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5 Foot Stretches in 5 Minutes

When it comes to daily self care, a little goes a long way! Spending a short amount of time Stretching your feet every day can help prevent a wide array of painful foot conditions. The consistency helps to strengthen the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments in your feet. You may be experiencing foot pain associated with frequent exercise, and have opted to perform foot stretches before and after physical activity. Alternatively, you may have already been told by a foot specialist that you have a foot condition. In this case, a foot specialist may give you some “homework” to do on your own. No matter your situation, we’re here to give you some information about common foot stretches and the foot conditions that coincide with them. Most foot stretches only take 5 minutes or less to perform from home, and they don’t require any pricy fitness accessories.

It is important to note that you may need to speak with a qualified Foot specialist before performing these stretches at home. In the case that you’re experiencing acute pain, or have been injured, they will likely recommend a certain level of improvement before incorporating stretching into your daily routine.

 

Male runner stretching leg and feet and preparing for running outdoors. Smart watch or fitness tracker on hand. Beautiful sun light on background. Active and healthy lifestyle concept.

5 Foot Stretches In 5 Minutes:

  1. Arch Roll
  2. Toe Splay
  3. Foot Flex
  4. Achilles Stretch
  5. Bent-Knee Heel Raise

Arch Roll

Arch rolls are an excellent way to relieve pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis. You will need a small accessory to perform the arch roll, such as a a golf ball. However, don’t worry too much if you don’t have a small ball at home. If you freeze a bottle of water, or even a can, you can achieve the same results! An arch roll is simple enough to perform:

  1. Place arch of your foot over ball, can or bottle.
  2. Roll your foot backwards and forwards.
  3. Do this for approximately 5 minutes, alternating between your left and right foot.
  4. Repeat twice per day for best results. Plantar Fasciitis frequently flares up in the mornings, so as soon as you get up in the morning, and before bed, are optimal times to perform your arch rolls.

Toe Splay

Exercises that focus on the toes can help relieve foot pain associated with Bunions. The toe splay is quite simple and will help strengthen the joints and muscles in your toes. If you like, you can incorporate a rubber band into this stretch. The increased resistance from the band will make this stretch even more worthwhile.

  1. Sit down on a chair, ensure your feet are flat on the floor.
  2. Incorporate the elastic band, if you like, by wrapping it around your toes — it will make it more challenging.
  3. Fan out all of your toes. Hold this position for 5 seconds at a time.
  4. Relax your toes.
  5. Repeat this process 10 times for each foot.

Foot Flex

Are you suffering from a painful Heel spur? An exercise called the foot flex may be able to help! The foot flex is a piece of cake, and it can also help with plantar fasciitis. Similarly to the arch roll, the foot flex is highly beneficial to those experiencing intensified foot pain in the mornings. You can perform the foot flex as soon as you wake up in the morning, and before going to sleep at night.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extending in front of you.
  2. Using your hands, pull your toes backwards are far as you can.
  3. Without letting go, keep your toes pushed back like this for about 30 seconds. Do this with each foot 2 or 3 times.

Closeup young woman feeling pain in her foot

Achilles Stretch

A strong and flexible Achilles tendon is essential when it comes to preventing foot pain, as well as leg and ankle pain. This easy stretch should also become a part of your daily routine if you’ve already been diagnosed with Achilles Tendonitis.

  1. While standing with your arms outstretched directly in front of you, place the palms of your hands on a wall.
  2. One of your feet should be behind you with a straightened leg, with the other foot in front of you with a slightly bent knee.
  3. Both heels must be completely flat on the floor.
  4. Lean forward using your hips while in this position, you should notice the strain in the Achilles tendon.
  5. Repeat for about 5 minutes, alternating between your feet.

Bent-Knee Heel Raise

Another straightforward exercise that focuses on the Achilles tendon, the bent-knee heel raise is designed to prepare the tissue so it is able to endure contact with the ground while walking.

  1. You’ll need a small foot stool, bench, or even a box. Anything that elevates you slightly.
  2. Stand on top of the object with both heels slightly hanging off the edge. You can keep your balance by placing the palms of your hands on a wall in front of you.
  3. Start with the left leg, let it be the weight-bearing leg.
  4. Lower left heel toward floor, then push up to raise heel above height of box or bench.
  5. Make sure your leg is bent the entire time.
  6. Repeat on right leg.
  7. Perform twice, 15 times per leg, 3 times a week.

Woman massaging her aching foot

Have No Fear!

Foot stretches are great, but if you’re still struggling to manage your foot pain on your own, we have all your solutions under one roof. Call or book today and we’ll have you in ASAP! 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-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!

 

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Staying Safe Through the Necessary Winter Duties

Winter has made its first appearance. With a blast of snow blanketing our fair region, I shoveled not one but two driveways and have the aches to prove it. My greatest fear as the snow begins to fall is its companion, ice. 

The thought of slipping and falling (since I have done it so many times) is a rational fear of mine. That instant shock that is so jarring to the body starts with losing your footing and depending on how you land, I hope it’s somewhere on your body that has a little extra cushioning. 

Mature man cleans snow in front of house

Having proper winter footwear is crucial, especially in these Canadian winters of ours. Luckily Feet First has your feet covered! Browse our product catalogues and feel free to connect with us over our current stock. We will help you to ensure you find boots that not only have a proper tread but keep your feet warm and comfy. 

During these winter months upon us, it is crucial to exercise proper judgment and mobility when you are outside. If you are more prone to the cold hitting your fingers like me but have a lifelong aversion to gloves, at the very least wear a toque. When I was out shoveling, the snow was surprisingly dense. Ideal for making a snowperson (to be politically correct) but not so great if you’re hustling to clear the driveway before others get home. I knew the best thing I could do for myself to alleviate future pain was to fully engage my core and keep my feet as firmly planted as possible. That way, even if I am torquing my back around, I know that I am supporting that movement as best I can. 

Let’s say you are outside playing with the kids and they want you to come into their snow fort with them. When they fall, the impact is much lighter, but if an adult falls, it’s “timber!” Down goes the old oak tree. So you want to ensure your footwear at least offers you a little more support and connectivity with the slippery ground beneath you. What if you are out walking your dog? And they pull a little too strong when seeing a squirrel on your next step? If you are wearing a good tread, that likelihood lessens, and for your sake, I hope you have a smaller breed. 

Woman with her dog at sunset

On that note, as we move into the season of giving, though here at Feet First we believe that giving is to be marked on every day on the calendar, we want to take a moment to shout out The Canadian Courage Project. The mission this non-profit organization has is to support Toronto homeless youth and their four-legged companions. Through compassion and understanding of financial burdens and mental health issues faced, we understand the importance of animals from a therapeutic perspective, but also how they deserve to receive unconditional love. The project aims to offer donated food, funds for vaccinations, hygiene products, and essential items to all animal companions. 

As an animal lover, I can attest to how important my two pampered cats are to me, especially when I’m feeling down. I am the type of person that out in the world stops and yells “dog!” Every. Single. Time. So as I was out shovelling today and I was waving hello to the two dogs next door who were catching snowflakes in their mouths, I was strategizing a safe passage to go roll around with them. I forgot, just for a moment, how I could not feel my fingertips. Surely the warmth of their fur under my hands would save me and it would have all been worthwhile. So to be a person fortunate enough to have pets I love, and we all have a warm place to feel safe, learning of The Canadian Courage Project today after my morning of shovelling felt pertinent to support and share. You can donate to them directly on their website. We can look out for our own and others this time of year and all year round! 

Winter time

Looking for New Winter Boots for Your Necessary Outdoor Activities?

We have a great selection that offers both reliability and fashion statement. If you are averse to the winter weather, add a little bounce in your step with some boots!

Call us today at 416.769.FEET (3338) and book your appointment or inquire about our inventory!

Reducing Shock Absorption in Your Feet

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.

Girls playing in mud

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. 

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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.

Breaking skater on frozen lake

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?

Call us today and book your appointment at 416.769.FEET (3338) or come into the office and we can help you with the Superfeet Insoles. Remember it’s important to take care of your foundation, so think Feet First!

Common Types of Foot Pain Among Older Feet

It’s common knowledge that as we age, we’re more likely to experience several health conditions, and foot conditions are no exception. Certain types of foot pain are associated with foot conditions that are more common among older feet. The foot conditions we will be discussing in this article can worsen as we age, or typically present themselves after age 40. Don’t worry, however, we will also discuss your treatment options, as well as lifestyle changes you can make. These changes include things you can do from home that will help manage your foot pain.

Common Types Of Foot Pain Among Older Feet Include:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hammertoes

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition that can have an adverse effect on your feet. It is an inflammatory condition that attacks the surrounding bone of our synovial cells, which eventually harms our joints, tendons and ligaments and can lead to muscle atrophy. While it can occur at any age, rheumatoid arthritis typically affects older feet and presents itself between the ages of 50-75. For women, anywhere between age 55-64 would be the common onset age, with the common onset age for men being between 65-75. The joints in your feet will consistently feel painful, regardless of physical activity.

While there is no known cure that completely eradicates this debilitating condition, pain management is absolutely possible. The focus should be on managing mobility, and ensuring you have the tools to prevent or manage the deformity associated with rheumatoid arthritis. You should see a qualified Chiropodist, as you may need Custom made shoes and Custom made orthotics to accommodate the abnormal width and length of your feet, not to mention they will also make walking less painful. Furthermore, a chiropodist can work with you and curate a plan to help manage: 

  • Mobilization
  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Toenail maintenance

Read even more on rheumatoid arthritis!

Gout

Gout is actually a form of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid excretion in the blood. The high levels of uric acid create crystals that congregate around the joints of the feet. It rarely occurs in younger adults and children, and will usually occur in women after menopause, and in men during middle age. Gout can seemingly come out of nowhere and is quite concerning. The pain may wake you up suddenly or startle you during the day. Symptoms of gout include:

  • Severe swelling
  • Redness
  • Acute, severe pain in the joints in your big toe
  • Dull, lingering pain after onset of severe pain

There are ways you can manage gout from home, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can help tackle the pain in the early stages. You should also speak with a chiropodist about the later stages of gout, or when it becomes a chronic condition and a part of your everyday life. They can recommend certain medications aimed at lowering levels of uric acid, pain management and preventing further complications.

Read even more about gout!

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis in the feet is caused by the breaking down of cartilage in the joints. It presents itself as stiff pain, often feeling worse in the mornings or after periods of inactivity. One of the most common types of foot pain, it occurs most often in older feet, and is most prevalent among women over 50. It is also the most common form of arthritis, affecting countless people.

The good news is that it’s manageable! Staying active and sticking to a healthy diet will go a long way. Visits with a chiropodist, who will perform foot pain treatment, will also enhance your mobility and greatly improve the condition.

Read even more about osteoarthritis!

Hammertoes

Hammertoes are a foot condition that affect the second, third or fourth toe, with one or more toes being affected. An abnormality in the middle joint of the toe will cause the toe to bend downward and potentially overlap other toes. The bend in the toe will progressively worsen over time, hence having more of an impact on older people. Hammertoes are more prevalent in women than in men, and the risk increases as we age. Symptoms include corns and calluses that are caused by the friction between ill-fitting footwear and the deformed toe. There is also a good chance that the afflicted toe will be painful. Severity depends on whether the toe is still flexible, or fixed in one position.

A chiropodist will likely recommend an overhaul of your footwear, especially if they become aware that the bent toe is rubbing against your shoes. Shoes with more room for your toes will greatly improve your daily life, as well as orthotics aimed at shifting the hammertoe in a more comfortable position. At-home stretches that Focus on the toes may also be beneficial.

If these lifestyle changes do little to improve your condition, or if the condition worsens, your medical doctor may suggest a minor surgery that either targets the joint, or removes a piece of bone from the toe.

Read even more about hammertoes!

Retirement is here, let’s get relaxed

Your Solutions Live Here!

Let us help you with any foot pain that may be associated with aging. We’ve got everything all under one roof! Our team is trained to handle any and all your foot health concerns. Whether your condition is mild or severe, 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-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!

Anti-Inflammatory All-Stars for Gout

This past summer, my dad, a worshipper of the sun, fell prey to a misery-inducing bout of gout. No stranger to the ailment, this time around, it derailed his plans to enjoy the heat, leaving him bedridden for much of the time. 

Gout is an inflammatory arthritic condition that inhibits movement in your joints due to an excess of uric acid in your blood. Purine is a naturally occurring chemical in your body that can also be found in foods and breaks down into uric acid (the waste substance created.) About these two things, they go hand in hand (or foot in foot) when perpetuating gout. Therefore, a gout-friendly diet that consists of low purine foods does not hold the cure, but it does help to flush the excess uric acid from your system.

Back to my dad, a man who enjoys meat and beer, it has always been a fun challenge to try to get him to adhere to a more plant-based diet that I have for nearly my whole life at this point, adhered to. The interesting correlation we share is our blood type, being A+. The Blood Type Diet suggests that a vegetarian diet is better for our type and I would attribute my diet and lifestyle choices to my ongoing good health. I have gout on my radar but do not fear the genetics if I am living with the intention of prevention. With all that being said, I did miss having a drinking buddy this past summer. 

My love language is a very nurturing one matched with my affinity for all things wellness, so naturally, I went right to the internet. Many of the diet choices he was already aware of due to his medical history, but it is the consistency of the ‘bad’ habits that brought gout back on, so it was time to balance it out with the good. He is still struggling, though is far more mobile at this point. No doubt the flushing of the excess uric acid at a consistent rate has contributed to the forward momentum. 

Water

The literal flushing of the system. Drink water all day, every day. This is a recommendation for anyone, but particularly the understanding of eliminating the acid from your system, water is key. I have heard of the value of alkaline water balancing out the acidity levels, in this scenario specifically, and this has been ongoing experimentation with some proven success.

Cherries

The darker the cherry, the better the health properties. I had a lovely conversation with an older gentleman one day who had been ingesting cherry juice for years. He was incredibly agile, still boxing for exercise, with a gorgeous complexion, and well into his 80’s, so I was taking in everything he was saying. He told the story of sending cherry juice from the local seller (we had in common, which started our chat) and sending it to his nephew in Florida who was going through chemotherapy to take daily. His nephew is now cancer-free. 

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Pineapple

The sweet tropical fruit contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme known to be a great stomach soother, and can often be found in natural skincare products. If bromelain can ease spastic conditions in your gut and on your skin, it is an obvious multi-functional treatment for any inflammation.

pineapple

Turmeric

Vibrant in its golden hue, delicious as a warm latte, this popular spice contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant. I often have a bottle of turmeric capsules in my gym bag for post-workout, and I have am a sucker for a slightly sweetened beverage.

Ginger

Like it’s pal turmeric above, ginger holds the magic properties of anti-inflammation and anti-oxidants through gingerols and shogaols, agents for effective change in our bodies. The spicy powerhouse will heat you up and heal what ails you. I always have ginger root in the fridge and sneakily have ginger candies hiding in my car for a little kick. 

Ginger

Bonus: Coffee

There are contradictory studies on the efficacy of coffee for gout sufferers. However, a cup a day has shown to be a positive reinforcement. I believe the quality of the bean and of course how you doctor up your morning cup of magic should also be considered, but it is an exciting addition to the gout-friendly diet.

Finally, the biggest lifestyle choice one can make is your attitude toward whatever health issue you are dealing with. Knowing that instilling a better mindset and taking positive action will inevitably lead to desired results and you will be able to regain your sense of freedom as you take better care of yourself. 

Looking for more help with your gout symptoms?

Though gout is a recurring ailment, it can be worked with and balanced in your system. Our chiropodists and phenomenal staff can help you on your healing journey. Our chiropodists and phenomenal staff can help you on your healing journey. Call us at 416-769-FEET(3338) and book your appointment today!

The Impending Threat of Bunions

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. 

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Image by Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay

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. 

Here are some of the stretches I have been incorporating in my Bunion Preventative routine:

Toe Spread-outs

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.

Toe Circles

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. 

Foot Rolls

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.

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Item Pickup

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.)

Barefoot Walking

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.

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We have more information and Exercise Ideas for your Bunions here on the Blog.

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! 

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

 

How to Choose the Right Footwear for Cycling

Cycling is a wonderful hobby that keeps you healthy, active and gets you from point A to point B. Many people living in Downtown Toronto choose to use a bike as their primary method of transportation, often cycling well into the fall and winter months. You’ll want to make sure your feet are as comfortable as possible while cycling, and that means making sure you have the right footwear. In this article we will discuss: 

  • Risks of cycling with the wrong footwear
  • Proper footwear for cyclists
  • How you can find the perfect shoes
  • Ensuring comfort during fall and winter

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Wearing the Wrong Footwear While Cycling 

It’s easy to forget to wear the right footwear when cycling, as many of us may use a bike to get to work, or to go to the store. Even with these shorter trips, over time you may notice the downsides of neglecting to invest in the right footwear. Although cycling itself is relatively low risk in terms of foot injuries, the wrong shoes can still lead to the following foot conditions: 

How you can Find the Right Footwear for Cycling

It’s important to make sure your favourite pastime is accompanied by proper footwear. You may want to invest in: 

  • Well-fitted shoes
  • Insoles
  • Compression socks

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Shoe Fitting for Cycling

If you’re consistently finding yourself going through pairs of bad shoes and neglecting the task of finding the perfect fit, you are more likely to experience foot pain, and less likely to maintain cycling as a hobby. Whether you’re an avid or a casual cyclist, you should always protect your feet by ensuring you have the proper footwear, especially when it comes to an active lifestyle. A proper Shoe fitting may be just what you need to make sure your shoes are designed for longevity and comfort. A shoe fitting will ensure that every aspect of the shoe is tailored to your needs, such as the outsole, midsole, insole, heel elevation, breathing room, and more.

Compression Socks for Cycling

Cycling can be a physically demanding activity, so you may want to consider investing in some Compression socks. Compression gear can help with the aches and pains that come with cycling, especially if you’re a beginner who is noticing any pain in your lower legs and feet after a few trips. Compression socks can also prevent your feet from becoming too warm during cycling. The material in compression socks can prevent sweat buildup and maintain comfortable temperatures, especially with longer cycling trips. The padding in compression socks can also help ward off painful blisters.

Insoles for Cycling

If you’re a cyclist who swears by a certain shoe already, you may want to consider a pair of Insoles to compliment your shoes, and to ensure maximum comfort while cycling.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels – Thank you!

Cycling Footwear Throughout the Year

Many cyclists do not want to put their bikes away just because it’s getting colder outside. You can keep cycling well into the year, as long as you bundle up, ensure the roads are clear, and protect your feet with the right Winter Footwear. You can cycle in winter boots, just make sure you choose a boot that is waterproof and relatively light, in addition to well-fitting, which we’ve previously discussed. 

Maintaining an at home foot care routine, and keeping up with proper foot hygiene, is also important. Ensure that your toenails are cut and your skin is protected from cracks and blisters. Over the counter creams can be incorporated into your foot care routine, such as Gehwol Cream.

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Worry Not! 

If you’re a cyclist experiencing a foot condition, or if you’re looking to prevent them, we can help! We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortably 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-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!

 

Banner Image Credits –  Dominika Roseclay from PexelsThank you!

Should I Worry About My Kids’ Feet?

First off, do not panic. Children are developing beings. For the most part, common “foot abnormalities” in children spontaneously resolve as development progresses. At birth, a baby’s foot is made up of mostly cartilage, which hardens or ossifies to actual bones with age. Until a child’s foot develops adult bones, it will be very soft and flexible. As infants mature and learn to walk, their bodies undergo a process known as developmental unwinding where their limbs will unfold and externally rotate. In fact, the hips can unwind even up until age fourteen. 

Bare feet in a pile of shoes. Children’s foot on the background of sneakers. Foot and shoes

With that being said, it is important to be attentive to your child and what they may be trying to tell you as well as knowing when certain behaviours or tendencies do not follow the correct linear pattern of development. If your child is complaining of pain, “tired feet”, or is overly clumsy and/or frequently tripping, it is important to talk to your child’s paediatrician for further investigation. Your child’s paediatrician may then recommend a visit to a foot care specialist for proper podiatric management to prevent progression of symptoms into adulthood.

Here is a list of common foot problems seen in children.

Flat Feet

Flat feet are part of normal development in children up until the age of six. If your child has a mild and flexible flat foot and is under the age of 6, there is a good chance he or she may grow out of it. However, if your child is severely flat-footed, is developing pressure points, and is experiencing symptoms (this includes not wanting to participate in activities or sports because of foot pain or discomfort), it is a good idea to seek professional advice. Your child may be recommended custom made orthotics or over the counter arch supports. 

In-Toeing

In-toeing, commonly known as pigeon-toed is said to be the most common reason why parents seek podiatric care for their child. It is when the toes point inward toward the midline of the body rather than straight forward with walking. In-toeing is usually related to the developmental unwinding process and can be attributed to abnormalities at various levels of the lower limb such as the hip, femur, tibia, foot itself. More often than not, in-toeing spontaneously resolves without causing long term issues. However, treatment is warranted if the child is complaining of symptoms such as pain, difficulty walking, or exemplifying over-pronatory compensations that may cause future complications. Talk to your chiropodist regarding gait plates and whether your child is a good candidate for them.

Barefoot on the background of shoes. Feet in a pile of shoes. Children’s foot on the background of sneakers. Foot and shoes

Toe Walking

Toe walking is a normal occurrence in children as they learn how to walk, up until the age of three. Most children who continue to toe walk after the age of three and are otherwise developing normally, do so out of habit. Other causes include a congenital short Achille’s tendon, or other disorders such as, cerebral palsy, autism, and muscular dystrophy. In any case, talk to your child’s paediatrician regarding toe walking past the age of two. If your child is doing this habitually, it is important to establish heel to toe gait with the help of routine stretching and recommended footwear.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel bone. It is the most common cause of heel pain in growing children and young athletes between the ages of seven and twelve and is associated with growth spurts and increased activity levels. Rest assured, this condition is very common and self-limiting once the growth plate ossifies. Management lies in mitigating pain via rest from strenuous activities, daily stretches, and a biomechanical assessment to determine if faulty foot mechanics may be contributing to the problem.

Need Medical Attention?

If you have been recommended by your child’s paediatrician to have your child’s feet assessed by a foot specialist, we’ve got you covered. Call us even to ask about a quick question and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction! 

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

Is Compression Gear Worth It?

Long story short, the answer is, it depends. Compression stockings can be very beneficial when given to the right individual and for the right reasons. There are support stockings and medical compression garments. Support stockings are the ones you find at your local retail or drug store. They are considered over the counter stockings that provide about 15-20mmHg of compression, which essentially exerts a passive resistance to swelling. On the other hand, medical-grade compression stockings not only offer higher levels of compression, but they are made according to strict medical and technical guidelines to ensure adequate ankle pressure and graduated compression up the limb. Before you decide to get measured for and purchase compression gear, talk to your doctor about them as they are not for everybody.

Here are four conditions compression therapy is commonly recommended for:

legs runner in compression calf sleeve

1. Edema

Edema is the medical term for swelling. It occurs when the small blood vessels in your body leak fluid to the surrounding tissue. As this fluid accumulates in the tissue, the tissues begin to swell. Edema can be the result of a number of disorders and diseases, some of which will be expanded in the points below. Others include, congestive heart failure, excessive retention of sodium and water, pregnancy, constrictive pericarditis, and prolonged inactivity. In some cases, edema in the lower extremity can lead to impaired wound healing, increased risk of infection, and pressure sores. As a result, it is highly recommended to speak to your doctor if you are experiencing edema in your feet and lower legs.

2. Varicose veins

Varicose veins are veins that have become diseased and appear enlarged, swollen, and twisted. They develop due to increased pressure in the venous system, causing damage to the valves that control proper blood flow back to the heart. As backflow of blood occurs, blood pools in the veins and causes them to dilate (widen in diameter). These are the start of venous insufficiency.

3. Chronic venous insufficiency

As the venous disease progresses, chronic venous insufficiency may develop. Similar to varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency is the result of valvular incompetence. Damaged valves compromise the flow of blood back to the heart and eventually, deep vein emptying cannot occur. Chronic venous insufficiency is also the most common cause of deep vein thrombosis. Symptoms include aching, heavy legs, lower leg and ankle edema, and moderate to severe varicosities. Chronic venous insufficiency can also lead to skin diseases such as stasis dermatitis (red, dry, itchy skin), hemosiderin deposits (brown pigmentation due to iron deposits in the skin), and ulcerations.

man runner in compression socks

 4. Venous thrombosis

Venous thrombosis describes a blood clot in a vein with accompanying inflammation of the vessel wall. Signs and symptoms of venous thrombosis in the lower leg include pain in the calf, edema, redness and increased warmth of the affected leg, fever, and generally feeling unwell. 

5. Lymphedema

The lymphatic system is made of channels and nodes that work to collect and filter fluids before returning it to the bloodstream. Lymphedema presents as swelling in either one or both limbs, the swelling worsening with progression of the disease. It is caused by extra fluid build-up in tissues due to a defective lymphatic system.

Question or Concerns?

If you have been diagnosed with any of the above conditions or your doctor has recommended compression therapy as part of your treatment plan, book an appointment with one of our licensed chiropodists to be properly measured. 

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

Are Sports Shoes Worth It?

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

 

runners

Running  

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.

bballBasketball/Tennis

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/Soccer

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.

running

Hiking

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.

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