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How High Cholesterol May Affect Your Feet

Cholesterol can become a silent menace when levels soar. Beyond the commonly known risks to heart health, high levels of cholesterol can have a profound effect on your feet. A key consequence of elevated cholesterol is atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque accumulates in the arteries. This buildup can affect the extremities, including the legs and feet, resulting in peripheral artery disease, or PAD. A common symptom of the reduced blood flow to the lower extremities is unusually cool or cold feet. Swelling or edema may also occur, particularly after periods of immobility. Leg pain, another common indicator of PAD, may be experienced with or without physical activity. A sensation described as having pins and needles often occurs in the feet. PAD may also increase the risk of developing arterial ulcers, which are slow-healing wounds that typically appear on the legs, feet, ankles, or toes. These ulcers are a consequence of damaged cells, tissues, and nerves. For those individuals with PAD and leg ulcers, careful observation is needed. If you are experiencing the symptoms of peripheral artery disease, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist who can determine what the best treatment is for you.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that causes poor circulation in the lower limbs. If you have PAD, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

What is peripheral artery disease? 

Peripheral artery disease is characterized by reduced blood flow to the lower limbs. This occurs due to a buildup of a fatty substance called plaque in the arteries. The plaque causes the arteries to become narrow and harden, which makes it difficult for blood to get to the lower limbs. Without adequate blood flow, the tissues of the legs, ankles, and feet do not get enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly, which can lead to various symptoms as the condition progresses. Having poor circulation also increases your risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes. 

Symptoms

In its initial stages, PAD is often asymptomatic. If symptoms do arise, they often include: 

  • Muscle cramps

  • Weakness

  • Fatigue

  • Pain that gets worse with physical activity

  • Balance problems

  • Difficulty walking

Diagnosis

PAD can be diagnosed through a thorough physical examination, medical history, and vascular testing. There are many simple, non-invasive tests that your chiropodist can use to determine your risk of having PAD. These include the ankle-brachial index (ABI) test and Doppler ultrasounds. 

Treatment

Treatments for PAD focus on lifestyle changes and medication management to lessen symptoms and prevent heart attacks and strokes. Your chiropodist may suggest various foot and ankle exercises to increase the strength and flexibility of your feet and ankles, boost circulation, and improve mobility. They may also suggest routine visits to monitor and maintain the health of your feet since poor circulation can lead to a variety of foot and ankle complications. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease

Hints for Happy Feet as You Age

Caring for your feet is important to your overall health, but is often underestimated in self-care routines. Establishing a routine for good foot hygiene is essential for keeping your feet healthy and happy as you get older. Daily washing, with extra attention to the spaces between your toes, significantly lowers the risk of infections. As the skin on your feet tends to become thinner and drier with age, follow up with moisturizing lotion, excluding the areas between the toes to avoid creating a damp environment conducive to fungal growth. Proper toenail maintenance is needed to prevent ingrown toenails. If you cannot trim them yourself, a care worker or a chiropodist can perform that task safely. Addressing calluses is equally important. Deep calluses can crack and bleed, posing a risk of infection. Regular self-examination of your feet is essential. Check the tops, soles, and under the toenails, in addition to the spaces between your toes for any changes, growths, or discolorations. Swelling or changes in color may indicate poor circulation or other problems that require prompt attention. For individuals with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, communicate with your chiropodist about any unusual or concerning developments. For guidance in the proper care for your feet, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a chiropodist.

Foot problems can become increasingly common as we age, making everyday foot care especially important. To learn more about maintaining proper foot health, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

Common Foot Problems

Certain foot problems may be more likely to affect older adults. 

Some examples of foot conditions that can be common in older adults include: 

  • Dry, cracked skin

  • Calluses and corns

  • Blisters

  • Ingrown toenails

  • Deformities such as bunions or hammertoes

  • Fungal infections

  • Plantar warts

Systemic conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis, are also more likely to affect older people and manifest symptoms in the feet and ankles. 

Daily Foot Care Tips

Having a daily foot care routine can help detect problems early on and prevent future issues. 

Things that you can do at home to care for your feet include: 

  • Washing the feet daily with warm water, drying them thoroughly, and then applying a moisturizer 

  • Trimming the toenails straight across and not too short to prevent ingrown toenails

  • Performing daily foot exercises to improve foot strength and mobility

  • Wearing shoes when walking to avoid injury

  • Inspecting the feet daily for any cuts, scrapes, sores, or other abnormalities and seeking prompt treatment if any problems are discovered 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Elderly Foot Care

Causes of Foot Pain From Skiing

Throbbing ankles, aching shins, purple toes, arch pain, calf pain, and overall foot soreness after skiing may be signs that you need to examine your boots. The most common causes of foot pain from ski boots include bad fit, wrong flex, pressure points, packed out soles, bad buckle habits, and, yes, socks. Experts say your ski boots should be snug but not painfully tight, and they should provide good support to your feet and ankles. Make sure you choose boots with the right flex rating for your skiing style and experience level. Modern ski boots often offer customization options, including the ability to mold and modify specific areas to alleviate pressure points. If you experience throbbing or discomfort in the instep or arch of your feet, it could be due to soles that are flattened, compressed. Buckling your boots from the top down and leaning your shins into the tongue while sliding your feet to the back of the boot can ensure a snug fit without causing pain. Opt for lightweight, thin ski socks that provide warmth without overcrowding your boots. Socks with shin padding can help alleviate shin pain. If you experience persistent foot pain after skiing, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist for guidance and solutions tailored to your needs.

Injuries to the foot and ankle are very common among athletes. If you have experienced an injury, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

Common Injuries Among Athletes: 

  • Achilles tendon injuries

  • Ankle strains or sprains

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Fractures

  • Turf toe 

  • Joint dislocations

  • Sever’s disease

  • Morton’s neuroma

Symptoms

Symptoms will depend on the cause and severity of the injury. Common symptoms for a foot or ankle injury include pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising, a reduced range of motion, and difficulty bearing weight or walking on the affected foot or ankle. 

Diagnosis

Sports injuries are typically diagnosed after carefully examining the affected foot or ankle. This includes moving the injured area to test its range of motion. Medical history will need to be provided, as well as detailed information about how the injury occurred. Imaging studies, such as X-rays or MRIs, may be used to confirm or rule out certain diagnoses. 

Treatment

Just like symptoms, treatment will depend on the type of injury and its severity. Initial treatment for many sports injuries is aimed at controlling inflammation and promoting the healing response. The acronym R.I.C.E is a helpful guide to implement for most acute injuries. This method involves resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the affected foot or ankle. In addition, anti-inflammatory medications may be administered and orthotic devices may be prescribed. For more severe injuries, surgery may be required. Lastly, rehabilitation or physical therapy may be needed to gain full functionality in the afflicted area.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Causes of Top of the Foot Pain

Pain on the top of your feet can be uncomfortable and debilitating, affecting your daily activities and quality of life. This type of foot pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress fractures, ganglion cysts, osteoarthritis, tarsal fusion, and trauma. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bones that are often the result of overuse, especially when there is a sudden increase in physical activity. A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled capsule near joints or tendons that can cause pain when it presses against nerves. Osteoarthritis can cause an arch collapse that leads to top-of-foot pain, particularly if linked to toe joints. Tarsal coalition is a fusion of foot bones in young individuals, resulting in stiffness, flat feet, and pain on top of the foot. Tendonitis is the Inflammation of tendons, often affecting the tibialis anterior tendon, which can cause localized pain on the top of the foot that is worsened by activity. Trauma includes any foot injury, such as fractures, sprains, or impact, that can lead to top-of-foot pain. If you are experiencing persistent pain on the top of your foot, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist who can provide a thorough evaluation and recommend the most appropriate treatment for your specific condition.

Foot pain is a common problem treated by chiropodists. If you have foot pain, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

When you are experiencing foot pain, it’s important to note the type of pain and its location, as this can help determine a diagnosis. 

Pain in the top of the foot may be caused by:

  • Stress fractures

  • Sinus tarsi syndrome

  • Extensor tendonitis

  • Tibialis anterior tendonitis

  • Gout

  • Athlete’s foot

  • Ganglion cysts

Pain in the bottom of the foot may be caused by:

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Foot cramps

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome

  • Plantar fibromatosis

  • Posterior tibial tendonitis

  • Stress fractures

  • Flat feet

Pain on the side of the foot may be caused by:

  • Ankle sprain

  • Cuboid syndrome

  • Peroneal tendonitis

  • Stress fractures

  • Bunions

  • Corns or calluses

  • Posterior tibial tendonitis

Heel pain may be caused by:

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Achilles tendonitis

  • Bone spurs

  • Heel fractures

  • Retrocalcaneal bursitis

  • Sever’s disease 

Pain in the toes may be caused by:

  • Gout

  • Hammertoe

  • Turf toe 

  • Bunions

  • Ingrown toenails

  • Blisters 

  • Arthritis

These and many more conditions can be treated by a chiropodist. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Foot Pain

Potential Foot Problems Caused by Wearing Flip Flops

Summertime calls for laid-back footwear, and flip-flops have long been a popular choice for their simple and stylish appeal. However, beneath the relaxed vibes, frequently wearing flip-flops can take a toll on our feet. Wearing these types of shoes may lead to a range of foot problems. These flat, open-toed sandals offer minimal arch support and cushioning, leading to issues like arch pain, plantar fasciitis, and possibly stress fractures. The lack of straps can cause the toes to grip the sole tightly, potentially leading to conditions such as hammertoes and calluses. While flip-flops are convenient and attractive, it is vital to acknowledge the potential harm they may pose to our foot health. If you choose to wear flip flops during the majority of the summer months, it is suggested that you consult a chiropodist who can guide you toward additional stylish shoes to wear which can help to protect your foot health.

Flip-flops, though they may seem harmless, are bad for your foot health. If you would like to learn more about the many problems that can be caused by frequent flip-flop wear, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

Flip-flops are the quintessential summer shoe, seemingly perfect for the beach or pool. Unfortunately, these flimsy shoes are not a good choice when it comes to keeping your feet healthy. 

Frequently wearing flip-flops is associated with: 

  • Hammertoes

  • Bunions

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Heel spurs 

  • Cracked heels

  • Plantar warts

  • Athlete’s foot

  • Foot pain

  • Foot and ankle injuries

  • Gait changes

  • Leg, hip, and back pain

The best way to avoid these issues is to swap your flip-flops for more protective and supportive shoes. If you must wear flip-flops, wear them only for short periods of time. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Flip-Flops and Feet

Scleroderma and the Feet

Scleroderma is a rare, chronic autoimmune disease affecting skin and internal organs. It stems from immune system-induced inflammation and tissue changes, often resulting in skin tightening and thickening. It can also affect joints, muscles, and various organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, or intestines. While predominantly affecting women aged 30 to 50, children can develop a juvenile form of scleroderma. There is no cure for this disease, however symptom management and improved quality of life are achievable through treatment. Signs and symptoms of scleroderma vary, from minor to life-threatening. One early indicator is Raynaud's phenomenon, characterized by color changes in toes due to cold exposure. Patients may experience red, white, or blue toes, along with swelling, numbness, pain, or ulcers. Other symptoms arise depending on organ involvement, requiring diagnostic assessments like blood tests, autoantibody detection, and imaging. Treatment options include medications for improving circulation in Raynaud's disease and addressing skin thickening and organ complications. Lifestyle adjustments, such as staying warm and protecting extremities, can enhance comfort. If you have scleroderma and it is causing you pain or affecting your mobility, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist for treatment that can help you live more comfortably.

Systemic diseases are medical problems that affect the entire body. Many systemic diseases can bring about foot and ankle problems. If you have a systemic disease that affects your lower limbs, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

Which systemic diseases can affect the feet?

  • Peripheral artery disease - Causes inadequate blood flow to the lower limbs

  • Peripheral neuropathy - Nerve damage in the nerves that supply the feet and ankles

  • Diabetes - Can cause nerve damage, poor circulation, and a weakened immune system that can lead to the formation of poorly healing wounds on the feet

  • Arthritis - A disease of the joints that damages joint lining, it often affects the small joints of the feet and the ankle joints

  • Gout - A build up of uric acid in the bloodstream that forms crystals that can lodge in the joints

How can a chiropodist help? 

Chiropodists help people who have systemic disease manage and maintain their foot health in a variety of ways. They can diagnose a multitude of foot and ankle problems, screen for certain systemic conditions, teach patients about proper foot care, and provide information about preventive strategies that patients could employ to avoid complications from their systemic diseases. Chiropodists can also treat foot and ankle problems through medications, foot and ankle exercises, orthotics, and lifestyle recommendations, among many other potential treatments

If you are living with a systemic illness that impacts your foot health, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, known as onychomycosis, is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when a living fungus infiltrates the nail and feeds on its keratin. This leads to noticeable changes in the nail's appearance. The primary culprits behind fungal toenail infections are dermatophytes, although yeasts and molds can also be responsible. These fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, making communal showers, public changing rooms, and shared footwear common sources of infection. Superficial infections may appear as slight streaks or spots and are relatively simple to treat. But as the infection progresses, burrowing deeper into the nail, traditional creams and lacquers struggle to reach all the affected areas. Deep-acting treatments, such as antifungal laser therapy, are often necessary to clear these stubborn infections. Risk factors for developing toenail fungus include trauma to the nail, poor hygiene, excessive sweating, and working in wet environments. An accurate diagnosis is important, as several nail disorders can mimic fungal infections. A chiropodist can diagnose fungal infections through a physical examination and, if necessary, by sending a nail sample to a lab for confirmation. If you believe you may have a fungal toenail infection, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist. 

Toenail fungus can be uncomfortable and unsightly. If you have diabetes or a compromised immune system, it may also be dangerous. To learn more about treatment options, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Does Toenail Fungus Look Like? 

A fungal infection of the toenail may cause the affected nail to become thickened, brittle, crumbly, and yellowish or brown in color. Sometimes the toenail may separate from the nail bed, become deformed, emit a foul odor, or cause pain or discomfort. 

What Causes Toenail Fungus? 

Toenail fungus is caused by a fungus that infects the nail bed. The fungus lives and thrives in warm and moist environments and is also contagious. Athlete’s foot, which is a fungal infection of the skin, may spread to the nails and cause toenail fungus. 

What Treatments Are Available? 

Potential treatments for toenail fungus may include oral antifungal medications, topical antifungal medications, such as medicated nail polishes that are applied directly to the affected nail, and laser therapy. Sometimes, a combination of treatments is prescribed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Uncovering Reasons for Sudden Ankle Pain

Experiencing sudden ankle pain without an apparent injury can be perplexing and concerning. Several non-traumatic factors can trigger this discomfort. Overuse and strain due to prolonged standing, excessive walking, or sudden increase in physical activity can strain the ankle ligaments and muscles, resulting in pain. Arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can cause sudden and sharp pain due to inflammation and deterioration of the ankle joint. Wearing improper footwear or high heels for an extended period can strain the ankle and lead to acute pain. Flat feet or overpronation can also cause unexpected pain as it alters the alignment and functioning of the foot, impacting the ankles. Circulatory issues such as blood clots or vascular diseases can manifest as sharp, sudden ankle pain, warranting immediate medical attention. If you are experiencing ankle pain, it is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment with a chiropodist who can provide you with treatment options.

Ankle pain is a common symptom of many lower limb problems. If you are experiencing ankle pain, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

The ankle is composed of a number of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. There are many conditions which may cause ankle pain. 

Causes

  • Ankle strains or sprains

  • Achilles tendon injuries

  • Fractures

  • Bursitis

  • Arthritis

  • Gout

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome

Symptoms

If you have ankle pain, you may also experience a variety of other symptoms depending on the underlying cause of the pain. Some of these symptoms may include ankle swelling, bruising, redness, numbness or tingling, instability, and difficulty walking.

Diagnosis

The underlying cause of ankle pain can be diagnosed by a chiropodist. Diagnoses are typically made based on your medical history, a physical examination of the affected ankle, and imaging studies such as X-rays. 

Treatment

Treatment for your ankle pain will depend on its underlying cause. Often, the chiropodist will recommend that you rest the affected ankle. You might also need to ice, compress, and elevate the ankle, wear an orthotic device, or take medications to reduce pain and inflammation. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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