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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.

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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.

Your Foot Care Solutions Live Here!

All under one roof! Our team handles 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 Click Above to Book Your Assessment 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!

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!

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!

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!

Shockwave Therapy For Feet and More

Shockwave Therapy For Feet and More

You hear the term “Shockwave Therapy” every now and then around physiotherapy clinics, speciality foot clinics and by friends! But what does it mean? Why does it sound so cool? What’s being shocked?!

We’ll be covering the benefits and factors involved in the shockwave therapy process below.

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Is Shockwave Therapy Effective? 

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy was originally used in 1980 as a non-invasive medical procedure for the breakdown of kidney stones. However, in the last twenty years or so, it is being used as a method for treating a number of orthopaedic disorders including plantar fasciitis, Tennis elbow, calcific tendonitis of the shoulder, Achilles tendinopathy, and patellar tendinopathy. Many scientific research articles, including a review article in the Journal of orthopedic surgery and research by Ching-Jen Wang, prove positive effects (ie significant reduction of pain and improved functionality) with the use of shockwave therapy as a treatment for musculoskeletal disorders, making it an evidence-based therapeutic modality.

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy 

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a safe, effective, convenient way to treat painful tendinopathies especially when all other conservative routes have proven unsuccessful. It has the potential of replacing surgery for a number of musculoskeletal disorders and therefore, avoids the risks and post-operative care that come along with invasive procedures. Recovery and side effects of shockwave therapy are minimal and generally well tolerated.  

What Does Shockwave Therapy Do? 

The exact mechanism of action of shockwave therapy is not fully understood, but what we do know is that through the application of high-intensity sound waves concentrated to a focal area, a cascade of biological responses is propagated. This in turn enhances metabolism, circulation, revascularization, and tissue regeneration. Ultimately, an induced inflammatory response encourages natural healing and repair of the tendon.

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How Long Does Shockwave Therapy Take to Work?

How long it takes shockwave therapy to work will depend on the indication and tissue response. If improvements are seen, treatment will usually continue until complete resolution of symptoms. On average, shockwave therapy requires about 3-6 sessions, waiting a week between appointments. One treatment lasts 15-30 minutes.

Need a Recommendation?

If you’re in Toronto, we recommend Bloor Jane Physiotherapy as our place of choice for all your shockwave therapy and physiotherapy needs. We specialize in foot care services, conditions and treatments. Often it’s complimentary to pair any treatment to your muscles, with a follow-up shockwave therapy treatment. Unlike most other muscle relief, shockwave therapy is among the most immediate options toward relief.

Steps Towards a Solution

Call 415-766-2050 to Book An Appointment at Bloor Jane Physiotherapy and/or

Call 416-769-3338 to Book Your Foot Assessment at Feet First Clinic Today!

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. 

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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!

Numb Toes — Causes, Symptoms, and Fixes

Numb toes are an intriguing phenomenon. Unlike so many foot conditions where pain is the symptom, numbness is the absence of feeling. And while a numb sensation may not be cause for concern, there are certain instances where it can be damaging.

The most common cause of numb toes is compression. By this, compression means the act of pressing something into a smaller space or putting pressure on it. Typically, ill-fitting footwear or a narrow toe box can put undue pressure on your toes. Given the fact that we wear shoes for hours on end, one can understand how continuous compression can have a negative effect.

Toe numbness can be a cause of concern, but rarely a medical emergency. If you experience numb toes on isolated occasions, continue to monitor your feet. If, however, a numb sensation is a regular occurrence, contact a medical professional for possible causes.

Numb Toes: Why/How Do They Occur?

There are a number of causes to a numbing sensation in your toes. From improper footwear to a serious disease like diabetes, there is a broad range of factors to consider. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list to why you may be experiencing numbness to your toes.

Are Numb Toes A Sign Of Diabetes?

Diabetes Equipment On A Table

High sugar and fats in your blood can cause your toes to go numb. Poor circulation to your toes causes a numbness sensation as it limits blood supply to the region. The condition that causes damage to your nerves as a result of diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy.

First and foremost, ask your doctor to check your blood sugar levels to see if diabetes is the cause. Additionally, you can

  • Check your toes regularly (i.e.: daily);
  • Moisturize your feet;
  • Take care of your toenails, and consult a podiatrist for a plan of action;
  • Wear proper footwear.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a type of nerve compression syndrome which involves nerves in the smaller toes. The pressure on that nerve may cause pain in the ball of your foot. Nerve compression can also lead to numb toes.

Like metatarsalgia (see below), common ways to reduce and prevent Morton’s neuroma include proper orthopaedic footwear, custom foot orthotics, rest (from any repetitive activity like running and jumping), and icing.

Metatarsalgia

Numb Toes

Metatarsalgia, a term used for any pain found in the ball of the foot, can bring a numb sensation in the toes. Typically, pain starts in the ball of the foot, but like with many foot conditions, the end result can be in another part of the foot. In this case, the toes.

Causes of metatarsalgia are typically specific to overuse. For example, long-distance runners often suffer from metatarsalgia because of the constant pressure to the ball of the foot. However, the shape of your foot may also play a role. High arches, bunions, and curled toes can be a primary, or secondary cause of metatarsalgia.

How do I get rid of numbness in my toes?

  • Swap out shoes
  • Custom foot orthotics
  • Rest
  • Icing

If numbness or pain persists, contact us to book an appointment.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a condition of discolouration of the toes after exposure to changes in temperature (cold or hot) or emotional events. This condition is apparent because of its visibility. Your toes may turn white, then blue, and then red as blood flow diminishes, and then resumes.

According to WebMD, there are two types of Raynaud’s Phenomenon: primary and secondary. Primary occurs by itself, and the cause is unknown. Primary is usually harmless. But secondary Raynaud’s is linked to diseases that affect your autoimmune system, like Rheumatoid Arthritis or lupus.

Why does discolouration occur? There is an abnormal spasm of the blood vessels causing diminished blood flow to the toes.

Frostbite

Winter Boots On A Frosty Ground

It’s around that time of year again. Temperature plummets, and the risk of Frostbite does the opposite—skyrockets. Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. Your toes are particularly susceptible to frostbite, which begins when your skin becomes cold and red, then numb, then hard and pale.

The challenge with frostbite is that it starts out as frostnip. Numbness reduces sensation in the toes, and hides discomfort and nerve damage. If not addressed, frostnip can lead to superficial frostbite followed deep frostbite, the most severe of the three stages.

To prevent frostbite from occurring, taking the following precautions:

  • Wear moisture-wicking socks that fit correctly, and have insulation
  • Change out wet socks as soon as possible
  • Watch for early signs of frostbite like red skin, or numbness
  • Keep moving: encourage blood flow to the area

Check out our complete guide on How To Protect Your Feet This Winter.

Beriberi

Beriberi is a disease caused by a vitamin B-1 deficiency, also known as thiamine deficiency, according to Healthline.com. Specifically, dry beriberi is a concern for your toes, as the condition damages the nerves. The primary cause of beriberi is low thiamine. Those with a rich and well-balanced diet aren’t at risk; those with an alcohol disorder, for example. are at higher risk.

Common symptoms include decreased muscle function, pain and tingling, and loss of feeling in the toes. Fortunately, one can prevent beriberi by following a vitamin-enriched diet, if thiamine deficiency is the cause.

Peroneal Nerve Injury

Peroneal nerve injury and its association with numb toes is a fantastic example of treating the cause, not the symptom. The peroneal nerve branches from the sciatic nerve and provides sensation to the front and sides of the legs and to the top of the feet. However, what you may not know is that the nerve controls the muscles in the leg that lift the ankle and toes upward, according to John Hopkins Medicine.

An injury to the peroneal nerve can affect its ability to control the muscles in the toes, leading to a numbing sensation. Or worse, a sharp pain. Typically, injuries to the nerve include trauma to the knee: fractures, sprains, dislocations, and surgery. Common symptoms of a peroneal nerve injury include:

  • An inability to point the toes upward or lift the ankle up
  • Numb or tingling toes
  • Reduced ability to move the foot

If you think you may have an injury to your peroneal nerve, consult a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

Toe Deformities

Toe deformities, like Bunions, can also put uneven pressure on your toes. This skeletal deformity for example can put pressure on the outside of your feet.

Experiencing Numb Toes? Have No Fear!

We have all your solution under one roof. 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!

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!

Benefits of Stretching vs Not Stretching Your Feet 

Benefits of Stretching vs not Stretching your feet  

Incorporating stretching in your daily routine has many benefits to your overall health. And your feet are no exception. As long as you are mobile, your feet, ankles, and legs are constantly working to get you from one place to another all while supporting your body weight. If you’re an athlete or your job requires you to be on your feet for most of the day, the stresses acting on them can increase significant amounts, sometimes even up to ten-fold. 

Here are 5 reasons why you should stretch your feet daily.

02

Improves Range of Motion

With age, the joints in our feet and ankles tend to become stiffer. Whether this is exacerbated by poor foot mechanics or tights muscles, stretching is a great way to keep the joints mobile. Joints that can move along its full range of motion rather than become limited allow for proper heel to toe gait.

Improves Flexibility

Stretching allows the muscle to lengthen and becomes more flexible. This keeps your joints mobile and allows for ease with dynamic movements. It also allows your foot to properly adapt to the ground and absorb shock.

Helps to Keep Feet and Ankles Strong

Stretches such as toe curls, toe splays, toe extensions, and toe points are great ways to activate and strengthen the small muscles in the foot that don’t otherwise get too much attention. Keeping the muscles strong will also reduce the stress placed on joints, which is especially important for those who suffer from arthritic conditions.

03

Helps to Prevent Injury

Injuries to the foot and ankle often occur when the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are too tight. For instance, having tight calf muscles or tight plantar fascia can increase your risk of developing conditions such as Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Stretching these structures will help to reduce strain and tension when they are overworked or overused.

Encourages Blood Flow

Lastly, stretching your feet and ankles helps the blood to circulate to those areas, delivering oxygen and nutrients the muscles need. Stretches should be steady and held for around 30 seconds. If stretching a muscle causes pain, stop the stretch and rest. You don’t want to overwork your muscles and cause further damage.

Seeking a Medical Professional’s Opinion?

If you have ongoing foot or ankle pain that doesn’t improve, seek medical attention from a foot care specialist. Chiropodists are licensed professionals who are trained to assess and manage the diseases and disorders of the lower limb and foot.

Call 416-796-3338 or Click to Book an Appointment Today!