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How Arthritis Affects the Feet and Ankles

Arthritis, a complex and often debilitating condition, often affects the feet and ankles. The feet, which are made up of numerous small joints, are particularly susceptible. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are common culprits, causing pain, swelling, and limited mobility. The ankle joint, essential for balance and movement, can suffer inflammation and stiffness. Arthritis disrupts the normal alignment of feet, leading to changes in gait and posture. Toes may also experience deformities such as bunions or hammertoes. Effective management involves a multidisciplinary approach, combining medications and wearing custom orthotics. Arthritis may be managed by early intervention, tailored care, and lifestyle adjustments. Implementing appropriate methods can enable individuals to step forward with enhanced comfort and improved quality of life. If you are afflicted with arthritis in your feet, it is suggested that you confer with a chiropodist who can guide you toward relief techniques.

Osteoarthritis in the feet or ankles can be a painful and disabling condition that may interfere with your daily activities. If you have arthritis, 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 Is Osteoarthritis? 

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the protective layer of cartilage in the joints breaks down over time. This loss of cartilage causes the bones to rub together during movement, leading to pain and inflammation. Osteoarthritis is associated with aging, and often affects the small joints of the feet and ankles. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of osteoarthritis include: 

  • Joint pain

  • Joint stiffness

  • Swelling in or around the joint

  • Restricted range of motion

  • Difficulty walking

Diagnosis

Osteoarthritis can be diagnosed through physical examination. You may also need to have an X-ray taken to assess the extent of the damage caused by arthritis. 

Treatment

Treatment for osteoarthritis focuses on reducing symptoms and improving the function of the affected joints. Conservative treatments include oral pain medications, orthotic devices, bracing or immobilizing the affected foot or ankle, steroid injections into the affected joint to reduce inflammation, and physical therapy. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. 

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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Causes of and Treatment for Foot Cramps

Foot cramps can be a bothersome and painful experience, characterized by involuntary muscle contractions in the feet. These cramps can be caused by various factors, including physical activity, dehydration, ill-fitting footwear, and certain health conditions or medications. The intense tightening and sharp aching sensations can last for seconds or minutes, affecting the arches of the feet and toes. While foot cramps are usually manageable with stretching and massaging, it's essential to understand their potential causes and find effective ways to prevent them. Factors such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and endocrine disorders can contribute to foot cramps. Additionally, neurological conditions, peripheral vascular disease, and even pregnancy can lead to cramping in the feet. To alleviate foot cramps, regular stretching exercises and staying hydrated are essential. Wearing well-fitting and supportive footwear, managing underlying health conditions, and massaging the affected muscles can also provide relief. If you have persistent or frequent cramping in your feet, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist who can help with determining the underlying cause, managing them, and alleviating discomfort.

Foot pain can have many causes. To receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your foot 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. 

Causes

There are a variety of different conditions that can cause foot pain, including: 

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Deformities, such as bunions or hammertoes

  • Injuries to the muscles, bones, tendons, or ligaments in the feet

  • Arthritis

  • Flat feet

  • Ingrown toenails

Symptoms

The type and location of your foot pain can help determine what may be causing it and what type of treatment options are best for you. 

Common types of foot pain include: 

  • Heel pain

  • Arch pain

  • Toe pain

  • Ball of foot pain

  • Pain that has a stabbing, burning, or tingling quality

  • Pain that is constant, intermittent, or that gets better or worse depending on the situation 

Diagnosis

A thorough medical history and physical examination of your feet will be required to determine a diagnosis. Imaging studies, such as X-rays or MRIs may be performed to rule out or confirm certain diagnoses. 

Treatment

Treatment will depend on the cause of the pain. Common treatments for foot pain include resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the affected foot, wearing orthotics, or taking anti-inflammatory medications. 

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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Relieving Foot Pain From Standing All Day

Working on your feet all day can lead to foot pain, and can affect various professionals in fields such as healthcare, construction, retail, salons, and factories. Understanding the causes of foot pain, including swelling, inappropriate footwear, injury, pregnancy, or poor standing posture, will help to address the issue. Prolonged standing can also lead to conditions consisting of plantar fasciitis. To relieve foot pain, you can try massaging your feet using heat or cold packs, soaking your feet, stretching, and using night splints or orthotics. Elevating your feet can help to reduce swelling. Simple changes to your work environment, such as using a standing floor cushion or taking short sitting breaks, may also make a difference. If you have foot pain that persists or worsens, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist for additional help, and to rule out any underlying conditions.

If you stand all day, you may be at an increased risk of developing various foot conditions. If you are experiencing foot pain of any kind, 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 Foot Problems Are Caused by Standing?

Standing all day at work may increase your risk of developing foot or ankle problems.

Some common foot conditions that may arise from spending all day on your feet include: 

  • Foot pain

  • Blisters

  • Corns and calluses

  • Arthritis

  • Flat feet

  • Bunions

  • Sprains 

  • Athlete’s foot

Prevention

If you stand for prolonged periods of time for work, taking preventative measures to preserve the health of your feet is strongly recommended. 

Measures you can implement to help prevent foot problems include: 

  • Wearing shoes that are comfortable and fit well - these shoes should be made of breathable materials and provide you with arch support and cushioning. It is best to avoid shoes that have heels or narrow toe boxes.

  • Taking breaks to rest, walk, and stretch your feet throughout the day

  • Maintaining good foot hygiene - wash and dry your feet thoroughly every day

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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Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Why Do I Have Toe Pain?

Toe pain is a common ailment that can significantly impact daily activities and overall well being. Several factors can contribute to toe pain. One of the most prevalent causes is wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, which can lead to bunions, corns, and ingrown toenails, among other conditions. Additionally, repetitive motions or overuse, such as with athletes or individuals with physically demanding jobs, can strain the toe joints, resulting in pain. Toe injuries, such as stubbing a toe or dropping heavy objects on the foot, can cause immediate pain and swelling. Certain medical conditions such as arthritis, gout, or neuropathy can also manifest as toe pain. Proper foot care, wearing appropriate footwear, and avoiding excessive strain on the toes are essential preventive measures to alleviate toe pain and maintain optimal foot health. Seeking medical attention from a chiropodist for persistent or severe pain is crucial in identifying the underlying cause. If you have toe pain, it is suggested that you visit a chiropodist who can determine what the cause is, and offer treatment options that are correct for you.

Toe pain is common and can have a variety of causes. Causes can range from a broken toe to an ingrown toenail. Many types of toe pain can be corrected, but any toe pain that inhibits your activities for an extended period should be discussed with a chiropodist. If you suffer from toe pain, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your feet.

Common Causes of Toe Pain 

  • Trauma or fracture
  • Cuts, sores, or bruises
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Turf Toe
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Blisters
  • Corns
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Plantar warts
  • Athlete’s Foot

Symptoms of Toe Pain

  • Toe deformity
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Toenail deformity
  • Wart or ulcer
  • Swelling
  • Redness

When to See a Chiropodist

  • Bleeding or severe swelling
  • Trauma, such as a broken bone
  • Discoloration or extreme swelling
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Persistent pain
  • Wounds that won’t heal

Diagnosis of Toe Pain

A chiropodist can conduct a thorough examination of the painful toe or toes in order to determine the best course of treatment. The exam may include assessing the tenderness of the area, taking an X-ray or other diagnostic test, or assessing your gait and range of motion. A discussion of what led to the advanced pain issue may follow. Included will likely be a health history, as well as a list of medications you are taking and other previous injuries you may have sustained.

Treatment for Toe Pain

With such a wide range of possible causes for toe pain, treatment can be varied in scope and length. Sometimes, the chiropodist will recommend lifestyle and activity changes. In cases of trauma or other injuries, X-rays or imaging tests will likely be used to determine the severity of the problem, particularly if any bones have been broken. Treatment may also include injections of pain-relief medication or anti-inflammatory drugs. Certain injuries will require the splinting, bracing, or wrapping of injured toes. Orthotics or special shoes may be prescribed in cases of bone deformities and gait issues. Removal of warts, calluses, and corns may be needed. In other cases, such as with patients who have diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, ongoing treatment may be required to avoid more serious problems. 

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Finding the Perfect Fitting Shoes

Wearing shoes that fit properly is paramount for maintaining foot health and overall comfort. The first step in accomplishing this goal is measuring your feet regularly, as shoe size can change over time and with age. Make sure there is ample space in the toe box for unrestricted toe movement. It is also important that the shoes offer good arch support and heel stability. Shoes should not be too tight or loose as this can lead to unwanted blisters, corns, and calluses. During the fitting process, try on both shoes and walk around so you are aware of any discomfort or friction. If you have certain foot conditions, it is beneficial to look for shoes that accommodate your specific needs. If you are suffering from foot pain and finding comfortable shoes seems impossible, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist who can professionally guide you in this process.

Finding the right shoes for you can ensure your comfort and help maintain proper foot health. If you suffer from foot pain and need help finding the right shoes for you, 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. 

Tips to Find Great Shoes 

Finding shoes that are well-fitting, supportive, and comfortable can be key in maintaining your overall foot health, but can sometimes seem like a monumental task. 

Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when shopping for shoes. 

  • Shop in a brick and mortar store - Your shoe size can change throughout your lifetime. You will be able to try on shoes before you buy them to ensure a proper fit. A salesperson can also provide recommendations on what shoes best serve your specific needs.

  • Try shoes on at the end of the day - Your feet swell throughout the day. By trying shoes on in the evening when the feet are at their largest, you ensure a good fit and shoes that are comfortable all day.

  • Have your feet measured - Find the right fit by having your feet measured at the shoe store. A salesperson can help by measuring both feet with a Brannock device to determine your true size. 

  • Opt for comfort and support - Some shoes, such as high heels and flip flops, may look great but can cause damage to the feet over time. Look for shoes that have a low heel, adequate arch support, a wide toe box, and are made of breathable materials. 

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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The Ideal Shoes for Pickleball

While dedicated pickleball shoes may not be abundant on the market yet, understanding the differences between pickleball shoes and tennis shoes is crucial for optimizing your game performance. Comfort, traction, and support are key attributes that pickleball shoes should possess, enabling swift court movement, quick direction changes, and preventing slips or injuries. Although tennis shoes can suffice if their soles provide adequate grip, pickleball shoes offer distinct advantages. They are lighter, possess a lower center of gravity, and provide enhanced support and grip. This is helpful in allowing players to maintain balance, maneuver swiftly, and execute abrupt stops and starts effectively. Conversely, tennis shoes distribute weight more evenly, tend to be heavier, and offer greater ankle support, but are less suitable for quick directional changes. Certain pickleball courts may also enforce specific footwear to protect the court and ensure player safety. If you are a pickleball enthusiast or aspiring player, it is suggested that you consult with a chiropodist who can help you choose the best footwear tailored to the demands of the sport.

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.

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Wearing Flip-Flops May Cause Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are a foot condition that can be common in the summer months. It can be unsightly and painful, and relief is often sought. Many people enjoy wearing flip-flops or backless shoes that can leave the skin on the heels exposed to the elements. Cracks that deepen in the skin are known as fissures, and if not treated promptly, may bleed and become infected. In addition to the above reasons why cracked heels can develop, there may also be medical reasons. These can include various forms of dermatitis, psoriasis, diabetes, or a thyroid disorder. People who are overweight may be prone to incurring cracked heels, typically as a result of the added weight the feet must endure. Effective prevention methods can consist of washing and drying the feet thoroughly, followed by applying a good moisturizer. It is also beneficial to wear shoes that have a back, which can provide adequate protection for the heels. If you have cracked heels, it is suggested that you confer with a chiropodist who can guide you toward the correct treatment options.

Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, can cause pain and discomfort. If your cracked heels are bothering you, 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. 

Dry, thickened skin around the rim of the heel is typically the first sign of cracked heels. While this condition is common and usually just a nuisance, some cases can be more severe. If left untreated and as more pressure is placed on the heel, the cracks become deeper and eventually walking and standing can be painful. These deep cracks or fissures can bleed and also become infected. Those with diabetes need to be especially careful as fissures could lead to diabetic foot ulcers. 

Causes

Cracked heels can be the result of several different factors, including: 

  • Dry skin

  • Taking long, hot showers or using harsh soaps

  • Standing for long periods of time

  • Walking barefoot

  • Walking in shoes with an open back, such as sandals or flip flops

  • Wearing shoes that do not fit properly

  • Living in a cold or dry climate 

  • Certain skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis

Treatment

There are many at-home treatment remedies for cracked heels. Applying moisturizers to the heel can help hydrate the skin. Soaking your feet in warm water and exfoliating them with a loofah or pumice stone can help to buff away dead skin cells. If you are afflicted with cracked heels, it is recommended that you see a chiropodist for treatment. 

Prevention

You can prevent cracked heels by:

  • Avoiding standing in one position for prolonged periods of time

  • Wearing well-fitted shoes with a closed back

  • Washing your feet with gentle soaps and lukewarm water

  • Moisturizing the feet daily

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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Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Dangers of Wearing Flip Flops

As convenient and cooling as flip flops are, they can also put the health of your feet in danger. Because flip flops provide little arch support and minimal protection, wearing them can increase the chances of a sprained ankle, plantar fasciitis, and heel spurs. The thin soles on many pairs of flip flops also allow a greater likelihood of nails, glass, and other sharp objects poking through and into the foot. In some cases, a piece of the flip flop itself becomes embedded in the wound, and removing it may call for surgery. Because of their structure, flip flops necessarily result in the curling of the toes just to keep the shoes on. This may end up causing a permanent deformity of the toes, called a hammertoe. In this deformity, the middle joint of the toe sticks up. Then when regular shoes are worn, the hammertoe may begin to rub against the upper part of a shoe and cause pain. Because flip flops offer little to no arch support, the wearer steps flat, putting increased pressure on the ball of the foot. This can eventually cause inflammation and pain. If you have foot pain from regular or continued wearing of flip flops, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist who can determine the best course of treatment.  

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.

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