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Effects of Sitting On Our Legs And Feet

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

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

Does it matter how I sit?

Common Foot Conditions Associated With Sitting

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

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

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

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

Edema

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

Varicose Veins

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

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

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

Does it Matter how I Sit?

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

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

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

Two Desks With Chair and Computer Monitors

How to Reduce the Effects of Sitting

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

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

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Podiatry Podcasts

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: 

PodChatLive

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.

Female doctor reviews x-ray of patient’s foot

The Foot Collective

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.

kinesiologist doing therapeutic exercises for an elderly patient. Kinesitherapy at the medical center

Podiatry Legends

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.

Pediatrician shows concerned father foot x-rays

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?

Come visit us at Feet First Clinic located in Bloor West Village. Our chiropodists and team will have great one-on-one insight for your specific concerns. Call us at 416-769-FEET (4338) and book your appointment today!

 

5 Foot Conditions Common In Children

Sometimes our kids can seem invincible. High energy levels and excitement are some definable features in children. Despite this, it’s our job as parents to make sure they are as healthy as possible. If your child complains about foot pain or a foot problem, you should pay attention, seek advice and look into treatment options. They may be experiencing one of the most common foot conditions found in children.

5 Foot Conditions Common In Children: 

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Flat Feet

Flat feet are one of the most common foot conditions for children. It is normal for infants and young children to have flat feet, and the problem usually goes away on its own as kids age, due to their muscles growing stronger and soft tissues solidifying. If your child is beyond age 9 or 10 and the arches in their feet haven’t become pronounced at all, you may want to ask if they’re experiencing any foot pain. Flat feet are not always painful, but if your child complains about persistent pain when walking or running, you should consider treatment options.

Treatment for flat feet typically involves an overhaul of your child’s footwear. If your child is overweight or sporting ill-fitting shoes, it can make the pain worse. You should seek guidance from your child’s paediatrician, and potentially a Foot specialist. They will likely recommend a pair of accommodating, comfortable shoes tailored to your child’s needs, as well as Custom OrthoticsYou should also try not to let your child wear bad shoes with poorly constructed soles that further exaggerate the flatness of their feet — think flip-flops or flats.

Plantar Warts

Another one of the most common foot conditions for children, as well as adults, are plantar warts. Plantar warts are found on the burdened areas of the foot, such as the heels and the ball of the foot. They are caused by a certain strain of the Human Papillomavirus(commonly known as HPV). You should be mindful of your child running around barefoot in public spaces, such as swimming pools. Likewise, you should also make sure your child’s feet are shielded and protected from the virus by ensuring any small cuts or scrapes are covered with a bandage. Your child’s plantar warts may go away on their own, but sometimes specialized treatment is required.

Treatment Methods Used to Target Plantar Warts:

  • Salicylic Acid: Products with salicylic acid will soften the skin on your child’s feet, and shed the outer layer of skin quickly. A qualified Chiropodist may recommend this, and will painlessly peel the wart off after application of the product for some time. This is arguably the least intimidating treatment method for a child with a persistent issue with plantar warts.
  • Needling: It’s likely you’ll want to avoid any treatment containing the word “needle” when it comes to children. However, this process can eradicate all plantar warts by focusing on one. The process includes puncturing the wart 100 times to trigger an immune response.
  • Cryotherapy: A foot specialist will gently apply a cotton swab with liquid nitrogen to the problem area, this will freeze the wart. Cool, right? The area eventually forms a protective blister, and after a few rounds of this the wart will be gone for good. It may be a little painful for your child, so talk to them about how beneficial it will be in the long run and make them feel brave!

Ingrown Toenail

An Ingrown toenail can be a painful nuisance for your child. They present themselves as small, red areas of swelling on your child’s skin, close to the toenail. They are typically harmless, but you should make sure they don’t become infected. An infection could cause the redness to spread, further aggravate foot pain, and lead to blisters.

If the Ingrown toenail doesn’t go away, your child can see a foot specialist who will be able to:

  • Gain access to the ingrown toenail and trim it.
  • Recommend antibiotic cream in the presence of infection. Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed.
  • Recommend at-home care, such as using Epsom salt in a foot bath. Epsom salt can reduce pain and prevent infection.
  • Recommend over-the-counter pain relief, such as Tylenol and ibuprofen.
  • If your child has a persistent problem, they may suggest performing a minor surgery on the nail bed/toenail.

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Toe-Walking

Toe-Walking is a lot like what it sounds like. Common amongst growing children, toe-walking occurs when a child underutilizes their feet when walking. The child will step with just the ball of the foot —- imagine something similar to tiptoeing. Although it is rare, if your child is toe-walking after age 2, they have adapted to an abnormal gait. Health professionals are actually unable to understand the reasoning behind toe-walking in most cases. Your child should be encouraged to develop a normal gait, in which case a Video Gait Analysis can help.

In-Toeing

Sometimes referred to as “pigeon-toed,” you may be noticing your child is walking or running with their feet pointed towards each other rather than straight ahead. Children younger than 8 years old usually stop doing this, but in some cases a child will continue in-toeing. You may want to take note of ways you can correct this relatively harmless foot condition and encourage normal development.

A foot specialist may recommend special shoes for infants, which can work wonders and be preventative. In rare cases, a surgical procedure aimed at aligning the thigh bone or shinbone may be required for an older child. You’ll want to avoid any future complications, such as a lopsided gait (can lead to future foot pain) or painful foot conditions, such as bunions.

If a surgery recommended, your child may be scared and need reassurance. Be sure to do your part by comforting them. You can explain to them in a calm manner that there will be no complications with this type of procedure, and that the outcome will greatly improve their quality of life.

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Have No Fear!

We have all your solutions under one roof. Call or Book Today and we’ll have you and your child 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 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

Varicose Veins: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Have you ever noticed red or blue veins that almost appear to be sticking out of your skin? These may be varicose veins.

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that lie just under the skin. Most often, these swollen, twisted veins develop in the legs. The good news about is that these veins are rarely painful, and often not a serious concern. The bad news can be related to cosmetics. Enlarged and colourful veins may be undesirable. Given we all age, varicose veins become increasingly more common, especially at advanced ages. Like many foot conditions, varicose veins is one side effect ageing has on our feet and legs. But, age is only part of the story.

Read on to learn about the causes, risks, prevention, and treatment, as well as how we can help.

Causes and Risk Factors

Varicose Veins

At its simplest, varicose veins are the result of damaged walls and valves. So, the veins are unable to do their job: to carry blood. When blood pools because of reduced circulation, the veins grow, blood pressure rises, and your veins become distorted.

According to Onhealth.com, varicose and spider veins (see more on spider veins below) affect up to 50% of the adult population. Women tend to suffer from these veins more often than men, especially as you age. But, there are a wide range of risk factors that may lead to swollen, twisted veins. Risks include:

  • Advanced age
  • Prolonged sitting/standing
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormone therapy (HT)
  • Birth control pills
  • Injury
  • Prior vein surgery
  • History of blood clots
  • Family history

Notable controllable risks from above include obesity, and prolonged sitting/standing. Through self-care, regular exercise, and monitoring your feet and legs, you help reduce the likelihood of this foot condition. Those who sit for long periods of time, or those who stand for lengths of time, should be particularly aware of varicose veins. A balanced lifestyle, one with a proper diet and regular exercise, can help prevent your veins from weakening.

Person sitting on their computer

Fortunately, varicose veins rarely pose any threat or symptoms. Instead, it’s a cosmetic appearance that may be undesirable. Symptoms may include swelling, throbbing, aching, burning, itching, heaviness, tingling, or cramping of the legs. In rare instances, you may develop skin ulcers. When in doubt, contact a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.

The Effects of Compression Socks

Compression Socks are one of the most effective ways to prevent varicose veins. In fact, compression socks are generally a great investment as a preventative measure to most foot and leg conditions. Medical Leggings use “graduated” compression, which squeezes harder the farther they are from the heart. This prevents blood from pooling in the legs; that’s why you see people on planes, trains, and at work wearing them. The idea behind compression gear is that it increases blood flow throughout the body. Specifically for vein health, compression socks will limit the effects of being sedentary as your body will pump blood in and out of the region keeping your veins strong and healthy. Visit Feet First Clinic for a wide range of compression socks, as well as for a home to all of your footcare and footwear needs.

Will Crossing My Legs Cause Varicose Veins?

Sitting Cross-Legged

Prolonged sitting, standing, and obesity are the common risk factors for varicose veins—not sitting cross-legged. According to a doctor at UAMS Medical Centre, the connection between sitting cross-legged and varicose veins is a myth.

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

Varicose vs. Spider Veins

Varicose veins and spider veins are terms often used hand in hand. However, spider veins are a mild variation. According to the Mayo Clinic, spider veins are smaller, and often resemble a spider’s web. These veins are found closer to the surface of the skin, and appear red or blue. Spider veins occur throughout the body, but most often in the legs.

Vein Surgery

As previously mentioned, varicose veins is typically a case of appearance. Surgery is an option to remove these veins, and the procedure is quite simple. The following procedures are an option, according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • Sclerotherapy. An injection with a solution or foam that scars and closes those veins
  • Foam sclerotherapy. In this case, an injection of a large vein with a foam solution is made to close a vein and seal it.
  • Laser treatment. Laser treatment works by sending strong bursts of light onto the vein, which makes the vein slowly fade and disappear. No incisions or needles are necessary.
  • Catheter-assisted procedures using radiofrequency or laser energy. Doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) into an enlarged vein and heats the tip of the catheter using either radiofrequency or laser energy.
  • High ligation and vein stripping. This procedure involves tying off a vein before it joins a deep vein and removing the vein through small incisions.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy. This involves the removal of smaller varicose veins through a series of tiny skin punctures.

We Can Help!

Your leg and foot solutions live here. Whether you have a severe case or mild spider veins, you can rest easy knowing we’re able and happy to solve all your foot care needs.

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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. 

Fresh ripe black cherries background Top view Close up

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 Best Shoes For Your Everyday

We’ve all been there — the season is changing, temperatures are dropping and it may snow soon. Therefore, you have to buy some new shoes or boots to adjust. You may also need some new shoes for exercise, or for the workplace. This should be a fun task, but it can be difficult to make the right choices.

Likewise, footwear can also be pricy, and that’s why it’s best to look at the task of purchasing footwear from all angles. You should invest in high quality products rather than frequently buying cheaper products, only to have to replace them in a couple of months. This cycle of repeatedly replacing shoes will end up costing you more money in the long run, not to mention the cost of your foot health. Bad shoes can lead to a wide array of painful Foot conditions, so it’s better to have a few more expensive staples on hand that will last you for years and treat your feet with kindness. Rest assured, you can also maintain your foot health while Still being fashionable!

In this article, we’ll go over the staples you should keep on hand, and the beneficial footwear brands we recommend.

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The Main Types of Shoes You Should Have For Your Day-To-Day Activities Include:

  • Fall Ankle Boots/Booties – for commuting.
  • Winter Boots – for commuting.
  • Sneakers/Running shoes – for exercise/commuting.
  • The perfect work shoes — high quality, comfortable loafers, flats, sneakers, etc.
  • Sandals – for the summer!

 

The Best Shoes For Your Everyday Brands:

When shopping for your everyday footwear, it’s always best to look for shoes designed to endure daily usage and last a long time. Some brands that come highly recommended include:

 

Clarks

A fashion forward brand that keeps foot care and comfort in mind, Clarks curate the perfect shoes if you need high quality work shoes or everyday boots. Their products are designed with adequate cushioning, waterproof leathers, laces and threads, and maximum breathability. For men, a pair of the Paulson Up, Braxin High or the Bradley Walk are great for day-to-day commuting in the fall, or even throughout winters with minimal snow. The Whiddon Pace and the Whiddon Plain are elegant and sleek choices for the workplace.

Women can tick many everyday shoe boxes off their list, as well. The Desert Mali is a great option for your regular walk around downtown Toronto, as well as the Un Damson Mid. Likewise, the Un Damson Vibe and the Emslie Warren are stylish and comfortable options for the workplace. No matter what style you’re looking for, there’s a great chance you’ll find the perfect pair of shoes by browsing through their options. All options are designed with longevity and convenience in mind.

Check out the latest from Clarks!

Birkenstock

It’s common knowledge that a pair of Birkenstocks are a lifesaver in the summer. One pair will allow you to say goodbye to uncomfortable sandals that cause blisters, foot corns, calluses, and other foot conditions. You may think they’re a summer exclusive brand, but they actually offer sleek, comfortable shoes you can wear to work as well! The Birkenstock Linz Super Grip will provide you with the coziness and quality you’re used to with their summer products, designed for the workplace. They’re particularly suited for those who work while standing for long hours.

Check out the latest from Birkenstock!

Ara

Ara is a brand you can trust to carry virtually any type of shoe you would need. Let’s focus on the winter for a moment though, shall we? It’s inevitable, living in Toronto comes with some harsh winter weather sometimes. The Ara brand carries environmentally friendly and lightweight boots. Moreover, their specially-engineered membrane ensures boots are designed to keep your feet warm and dry. Women can pair the gorgeous Fifi and Fiorella ankle boots with virtually any fall outfit, and then transition to the practical Aralyn or Addy winter boots for when the snow begins.

Check out the latest from Ara!

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Mephisto

For those of us who need a shoe to slip into when you get to work, or for casual walks around downtown Toronto, look no further than Mephisto. Offering casual sneakers, work shoes, sandals, and more, Mephisto promises a “comfortable and effortless walk.” For men, the Vilson, Andreas, and Edlef shoes function simultaneously as work shoes and excellent shoes for walking. The same can be said for the Rebeca Perf, Liria and Thea shoes for women.

Mephisto guarantees quality by using only the finest materials, such as high quality leathers, cork and natural rubber. What’s more, their SOFT AIR midsole design is tailored to prevent the onset of pain in your feet, joints and back.

Check out the latest from Mephisto!

Asics

A high quality pair of running shoes are a must if you lead an active lifestyle. Known for their soft cushioning and performance enhancement, a pair of Asics will last for years. The Gel-Kayano 27, Gel-Nimbus 22 and the Gel-Cumulus 22 are just a few examples of their running shoes. Other notable features of their designs, made for both men and women, include:

  • GEL technology
  • Soft and breathable design
  • Supportive and adaptable fit
  • Reduced pressure on weight bearing parts of the foot
  • Soft cushioning
  • Lightweight outsole reduces the overall level of wear
  • Suitable for beginner runners and experienced runners

Check out the latest from Asics!

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We’ve Got You Covered! 

We carry all the brands mentioned above at our Toronto foot clinic! Stop by to inquire about a new pair of shoes, or even a Shoe fitting. We’re confident in our ability to help solve your footwear concerns. 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!

Surprising DIY Additions to Your Foot Baths

Our Feet Are Overworked, Underpaid, and Fed Up with The Neglect! 

 

Show your tootsies some TLC by making foot baths a regular practice within your wellness routine. Depending on your foot conditions, you can tailor a custom blend to your needs. You can play around with everyday products you already own. We also offer Gehwol’s range of products here at Feet First. I am often running around (literally) or in the gym, so my feet take a beating with each foot strike. I require a good soak to alleviate any strain felt and help to soften the callouses built up over the activity and switching footwear regularly. 

Foot Bath Recipe

Okay, truthfully, I rarely measure anything, but these are good rough estimates. Liken your ratios to the tub you are using. Mine is small and basic, so I tend to add the ACV accordingly based on the chemical reaction from the baking soda. Science is fun! I will sit and soak my feet for up to a half-hour, and this combination is both soothing to aching feet and softening. Follow-up with a quick rinse, some cream, and you will not believe the difference. Bonus points for using a foot scrub or a pumice stone on those stubborn spots.

The Beneficial Ingredients in This Bath: 

 

Epsom Salt

The favourite child when it comes to alleviating aches and pains in your joints and muscles. A natural anti-inflammatory, the salt acts as a drawing agent once dissolved in the water. It begins to release magnesium and sulfate ions for super effective detoxification.

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV if you’re cool. My mornings always start with a litre of water and a shot of this legendary vinegar. The ritual partnered with my coffee is so beloved, that I began experimenting with external use. This powerful cleanser and detoxifier, ACV has the power to help you with fungal issues, bad odor, and even soothing to your dry and cracked heels. I can attest to the magic it brings into my daily wellness routine, and it has been a gamechanger for the softening of my feet.

Baking Soda

Along with their best friend above, baking soda is a great softener, and exfoliant. The skin on your feet is naturally rougher and less susceptible to scrubbing with the fine grain as opposed to your face for example, but the soaking is a powerful tool.

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Here are some other ingredients to play around with that you likely have in your home already:

 

Coconut Oil

A popular moisturizer (just be sure to throw some socks on after to prevent slipping) that also helps to kill bacteria and fungi. When heated, it is a great liquid to add to your foot bath.

Citrus Fruits

You could be fancy and float the slices atop the water or squeeze them for more functionality. The alkalinity offered by a lemon or lime will offer detoxification for your feet in addition to a pleasant aroma. 

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Essential Oils

A quick and easy addition to your soak. Tea Tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender are great choices. All are cooling and have anti-fungal properties. They also, of course, will make for a pleasant fragrance in the room.

Listerine

The most interesting option I have found, but have yet to experiment with. Particularly, the original yellow bottle is recommended. By mixing the mouthwash with white vinegar and hot water, it apparently creates a salon-grade soak, priming your feet for exfoliation with your pumice stone.

Questions/Concerns?

If you are having a little more trouble with your feet, come to say hello! We offer Medical Pedicures here at the Feet First Clinic. Think of it as a relaxing way toward supporting your foot health.

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

 

Why do I Have Foot Pain in the Morning?

Let’s be real, many of us dread waking up early in the morning. Likewise, ongoing foot pain that flares up in the morning can make this even more difficult. You may not want to leave bed at all when it’s something you’ve been tolerating for a while. You may notice pain as early as when you get out of bed and take your first steps, or during your early morning commute. Foot pain can be worse in the mornings because of low blood circulation to your legs and feet when your body is at rest. Additionally, foot pain that is worse in the morning can be caused by several foot conditions and lifestyle factors. We will cover some of those in this article, and also look to brighten your mornings by suggesting ways you can take action!

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Conditions that Cause Morning Foot Pain

Common foot conditions often feel worse in the morning, and you may be experiencing symptoms of:

Plantar Fasciitis

Pain associated with plantar fasciitis is often worse in the mornings and mainly affects the heel of the foot. The plantar fascia ligament is one of the driving forces behind your foot functionality, as the tissue connects your toes to the bone of the heel. If you have plantar fasciitis, this means that the ligament is inflamed as a result of too much pressure and overuse. Web MD states that women in their 40s-60s with flat feet or high arches, and who spend most of the day on their feet, are at a higher risk for developing plantar fasciitis. Wearing bad shoes that are ill-fitting or uncomfortable, or being overweight, can also be risk factors.

So, why is the pain worse in the morning? We’ve touched briefly on how our body is at rest during sleep and not functioning in the same way as when we are awake. The plantar fascia ligament is no exception, and it actually tightens while we are asleep, making the pain feel worse first thing in the morning.

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Plantar Fasciitis Treatment and Prevention

If you think you may have plantar fasciitis, you can see a qualified Foot Specialist. They will help you by creating a treatment plan that tackles the issue and improves your quality of life. They may recommend a pair of high quality and long-lasting Custom Orthotics, which will help diminish foot pain. If your plantar fasciitis is particularly bothersome in the mornings, you can incorporate Foot stretching and exercises into your morning routine. The key is to stretch the plantar fascia while massaging the bottom of your feet to minimize pain throughout the day. You should also do this in the evenings, so before and after rest. It may seem strange at first, but you can also put on a pair of comfortable shoes as soon as you wake up. Wearing shoes inside your home all morning can help ease foot pain.

Achilles Tendinitis

Another condition caused by tissue inflammation is Achilles tendinitis, a foot condition that affects the Achilles tendon. Classified as pain just above the heel of the foot, Achilles tendinitis is caused by consistent, rigorous exercise, such as running or walking. While you sleep, there is very little blood circulation to your Achilles tendon. The pain is often worse in the morning as your feet and legs adjust after resting.

Achilles Tendinitis Treatment and Prevention

There are many ways to tend to Achilles tendinitis from home. You can rest with your foot elevated and avoid physical activity for a few days. If your condition gradually improves, you should stretch your calves daily to avoid flare-ups. Likewise, don’t exert yourself too much and slowly ease yourself into your next exercise routine. You can include lower impact activities, such as swimming, into your regimen. Sometimes at-home remedies can only go so far, and if the condition worsens you should see a qualified foot specialist who will provide Foot pain treatment.

Osteoarthritis

If the morning foot pain you’re experiencing feels stiff and lasts for about 30 minutes, it’s possible you may have osteoarthritis in your feet. Your feet are comprised of several joints, and the cartilage in these joints may deteriorate over time and become inflamed. While most people experience arthritis after age 40, it is possible to have early onset osteoarthritis if the joints in your feet are particularly strained. There are direct and indirect causes of osteoarthritis in the feet, which include:

  • General wear and tear (being on your feet all day)
  • Impact with an heavy object
  • Flat foot mechanics
  • High arch mechanics
  • Sprain/Fracture

Osteoarthritis Treatment and Prevention

Over-the-counter pain medication can certainly help you, such as ibuprofen and Tylenol. You may also notice painful Bunions, which can coincide with osteoarthritis. Well-fitted shoes can help with these, and are also an absolute must in reducing foot pain and the dreaded morning stiffness. Those, along with custom orthotics, will help improve your quality of life and reduce pain. Despite these options, osteoarthritis can be concerning and difficult to deal with on your own, so you may want to ensure you’re tackling the problem correctly by seeing a Foot Specialist. 

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Everyday Lifestyle Factors That Contribute to Morning Foot Pain

  • Wearing uncomfortable shoes — you don’t have to choose between fashion and foot heath, there are Fashionable shoe brands that keep both in mind.
  • Working/standing on your feet all day
  • Wearing ill-fitting footwear while exercising
  • Aging — be sure to practice consistent self care!
  • Overexertion without stretching your feet
  • Weight gain — it’s important to maintain a healthy weight for various reasons, and foot health is no exception. Weight gain can cause excessive pressure on your feet and ankles.

At the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own foot health. You can be mindful about your daily activities and try your best to prevent the onset of foot conditions.

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Are you Experiencing Foot Pain in the Mornings? Your Solutions Live Here!

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

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

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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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 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!