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5 Standing Stretches For Your Legs

Stretching is not just reserved for athletes and gym-goers.

The practice of keeping our muscles limber and flexible can benefit us all, especially when done consistently. But we all have busy schedules. So, to accommodate, we’ve rounded up standing stretches for your legs that you can do any time, anywhere.

According to Harvard Medical School, “stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints.” In fact, without it, Harvard Medical School notes, “the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.”

For those who sit all day, the importance of stretching becomes even greater. And because so many jobs now are performed digitally, a large percent of the population spends much of their workday sitting down, in front of a computer. With these long hours in sedentary positions, our muscles can become used to one position, making them increasingly inelastic.

To fight back, one can incorporate standing stretches into their routines, whether it’s to begin the day or an addition to their gym routine.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking you need to spend 30 minutes each day stretching. Even 10-20 minutes two or three times a week helps. The key is to stay consistent. Although you may not see immediate effects, the compound interest of the habit will result in significant gains over time.

A few things to consider before beginning a new stretch routine:

  • Don’t bounce. Hold a stretch evenly, as bouncing or rocking back and forth can cause injury as you may stretch the muscle beyond its physiological limit.
  • Consider a light warmup. Warm muscles are better than cold muscles. Even a short five-minute walk is enough to loosen the muscles.
  • Don’t stretch through pain. If you experience pain when stretching, stop. You’re likely damaging the muscle more than helping it.

Now, let’s get into five stretches that are designed to be done anywhere.

Standing Hamstring and Calf Stretch

This stretch targets two muscle groups at the same time. Stand about a foot away and place both of your hands on a wall. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Then, take a step back with one foot, keeping that leg straight. Push down with your heel so your entire foot maintains contact with the ground.

Maintain for 30-60 seconds and switch sides. Repeat 2-3 times.

You feel should feel a stretch in your calves; if not, lean forward slightly. By keeping your back leg straight, you should also feel a stretch through your hamstring.

Standing Hamstring Stretch (One Leg)

Standing Stretches For Your Legs

Another stretch to target your hamstrings. While standing up straight, lift one leg and rest it on a shoebox, or another item around the same height. While keeping both of your legs straight, reach up towards the ceiling, and begin to lean slightly forward. As you do, you should feel a stretch in your hamstring. Maintain for 30-60 seconds and repeat 2-3 times on both sides.

For this stretch, it’s important to keep your back straight and to avoid hunching over and putting undue stress on your neck.

Standing Stretches For Your Legs

Standing Pigeon

Cross your ankle over your opposite leg, just above the knee, and squat down. You can extend your arms out for balance, or be up against a wall for additional stability. Look straight ahead and avoid straining your neck. Hold for 30-60 seconds, and repeat 2-3 times with equal recovery time in between sets.

This stretch works your hips, glutes, and lower back.

For even more stretches, visit our blog on activities that will help you build up strong, healthy feet.

For more information on how to prevent foot injuries and foot conditions, book an appointment today at Feet First Clinic.

Getting Your Feet Vacation-Ready

Anyone who lives in the city of Toronto is familiar with cold, winter weather.

All of the slush, ice and snow can put a damper on your mood, especially if you suffer from phycological conditions like seasonal affective disorder (often shortened to SAD).

To combat their winter blues, several Torontonians will pack their suitcases and take a trip to a tropical country.

However, if you’re going somewhere exotic, there’s one essential thing that you need to do beforehand: get your feet vacation-ready.

If you don’t take the time to beautify your feet, you might feel less comfortable walking around in sandals or flip-flops. Instead of wearing closed-toed shoes to the beach, you should use the list of practical tips that our team at Feet First Clinic has put together.

Our team is made up of a group of experienced and knowledgeable foot specialists in Toronto — we provide high-quality foot care services and products, like customized orthotic inserts.

Continue reading to learn how you can beautify your feet before your next tropical vacation.

Exfoliate and Moisturize

Woman exfoliating her foot with a pumice

Do you want your feet to look youthful and attractive?

The first thing you need to do is exfoliate and moisturize them.

To exfoliate your feet, you’ll want to find a pumice stone or foot scrubber. You can use these tools to remove dry, dead skin from your feet.

Once you’ve removed all of the excess skin from your feet, it’s time to moisturize them. Moisturizing your feet will keep them feeling soft and touchable for your entire vacation.

You should try to avoid getting moisturizer in between your toes — this can encourage fungi to grow. If you have a case of toe fungus, you should book an appointment with a licensed chiropodist in Toronto before you depart on your trip.

Tend to Your Nails

Woman receiving laser treatment on her feet for the treatment of a mild fungal infection in the toenails

When you’re on a tropical vacation, looking down at cracked toenails can ruin your mood and make you want to hide your feet in the sand!

Damaged toenails can also lead to several different types of foot fungus.

These fungi can affect the appearance of your nails and make them:

  • Brittle
  • Discoloured
  • Have an unpleasant odour

Additionally, if you have an untreated ingrown toenail, you need to make an appointment with us before you go. If left untreated for too long, ingrown toenails can result in harmful (and avoidable) conditions like bone infections and even ulcers!

Thankfully, if you contact one of our foot specialists before you go, we can remove your ingrown toenail in no time.

Paint Your Nails

Woman painting her toenails

Once you’ve dealt with any nail-related conditions, you’re free to paint your nails! This is something both men and women can do (a coat of clear nail polish goes a long way, guys).

Not only will this make your feet look better, but it can also give you an enormous confidence boost!

Whether you’re crossing a single border or an entire ocean, you need to make sure that your feet are vacation-ready before you go.

Cold or Warm Therapy: What’s Better For Your Feet?

What’s hotter right now? Warm or cold therapy.

Each of the two methods have their places in treating foot pain and conditions, although the two serve different purposes. By cold therapy, we mean applying something cold – an ice pack, for example – to an area. Similarly, using warm therapy means applying heat to an area through a towel or a hot tub.

Generally, cold therapy should be used for acute injuries and foot pain as ice constricts blood vessels and swelling. Heat has the opposite effect. Applying heat to an area increases blood flow and relaxes the muscles and encourages an extended range of motion. As such, muscle soreness or tightness may benefit from warmth, rather than cold therapy.

Cold therapy

Person holding gel ice pack to ankle

Cold therapy works best on acute injuries and intense foot pain. Why? Because cold therapy helps restrict blood flow to the area, thus reducing swelling which can aid in normal mobility and joint motion. Additionally, cold therapy numbs sensory fibres which reduces the immediate pain and offers you relief. Finally, restricting blood flow to the area means reduced blood loss after an acute injury, such as a twisted ankle.

Apply cold therapy by doing one of the following:

As a general rule of thumb, you should never apply heat or cold directly to the skin. Instead, use a towel or an intermediary to protect your skin. For example, freezing a water bottle and using that on your feet is better than applying ice directly to your skin.

Use ice packs for 5-10 minutes, or however long you see fit depending on feel. Other methods, like a cold shower, can be used for more minor pain, and can be shorter.

Let’s use a case example to illustrate how cold therapy can help keep your feet feeling their best. Many people are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, which is characterized by inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. This often causes intense pain, especially early in the morning when muscles are tense. The inflammation may be the result of overuse – as is the case with runners – or because your overweight, or over-stretched the area causing micro-tears in the tissue.

As a form of treatment, you can use a frozen water bottle as a form of cold therapy for plantar fasciitis. Icing the area this way reduces pain because it numbs the area, and helps in recovery because ice reduces swelling. However, icing can be part of a greater treatment plan known as RICE – recovery, icing, compression, and elevation.

Those who suffer from metatarsalgia, which refers to any pain found in the ball of the foot, where the metatarsals of the foot lie, may also benefit from cold therapy for the same reasons. Interestingly, both warm and cold therapy

Warm therapy

Woman with legs in hot tub

Warm therapy is best for chronic injuries characterized by soreness, tension, and dull pain. Why? Heat therapy improves blood circulation, as it expands blood vessels. Heat therapy also relaxes muscle fibres, increasing mobility. That’s why, for example, when you do hot yoga, you may feel more flexible than a regular session.

Additionally, warm therapy encourages the healing of damaged tissue as blood vessels of the muscles to dilate, which increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.

So, heat therapy is particularly useful for people suffering from arthritis, muscle stiffness and soreness, and chronic aches and pain.

A variety of methods encompass warm therapy including:

  • Hot tub/bath
  • Hot towel
  • Sauna

Heat therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among athletes. Author Alex Hutchinson has written extensively about the benefits of both heat and cold therapy for Outside. In one research-backed article, Hutchinson notes that “eight weeks of hot-tubbing produces really profound changes in markers of cardiovascular health like blood pressure and artery stiffness, perhaps due to increased blood flow when you’re hot.”

Warm + cold therapy together

There is also a warm-cold method that has been popularized in recent years, although evidence of its effectiveness is relatively unknown. According to the University of Michigan Medicine Department, alternating between warm and cold therapy creates a kind of pump. “Heat causes blood vessels to get bigger and cold causes them to get smaller,” they write. “Alternating between heat and cold means the blood vessels alternate between bigger and smaller. This change in blood movement could help reduce inflammation and swelling, and that could improve range of motion in the joint.”

To alternate between warm and cold, you can try contrast baths. This is how to do it:

  • Submerge your limb in a bucket of ice-cold water (as cold as can be tolerated) for about two minutes.
  • The limb is then moved into a second bucket filled with lukewarm (not hot) water, around (40°C), for 30 seconds.

Beyond basic, do-it-at-home treatment, if you continue to experience pain in your feet, book an appointment to see a licensed chiropodist. You can book an appointment below or by calling us at 416.769.3338(FEET).

Running on a Treadmill Doesn’t Have to Hurt

Running is a simple and satisfying way to stay in shape. It gives you a physical and mental rush that you can’t obtain through any other activity.

During the frigid winter months, many runners in Toronto can’t stand the idea of subjecting themselves to the cold outdoor temperatures.

That’s why several runners trade in their favourite trails for treadmills during the winter; these fantastic pieces of equipment are ideal for people that want to run for an extended period without going outside.

However, some runners find that their bodies (particularly their feet) hurt after running on a treadmill. Instead of living with this pain, you should use the list of tips and tricks that our team at Feet First Clinic has put together.

If you’re not familiar with our work, we’re a team of experienced chiropodists that offer a wide variety of foot pain treatment services and products.

Continue reading to learn how you can reduce the amount of physical pain you feel while running on your treadmill.

Don’t Over-Use Your Body

If you work a full-time job, you probably don’t have as much time to run as you’d like. Because of this, you most likely try to get as much out of each run as possible.

Although you may think this is a good thing, it’s counterproductive.

If you put too much strain on your body, you may end up developing ankle tendonitis (also referred to as peroneal tendonitis). Tendonitis can affect several other body parts including your:

  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Shoulders

The symptoms of tendonitis can range from minor swelling to severe pain. If you don’t take care of your tendonitis, it can potentially grow into a chronic condition (which means that you’ll have to deal with it for a lengthier period).

If you have tendonitis or want to learn more about how you can prevent it, then you need to book an appointment with the best Toronto foot clinic.

Analyze Your Gait 

The way that you walk or run has a significant impact on your body. If you don’t move correctly, you can end up slowly damaging your body over time. This will make it more challenging to walk or run in the future.

If you want to make sure that you’re walking and running on your treadmill correctly, you should book a video gait analysis appoint at our Toronto foot care clinic.

For those that don’t know, gait is the scientific term for how a person walks. Your gait can be affected by numerous things, including:

  • Genetic makeup
  • Previous/current health conditions
  • Physical abnormalities
  • Foot, leg or pelvic injuries

By getting your gait analyzed, we’ll be able to recommend the ideal foot care treatments for you. If necessary, we can also design and produce customized orthotic insoles during the same appointment.

High-quality orthotic insoles can make running on a treadmill less painful and more productive.

Before you step on another treadmill, make sure that you keep the tips mentioned above in mind.

Important Facts You Need to Learn About Gout

Gout is an inflammatory disorder caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid crystallizes in the form of urate crystals in the joints of hands, feet and elbows. Gout affects roughly 3 million Canadians each year.

Illustration of foot with close up of build up of uric acid in joint of the big toe

Causes

Gout is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic issues. Most commonly, environmental triggers include diet with foods that have high levels of purines which then break down into uric acid. Foods that can lead to high levels of urate are red meats, seafood, refined or processed carbohydrates, sugary drinks and alcohol such as beer and hard liquor.

Gout was often called the “disease of kings” as only wealthy people would be afflicted due to their rich diet and excessive drinking. The most famous king to be afflicted with chronic gout was King Henry VIII. Genetic factors such as hyperuricemia can impact the frequency of gout attacks.

Hyperuricemia occurs when your body does not filter urate properly from the bloodstream, either from the kidneys or the gut. Another common issue is if your body doesn’t break down sugars properly, this can affect how urate is stored. The risk of gout increases with age, particularly in women. The role of estrogen helps to regulate urate in the body so after menopause, urate levels in women increases drastically. Certain medications may also lead to hyperuricemia, such as diuretics and cyclosporine.

Finally, conditions linked with hyperuricemia are high blood pressure, kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.

Symptoms

While your body is producing high levels of uric acid this stage is called Asymptomatic gout as there are no signs or symptoms. The next stage is Acute intermittent gout and it starts off with a painful swelling in the joint often in the middle of the night. Most people wake up with the feeling their joints or foot is on fire. Gout most commonly affects the joint of the big toe because urate crystals deposit at the furthest joint in your body – gravity also plays a role. However, gout can affect any joint, the ankle and elbow are also commonly affected joints. The pain and swelling of the joints is likely to be severe for the first 4-12 hours and then a lingering pain or discomfort can last for weeks. The affected joints are also noticeably different with a red, swollen, tender and warm appearance. As gout progresses and is left untreated, the range of motion of the joint is also limited due to the swelling and deposits of hard urate crystals lumps called Tophi which damage and affect the joint structure and the surrounding skin.

Gout vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can have similar symptoms as gout but the causes are different. RA is an autoimmune inflammatory condition where your own body attacks healthy synovial cells inside your joints. This attack causes inflammation, pain and swelling and most often attacks the hands, wrists, ankles and knees.

Tests

Gout can be diagnosed clinically with the appearance of a red, hot and swollen joint but as well as the timeframe. Your family doctor will also check for urate crystals by running tests on the fluid from your joint, blood work and possibly order an x-ray.

Treatment

Depending on the stage of gout, your family doctor will prescribe medication to either help with the pain and swelling or to prevent further attacks. Medication to help relieve pain and swelling are NSAIDS, specifically Indomethacin, colchicine and possibly corticosteroids. These drugs are often prescribed for acute gout attacks.

For chronic gout, medications to help prevent further attacks are allopurinol and probenecid. Along with medication your family doctor will advise you to make some lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol intake, losing weight and quitting smoking.

After a gout attack, it is advised to visit a chiropodist to assess the range of motion at the affected joint and see if your gait has been altered and affected.

Things You Need To Know About Flat Feet

Feet come in all shapes and sizes. If you have a very low arch or no arch at all when you stand, you have what is called a flat foot, also known as pes planus in the medical world. But you’re not alone! About 30% of the population live with this postural deformity.

Flat feet can be caused by a number of different reasons including, excessive pronation (the motion of your foot rolling in towards its arches when walking), having a naturally flexible or hypermobile foot, damage by trauma, damage by disease, and genetics. People with flat feet often complain of fatigue, arch strain, calf cramps, shin splints, heel pain, and pain at the balls of their feet. Although flat feet are usually permanent, there are ways to treat the symptoms and manage the condition to prevent future problems.

Treatment for Flat Feet

Custom foot orthotics

Foot above custom orthotics

If you have flat feet, talk to your chiropodist about custom foot orthotics and if you may be a good candidate for them.

Custom foot orthotics help to position your foot in a more optimal alignment, allowing for better support, stability, and balance between the muscles that contribute to its dynamic movements. They can be made to control pronation in the foot and reduce stress, while maintaining proper mobility in the foot. They are removable insoles made custom to your foot and your foot’s needs.

Orthopedic Footwear

Feet in orthopaedic footwear from Birkenstocks

Wearing better footwear can also help to manage your flat feet. Depending on the severity of your flat foot, you may benefit from an orthopedic shoe, which is designed with certain characteristics that make them different from everyday footwear.

For instance, the shoe may have a firm heel counter, increased torsional stability, built in arch support, and come in a variety of widths to accommodate a wider foot. Orthopedic shoes work to support the foot’s structure and mechanics by improving mobility and stability, as well as providing a comfortable fit.

Physical Therapy

Woman with physical therapist using resistance band

With a flat foot, muscle balance is disturbed due to excessive pronation and a low arch profile.

The tendons that run along the arch become stretched and weakened while the opposing muscles on the outside of the foot become shortened and tight. This usually worsens over time. Physical therapy such as foot and ankle exercises can help to strengthen and stretch targeted muscle groups. See our blog post on Daily Feet Exercises for more information on exercises you can try to keep your feet strong and healthy.

Taping is another mode of physical therapy that may be used to help manage your symptoms associated with flat feet. It involves placing strips of athletic tape on your body in specific directions to help control pronation and support your joints, muscles, and tendons.

If you or a loved one has flat feet, book an appointment with one of our Licensed Chiropodists for a one on one consultation.

Call Feet First Clinic today!

At home Sprained Ankle & Foot Exercises

With the New Year many flock to the gyms or get their resolutions ready. Why not take 10 minutes out of your day to start taking care of your feet as well.

It has been proven that foot exercises help increase mobility, prevent injury, increase circulation and resolve many foot issues.

Here are some exercises you can do at home:

Heel raise and toe curls

Toe raises and curls

Start in a seated position barefoot, raise your legs on your toes and hold for 10 seconds. With your toes weight bearing, curl your toes as if you are gripping the floor and repeat 5-10 times, holding for 10 seconds.

Toe splay and crunch

Toe splay

In a seated position barefoot, balance your feet on your heels and spay your toes for 10 seconds and then grip, like creating a fist with your toes. Repeat 5-10 times on each foot.

Scrunching towel on floor with toes

Towel pick up

Barefoot again, throw a towel on the ground and start gripping and releasing the towel with your toes until it is bunched up underneath your feet. Next, use your toes to straighten the towel. Repeat 5-10 times.

sand-walking

Sand walking

Find a carpeted area in your house and walk around barefoot trying to grip the floor with every step and feel the surface throughout your whole foot. Be mindful of gripping the ground and pushing off with force at your big toe. If you don’t have any carpet around your house, then walk around barefoot but try to make as little sound as possible when walking. Silent walking allows your foot to grip the ground with full force and transfers energy through every step (same as sand walking).

Ankle rolling

Ankle rolling

This can be done at a desk, while watching tv or before bed. Raise your legs so your feet are not touching the ground and roll your ankles 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise. This exercise helps promote circulation and prevent limitation at the ankle ligaments and muscles of the foot.

Ankle spellingAnkle spelling

With your leg raised and your foot pointed, spell out your full name with one leg and then the next. The movement should be centred around your ankle. Again, this helps improve flexibility and circulation at the ankle.

Calf stretch by dropping and lifting heel on the edge of stairsCalf stretches

Stretching out your calves is a very important exercise as it helps loosen up your posterior compartment of your leg which is also attached to the bottom of your foot. These exercises include using a rubber band around the bottom of your foot and keeping your leg straight while pulling on the band. Another exercise is standing at the edge of stairs and dropping your heels.

Heel raisesHeel raises

While barefoot, stand flat on the ground and raise your heels so you are standing on the tips of your toes. Drop your heels and repeat this exercise 5-10 times and hold the last one for 10 seconds. You can work your way up to doing single heel raises – standing on one leg and raising your heels.

Alternate toe raisesToe raises

This is the ultimate toe-yoga move, often times called the Sun-salutation for your toes. With your bare feet firmly planted on the ground, raise just your big toe up (giving thumbs up) and keep your lesser toes firmly planted on the ground. Hold for 10 seconds. Then reverse, keeping your big toe firmly planted on the ground, and raise your lesser toes. Don’t worry if you can’t get this right away, sometimes it takes a little practice or even using your hands to help.

New Foot Care Routine

What better way to start off the new year right than by getting some new self care routines. Here are some tips on new foot routines to get you feeling your best:

Start off with a foot soak

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Gehwol Fusskraft Herbal Bath

Foot soaks are known to soothe muscles, hydrate your skin, and relax sore feet. Gehwol Fusskraft Herbal Bath has natural herbal extracts such as rosemary, mountain pine, lavender and high levels of urea which helps alleviate a lot of foot problems. This herbal foot soak ensures that calluses will be softened and strong odours will be eliminated.

An alternative but equally effective product is the Gehwol Bath Salts with rosemary extract which thoroughly cleanse your skin, strengthen your skin and improve circulation.

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Gehwol Bath Salts

Exfoliate

After a good 15 minute foot soak, take your favourite pumice stone or foot scrub and exfoliate and polish your feet, especially the heels. Exfoliating your feet keeps them healthy by removing all of the dead skin. Dead skin can form calluses, build up bacteria and can clog pores. When dead skin accumulates along with a lack of proper hydration, you run a higher risk of getting cracks in your skin which create an opening for bacteria and fungus.

Clip your toenails

After you have dried off your feet, it’s time to give your toenails a trim. Always cut your nails straight across and leave the sides a little longer to prevent ingrown toenails. If longer sides irritate your nearby toes, check the width of your shoes or round them with a file. If you have any issues with ingrown toenails or have a hard time reaching your feet, come and visit Feet First to see one of our Chiropodists to get a medical pedicure.

Moisturize

The best way to finish off an at home pedicure is to moisturize with a high end moisturizer. Gehwol products are designed for the well-being of your feet. Each Gehwol product has high levels of urea which is a natural moisture retaining compound found in our skin. Gehwol Fusskraft Hydrolipid cream is excellent for daily use – it absorbs quickly into the skin and keeps your feet hydrated all day. Gehwol salve for cracked heels is an excellent evening cream especially for problematic dry heels. Gehwol soft feet cream milk and honey is perfect after a foot soak because it contains essential oils that quickly absorb into your skin. Daily moisturizing is necessary especially during the winter months when our skin experiences excessive dehydration.

Gehwol_Hydrolipid_Lotion__98275.1371497410.1280.1280
Gehwol Fusskraft Hydrolipid

Socks

According to the National Sleep Foundation, keeping your feet warm can help widen your blood vessels which helps with circulation and prepares your brain for sleep. The best socks for sleeping are loose in fit and soft in material. Microfiber and Merino wool socks are soft and breathable so they help prevent sweaty feet. Cashmere socks are also excellent for sleeping in because of their high breathability and softness. Be sure to change your socks daily and to keep your feet clean and dry to help prevent bacteria and fungus build up.

Air out your shoes

Before you go to sleep, take out your insoles or orthotics and let them dry. Better yet, spray them with Gehwol shoe and foot deodorizing spray which helps eliminate odour causing bacteria and fungus. Shoes and orthotics can also be cleaned with soap and water without causing any damage. Never place your shoes or orthotics in the washing machine as it can destroy the EVA material.

These new foot routines can be applied on a daily basis or at least 1-2 times a week.

If you are experiencing any issues or concerns with your feet, then come visit us at Feet First Clinic.

Keeping Your Feet Safe at Work

Whether you work in an office or on a construction site, you are always at risk of hurting yourself; especially your feet.

If your job requires you to work with heavy items and machinery, you never know when something will be dropped or rolled over your toes. Similarly, if your work requires you to stand for long periods, you can end up doing some serious damage to your feet.

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Instead of living with the aches and pains, you should make use of this list of effective (and simple) tips that our team at Feet First Clinic has put together.

For those that aren’t familiar with our services, we are a team of foot care specialists that offer comprehensive foot care and high-quality products.

To learn more about how you can protect your feet at work, continue reading.

Avoid Standing for Long Periods

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Many people know that sitting for a long time can be bad for your physical health. However, standing for too long is no better.

When you stand for a long period, you’re putting a lot of pressure on your feet. In turn, this puts a lot of strain on your body and can eventually lead to conditions like cracked heels. This can make standing even more painful and cause your feet to bleed.

Thankfully, there is a solution for this problem — people that want to speed up the healing process and prevent future cracks can add these activities to their foot care routines:

  • Moisturizing
  • Soaking
  • Resting your feet regularly

Invest in High-Quality Custom Made Orthotics

If you suffer from pain caused by foot deformities like bunions or hammertoes, you need to purchase a pair of top-notch orthotics.

Orthotics are made to reduce the pain felt in the lower body and relieve tension in high-pressure areas. Not to mention, orthotics can be customized to meet your unique and specific needs.

If you want something simple and effective, you should consider purchasing a pair of Superfeet insoles. This variety of insole offers a universal fit that can be just as effective as custom orthotics (in mild cases).

Superfeet makes a wide variety of insoles, all of which focus on different activities. If you want something that will make your workday less painful, you need a pair of Superfeet orange insoles. These insoles are specially designed for working and hiking, giving them the ability to support your feet throughout the day.

Wear Compression Stockings

Do your feet always feel cold? This may be due to poor circulation in your feet. There are several things that can cause poor circulation.

Some examples include:

  • Smoking tobacco
  • Standing for too long
  • Sitting for too long
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor diet
  • Type 2 diabetes

To combat poor circulation, you need to purchase a pair of compression stockings. These garments apply pressure to your lower legs. This stimulates blood flow and increases circulation in the lower half of your body.

Aside from improving circulation, compression stockings can also help you deal with pain and decrease swelling.

Book an appointment with us.

Don’t forget to take care of your feet!

Custom Made Orthotics: What to Expect on Your First Appointment

You have been recommended by your friend, family member, colleague, doctor, or other health care provider to use custom foot orthotics for your ongoing foot pain. What are the next steps? Who do you book an appointment with? What will the appointment entail and what do you have to prepare?

Continue reading this article to find out all you need to know about custom foot orthotics and how to be properly assessed for them.

What is a custom foot orthotic?

Custom running orthoticA custom foot orthotic is a device derived from a three-dimensional representation of a person’s foot and also made of suitable materials with regard to the individual’s condition. It is made specifically to address structural or functional foot conditions that lead to faulty foot mechanics and abnormal gait patterns by providing support, stability, and balance. It is a removable device that can be transferred between shoes.

Who do I see for a custom foot orthotic?

A doctor, chiropodist, or podiatrist

A doctor, chiropodist, or podiatrist can write a prescription for custom foot orthotics.

Once you have a prescription, you must book an appointment with a chiropodist or podiatrist to be assessed for your foot concern. At this appointment, the provider will determine if a custom foot orthotic device would be beneficial to your situation.

What should I expect at an appointment with a Licensed Chiropodist?

A chiropodist with patient at a custom orthotic appointment

The appointment will start with a review of your past medical history and the history of your present illness/condition.

The chiropodist will ask a number of different questions including any medications you are currently taking, allergies, symptoms revolving your current issue, occupation, activities, and footwear choices. It is a good idea to bring a list of medications if you cannot remember all of them and a couple of shoes you frequently wear.

You will then be examined. The chiropodist will perform a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis to assess the range of motion in the joints of the foot and lower limb as well as the presence of structural and/or functional abnormalities and their compensations. You should expect your chiropodist to be hands on and very observational during this portion of the visit.

After the assessment, the chiropodist will explain his or her findings and the treatment options available to you, including whether or not custom foot orthotics will address your specific needs.

If a custom foot orthotic is recommended and you, as the patient, agrees with this treatment plan, you will then be casted.

Casting involves creating a three-dimensional mould of your foot using plaster of paris, an STS slipper sock, or a laser scanner while in non-weight bearing position.

Once casted, this marks the end of your appointment. The moulds of your feet will be used to make the custom foot orthotics from scratch.

Manufacturing time usually takes at least a week, at which point you will be contacted to attend a fitting appointment to pick up the orthotics.

At your fitting appointment, your provider will ensure the orthotics fit properly into your shoes and do not impose any immediate discomfort. You will also be given instructions on how to break in the devices and educated on signs that may suggest the orthotics are not working properly. Your provider should be able to adjust or modify the orthotics should any problems arise.

If you would like to book an appointment with a Licensed Chiropodist to be assessed for custom foot orthotics.

Call Feet First Clinic today!