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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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Photo by jonas mohamadi from Pexels – Thank you!

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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Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels – Thank you!

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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Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels – Thank you!

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-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!

 

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How to Choose the Right Footwear for Cycling

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

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

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Wearing the Wrong Footwear While Cycling 

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

How you can Find the Right Footwear for Cycling

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

  • Well-fitted shoes
  • Insoles
  • Compression socks

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Shoe Fitting for Cycling

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

Compression Socks for Cycling

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

Insoles for Cycling

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

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels – Thank you!

Cycling Footwear Throughout the Year

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

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

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Worry Not! 

If you’re a cyclist experiencing a foot condition, or if you’re looking to prevent them, we can help! We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortably as possible. Call anytime to ask about your specific concern and we’ll make sure to provide actionable steps towards getting your feet as happy and healthy as possible!

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

 

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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. 

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

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

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

Flat Feet

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

In-Toeing

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

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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:

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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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!

Ankle Popping And Cracking—Causes And Remedies

Does your ankle crack or pop when you rotate it? You’re not alone. Ankle cracking and ankle popping are quite common, and there’s no immediate need to worry.

In fact, joint popping has a medical term. Crepitus is abnormal popping or crackling of a joint, which may be sometimes uncomfortable or painful. There are two variations to crepitus:

  • Bone crepitus: When two fragments of a fracture are moved against each other.
  • Joint crepitus: When the affected joint is passively moved with one hand, while the other hand is placed on the joint to feel the crepitus.

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Why Does My Ankle Crack Every Time I Rotate It?

Ankle cracking or ankle popping can occur for two primary reasons

  • Tendons rubbing over a bone
  • Gas being released from the joint

A snapping sound in the ankle is most commonly caused by the tendon slipping over the bone. As you rotate your ankle, this triggers the snapping or clicking sound. Alternatively, an ankle may crack when rotated because as a force is exerted on the joint, bubbles of nitrogen in the synovial fluid burst. This can happen after long periods of sedentary, or if your muscles are tight.

Peroneal Subluxation / Dislocation

Ankle cracking and ankle popping may be due to the peroneal tendon rubbing over the joint. The peroneal tendons help support and stabilize the foot and ankle, and protects your lower leg from sprains. One peroneal tendon attaches to the outer part of the midfoot, while the other tendon runs under the foot and attaches near the inside of the arch. If either tendon is damaged, or slips out of place due to injury, it can rub on the bone cause cracking and popping. This cause is relatively uncommon, and seen mostly in athletes who severely sprain their ankles.

As you may know, cracking and popping is not exclusive to your ankles. In fact, many parts of your body can be ‘cracked’ in the traditional sense. Have you ever heard of the expression, “cracking your knuckles?” Understandably, knuckles, your hallux (toes), and neck joints can be easily cracked with minimal effort.

Is It Bad That My Ankles Crack?

A common claim to cracking your joints is that it causes arthritis. However, this argument is not backed by evidence. One study on joint cracking concludes that, “the evidence for the association of knuckle cracking and osteoarthritis comes mainly from observational studies that have failed to show an association.”

The truth of the matter is that ankle popping or cracking is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if when your ankle cracks, pain and swelling occur, then you should seek advice from a medical professional. As Healthline recommends, strengthening your ankles with Ankle Exercises can help prevent injuries, like ankle sprains. Ankle exercise can also help strengthen the muscles and tendons that help stabilize your lower leg.

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How Do You Get Rid of Cracks In Your Ankles?

Cracks in your ankle are typically not a cause for concern. If you’re annoyed by the cracks, clicks, or pops, then there are some DIY treatment methods aimed at strengthening your ankles.

Ankle Exercises

Perform these ankle exercises to heklp prevent ankle popping or cracking:

  • Ankle circles
  • Calf raises
  • Single-legged balance
  • Draw the alphabet

Doing these in the morning will help loosen up your ankle and prevent stiffness, especially shortly after waking up. Incorporate these ankle exercises with the other Morning Foot Exercises you perform to start off your day.

Custom Foot Orthotics

If you have chronic ankle pain, Custom Foot Orthotics may be just what’s needed. Orthotics are custom-built corrective shoe inserts that provide personalized support for your lower legs. These devices work to correct faulty foot mechanics and redistribute pressures along the bottom aspects of the foot.

As always, if you have any questions about or concerns with your feet, please don’t hesitate to reach out to speak with one of our Licensed Chiropodists.

Is it OK to Crack Your Toes?

One of the most common joints in your body to crack is your hallux, the medical term for a person’s big toe.

According to WebMD, “as a rule, painless cracking of joints is not harmful.” But, if it’s painful or if there is signs of discomfort, then there may be a greater underlying problem.

Your Leg Solutions Live Here!

Does your ankle bother you? Our team is trained to handle any and all your foot health concerns. From mild, to critical, we cover all aspects of the foot. 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 Winter Boots

Winter is approaching, fast. For better or for worse, cooler temperatures and shorter days are on the horizon. Winter doesn’t have to be a season of dread. Proper preparation starts with your feet. Investing in proper winter boots for harsh conditions is essential for a healthy body.

Here in Canada, there’s no shortage of harsh winter weather. Your footwear should do it all: protect against the cold, be waterproof, yet be stylish. Above all else, your winter boots should be comfortable. After all, you’ll be wearing your boots for 3-4 months, sometimes for hours on end. Canadians Walking In The SnowWe’re here to make your life easier. That’s why we’ve put together this complete winter boot guide. Below you’ll find how to recognize the signs of needing new winter boots, how to choose the right pair, and what’s actually available.

Signs You Need New Winter Boots

Winter Boots In Snow That Need ReplacingThere are a number of signs to look for when considering whether you should buy new winter boots. To start, if you develop any sort of foot pain or condition like blisters, calluses, or aggravated bunions, consider new boots.

Beyond the immediate discomfort, look for signs of muscle soreness or fatigue. These may be signs that your body is compensating for improper footwear, and may lead to problems down the road. Look for these signs that you need new winter boots:

  • Experience Blisters and calluses often.
  • Develop foot pain.
  • Trip or slip more often.
  • Have sore muscles after walking in your shoes.
  • Visual wear and tear on the boots itself.
  • Holes in the sole.

If you experience any of these conditions or problems, book an appointment with one of our licensed chiropodists for a thorough assessment.

Tips for Buying Winter Boots

There are many variables to consider when buying winter boots. After all, you’ll likely want to mix fashion and function. Follow these tried and true tips for choosing the right winter boot for your feet.

  • Arch support: Choose a boot with proper arch cushioning and support to prevent conditions like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Morton’s neuroma.
  • Avoid high heels: High heels can put strain on your hips and feet, as well as be unstable given winter footing conditions.
  • Tread: depending on the climate and your needs, certain treads are more suitable for uneven grounds, more rugged footing, or for walking flat
  • Waterproof: keeping moisture away from your feet is essential in winter. Dark and moist places are a ground for athlete’s foot, blisters, and frostbite.
  • Fit: Be sure your boots have plenty of toe space, especially if you wear thicker socks in the winter or suffer from a foot condition like Bunions, Hallux Rigidus, or hallux limitus.
  • Buying: Did you know our feet are larger in the second half of the day? Our body retains water and our feet expand slightly. Trying shoes on at the end of the day accommodates for sizing.
  • Cost: This is the elephant in the room. Choose a boot that’s within your price range. However, consider winter boots an investment. These boots could last you multiple years depending on the quality of the product.
  • Warmth: If you live in an extreme cold climate, find boots with proper insulation to avoid frostbite.

OK, But What’s Available?

Our clinic take a preventative approach to foot care in which the patient is empowered to be an active participant in his or her treatment. Our on-site shoe store provides patients with therapeutic tools and resources including orthopaedic footwear, insoles, medical devices, and over-the-counter solutions.

We carry a selection of top winter boots from the following:

Below you’ll find a few of our favourites from Sorel, MEPHISTO, Clarks, and Ara. These brands are a mix of fashion and function. Sorel are more rugged and tougher in Canadian winter while MEPHISTO are more stylish and better for everyday occasions.

Sorel Caribou Boot

Winter Boots

MEPHISTO Agatha

Winter Boots

Clarks Batcombe Alp Gore-Tex

Winter Boots

Ara Aubrey Boot

Winter Boots

Visit the clinic to get a feel for each boot and to try on a pair. The clinic is open six days a week including on Saturday to accommodate your schedule.

Avoid The Winter Blues—Visit Feet First Clinic For Your Winter Boots Needs

If you’re looking for tips on how to prepare for winter, book an appointment with one of our Licensed Chiropodists for a thorough assessment or visit the clinic to browse our wide range of footwear options.

From leading brands to Shoe Fitting to Custom Foot Orthotics, we’re your one-stop shop for your footwear needs. Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

I Have Curled Toes — Is There Something Wrong?

“I have curled toes. Is there something wrong with my feet?” Everyones’ toes come in different shapes and sizes. Long, short, stubby, curled, straight. Just because your feet are a certain way, doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong. Curled toes are characterized by your toes bending downwards. Typically your joints at the end or middle of the toe cause the downward trend.

Curled Toes: What Are They?

Curled Toes

There are a number of conditions associated with curled toes. Everything – from your shoes to your lifestyle – affect our feet in different ways. It’s important to identify the known symptoms to diagnose the condition.

The following three Toe Deformities are curled toes.

Hammertoes

The smallest four toes of each foot have three bony segments connected by two joints. A Hammertoe has an abnormal bend in the middle joint of the toe. This term describes all lesser toe deformities. The second toe is most often affected. If your second toe is the longest of all five, then hammertoe is more likely. Hammertoe can affect one or more toes and can either be flexible or rigid.

Claw Toe

A claw toe has an abnormal bend in both the middle joint and the last joint closest to the toenail of a toe. Claw toe occurs mostly in the second through fifth toes.

Mallet Toe

A mallet toe has an abnormal bend in the joint of the toe that is closest to the toenail.

Curled Toes: Causes

Your Shoes

Most often, curled toes develop over time from wearing Footwear that’s too short, narrow, tall, or pointy. If you’re a runner, ill-fitting shoes can exacerbate the problem even more considering the impact and duration of exercise. Ill-fitting shoes crowd the toes, causing the tendons of the toes to contract and tighten. Extended time in this position causes a shift in the shape of your foot, curling your toes. Additionally, high arches and Bunions reduce the room in your shoe’s toe box. For these reasons, people with high arches and bunions may be more prone to curled toes.

To solve these problems, get a proper footwear fitting. In fact, ill-fitting shoes that are the leading cause of foot pain and foot problems and eight out of 10 people’s shoes fit incorrectly.Curled Toes

Shoe Fitting sessions are done at your local shoe store, including here at Feet First Clinic. We offer every customer a comprehensive footwear assessment free of charge to ensure that you invest in the healthiest footwear for your unique feet. Our footwear specialists and chiropodists will help match your foot shape, structure, and alignment to specific shoes and footwear features that answer to your corrective, supportive, or accommodative needs.

Other Reasons

Alternatively, muscle imbalances can cause curled toes. These imbalances can occur due to a variety of reasons including faulty biomechanics, long toes, neuromuscular disease, systemic conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes), and and genetics.

Treatment for Curled Toes

Footwear

As mentioned, the best treatment for curled toes is to invest and choose the proper footwear. If necessary, custom foot orthotics may be of benefit as well depending on your gait and foot type. Visit us in-store at 2481 Bloor St. W in Toronto. We’re open six days a week.  Looking for footwear? No appointment necessary, and we carry Industry-leading Products.

Exercises

At-home exercises and stretches are the best form of DIY to help prevent and treat curled toes. Mix any number of these stretches and exercises into your routine to better the health of your feet.

  • Stretch your toes: If your curled toes are flexible, stretch your toes as straight as possible and hold for 5-10 seconds. Avoid this if it’s too painful, but once those tendons shorten, or shorten the reps before building up to longer time.
  • Toe Lifts: Raise your toes off the ground and lower. Repeat 10-15 times. Make an effort to spread your toes when doing the lifts for additional benefit.
  • Floor Grips: With your feet flat on the floor, grip the ground with your toes to move forward. Moving ahead even a few centimetres at a time will be a challenge.
  • Marble pickup: Place any number of marbles on the ground and pick them up with your toes. This will help extend the range of motion of your toes and strengthen the tendons and ligaments in your toes
  • Towel curls: Place a towel on the ground and scrunch it with your toes. Aim to curl up the toe.

Curled Toes? We’re Here To Help!

If you have curled toes and want to discuss your options, book an appointment with one of our Licensed Chiropodists for a thorough assessment to determine an appropriate treatment plan.

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