Conditions & Treatments

This category outlines some common conditions and treatments related to lower limb health.

How To Care For Foot Corns And Calluses

Six Tips on Caring for Foot Corns and Callusing

It’s an icky topic I know, but many of us have foot corns and callusing which can be uncomfortable and painful. Here are a few tips to help care for your feet and reduce the inflamed area.

Corns and calluses are a thickening of the skin as a reaction to abnormal pressure. This can be caused by footwear that is too tight, walking on rough surfaces or your individual bone structure. The body attempts to protect itself by forming a layer of armor, but often the result can be very painful. Here’s what to do for prevention and treatment:

  1. Pumice the area every few days after a bath or shower. (Do not try to remove them yourself with a knife or razor blade, especially if you are diabetic.)
  2. Moisturize the area every day (Vick’s Vapor Rub is a good treatment).
  3. Wear shoes that are the proper width as well as length. When buying new shoes, look for a shoe company that offers their styles in different widths.
  4. Try a gel corn pad or toe sleeve over the corn or callused area to ad a buffer between the sensitive area and your footwear.
  5. For stubborn corns and callusing, see a footcare nurse regularly for deep treatment on the area.
  6. Consider seeing a Pedorthist for recommendations on custom orthotics as these devices can help to ‘off-load’ weight from the sensitive area.

Feel free to contact us anytime for more questions about caring for foot corns and callusing.

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What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Your plantar fascia is a fairly thin, but wide band of tissue that begins at the bottom of your heel and inserts underneath the toes. The plantar fascia helps support the medial longitudinal arch of your foot. What often happens, due to many different reasons, is that the plantar fascia lengthens and starts to produce pain in the base of the foot. The most frequent areas of pain are found around the heel, although the person may feel pain in the middle or even front of the arch near the toes.

2 things generally occur to cause this pain, you will either develop a heel spur or  you will have micro tears in the fascia. Usually, I will see someone and they will complain of pain in the  morning during the first few steps out of bed or after rest. If this is the case, then it is likely you have developed tearing in the fascia and not a heel spur. Others complain of pain in the heel while walking in the middle of the day, this may be linked to a heel spur, but an X-ray would have to be taken to verify.

The reason you have pain in the morning is because during the night your plantar fascia starts to heal in a relaxed arch position, during the healing process you will develop scar tissue and when you get up to take you first few steps in the morning your arch drops and you end up re-tearing the fascia. After your first few steps the pain seems to get better because the damage has been done early and now your blood is flowing and you are getting warmed up.

A heel spur is your bodies defense against a tissue that is pulling away from bone. If the plantar fascia is very short or tight due to lengthening it will pull the hardest at the weakest link, which is generally at the insertion point, your heel. Your body then starts to calcify a bony outgrowth at that point to prevent the fascia from tearing. Although a good attempt by the body to prevent injury, the person with a heel spur begins to feel pain because they are walking on a bony hard prominence under their heel, ouch!

There are many things you can do to treat Plantar Fasciitis, please check back for my next blog when I will give the many different treatment options in full detail.

Thanks for listening, see you soon

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How Long Do Orthotics Take To Make?

So your assessment is done and its time to send your moulds and details to the lab! Your just so excited to have a medical device to help with your condition that you don’t care what it’s made of…but wait, maybe there are a few details you should be checking up on.  Unfortunately, it can be buyer beware out there so listen up for your own protection, satisfaction and health.

Taking it from the top, your “custom” orthotics should be custom, not a mail order template. They should be made from 100% raw materials and hopefully made in an in-house lab that can fully support any adjustments made after your fitting, in an efficient and timely fashion.

There are few things worse than being immobile while you wait for your orthotics to fly or ferry halfway across the country. By “raw” materials I mean flat sheets of heat moldable plastics that will be heated and vacuum pressed to the cast of your foot. This is where the term “custom” comes in and if this is not happening you are being had. You will be very excited to know that I will expand on various “raw” materials and what foot conditions they are used for in future Tech Talk entries. Stay tuned with your symptoms in mind and find out exactly what should be going into the manufacture of your custom orthotics.

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What Are Shin Splints?

What Are Shin Splints?

What are shin splints you ask? It is literally a pain in the shins, hence the name.

The actual term “shin splints” is a general term for pain in the shin and doesn’t really tell us anything regarding the actual problem. Symptoms include tenderness, aching, pain from heel strike to midstance, redness and even swelling. If you would like to really impress your friends you can use the more “technical” term, which is medial tibial stress syndrome. That also makes it sound way more important.

You can narrow it down to 4 main Causes:

1)Foot Mechanics:

One of the main issues I see when treating clients is shin splints due to flat feet (Pes Planus). Feet that tend to roll inwards and collapse can force the muscles of the shin bone to work harder and longer causing them to fatigue and become painful. A person with a high arch can also develop shin splints as the foot is very rigid and is unable to distribute forces correctly.

2)Sports Activities:

Running, jumping or sprinting are common causes of shin splints although any impact type activity can lead to shin splints.

3)Footwear:

If you are wearing those “favourite” old shoes that you love so much, and it has been about 2 years since you first purchased them, then there is a good chance they might need to be replaced. Further, shoes that do not have good cushioning, heel counters and are not designed for your foot mechanics can lead to shin splints. Now would be a good time to have one of our specialists take a look at your feet and shoes.

4)Tight calves (aka muscular):

Tight calf muscles will actually put undue stress on the anterior muscles of the lower leg causing them to fatigue sooner than they would like. According to Wikipedia, “It may not be obvious why a muscle which raises the toe can be stressed or injured by running, given that it is not responsible for propulsion. The reason is that some runners overstride, and land heavily on the heel with each foot strike (thus, shin splints are a common ailment in military boot camps, where recruits march extensively by extending the leg forward and forcefully striking the boot heel on the ground). When this happens, the forefoot rapidly slaps down to the ground. Effectively, the foot, which is dorsiflexed prior to making contact with the ground, is forcefully plantar flexed. This forceful plantar flexion of the foot causes a corresponding rapid stretch in the attached muscles. A reflex in the muscles responds, causing a powerful contraction. It is this eccentric contraction which leads to muscle soreness and possible injury to the muscle, tendon or connective tissue.”

Treatments

1) Orthotics

2) Stretching

3) Ice

4) Rest

5) NSAIDS

6) Footwear

7) Physiotherapy

8) Heat

9) Taping

10) Massage

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