Foot health isn’t just about the feet: Our feet are our body’s foundation, so if there’s a problem, it can affect the rest of our body. Likewise, if there’s a problem elsewhere in our body, it can increase the burden on our feet and lead to foot issues. Bottom line: if you have foot or ankle pain, or something just doesn’t seem quite right, you can see one of our foot specialists for an assessment.
All of the treatment services at our foot clinic start with an assessment by one of our skilled chiropodists. If it is your first time visiting Feet First Clinic, you will be booked for an Initial Assessment. Our chiropodists also conduct foot assessments for:
- Foot pain;
- Footwear recommendations;
- General foot check-ups;
- Diagnostic Purposes; or
- Any foot-related concern or condition.
Even if you’re not quite sure what’s going on and just want a foot specialist to take a look at your feet, you can come in for an assessment – no referral required.
At your assessment:
- The chiropodist will listen to your foot concerns and take a medical history.
- The chiropodist will then examine your feet. If your foot concerns relate to foot pain, mobility or foot deformities, the chiropodist will also conduct a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis.
- The chiropodist will then diagnose your foot issues and any underlying causes.
- A treatment plan will be discussed, and the chiropodist will make recommendations for treatment, prescriptions, footwear modifications, or foot accessories.
- Follow-up appointments will be booked as needed, as well as appointments for any related services to treat your foot issues, such as orthotics, splinting, toenail care, etc.
The chiropodist can also provide advice as to foot care and proper footwear at your assessment. Time permitting, the chiropodist may also start your treatment during the assessment.
Foot assessments are not covered by OHIP; however foot care benefits and chiropodist services are included in many private extended health benefit plans (see the insurance section below for further information).
Read the sections below for more information about our foot assessments and the treatment services we offer.
Click here to see the conditions our chiropodists treat at our foot clinic. If your foot condition isn’t listed, or you’re not sure what’s going on, don’t worry: Call us at 416-769-FEET(3338) or through the form on our website, and we’d be happy to help.
How Do I Get A Foot Assessment?
To book an assessment at our foot clinic with one of our foot specialists, you can use our online booking form or call us at 416-769-FEET (3338). When booking your assessment, please identify the purpose for your visit so we can make sure we allocate enough time for your appointment.
If it is your first time at our clinic, you will be booked for an “initial assessment” and be required to complete an intake form prior to your appointment. If you’ve been seen before, you will be booked for a general foot assessment. Assessment appointments can range from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the purpose of your visit.
What Happens At A Foot Assessment?
At your assessment appointment, the chiropodist will take you into the exam room and you’ll be asked to remove your shoes and socks. The chiropodist will then ask you about your foot concern(s) and take your medical history. This information will guide what happens next in your appointment and what specific examinations and treatments will follow.
Depending on the reason for your visit, the chiropodist will then examine your feet for the following:
- Circulation and blood flow to your feet
- Neurological status
- Changes or concerns with the skin and toenails
- Your foot type
- Biomechanical abnormalities (i.e. limited or excessive range of motion in joints, areas of pain, overpronation, flat feet, etc.)
If you have issues with foot and joint pain, or if the chiropodist finds any potential biomechanical concerns, the chiropodist will then conduct a full biomechanical assessment and examine your gait. The biomechanical assessment may also include a video gait analysis (read below for more information about the biomechanical assessment).
After the examination, the chiropodist will diagnose any issues and underlying causes based on the examination findings and explain them to you.
The chiropodist will then discuss a suitable treatment plan with you and make any recommendations for treating your foot concerns and preventing future issues. He/she will also educate you about your foot issues, how you can manage them, and the best foot care options for your feet and foot type.
Treatment recommendations may include:
- Exercises & Stretches: The chiropodist will recommend exercises and stretches to help strengthen the muscles in your feet.
- Routine foot maintenance and foot care: Maintaining the skin and nails on our feet is a critical component for healthy feet.
- Prescriptions: Chiropodists can prescribe any topical or oral medications required to treat your foot pain.
- Custom orthotics, insoles or orthopaedic footwear
- Footwear and foot accessory recommendations: This can range from compression stockings, to insoles, to foot pads.
- Splinting, bracing or taping the affected area to keep everything aligned and promote proper healing.
- Referrals and Recommendations: The chiropodists can provide instruction as to at-home remedies and foot care, so that you don’t need to rely on “Dr. Google” to manage your foot pain.
If the chiropodist recommended any footwear or foot care products, the knowledgeable staff at our foot clinic can assist you after your appointment.
For more information about chiropodist assessments, you can read the following articles from our blog:
What Are Biomechanics?
Sometimes, seemingly unrelated issues like calluses or blisters are in fact the result of biomechanical irregularities. Foot issues can be a symptom or catalyst of many other musculoskeletal conditions throughout our body: We use our feet a lot, and when they can’t function properly, other parts of our body, like our knees and hips, have to compensate and pick up the slack in order to keep us moving. This affects our biomechanics (the mechanical movement of the joints and muscles in our body).
If your biomechanics are off when you move, it means your joints and muscles aren’t moving the way they are supposed to. This places excessive pressure and stress on parts of your body that weren’t designed to handle it. If abnormal biomechanical movement is not corrected, the resulting strain on the muscles and joints will increase with time, and sometimes even lead to permanent soft tissue and joint damage. This can not only cause foot pain, but ankle, knee, hip and back pain as well. After all, your feet are your body’s foundation: if there’s a foundation problem, cracks are going to form and the rest of the structure will start to shift and fail.
What Is A “Gait”?
A lot about our biomechanics is revealed by something called our “gait”. Our gait is the unique way our joints, muscles and feet move when we walk. If there is a biomechanical abnormality, it will alter our gait and impact our feet; this will further affect our biomechanics and have a cascading effect through our body.
What Is A Biomechanical Assessment?
By conducting a biomechanical assessment, the chiropodist can pinpoint any abnormal movements that are causing your pain and foot issues.
The biomechanical assessment involves three components:
- Range of motion assessment: The chiropodist will examine your range of motion in all the major joints in the foot, ankle, hip and knee. They will check how everything in your body is aligned and the symmetry between the left and right side of your body.
- Weight bearing assessment: The chiropodist will examine how your muscles and joints behave when bearing and redistributing weight through different movements
- A gait analysis: The chiropodist will carefully examine your gait to see how your feet, joints and muscles move when you walk. They will also look at the way you distribute your bodyweight during each stage of your walking motion. This is perhaps the most important and revealing component of the biomechanical assessment.
Sometimes – depending on the chiropodist’s observations and your needs – the chiropodist may use a Video Gait Analysis machine to help examine your gait.
Treatment and procedures by a chiropodist are covered – in full or in part – by most private extended health benefits plans. Each insurance company has their own stipulations about what and how much they will cover. If you are unsure about your benefits and coverage for chiropodist services, check with your employer’s HR department or your insurance provider. Feet First Clinic can also help you get a policy breakdown on your behalf.
Medical footwear products prescribed by the chiropodist during your assessment, such as compression stockings, custom orthotics, orthopaedic shoes, modified shoes or custom shoes, may also be covered by private health benefits in full or in part. Footwear and foot care products are usually under a separate line item than assessments and services. We recommend checking your benefits coverage or obtaining a quote if you’re unsure about your coverage.
Non-prescription over-the-counter products are NOT covered by insurance.
Book an appointment for foot assessment
You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic. Schedule an appointment by using the Appointment Request form below or contact the clinic at 416-769-FEET(3338).