensures a snug fit across the top of your feet. Plus, it alleviates tightness within the toebox. Start off by taking one end of the shoelace and feeding it through the bottom eyelet, and then work your way back up the shoe. Once you get to the top, you then tie the laces as you normally would, using the extra lace from the top of the diagonal, and the end you just weaved through.

For a high arch

Shoelace techniques
Notice the gap in the middle of the tongue to reduce pressure above a high arch.

This cross-over lacing trick opens up some area on the top side of the foot above the arch. By using the bottom and top eyelets while skipping the middle, the foot stays snug in place while offering relief above your arch. Weave your laces as you normally would, but skip a row of eyelets to leave a gap. This gap is the area of relief.

For wide feet

If you’re someone with wider feet who can never seem to find a shoe that’s just the right fit, this technique might be just for you. To use this trick, start from the beginning, and weave your laces through the first eyelet as you usually would. Then, skip an eyelet each row, and tie normally at the top.

This method loosens the entire shoe and offers relief alongside the outer edges of your feet.

For other shoelace techniques and methods, as well as video tutorials, visit RunRepeat.com. For additional shoelace techniques, tricks and tips, check out this article on Self and this piece at On Running.

Shoe lacing techniques should only be used for experimental purposes and may not provide a long-term solution to your foot problems. If pain persists, identify the cause of your foot pain or discomfort and get immediate care by visiting our Toronto foot clinic. Book your appointment today.

Why Runners Need to Take Good Care of Their Feet

As rewarding as a daily jog can be for your fitness, the exercise can be punishing when you’re not careful. Running at full-tilt without taking any precautions puts you at risk of pain and injury, which can do much more than make you skip a workout.

Common Running Injuries

Pounding the pavement is hard on your feet. When you don’t wear the right pair of shoes, you could deal with a heel covered in blisters or runner’s toe — this is a casual way of saying a black toenail. When you push yourself too hard, you can get injuries like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. If you want to prevent running related injuries that could have long-term consequences, take the initiative to take better care of your feet.

What Should Runners Do to Take Better Care of Their Feet?

Replace Worn-Down Shoes

Dedicated runners will have shoes that deal with a lot of wear and tear. You should replace your running shoes after reaching 500 to 750km with them so that you’re guaranteed to have effective arch support and shock absorption every time you lace up.

You should also have more than one pair of running shoes to cycle through. Using one pair every single day doesn’t let them dry out. Moist, bacteria-filled shoes lead to problems like blisters, foot fungus and a terrible odour. Cycling through shoes keeps moisture at bay and extends their lifespan.

Make Sure the Shoe Fits

You need to double-check the fit of shoes before you buy them because your shoes take a toll on your body when they’re the wrong size. When they’re too small, you run the risk of getting blisters, bruised toenails, hot foot, tingling, numbness and pain. And shoes that are too big don’t offer the same support. You could injure yourself in the middle of your workout.

Make Sure the Shoe Supports

A pair of flat sneakers won’t be enough when you’re a devoted runner. You’re going to want heavy-duty shoes that can handle hitting the pavement and protecting your feet. Check out our brand name orthopaedic footwear to see what running shoes will be the best picks for your morning runs.

Modify Your Run

If you’re experiencing discomfort during your morning jog, you should make some adjustments to your routine to see if they make a difference. Choose a more forgiving terrain than the pavement, like a grassy lawn. Pick a shorter run-time, slow your stride or trim down the number of runs you do per week. One of the most common plantar fasciitis causes is overuse — the same goes for injuries like shin splints and runner’s knee. Dialling it back could be crucial for your well-being.

Give Yourself Recovery Time

Visit a licensed chiropodist or your family doctor if you suspect you’re dealing with an injury. They can help diagnose the cause of your discomfort and give you advice on how to treat the symptoms. Don’t return to your running routine until you’ve received their seal of approval.

The best piece of advice that runners can follow is to pay attention to your feet. Whenever you pull off your socks, take a look to see if anything seems strange. Whenever you’re running, check-in for any jarring pains or nagging aches. Follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, take a break from your routine and address it.

Everything You Need to Know about Hammertoes

A hammertoe is a toe that is bent in the middle joint so that it folds or curls over. In some cases, the toes crowd over each other instead of sitting flat and pointing straight ahead. The musculoskeletal condition makes everyday activities like standing and walking uncomfortable or downright painful. And finding a pair of shoes that can accommodate the bent and awkwardly crowded joints can be a challenge.

Find out what you should do if you suspect that you have hammertoes:

Get Diagnosed

You should get checked at our Toronto foot clinic if you are exhibiting any of the above symptoms and suspect you have hammertoes. The specialist will examine your feet and determine the appropriate diagnosis. They will also check for problems that form in tandem with hammertoe like calluses, corns and blisters. Establishing the foot condition is the first step to treating it.

The good news is that flexible hammertoes can be reversed when you practice toe strengthening exercises and use specialized accessories. Hammertoes are a progressive foot condition — the longer you ignore them, the worse they’re going to get. However, the earlier that you notice the symptoms and commit to a personalized treatment plan, the faster you can rectify the problem.

Hammertoe Exercises

Hammertoe happens when the muscles in your feet tighten and the tendons contract, pulling the toes into a curled and clustered position. Eventually, your muscles can’t force the toes to lie flat. A non-invasive way to counteract the painful toe position is to strengthen the muscles in the toes and feet, so they can eventually lie in their natural position without discomfort.

A toe crunch is one of the best hammertoe strengthening exercises that you can try out at home. To do the exercise, sit down in a chair with your shoes and socks off. Put a towel on the ground right under your feet. Root your heels into the floor and then try to scrunch up the towel, drawing it closer to you using only your toes. Do multiple reps every day. You will notice a difference in how your toes feel and how they lie over time.

Hammertoe Accessories

Until the strengthening exercises take effect, you should consider hammertoe straighteners and separators to prevent your toes from curling or crossing over each other. These corrective accessories make it more comfortable to stand and walk.

When you’re doing a more intensive form of exercise, you may want to tape your hammertoes to keep them separate and straight underneath your sneakers. A gel straightener will be uncomfortable and will likely move during a jog or fitness class. Use sports tape or first-aid tape to do the job.

Modified Footwear

You need to stop wearing shoes that can make hammertoes worse. Otherwise, your strengthening exercises and accessories won’t offer any long-term results. You need to avoid wearing high heels and shoes with tight or pointed toe boxes so that your toes can stay properly aligned.

You can visit Feet First Clinic to find some comfortable orthopaedic shoes for sport, work wear and nights out. Specialists at the clinic can also help you get custom orthotic insoles to accommodate the curled toes and ease any discomfort while you move around. You can have them made for whatever kind of footwear you want, including skates, cleats and ski boots.

Certain medical conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis will make it more difficult to alleviate the symptoms of hammertoes. If you are aware that you have these conditions, please notify the chiropodist during your visits. They offer other specialized services and products that can help you manage these ailments.

Tips on How to be Marathon Ready

As you’re training for a marathon you’re stretching your hamstrings, quads and keeping track of your time but its also important to prepare your feet for that big day. Here are some tips to consider:

Footwear

Proper footwear for your foot type is one of the most important things when running a marathon.

Improper footwear can cause blisters, calluses, numbness and even muscle/tendon injuries. It is important to be measured properly for footwear to make sure the length, width and shoe type is right for your foot. Always buy your footwear from a reliable store that is familiar with shoe brands and the type of footwear which is ideal for your foot.

Footwear should also be replaced every 400-500 miles as the support in the shoe wears out and can cause injuries.

At Feet First, all of our staff are extremely knowledgeable in fitting the shoes and the types of running shoes which are an ideal  fit for your foot type. If you are unsure about your foot type, come in for a foot assessment by our Chiropodists who will do a full biomechanical assessment and gait analysis to find the perfect shoe type for your feet.

 

Custom Made Orthotics

Sometimes proper fitting footwear is not enough to prevent your feet from injury. Orthotics can help with proper alignment and stability in your ankles, knees and hips. Orthotics can also help with shock absorption to help save your joints from damage. Visit one of our Chiropodists to get a foot assessment and see if you would benefit from orthotics.

 

Socks

Improper fitting socks are the main cause of blisters and abrasions during a marathon. If your socks are too loose, they can cause a lot of rubbing or blisters; if they’re too tight, then your toenails can be bruised. Also, be sure to check the material – 100% cotton socks can hold in too much moisture. It is better to buy Bamboo material or even synthetics that have quick dry or Moisture wicking technology.

 

Creams

Moisturizing should be a part of daily foot care. It helps with preventing dry skin and cracks. While training for a marathon, it is necessary to moisturize before and after training. Be sure to never moisturize in between the toes as this can promote fungal growth. The following products are highly recommended:

  • Gehwol Hydrolipid lotion
  • Gehwol Foot Cream
  • Gehwol Deodorant Cream

 

Compression stockings

If your feet get swollen while you are running or right afterward, consider wearing sports compression stockings. Graduated compression socks have been shown to improve an athlete’s performance and aid in a faster recovery. When blood is properly circulated, it restores the oxygen and nutrients to tired muscles that are exhausted during exercise.

 

Get a Medical Pedicure

Before a marathon, it is a great idea to see one of our Chiropodists to get your feet checked out and get treatment. A medical pedicure consists of having your nails trimmed (especially before the race to prevent losing a toenail), calluses debrided and to make sure there are no open sores or blisters which can affect your training and performance.

 

Daily Foot Exercises

As you are preparing for a marathon, you’re strengthening and conditioning your large muscles but you also need to consider conditioning your muscles in your feet. Many injuries are directly related to weak feet and improper gait. The following exercises can be done 2-3 times a day:

  • Towel pick-ups: try to pick up a towel on the floor with your toes for 30 seconds
  • Heel raises: raise your heels by standing on your toes 30 times
  • Ankle rolling: roll your ankles clockwise 10 times and counterclockwise 10 times
  • Alphabet – spell the alphabet with your toes pointed
  • Heel drops – at the edge of stairs, drop your heels below the step and hold for 20 seconds

6 Common Trail Running Injuries

Trail running? More like extreme running.

Trail runners run for hours on end pushing their body to the limit. They endure brutal terrain, harsh conditions, and they put their feet through the wringer.

When running at such extremes, it’s no wonder that injuries are common.

Below are six of the most common trail running injuries, and what you can do to prevent and treat each of the pains. These injuries are not exclusively for trail runners, but are common because of the nature of the sport leaving the average runner more susceptible to these ailments.

Metatarsalgia

Metatarsal pain is discomfort in the small bones within the ball of your foot. Metatarsalgia can start off as a small bruise, and slight discomfort, but can quickly escalate into a serious injury like a metatarsal fracture.v

Fortunately, most trail running shoes these days are built with a rock plate, a rigid piece of plastic within the midsole. The rock plate offers protection against sharp edges on the trail and is essential when running on more technical terrain when facing rocks, roots, and uneven surfaces.

Alternative forms of prevention and treatment include using a metatarsal pad, icing the affected area, and self-massage. When in doubt, and you’re not sure whether the injury is serious, take an extra day or two off of running as a precautionary measure and cross-train in the pool or on the bike instead.

Achilles tendonitis

Trail running consists of a lot of ups and downs.

The undulating terrain is a lot different than say, road running. Constantly climbing and descending can add pressure on parts of your body like your Achilles tendon. When climbing or descending, stress is disproportionally allocated to your lower legs compared to running on flat land.

Achilles tendinitis can be a sharp or dull pain in your Achilles heel and can extend into your lower calf. Because the Achilles is such an essential part of your running economy, addressing the symptoms early is important to prevent the tendinitis to be long-lasting.

When trail running, make sure to ease your way into it, and do not increase mileage too quickly. Doing a proper warm-up with calf raises and some stabilizing exercises can help prevent tendinitis and eliminates the period at the beginning of a run when you’re running on stiff legs. Cold muscles don’t fire properly, and they can lead to overcompensation, with that domino effect reaching your Achilles heel.

Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain is one of the most common trail running injuries. Because of the rugged terrain and unexpected obstacles that many trails present, all it takes is one wrong step to roll an ankle. When you sprain an ankle, you essentially over-stretch the ligaments or tear them in more serious cases, beyond their maximum. Immediate signs include swelling, often around the top, or lateral side, of your foot, pain, and tenderness.

To lessen the lasting impacts of an ankle sprain, follow the R.I.C.E. protocol which includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This reduces swelling, and the pain to subside. In some cases, and if the sprain isn’t serious, you can have your ankle wrapped for support and continue running, although you’ll be more susceptible to re-spraining it if you come back too quickly.

It’s always good to do a proper warmup before trail running, and you can help prevent ankle sprains by working on mobility. Other ways of avoiding ankle sprains include planning your route ahead of time to account for mud and trail conditions, taking routes within your ability, and allowing adequate space between you and other runners as to not block your eyesight.

If you still experience pain after extended rest, or the pain is extreme immediately, contact a healthcare professional to rule out more serious injuries like a tear or rupture.

Blisters

Thanks to being out on the trains for hours on end, blisters are another common trail running foot injury. And it’s not only the duration of activity but also the crazy fact that in some cases the run involves crossing through – not around – small bodies of water, like Ajax, Ont.’s Seaton Soaker trail race.

Blisters can start small, like a hotspot somewhere on your foot, and get progressively worse if you don’t address the chafing. Investing in proper running socks, and using some sort of anti-chafe cream like vaseline can help prevent blisters in the first place. If you feel one in the early stages, cover it with a band-aid or better yet, use medical paper tape.

Trail Running Injuries

In fact, as published in a recent study, it’s reported “that inexpensive paper tape, the kind available at most drugstores, when applied to blister-prone areas prior to exercise, successfully reduced the incidence of foot blisters in those areas. The tape commonly known as surgical tape is used for wound treatment. It is only mildly adhesive — an advantage because it doesn’t tear the blisters if they do occur.” Sometimes the simplest measure can be the most effective.

ITB Syndrome

Iliotibial band (IT) syndrome is one of the most frustrating and common trail running injuries.

ITB syndrome can be described as an overuse injury of the connective tissues that are located on the outer thigh and knee.

Thanks to the repeated climbs and descents of trail running, your IT band is exposed to more impact. Additionally, the IT band is stressed the most at certain flexion angles, like when ascending, while your knees and IT band take additional stress when descending.

A warm-up with clamshells and stretching out your hip flexors pre-run can help with the pain and tightness. What you want to do here is activate and work the hip abductors, as muscle imbalances and weakness can be the source of the problem.

You don’t necessarily need complete rest from running, but you will need pain management and mileage reduction, if necessary. Investing in a proper foam roller and routinely working the band will help alleviate pain. Plus, stretching our your hip flexors can help release your IT band.

Plantar Fasciitis

This pesky injury arises when you experience pain and inflammation within the tissue on the underside of your feet that connect your heel and toes. The pain can be anywhere from your heel to the ball of your feet and can be sharp or dull.

We recently wrote more about plantar fasciitis, remedies, and prevention methods on our blog, which you can read here.

Are you still experiencing any of these common trail running injuries? Book an appointment with us at Feet First Clinic online or by calling us at 416.769.3338(FEET).

Useful Tips That Will Help Athletes Recover from Injuries

If you’re dealing with a sports injury that will take longer than an afternoon to heal, you need to consider a long-term recovery plan. Here are some tips to speed up the healing process and reduce your risk of re-injury:

Don’t Go Back to Working Out without Permission!

Before you ease back into your routine, you need to consult a medical professional to see if they give you the go-ahead. You may feel like you’re ready to get back on the treadmill or jump back onto the basketball court, but that doesn’t mean you actually are. Getting back into your regular routine could sabotage the progress you’ve made.

Go for Low-Impact Activities!

Certain types of activities will be easier on your body than others. You should incorporate low impact exercises into your workout routine to stay in shape during your recovery period. 

Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise. The water supports your weight, so going through the motions won’t put a strain on your joints. If you’re not a strong swimmer, you can still put on your bathing suit for water aerobics — this is a workout routine that takes place in the shallow end of the pool. It’s famous for helping people with sports injuries, osteoarthritis and other physical complications. 

An activity like restorative yoga is also a good choice because it’s low-intensity, and it accommodates a variety of physical limitations. Let the instructor know about your injury ahead of time, so they can choose positions that work for you. 

Make Yourself Comfortable!

Get yourself the right equipment to ease the discomfort of your injury and make your day to day less of a hassle. For instance, someone dealing with ankle pain could visit Feet First Clinic for an assessment to see if they should get orthopedic shoes or custom orthotics. The additional cushioning from specialized footwear could reduce discomfort by taking some pressure off of the joint. The additional support could also protect the ankle from re-injury.

Here are some more products that can combat the aches and pains from sports injuries:

  • Braces/stabilizers/supports
  • Athletic tape
  • Pillows
  • Ice packs
  • Heating pads

What If You’re Not Sure That You’re Injured?

You’re not sure if your Achilles Tendon pain or aching knees are symptoms of sports injuries, or if they’re just signs that you need a break in your workout routine.

You should come to Feet First Clinic to see a chiropodist. They will ask about your symptoms and do a physical examination to determine if you have a concerning problem that needs addressing. They can also request that you do a video gait analysis to identify abnormal movement patterns that could point to musculoskeletal conditions.

In some cases, you may need to need to go to a medical imaging centre for an ultrasound or X-ray.

A sports injury can be very frustrating to deal with. All you will want is for the injury to hurry up and heal so that you can get back to normal. But the smartest thing you can do is take your time. Pushing forward and ignoring your physical limitations will not make things better. If anything, it will make your injury worse.

National I Love My Feet Day!

Did you know August 17th is National I love my feet day? That’s right! Submitted by Carolyn D. Jenkins in May of 2015, this day serves as a great reminder to appreciate how valuable our feet are as well as the importance of proper foot care.

 

Feet tend to be easily forgotten because they are the farthest away from the body. However, we shouldn’t be so quick to disregard our feet as they play a significant role in the quality of our lives. Feet are the foundation of the body; they affect your posture and stability. Feet are also the main method of our transportation; they take us to our desired destination. Finally, feet help us engage in all the activities we love such as running, soccer, basketball, swimming, hiking, and more. With time and with natural wear and tear, our feet have a good chance of encountering problems, this risk increasing the more you neglect them.

In general, following the simple steps below, will help you get on the right path for proper foot care.

  1. Wash, dry, and monitor daily

Wash your feet with a gentle antibacterial cleanser daily to remove dirt and oil. Make sure to wash and dry well in between the toes to prevent fungal infections. Check your feet daily for any signs of infections as well as changes in the nails and skin.

 

  1. Routine upkeep

Keep your toenails trimmed by cutting straight across and filing the corners smooth. Use a pumice stone or file to exfoliate the dead skin off areas of increased pressure. Finish off with a good moisturizer to keep the skin elastic and smooth.

 

  1. Wear proper footwear

Your footwear choices play a huge role in the health of your feet. Wear shoes that will support, stabilize, or increase shock absorption to your feet. Try to limit the use of flip flops, ballet flats, and heels; rather invest in a good pair of runners/walking shoes. If you have foot pain, do not ignore it because if you do, the problem will only get worse.

Talk to your Chiropodist about custom foot orthotics as a means to help stabilize the foot and prevent any abnormal movements that may be contributing to your pain.

 

This National I love my feet day, don’t take your feet for granted and make active choices to keep them healthy.

If you’re experiencing pain or notice any changes to the skin or toenails, book an appointment with a Registered Chiropodist at Feet First Clinic for a thorough assessment today.