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How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Feet

Pregnancy comes with a lot of joy, anticipation and excitement, but let’s be realistic, it can be quite challenging at times as well. Your body is changing in several ways and you’re doing an excellent job keeping up with it! Despite this, you may need some help with some of the difficulties that coincide with pregnancy. In particular, pregnancy can affect your feet in numerous ways. It can cause foot swelling, known as edema, as well as overpronation, which is when your ankles roll excessively downward and inward as you walk. In this article we will explain how edema and overpronation can be risk factors for certain Foot conditions, as well as how you can prevent and treat them! Furthermore, we will touch on how your feet can grow in size during pregnancy, as well as why this can happen.

Pregnant woman massaging her swollen foot sitting on bed

How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Feet

During pregnancy, fluctuating hormone levels and weight gain can have a drastic effect on the body. The weight gain can cause excessive pressure to be placed on your feet, something that was not occurring prior to your pregnancy. Furthermore, many women complain that their feet actually grow in size during pregnancy. So, what exactly causes that growth? Foot size increase during pregnancy is actually due to the “fluid and tissue accumulating in the lower extremities,” according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle SocietyThe ligaments in your feet will also loosen during pregnancy, which can be attributed to hormonal changes. This also causes an increase in the size of your feet. Your feet can become wider, longer and the arch can become less pronounced, essentially going from a normal arch to a flat foot. These changes, if ignored, can lead to the following foot conditions: 

  • Heel Spurs – a growth that occurs on the bottom of your heel bone that can cause heel pain and swelling.
  • Metatarsalgia – pain felt in the ball of the foot.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue (which runs from the heel to the toes).

How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Feet: Treatment Options

The initial goals you should strive towards should be treating foot swelling (edema) and pain, as well as preventing overpronation from developing into one of the conditions, or one of many others, mentioned above. Reaching out to your local downtown Toronto foot clinic and booking an appointment with a qualified Chiropodist would also help you reach your foot health goals.

The following treatment methods have been proven to help remedy pregnancy-related foot issues:

  • Supportive shoes that can help you adjust to foot swelling and a flatter arch.
  • Likewise, Custom made orthotics and Insoles that can support foot swelling and pain associated with flat feet.
  • Compression for foot swelling, such as using an ice pack.
  • Rest with your feet elevated.
  • Light exercise – strolls around the city during your pregnancy can work wonders.
  • Avoid foods with excessive sodium, this can exacerbate swelling.
  • Compression stockings can help pregnant women maintain proper blood circulation in the legs and feet.

How exactly can a chiropodist help you achieve these goals? First and foremost, a chiropodist can provide comprehensive care by thoroughly assessing your feet and the changes your feet are going through during pregnancy. What’s more, they can guide you through acquiring the right footwear by helping you determine the heel support, cushioning and arch support you will need. Additionally, they can give you helpful tips on ways you can walk without too much pain, as well as simple foot exercises and stretches you can perform at home. Lastly, it is common for pregnant women to experience painful corns or calluses during pregnancy, which a chiropodist can treat. You can read even more on Corns and Calluses, including how they’re treated.

Happy family

We Can Help!

Do you have any pregnancy-related foot concerns? As an expecting mother, you already have enough on your plate. You can rest easy knowing we’re able and happy to solve all your foot care needs! Give us a quick call to inquire about any questions or concerns. We can help you start your journey towards healthy and happy feet during this exciting time!

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

5 DIY Foot Scrubs You Can Make At Home

When it comes to our foot health, winter is a time of year when we should be exceptionally kind to our feet. For instance, our winter boots can often cause Foot odour, and several Painful foot conditions may also be exacerbated by colder weather and wet conditions. To go along with that, many of us are spending more time at home due to COVID-19 affecting Toronto this winter. On the bright side, we have more time on our hands to get creative! If you find yourself at home more often and are also looking to take better care of your feet, you can make your own homemade foot products! In this article, we will outline 5 foot scrub recipes made with ingredients that can mostly be found in your pantry or refrigerator! If they’re not already there, you can plan a trip to most downtown Toronto grocery stores to get everything you need to make these foot scrubs. The essential oils needed can be found online, or in many natural and organic stores.

These all-natural scrubs can become a part of your daily self-care routine, or even be given as gifts! Don’t feel intimidated if you’ve never done this before — we’ll go over the steps to making these 5 DIY foot scrubs and provide you with a shopping list. Moreover, we’ll discuss how these multi-purposeful ingredients promote foot care! 

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels – Thank you!

DIY Foot Scrubs: Shopping List

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Coconut Oil (A large tub of this would be good, as all of these scrubs contain coconut oil)
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Peppermint Extract
  • Epsom Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Orange Essential Oil

How Can These DIY Foot Scrubs Help With Foot Health? 

Let’s get into that, shall we? First, the coconut oil in these recipes has moisturizing qualities that can soothe your feet and help with dry skin, dead skin, or cracked heels caused by colder temperatures. It can also fight against athlete’s foot by preventing foot fungus! Additionally, we all know that eating sugar isn’t very good for our overall health, but the sugar component in several of these foot scrubs is a whole other story! When applied to your feet, sugar has exfoliating properties that also help remove dead skin. Not only that, but the sugar element can help relieve any soreness that comes with several painful foot conditions, such as Plantar Fasciitis, Osteoarthritis, or Diabetes related foot pain.

Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory characteristics, and is a total game changer when it comes to muscle relief and relaxation. It also helps with dead skin removal. For even more relief, You can use it in a foot bath. When it comes to the peppermint extract and essential oils, they’re fragrant components that tackle foot odour and leave your feet smelling delectable. The citrus components can help take on Joint related foot pain. The joints in our feet are affected by such conditions as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bunions and Gout

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels – Thank you!

5 DIY Foot Scrub Recipes:

 

Peppermint Extract + Sugar + Coconut Oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of peppermint extract.
  4. Optional: if you like, you can use green food colouring for that extra minty effect. However, it’s not necessary to experience the medicinal qualities of the scrub.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together – voila!

Lemon + Sugar + Coconut Oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Cut your lemon in half and squeeze as much juice out of one half as possible into the bowl.
  3. Use a zester or cheese grater to get some zest out of the lemon peel, add to the bowl.
  4. Add one cup of sugar. Mix all ingredients together efficiently.

 Brown Sugar + Cinnamon + Coconut Oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Add one tablespoon of cinnamon.
  3. Add two cups of brown sugar.
  4. Mix well, and voila!
  5. Oh! If you’d like to add a little more scent, you can add 2 tablespoons of vanilla to this one!

Epsom Salt + Coconut Oil + Honey + Lavender Essential Oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Next, you’ll add 1 cup of the Epsom salt.
  3. You can slightly eyeball the amount of essential oil you add, but aim for somewhere around 10 drops.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of honey.
  5. Mix well and there you have it, a lovely lavender scented scrub with a hint of honey!

Sugar + Coconut Oil + Orange + Orange Essential Oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Next, add a 1/2 cup of sugar.
  3. Add some orange zest – similar to the lemon in the lemon recipe, use a grater or zester!
  4. Add some juice from the orange. Cut the orange in half and squeeze juice out of one half.
  5. Add about 15 drops of orange essential oil.
  6. Optional: orange food colouring.
  7. Mix thoroughly and enjoy this sweet-smelling scrub!

Please note: it’s okay to do a little eye balling when it comes to amounts of ingredients used! If you’re looking for a smoother texture, for example, you can add a little more of the coconut oil. 

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Looking For More Foot Care Guidance? Look No Further!

These foot scrubs are great, but you may also need to see a chiropodist to receive sufficient foot care. A foot specialist can guarantee that you’re tackling any foot concerns from all angles. Call or Book Today and we’ll have you in asap! Open 6 days a week, we’ll be happy to help inform you and solve all your concerns any day at your convenience! 

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

What Happens During A Medical Pedicure?

A pedicure is a wonderful thing to treat yourself to when you’re in need of a little self-care and relaxation! We’re all aware that many people enjoy a standard cosmetic pedicure from a spa or nail salon, as they’re a good way to pamper yourself. While this is true, did you know that There is such as a thing as a medical pedicure? That’s right! A procedure performed by a licensed Chiropodist, there are numerous benefits to this specialized service, and we’re here to give you the lowdown on how our downtown Toronto foot experts perform a medical pedicure!

So, what exact is a medical pedicure? Starting with a brief description, a medical pedicure is a pedicure performed by qualified foot specialist. It involves shaping of the nails, cleaning of the nail beds, smoothing of any calluses, and a thorough moisturizing session. There are more steps involved to this service, however, and we’ve outlined those below! Be sure to also keep reading to learn how a medical pedicure is a great way to treat yourself, while still promoting foot health. We’ll be sure to let you know why we recommend them. Likewise, we’ll explain these benefits, which include information on how they can prevent foot conditions that affect our toes, toenails and other areas of our feet.

Beautiful women’s feet with beige nail polish on a blue background with lilac flowers. Concept of foot care, summer pedicure. Top view and copy space

What Happens During A Medical Pedicure?

  1. Initially, your chiropodist will thoroughly examine your feet. This will allow them to pinpoint any foot conditions that may be in the early stages, such as fungal infections, Warts and Calluses. Your chiropodist may ask if you currently have any underlying foot conditions.
  2. Utilizing alcohol, your chiropodist will carefully clean your feet so they can proceed with a cleansed base.
  3. With a rounded tool, your chiropodist will cut straight across each toenail. This is a measure that will ward off ingrown toenails and eliminate jagged edges. Essentially, they will start with trimming down your nails.
  4. Next, your chiropodist will clean underneath your nails, eliminating any onychophosis. Haven’t heard that word before? It refers to the Buildup of skin(hyperkeratotic tissue) in the nail folds and cuticles.
  5. The next step is filing the nails with a nail file, ensuring smooth and even edges to your toenails.
  6. In the case that you have calluses (pale, yellow hardened skin on the feet that can resemble Corns), your chiropodist may use a scalpel to remove them, or will simply soften them.
  7. The final step is to thoroughly moisturize your feet! Leaving them soft to the touch. Moisturizing your feet can also Help ward off several skin conditions. 
  8. Now you can enjoy your healthy and refreshed feet!

Pedicure treatment

What Are The Health Benefits Of A Medical Pedicure?

A medical pedicure leaves your feet looking clean and fresh! While this is great, there are many more important benefits for your foot health that come with them:

  • They can prevent ingrown toenails. Ingrown toenails can be very painful, cause swelling, and even lead to an infection if left ignored.
  • Since a medical pedicure involves toenail shaping, this can be extra helpful if you have any cracked toenails, or a split toenail. 
  • Due to the meticulous cleaning and moisturizing involved, medical pedicures can help stave off unpleasant Foot odour
  • The first step, the examination process, gives your chiropodist the opportunity to detect any foot conditions you may not have been aware of. Similarly, they could provide information about the current condition of your feet, and if they think certain conditions may arise in the future. For example, they may notice you have a flat arch, or something else concerning the shape of your feet. It can be an educational experience that gives you the opportunity to ask questions!
  • Similarly, the quality time spent with a qualified foot specialist will allow you to gain insight into your foot health. Your chiropodist may also notice something on your feet you may not have noticed, like a small cut or laceration. 
  • There will be specialized focus on calluses and corns.
  • They are more hygienic than a standard, cosmetic pedicure. A medical pedicure appointment ensures that your foot specialist is entirely focused on you, whereas a cosmetic pedicure can take place in a busy, hectic salon. The tools used are sterilized more thoroughly, and the private environment can make it safer to be barefoot.
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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels – thank you!

Your Solutions Live Here!

Medical pedicures are a wonderful way to pamper yourself, while also being keen to the importance of your foot health! We’ve given you a general breakdown of the steps, but you may have more questions or concerns. If that’s the case, we’re here to help! Located at our Bloor west foot clinic, our Toronto foot specialists are on hand 6 days a week. If you’re interested in medical pedicures or any of the steps involved, or if you have any other concerns, you can call us to ask about actionable steps towards your foot health goals today!

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

5 Foot Stretches in 5 Minutes

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

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

 

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

5 Foot Stretches In 5 Minutes:

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

Arch Roll

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

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

Toe Splay

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

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

Foot Flex

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

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

Closeup young woman feeling pain in her foot

Achilles Stretch

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

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

Bent-Knee Heel Raise

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

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

Woman massaging her aching foot

Have No Fear!

Foot stretches are great, but if you’re still struggling to manage your foot pain on your own, we have all your solutions under one roof. Call or book today and we’ll have you in ASAP! Open 6 days a week, we’ll be happy to help inform you and solve all your concerns any day at your convenience! 

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

 

Banner Image Credits –  Buenosia Carol from PexelsThank You!

Podiatry Podcasts: Wellness, Fitness, Beauty Perspectives

As the world of podcasting evolves, there are more professionals from different walks of life engaging on this platform. Today, with a little view into the variety out there, we here again from podiatrists, engaging with medical, fitness, and beauty professionals. In continuance of the Podiatry Podcast series, here are 3 more episodes for your listening pleasure.

The People’s Pharmacy 

Co-hosted by partners, medical anthropologist Terry Graedon and pharmacologist Joe Graedon, the podcast features a vast array of guests in the different facets of the medical and wellness fields.

Female counselor wears mask during session

In episode 1113, the guest is Dr. Jane Andersen, podiatrist, who highlights some of the most common foot problems seen in her practice, reflective of Feet First Clinic’s specialties.

Looking through their entire series, there is a great mixture of content which attests to the holistic approach to living, and this episode follows suit.

Muscle Intelligence

Hosted by bodybuilder Ben Pakulski, his guests range from fitness to medical experts, discussing optimal functionality for your physical body.

Muscular men lifting deadlift

In episode 139, Dr. Emily Splichal discusses: “Why Orthotics are just a quick fix and how healthy feet function.” Tapping into the importance of your gait and how building healthy glutes impact every step you take. In addition, finding your own primal movement with a gait analysis will help you to increase your mobile longevity.

Fat Mascara

A beauty driven podcast, led by Jessica Matlin, the beauty director of Harper’s Bazaar and Jennifer Goldstein, writer for the likes of Marie Claire and O, The Oprah Magazine, the candid and engaging duo speak to other professionals about all things aesthetics.

Various hair dresser tools on pink background with copy space

In the particular episode curated, #156, they speak to yet again, Dr. Emily Splichal discusses the safe practices within self-care through spa rituals. Learning more about medical pedicures such as what Feet First offers are mentioned as well. Everything from ingrown toenails to discoloured toenails, and making sure you are visiting a professional who knows how to properly administer a medical pedicure. 

Looking to have a safe, and effective procedure on your feet?

Come visit us at Feet First Clinic! We have all-encompassing service offerings to keep your feet mobile and healthy. Our chiropodists and team will have great one-on-one insight for your specific concerns. Call us at 416-769-FEET (3338) and Book your Appointment Today!

 

How To Get Rid Of Peeling Skin On Your Feet

It’s common knowledge that winter has a tendency to aggravate certain foot conditions, and for that reason, we should take extra care of our feet. Peeling skin, Dry skin, and dead, hard skin can become a real problem during the winter, and even throughout the year if we neglect proper foot care. Skin on our feet can build up over time if our feet are confined inside our boots and socks, leaving little room to breathe and keeping them in an environment where there is a lack of healthy moisture. What’s more, if we go too long without proper exfoliation and a decent moisturizing and scrubbing routine, we are likely going to experience the nuisance of dead, peeling skin.

Located on the bottom of our feet, or sometimes on our toes, dead, peeling skin can present itself in several ways. Whether it be cracked heels, peeling skin, or hard, dry and rough skin, it’s a problem that deserves attention. It may persist alongside another common foot condition, or you could be experiencing it for the first time. Whatever your situation, we’re here to give you the low-down on how a chiropodist can help! Furthermore, we’ll be sure to let you know what you can do from home to defeat it! If you combine the two, you’ll be right on track to ridding your feet of peeling skin.

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels – thank you!

Can A Chiropodist Remove Peeling Skin?

Yes, absolutely. Licensed chiropodists are qualified foot specialists and will be able to remove peeling skin with specialized tools and products. They are also equipped to inform you how to use these various products if you’re required to apply them from home. Likewise, Peeling skin can be associated with various foot conditions that chiropodists are trained to treat by incorporating medicated ointments, creams, spays, powders, and sometimes antifungals. These conditions include, but are not limited to, the following:

Is There Anything I Can Do At Home To Prevent And Remove Peeling Skin On My Feet?

Definitely! It’s always a good idea to maintain your “homework” when it comes to foot care, and your chiropodist will help assist you and inform you. Some things you can try right away, include:

  • Ensuring your feet have time to breathe. We keep our feet cooped up in shoes and socks for a large chunk of the day, so ventilation is important.
  • Avoid public places like pools and showers, which can be breeding grounds for athlete’s foot, and even Plantar warts. If you’re unable to avoid them, make sure to shield your feet with flip-flops or shower shoes.
  • Stay hydrated. A given!
  • Opt for lukewarm showers and baths, instead of hotter temperatures. Exposure to very hot showers or baths can contribute to dry, peeling skin.

Let’s also discuss some foot care habits, accessories and products, as well as how to use them, including:

  • Foot file
  • Medicated products
  • Exfoliating and moisturizing from home

Foot File

You can invest in proper foot care and say goodbye to dead, dry or peeling skin by purchasing a Foot file. Not only will you be able to polish your feet and get rid of peeling skin, foot files are multi-purposeful, and are also a perfect accessory that can rid your feet of Calluses and be used during at-home Pedicures. A foot file will have a rough side and a smooth side and is easy to use.

Using the rough side of the file and in a downward motion, you can scrap away any dead skin. For the best access to both feet, use your knee to rest the foot you’re using the foot file on, and then switch feet. For optimal results, you can soak your feet in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes prior to using the foot file. Afterwards, you should be sure to follow up with a good moisturizing regime!

Woman Filing Foot

Exfoliating And Moisturizing From Home

An excellent accompaniment to your foot file is a thorough exfoliating and moisturizing routine. For exfoliating, you can make a homemade foot scrub with epsom salt or sugar, or look into purchasing a trusted product to simplify the process. Creams are also excellent moisturizers. An excellent product to consider is Gehwol’s Fusskraft Soft Feet Cream, which is enriched with avocado oil and other components that leave your feet feeling and looking softer. This cream aims to rid your feet of scaly and dry skin by reawakening skin cells, and also acts as a defence against conditions that cause dead skin. Another plus to this product is it’s ability to ward off calluses!

If the peeling or dry skin is primarily located on your heels in the form of cracked heels, you can try moisturizing regularly with Dermal Therapy Heel Care Cream. Cracked heels, if ignored, can become irritated, inflamed and can even bleed, especially during the harsher winter weather. Not only a great product for your heels, this product locks in moisture and fights intensely dry skin on your feet. The superstar component of this cream is urea, which binds moisture to skin cells.

Other Medicated Products 

You can also opt for Gehwol’s Med Salve For Cracked Skin. The medicated soap, lanolin, and Vaselin in Gehwol’s Med Salve softens hard skin. Furthermore, this product is able to keep dry, peeling skin and cracked heels from becoming inflamed or worsening. Gehwol specializes in foot care products that can do most of the work for you if used properly and consistently! Check out even more of their versatile products!

Foot perfection

We’re Here To Help! 

Do you have a problem with dry, cracked, peeling, or dead skin on your feet? Don’t be embarrassed if it seems icky, it’s widely common and an issue for many! We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortable as possible. Call our downtown Toronto foot clinic anytime to ask about your specific concern! 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!

Staying Safe Through the Necessary Winter Duties

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

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

Mature man cleans snow in front of house

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

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

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

Woman with her dog at sunset

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

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

Winter time

Looking for New Winter Boots for Your Necessary Outdoor Activities?

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

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

Is My Foot Pain Urgent?

It can be difficult to discern between serious foot pain and foot pain that may be more mild and responsive to at-home foot care. Luckily, we’re here to let you know what to look out for when assessing your discomfort. Generally speaking, foot conditions that need more immediate attention from a qualified specialist may present symptoms such as swelling, a complete inability to walk, and symptoms that may indicate an infection. Try not to worry, however, as there are treatment options out there for you. The key is being responsible and taking that first “step,” so to speak, in determining if your foot pain is cause for alarm. Keep reading to learn what symptoms indicate an urgent situation that requires care from a qualified foot specialist as quickly as possible.

Is Your Foot Pain Urgent? Seek Care ASAP If You’re Experiencing The Following Symptoms:

  • Severe pain and total inability to put pressure on your foot or ankle
  • Swelling
  • Signs of infection (fever, open wound on the foot, redness, etc)
  • A recent fall or accident may indicate a possible sprain in the foot or ankle
  • Likewise, a recent fall or accident may indicate a broken bone in the foot or ankle

female office worker finished work back to home sitting and relaxing and feeling feet painful take off high heel shoes using hand massage

Sprain or Broken Bone In The Foot Or Ankle

Your foot pain may be urgent if you’ve experienced a recent accident, such as a fall, and notice signs of a foot or ankle sprain. Clear signs of a sprain include bruising, swelling, and severe pain that completely prevents one from walking. What’s more, even slightly touching the sprain may be painful. If you suspect you have an ankle or a foot sprain, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Failure to tend to a sprain, or ignoring a possible sprain, can lead to such effects as Arthritis in your joints and recurring foot or ankle pain.

Similar to a sprain, a broken bone in the foot will be tender to the touch. It will also be characterized by swelling, intense onset pain, and an inability to walk. Since our feet are comprised of 26 bones, the location of the fracture may determine the severity in terms of pain. Broken bones in the foot or ankle can range from anywhere from the big toe to one of the bones in your ankle joint. It is critical to see a chiropodist as soon as possible if you suspect you have a broken bone. Moreover, disregarding a possible fracture can lead to complications such as a bone infection, or arthritis.

Treatment Options For Sprains And Broken Bones

In order to treat a broken bone or a sprain in the foot or ankle, a chiropodist will need to determine the exact location of the fracture or sprain by doing a thorough assessment which may also require the patient acquiring diagnostic imaging. Unless the location of the fracture or sprain is clear, they will need some time during your visit to determine the affected area. If the fracture or sprain is particularly serious, a surgery may be required. Other options for treatment that your chiropodist will thoughtfully incorporate into a plan include:

  • Rest – this is a given
  • Keeping your foot elevated during rest
  • Soothing the affected area with ice, preferably an ice pack. Compression is very important
  • Foot splint
  • A cast or a crutch
  • When the healing process has progressed, supportive footwear such as Custom orthotics may be recommended to ensure proper rehabilitation

Doctor or physiotherapist giving treatment to broken leg patient

Swelling

Foot swelling can be quite alarming, and could be indicative of a serious condition. A common occurrence for those suffering from Diabetes, a sprain, or an infection, if you notice your foot pain is accompanied by swelling, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Medical News Today states that diabetes patients should see a doctor if there is swelling present in the foot or ankle. Furthermore, diabetes patients should ensure that regular visits with a qualified Chiropodist are a part of their routine. A chiropodist can help prevent complications by attending to Diabetes related foot conditions on a regular basis. 

Infection

Some foot conditions involving small wounds, cuts or other vulnerable lacerations, including Blisters, Plantar warts and Ingrown toenails, can lead to an infection if left completely untreated. Moreover, the following symptoms could indicate an infection in your foot:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Warm skin surrounding infected area
  • Pus from an open wound

Furthermore, those suffering with diabetes need to do everything they can to prevent foot ulcers that can ultimately lead to infections. Foot ulcer symptoms include a foul smell coming from the foot, fluid coming from the affected area, redness and irritation. According to Healthline, “infected diabetic ulcers and bacterial cellulitis require medical treatment.” Depending on the severity of a foot ulcer, a chiropodist may perform a surgery. Other treatment options that tackle infections include:

  • Prescribed medications (pills or creams)
  • Antibiotics
  • Meticulous cleaning of the affected area
  • In the case of an infection caused by a plantar war, Cryotherapy may be required

Ankle sprain

We Can Help!

Are you experiencing severe foot pain? Whether you’re on the mild or severe side of the spectrum, you can rest easy knowing we’re able and happy to solve all your foot care needs. If you think your foot pain is cause for alarm, don’t hesitate to book an assessment with one of our qualified foot specialists. We’re open 6 days a week, and are ready to work with you and get you back on your feet!

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

 

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Why Do I Have Swollen Feet? Causes and Treatments

Did your feet just go from a size 8 to an 8.5? What gives?

Swelling in your feet happens to everyone from time to time to varying degrees. Swollen feet are often caused by standing for long periods of time, or after extending exercise such as walking or running. When your on your feet, gravity pulls blood towards your feet and there can be certain degrees of pooling.

The actual source of swelling (known by its medical term edema) is attributed to your small blood vessels leaking fluid into nearby tissues.

Causes of Swollen Feet

Swollen Feet

Like many foot conditions, possible causes are wide-ranging. If you find your feet ballooning, and are concerned, look out for any of these causes:

  • Pregnancy: A common symptom of late pregnancy is for feet and ankles to swell. This swelling comes from fluid retention and increased pressure on the veins.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: A lifestyle with little exercise means that excess fluid accumulates in the feet.
  • Being overweight
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes: Wearing tight shoes can put pressure on your feet and reduce circulation to the area. This pressure can encourage pooling of fluid in your legs rather than the blood flow you want to aim for in reducing swollen feet and legs.
  • Hot weather: In fact, studies show that Google search trends for ankle swelling are greatest in spring and summer indicating a pattern among the general population. This is due to greater liquid retention in hot weather. In fact, the study found that, “Internet searches for information on ankle swelling are highly seasonal (highest in midsummer), with seasonality explaining 86% of search volume variability.” Although this is not directly related to cases of ankle swelling, it’s well-documented that Internet searches accurately reflect trends in the population.
  • Alcohol: Since your body retains more water when drinking, alcohol consumption can cause swollen feet. If you find your feet are consistently swollen when consuming alcohol, it could be a sign that you’re drinking too much (or too often), or it could be a sign of problems with your liver or kidney.
  • Blood clots: Blood clots in the lower legs can trap fluid in the foot and ankle area as it limits the return flow to other parts of your leg and body.

How Do You Reduce Swelling In The Feet?

Swollen Feet

Fortunaely there are many DIY methods for treating swollen feet. Even better, some of these at-home methods are inexpensive, and highly effective. These include:

  • Soak your feet in cool water.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe and move freely.
  • Rest with your legs elevated.
  • Wear compression stockings/compression gear.
  • Do a few minutes of walking and simple leg exercises: If you sit for long periods of time, make an effort to get up once an hour for a short walk. Even if this is to refill your water bottle or go to the washroom, these regular breaks help with circulation and reduce the pooling in your lower legs.

When Should I Be Concerned About Swollen Feet?

Generally, if you can trace swollen feet back to a specific activity, like hot weather, or standing, then there is little cause for concern. If swelling is a perpetual problem, then you may want to seek medical help to determine the root cause of the condition.

There are a number of foot conditions that can be a greater cause for concern than basic edema.

Types of edema

  • Peripheral edema. It could be a sign of problems with your circulatory system, lymph nodes, or kidneys.
  • Pedal edema.It’s more common if you’re older or pregnant. It can make it harder to move around in part because you may not have as much feeling in your feet.
  • Lymphedema. This type of edema is often causes damage to your lymph nodes, which are tissues that that help filter germs and waste from your body. The damage may be the result of cancer treatments like surgery and radiation.

Blood clots

Blood clots are of great concern. Not only do blood clots cause swelling in your legs (and in other parts of your body), these clots can be life-threatening. If not addressed, a blood clots can travel to the heart and lungs and be fatal. Watch for specific signs of blood clots including swelling in one leg, a low-grade fever, and even possible changes in colours to your affected legs. Call your doctor immediately if you suspect this foot condition, even if it’s just to be safe.

Can high blood pressure cause swollen feet?

Swollen Feet

Swollen feet can be a side effect of certain drugs meant for treating diabetes. For example, calcium-channel blockers for treating high blood pressure may be a culprit. You may want to ask your doctor about dosage and the type of medication if you find that the swelling is out of control or bothersome. (Swollen feet can add not insignificant weight to your body, and make walking difficult.)

People with diabetes also have an increased risk of infection, which can cause swollen feet.

Reduce Swollen Feet With Expert Advice

We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortable 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 Click Above to Book Your Assessment Today!

Stubbed Toe: What To Do When It Happens

Bang. Ouch. Did you hear that? That’s you stubbing your toe. A stubbed toe occurs when you least expect it; this pesky situation is bound to occur a few times a year. Even when we’re extra careful, it seems to happen on occasion. But you can stub your toe outside the house as well, whether it’s playing sports, or at work.

The pain is intense, your toe swells like a balloon, and the area is throbbing. What do you do? One thing’s for sure: you need to do something. Even it that means intentionally doing nothing at all.

What Classifies as a Stubbed Toe?

Stubbed Toe

A stubbed toe occurs any time you jam your toe against another object. This is a trauma injury, meaning it’s a physical injury of sudden onset and severity. It happens at once. Whereas other foot conditions develop over time, like bunions, hallux rigidus, or plantar fasciitis.

Alternatively, you may stub your toe on itself. If you’re ever run around in sand, or barefoot on grass, you know what we mean. The latter is often known as turf toe, a sprain of the big toe joint resulting from injury during sports activities.

When you stub your toe, any one of the following may occur:

  • Throbbing toe pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising (including discolouration)
  • Bleeding from the nail bed (subungual hematoma)
  • Trouble walking
  • Trouble comfortably putting on a shoe, or socks

There’s actually a reason why stubbed toes hurt so much. According to one doctor, it’s the nerve receptors that are damaged when you stub your toe. “Each digit has two nerves, one on either side,” Dr. Botek says. “So no matter where you hit your toe or how you stub it, it’s going to affect a nerve impulse from your toe to your brain.”

How Long Does it Take For a Stubbed Toe to Heal?

Stubbed Toe

Recovery can vary depending on the severity of the injury. A hard and fast rule regardless of the extent of the injury is to follow the RICE method. RICE stands for:

  • Rest. The one thing you should always do is the absence of doing anything at all. Take a rest. Take weight off your foot and sit down immediately. Avoid any strenuous exercise until the swelling and throbbing has subsided.
  • Ice. Use an ice pack (no direct contact with actual ice to the skin) to reduce swelling. This should also help with pain management.
  • Compression. Wrap your toe if necessary with a compression garment. This will help stabilize your toe, and reduce swelling.
  • Elevation. Elevate your feet to above your heart, whether that’s lying down or sitting down with your feet up on an object. This will encourage blood flow and help reduce swelling.

Anti-inflammatories can also help lessen the pain, and reduce swelling. Additionally, you can use medical tape or bandage to wrap the affected toe with the neighbouring joint. This brace will help stabilize the toe (courtesy of its neighbour), and can prevent further damage through aggravation.

There are a few changes you can make around the house to make stubbed toes less likely. These include:

  • Avoid walking barefoot
  • Be mindful of “stub-worthy” objects, such as bed frames, floor boards, and chair legs, especially when you’re in a rush. Alternatively, cover the bottoms of the objects with something that would physically block you from stubbing your toe
  • Wear closed-toe shoes
  • Wear protective shoes if on the job site

Stubbed Toe

If your toe is broken, a realistic timeline for recovery is 4-6 weeks. Whereas with a sprain, or a minor strain, you may look at a few days to 1 week of recovery time. With a sprain, or strain, the immediate pain from the stubbed toe should dissipate rather quick, and transition to a dull pain or feeling. With a break, you may experience uncomfortable pain for days, even weeks, as the bone heals.

Is My Toe Broken or Stubbed?

This is tricky because self-diagnosing a stubbed toe is difficult. There’s only one way to know for sure: get X-rays. That’s not always necessary however since non-fractures often heal on their own. Sprains, fractures, and contusions can all feel similar in some ways. The real indicator is in the length of experiencing symptoms. If pain and symptoms don’t subside within a few minutes, hours, or even days, then the likelihood of a fracture is high. After all, there are 14 bones in the toe. With sprains, and non-fractures, pain typically subsides, and will continue to do so if you don’t re-aggravate the injury. With a fracture, bone only heals so fast, so you may experience pain for a few days, if not weeks. Watch for severe discolouration, pain after a few hours, or a clear sign of a break if you’re unsure of whether it’s a fracture or a sprain.

Can You Break Your Foot by Stubbing Your Toe?

Stubbed Toe

Yes, you can break a bone by stubbing your toe. In most cases, treatment for a broken toe and sprained toe are the same. The time for recovery is lengthened, and you will need to avoid strenuous activity or pressure to it. Your doctor may advise (or you can do this yourself) to use tape on a neighbouring toe to create a loose splint.

It’s not just your toe that’s affected when you smash it. There’s also the skin, and the toenail that you’ll want to monitor.

We’ve Got You Covered!

We’re confident in our ability to help inform you and solve your concern with the least amount of discomfort as possible. Got a question about your toes? Call us for whatever concerns you have, whether that’s a quick question or booking an appointment, and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction!

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