Category Archives: Chiropody

What is your Achilles Tendon?

Tendons, bones, muscles, nerves, ligaments, cartilage….

There are so many terms and word to sort through when it comes to our bodies. Skeletal muscles are contractile. They contract and shorten to produce movement. They contract to hold and joint in place. They lengthen under force as well eccentrically (picture lowering down stairs).

Ligaments connect bone to bone and help secure your different joints.

Cartilage covered the joint surfaces between joints. It provide shock absorption and helps with smooth movement.

Your tendons are an extension of the skeletal muscles that connect muscles to bone. They act with a pulley and lever system to help produce movement.

Forces in and on your body don’t take place in a vacuum. These structures as well as the bones help move you, stop you and absorb forces.

Your achilles tendon is the strongest and largest tendon in the body. It is vulnerable to injury due to its limited blood supply, age related changes and specific activities.

Foot Care, Oakville, Milton, Foot clinic, podiatrist

Injury to the Achilles Tendon:

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the acute inflammation of the tendon. In this case the achilles tendon connecting he calf muscles to the heel bone becomes irritated and inflamed. This is often associated with overuse. This is often from doing more or too much too quickly for our bodies to adapt. For many people there is a sudden increase in exercise activity or intensity.

Achilles tendonitis can cause local pain and stiffness. The first steps after sitting or laying down may cause pain in the achilles area. Walking down stairs can also sometimes be painful or stiff feeling in the area of the achilles tendon.

Achilles tendonitis can be common in athletes like runners, soccer, basketball, and volleyball athletes with running and jumping repetitively. Sudden increases in volume as well as a persons body structure can play a role. It can be helpful to have the area looked at by a Physiotherapist and / or Chiropodist to provide specific treatment.

This type of treatment may include things to address the inflammation and pain in the short term. It will also likely include long term suggestions of strengthening, footwear modifications and possibly custom orthotics.

Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy is a longer term overuse injury of the achilles and excessive chronic stress. Due to the chronic nature of this issue, there may be a range of changes to the tendon. These changes are more likely to happen when there are repeated bouts of tendonitis that are not treated, managed or prevented.

Higher risk factors are obesity, high blood pressure, sudden load changes to the achilles tendon, Type II diabetes, prolonged steroid use, inappropriate footwear, and a family history.

Rupture

Rupture or tearing of the achilles tendon is the most common rupture in the lower body. It its most common in those aged 30 to 50. Patients often describe this injury as feeling like someone has kicked them. They may hear a “pop” or “snap” sound.

Achilles tendon ruptures, like many injuries are multifactorial.

Achilles tendon ruptures are most common in people who are active “on occasion”. This could mean mild activity during the week and some weekends playing a couple games of floor hockey or soccer. There is a small percentage of people (~10%) that report having tendinosis prior to the rupture.

Ruptures tend to happen around 2-4cm from where the tendon attaches to the heel bone.

Achilles tendon ruptures may happen from sudden and forced plantar flexion (pointing), direct force on the area or longstanding tendinosis.

Foot and ankle position as well as systemic factors can predispose someone to achilles tendon issues. It is important to treat and have best control of all factors for best healing of the area. Some system issues predisposing a person to achilles issues are diabetes, renal failure, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, thyroid issues etc.

If you have been having heel or achilles pain that is ongoing, progressing or off and on, one of our North Oakville Physiotherapists or Chiropodists would be happy to assess you. They will take your health history, watch how you stand, move and walk and assess the area.

This thorough and individualized assessment will provide them an idea of factors leading to your achilles pain / dysfunction and allow them to give you individualized advice and treatment. Most insurance benefits cover physiotherapy and/or chiropodist assessments and treatments. At our Oakville clinic we are able to provide direct billing to most insurance companies.

Contact us to book your in person physio or Chiropody appointment at our North Oakville Clinic or virtual physiotherapy appointment.

Winter Foot Care Tips from an Oakville Foot Clinic

It has been COLD in Oakville and Halton lately!

it is easy to remember to care for your feet in the summer months because we see them more, but is just as important to look after your feet in the winter!

Here are some Chiropodist tips from our North Oakville foot clinic on how to care for your feet in the winter.

Keep your feet warm

Proper footwear and socks are vital in the cold weather.

Your shoes and boots should be covered all around and have a thick sole. The treads of your sole should be deep and ridged to help with grip and prevent slipping on snow and ice. There are also grippers that fit over your soles should you need to leave the home in more slippery conditions.

Wear warm socks that still breath. Wool socks are excellent for temperature regulation and wishing sweat away to prevent dampness.

People who have circulation issues, diabetes and other sensory issues are more likely to have issues in the winter months. If you have been having problems it is important to seek a solution and work with your Chiropodist to maintain your foot health.

Protect your feet from the elements

Wearing proper winter boots in cold and wet / slushy conditions is impotent to stay warm and for the health of your feet. Running shoes in slushy weather can be not only cold, but dangerous.

Your boots should also provide good ankle support. For more time on your feet, try to stay away from trendy soft walled “boots” that cause your ankles to collapse inwards.

Our Oakville Chiropodists can help you choose footwear that is best for you and your feet.

Inspect your feet regularly

After a shower or bath, before and after bed, are all great times to look at your feet. Look around your toenails, between your toes, and on the bottoms of your feet. Use a mirror or a cell phone if you can get to some of these places!

Look for redness, cuts, calluses or anything out of the ordinary. If you aren’t sure bring it to the attention of your doctor or book in with your Chiropodist / foot specialist.

Keep your feet and toenails clean and kept

It can be easy in the winter months to neglect your feet. Try and maintain a basic schedule for yourself. The regular foot look over will be helpful with this.

Cold weather can dry out your feet and cause cracks. Also, when your feet are in moist and dark places (like boots), fungus may grow and thrive. This can cause athletes foot and toenail fungus. Wearing proper socks and doing regular maintenance / foot care can help prevent this.

It is much easier and healthier to care for your feet regularly and have routine foot care visits with your chiropodist, than play catch up and treat ongoing or advanced issues.

Our Oakville Chiropodists are here to help with your foot health. We treat patients from all over Oakville, Halton, Burlington and Milton in our North Oakville foot clinic.

Contact us to book your appointment.

Compression socks from an oakville foot clinic

New Year New Shoes?!

The New Year or beginning of the month is a great time to check on your shoes!

How do you know when it is time to switch out your old pair of shoes for a new pair?

Follow along and our Oakville Chiropodist will give you some tips!

How long have you had the shoe?

Your shoes should last you between 500 to 800kms of use. Depending on your training or exercise that is roughly 6 months to one year.

Look at the bottom

Turn your shoe over and look at the bottom are the treads evenly worn?

Are there any holes?

Are there any treads left?

The bottom on the shoe is a key indicator of when it is time to change your shoes up. Wearing a shoe that has worn unevenly or is very worn in general can lead to wear and tear type pain and injuries. There may be less cushioning for the feet and joints above. There may be less grip and your walking or running pattern changes unconsciously to adapt. Wear you put weight through your foot and joints may change if your shoe is worn unevenly.

It is always better to transition to new shoes before it is a problem.

Book in with an Oakville Foot Specialist!

A Chiropodist can discuss with you what shoes are best for you, your foot, how you walk/run and for the activities you use them for.

Bring your old shoes with you your foot clinic appointment. The Chiropodist / foot specialist will gain so much information from looking at you wearing the shoes, and looking at the bottoms of the shoes. They will be able to give you recommendations on shoes that will be ideal for you.

foot pain and custom orthotics in an oakville physio clinic

You do not need to be in pain to access foot clinic services. Prevention is so important. When many people are looking to begin new activities or transitioning with gym closures investing in a great pair of shoes is a great thing to do.

Most private benefits cover foot care appointments with a Chiropodist.

Why a Chiropodist for Routine Foot and Toenail Care?

A Chiropodist is a regulated health care professional that provides medical foot care.

There are regulated by the College of Chiropodists. This means that they have rules and regulations to follow that are designed to protect the public. The most recent that you will notice are covid-19 related. They dictate what PPE (personal protective equipment) your Chiropodist needs to wear and the screening process of their patients.

Along with custom orthotics, ingrown toenail procedures, diabetic foot care, and treating fungal toenails, a Chiropodists provide routine foot and toenail care. This care can be provided to people of all ages.

Hygiene

Your Chiropodist (foot specialist) will clean the room after and before each patient. They will only use their specialized tools on your feet after they have been disinfected and then sterilized in our autoclave. They do not use foot soaks or foot baths with jets as these cannot be cleaned to their standards.

Healthy Feet are Happy Feet

Medical Training

Chiropdists have a medical eye. They are able to diagnoses foot and ankle issues that have to do with the toenails, skin, joints and soft tissues.

The Chiropodist is up to date on the best practices for foot and toenail issues. They specialize in assessing and treating a very small area of the body.

Prevention in your health care and early recognition of any issues are always the best ways to prevent complications. For example, warts are easier to treat earlier. This is also true of thickened toenails, or fungal issues.

A Part of your Team.

Having seen our North Oakville Chiropodists for routine foot care which includes foot checks helps establish a rapore with you and your health. If your health changes or your foot health status changes, your Chiropodist is already aware of you and your preferences. They have a rapore with you.

Showing family activity in oakville from an oakville physio blog
Our Chiropodists treat the whole family.

Private Insurance

Routine foot care and foot checks are usually covered under your private benefits under “podiatric foot care”.

Private insurance benefits recognize foot care as vital for your health. It knows that early recognition of more serious issues is what Chiropodists are excellent at. This is especially true of people with diabetes as well as neuropathy or numbness on the feet.

Our North Oakville Chiropodists often treat multiple members in a family. You do not have to struggle with fighting to clip your childs toenails. You do not have to struggle with self treatment for warts, athletes foot or fungal toenails.

Your Chiropodist will be able to diagnose your foot and toenail issues and provide treatment options that are effective for you.

To book with one of our North Oakville Chiropodists please contact us. We are here to help!

What’s happening with my feet after pregnancy?

During and after pregnancy many women notice changes in their feet.

No, this is not your imagination. Pregnancy has been shown to be associated with permanent foot changes. The arch drops, and there is a loss in rigidity. There is a also an increase in foot length. In a nutshell your feet get bigger.

This has been shown to increase the likelihood of musculoskeletal issues in post-partum people.

The bases that we have been standing and walking on for years have all of a sudden changed. Our North Oakville Physiotherapists and Chiropodists (foot specialists) see may of these people experiencing arch pain, pain at the ball of the foot, and heel pain. We also see women complain of knee pain that wasn’t there before and hip pain. If there were these issues prior, they may even be worse.

There is nothing that can be done to prevent these changes. BUT, we can offer these structures support. During pregnancy, our bodies produce relaxin this is to help accommodate changes and shifts in the pelvis to prepare for birth. The body continues to produce this hormone for those who continue with breastfeeding.

Wearing supportive footwear even in the house will help support the arch and prevent the ligaments from stretching. Adding arch strengthening exercises to allow the muscles to provide support to the ligaments is helpful. Strengthening the hip and large leg muscles may also be helpful for control from above and shock absorption.

Don’t make the mistake of squishing your larger feet into your old shoes. This can make us grip out toes and walk differently. It may increase the progression of things like bunions and hammer toes as well. There is also an increased possibility of bruised and ingrown toenails with wearing shoes that are too small.

Custom orthotics can also be helpful to help support the changing foot structure.

Our North Oakville Chiropodists and Physiotherapists are happy to help with any questions or issues involving pain and discomfort. Contact us to book.

Change in seasons, changes in foot issues.

With a change is season, which seems to get more and more abrupt, our Oakville foot specialists tend to see a change in foot issues.

Moving from winter to summer we tend to free out feet! Taking winter boots off, putting running shoes, and sandals on. We may even spend more time outside and on our feet.

When there is an abrupt change, our bodies may not have time to accommodate as well. Our North Oakville Chiropodists see more people with things like:

  • Foot Pain– This pain can be located in the arch, the heel and even the ball of the foot. It is dependent on activity, what shoes you have been wearing, the structure of your feet etc.
  • Achilles pain – The achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects our strong calf muscles to our heel bone. A sudden change in activity or foot wear can irritate this tendon and boy can we feel it with or after walking, running and often getting up from sleep or sitting for a long period of time.
  • Ingrown toenails – winter shoes and boots tend to be more spacious in the toe box. Summer shoes may be more narrow or ill fitting. This can lead to irritating or painful ingrown toenails.
  • Bruised toenails – a sudden increase in running and walking mileage can create impact with our toes in the ends of our shoes. It is not uncommon to have bruised toenails in this case. With a sudden change in colour or blackened toenail it is best to have it checked by a Chiropodist or health care professional.
oakville foot clinic treating thick toenails

Like most things, foot issues are not a one size fits all approach. The reason for your arch pain may be different than your friends arch pain. If your issue sn’t resolving or worsening it is best to have a thorough assessment by a Chiropodist (foot specialist). They will be able to tailor advise and a treatment approach to you specifically.

They may recommend seeing a Physiotherapist or Massage Therapist (RMT) in conjunction with some of their treatments as well.

If you have having foot problems we are here to help at our North Oakville clinic. We service clients from Oakville, Milton, Burlington and Mississauga. Please contact us to book in, or for more information.

Treatment for Corns – Oakville Chiropodist

Our Oakville Chiropodists treat foot and ankle issues. This includes toenail and skin related issues. One thing people think most about with regards to Chiropody is custom orthotics, but they treat so much more in a foot clinic!

Any painful point, or skin issue on the foot, our Chiropodists are here for you. They are educated for years in the science and physiology of the body, and specifically the feet.

A Chiropodist uses tools that are are sterilized and cleaned in a special place called an autoclave. This is the same type of unit a Dentist uses for sterilize the tools they use in our mouth!

Some people call this type of treatment from a Chiropodist a medical pedicure. This is because while they treat your area of concern, they also give your feet a full “check-up”.

What is a Corn?

A corn is an area of thickened skin on the foot. It is a round area. Corns are formed from repeated pressure / rubbing of the toes on each other or on the inside of the shoe.

Corns most commonly appear between, or on top of the toes, but they can also be on the bottom on the foot and the ball of the foot. If nothing changes with regards to the footwear or areas of pressure that have caused the corn, it is likely they will come back.

Your Chiropodist will advise you on daily foot care and footwear to protect against corns coming back. If you have corns on the bottom of the feet or even the tops of the toes, custom orthotics may be the way to go. This is because custom orthotics help relief areas of pressure and correct fallen areas of the foot and hammer toes.

Corns, in a way, are the body’s way of preventing blisters. They may not be painful initially, but may cause tenderness and sensitivity over time. If you have an area of redness and you have neuropathy (decreased sensation) it is important to have it checked for infection by a Chiropodist.

oakville foot clinic treating thick toenails

Treatment of Corns by a Chiropodist:

As with all people who seek care for foot issues, the Chiropodist will perform a thorough assessment. This is based on your feet, walking style, health issues, footwear etc.

Based on what they find in your personalized assessment, they Chiropodist will formulate a treatment for you. This will likely include removal of the corn and also advise to help prevent recurrence.

  • Advice on proper footwear
  • Custom orthotics
  • Modification of footwear
  • Toe spacers or additional padding

If you have corns or calluses, our North Oakville Chiropodists are here to help. Podiatric foot care is covered under most private insurance benefits. We service patients from Oakville, Burlington, Milton and the surrounding Halton area.

Contact us to book and for more information.

Toenail problems? Our Chiropodist’s can help!

Chiropodist’s, or foot specialists, focus on the feet and ankles. They assess and treat the skin or the feet, joints of the feet and ankles, and even the toenails of the feet.

Issues with the toenails are more common than you think. We are often able to self treat “small” issues related to our feet but there are many things that if you see a Chiropodist early in the game, it makes for less problems.

What are some toenail issues a Chiropodist treats?

  • I can’t reach my toenails / feet
  • I can’t see my feet / toenails
  • My hands have difficulty using tools to cut my toenails
  • I can’t feel my feet
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Thick toenails
  • Cracked toenails
  • Black toenails
  • Bruised toenails

Toenail issues can happen at all ages. Even infants can have ingrown toenails!

Our North Oakville Chiropodists certainly see patterns. Certain toenail issues are more prevalent in people of different ages and with other health issues.

It is important to see a Chiropodist or foot specialist for your foot and toenail care because of their medical training and eye. They also use special tools that have been cleaned and sterilized properly. They are able to prescribe medications if they are needed such as topical creams. They will also provide education to make sure you are doing the right things at home.

Contact us at our North Oakville Foot Clinic to book in with one of our awesome Chiropodists. We service patients from Halton, Oakville, Mississauga, Milton, and Burlington. Chiropody, or podiatry foot care, is covered under most private benefit plans. Unfortunately, while we are able to direct bill for massage, physio and acupuncture, we are unable to provide direct billing services for foot care at this time.

Pregnancy and Compression Socks

The human body changes in many ways to support pregnancy.

In our North Oakville Clinic we see many pregnant women as their body adapts. Our Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists assess and treat pregnancy related:

  • Low back pain,
  • Hip pain,
  • Mid back pain,
  • Rib pain
  • Carpal tunnel symptoms
  • Other aches and pains
  • Exercise guidance

A common complaint with pregnancy is swollen and uncomfortable feet and legs. Someone who is postpartum may even notice that they have developed varicose veins during pregnancy.

The body undergoes normal changes that cause the blood to clot faster and the veins to dilate.

Veins are the structures that carry blood back to the heart. Veins are under low pressure and need the help of your muscles and valves to keep the blood moving and prevent back flow.

Because the veins widen during pregnancy, there is increased risk of improper venous return. This can cause the blood to pool and potentially damage the veins and valves. This may lead to varicose veins. This can also increase the risk of developing blood clots in the veins of the legs.

As pregnancy progresses, your blood volume also increases. The uterus grows to accommodate your developing baby. Both of these changes also increase the pressure on the veins. We can develop more swelling and varicosities in one leg versus the other depending on where the baby “sits” most of the time.

How do we know we are having problems with our veins during pregnancy?
  1. Feelings of heaviness in the legs
  2. The legs may feel more tired
  3. The legs may ache
  4. The feet and legs may swell and indent with socks
  5. Varicose veins may increase in the 4th month (these can diminish after birth)

How can compression socks help during pregnancy?

Medical compression provides graduated levels of compression the decrease from the bottom up. They help support the veins and tissues and promote blood circulation (venous return). This will help decrease tired, achey legs and well as the swelling in the legs.

Wearing compression can also help prevent the development of varicose veins. If you already have varicose veins, compression can help it from worsening.

It is recommended to wear compression fro the entire pregnancy for the during of waking hours. It is also recommended that you wear compression for at least six weeks after the baby is born.

Compression socks and stockings are covered under most private insurance. Our North Oakville Physio and Foot clinic is happy to help guide you through the process and help make your pregnancy journey more comfortable.

Contact us to book an appointment.

What is a Chiropodist?

While many people have heard of a Podiatrist, the term Chiropodist is still less well known.

In our North Oakville Foot Clinic, we have two excellent Chiropodists as part of our team.

A Chiropodist is a direct access, or primary health care professional. This means they do not need a prescription from your doctor in order for you to book in and access foot care. Chiropodists specialize in the assessment, treatment or management, and prevention of diseases and disorders of the feet.

Chiropodists are educated and trained to maintain or increase mobility, and can treat acute (fresh), or chronic (persistent) conditions of the foot. The main goal of a Chiropodist / foot specialist is to help improve a persons quality of life. The Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences is currently the only school providing chiropody training for students in Canada. 

The scope of practice of a Chiropodist (what they are legally allowed to do), includes anything from nail and soft tissue surgery to basic routine nail care.

The scope of practice is outlined in the Chiropody Act, 1991:

  1. Cutting into the subcutaneous tissues of the foot.
  2. Administering, by injection into feet, a substance designated in the regulations. 
  3. Prescribing drugs designated in the regulations. 
  4. Administering, by inhalation, a substance designated in the regulations.

(Some) Things Chiropodists Treat:

  • Foot pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Foot and ankle osteoarthritis
  • Foot and ankle rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetic foot care
  • Neuropathy
  • Hammer toes
  • Claw toes
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Warts
  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Foot ad toenail care if you have difficulty reaching your feet, or manually handling instruments
  • Fungal toenails
  • Thick toenails
  • Cracked heels

The above list is not exhaustive, but gives you an idea of the depth of education and skill a Chiropodist has.

Unfortunately, we are not able to direct bill your private insurance for Chiropody services in the same way we often can to Physio and Massage services.

People jumping showing oakville physio clinic

Contact us to book an appointment at our North Oakville Foot Clinic, or if you have any questions.