What are Compression Stockings and How Can They Help Me?

Compression stockings or socks are specialized hosiery that is designed to help prevent the occurrence of venous disorders such as swelling, varicose veins, tired aching legs, and clotting.  It also guards against further progression of venous disorders.

Compression stockings or socks are elastic garments that are worn around the leg and compresses the limb, which creates pressure against the legs.  This causes an increase in venous blood flow.  By helping to decrease venous pressure, compression therapy will help relieve tired and aching legs.

Compression stockings are tightest around the ankles and become less constrictive around the knees and thighs.  The type of compression therapy will be dependent on where the swelling and aching is occurring.  The garment can go up to the knee, or extend to the thigh and even as panty hose up to the waist.  There are also various degrees of compression that are available.  Based on your symptoms, your doctor can help determine the amount of compression necessary.

Those who are on their feet all day, or who travel a lot for work can benefit from compression therapy.  They will help reduce swelling and keep the blood flowing at a constant gradient.   To find out more information regarding compression therapy and whether it is right for you, call us at 519-623-3000 in Cambridge or 905-878-6479 in Milton or visit www.ontariofoot.ca.

Diabetic care starts with the feet

If you or someone you care about suffers from diabetes then you know that one of the most problematic areas affected in the body is the feet. Circulation problems, loss of feeling and complications in the feet are all constant worries. Whether the diabetes is in an advanced stage or you are just learning how to live with the condition, treatment and preventative solutions for your feet are a critical aspect to keeping healthy.

Aside from care recommended by your doctor, one of the healthcare solutions you can consider is a visit to Ontario Foot and Orthotics. The chiropodists here will test both your circulation and nerve sensitivity to determine which of their services you can benefit from to stay healthy and feel comfortable.

One of the most common problems associated with diabetes is neuropathy, the loss of sensory perception in the feet. This in itself is not harmful but it often leads to the feet being damaged over time and not being noticed. Things like calluses, corns, skin ulcers and ingrown nails can become big problems because many diabetics can’t feel the problem and therefore don’t treat the problem.

Ontario Foot and Orthotics clinics offer regular treatments to stay on top of treating calluses and corns and can offer quick and painless surgical solutions to chronically ingrown nails. We also offer custom orthotics to make walking and movement more comfortable and better for overall health and wellbeing.

You don’t want to trust unqualified people with your health and that is why Ontario Foot and Orthotics has been rigorous in our professional certification and connections. We are a member of the Halton Health Care Diabetes Best Practice Outreach Program, trained in complex wound care through the Canadian Association of Wound Care, certified by the University of Toronto, are a member of the Registered Chiropodists with the College of Chiropodists of Ontario and have many reputable partners that can be viewed on our website.

Call us at 905-878-6479 in Milton or visit www.ontariofoot.ca for more info.

What causes an ingrown toenail and how can it be treated?

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows down into the side of the skin.  The area becomes very sensitive to the touch and can be very painful.  The area becomes red, inflamed, and in some cases some pus can be present.

There are a number of factors that can cause an ingrown nail.  These consist of improper cutting of the nail, tight fitting footwear, ripping of the nail instead of cutting, etc.  The most common toe affected by ingrown toenails is the great toe; however the smaller toes can also develop ingrown toenails.  When the corners of the toenails are cut too short or left too sharp, they can grow downwards into the skin.  Some people are born with toenails that are curved downward and grow into the skin.  Stubbing your toes or other injuries can also result in ingrown toenails.

There are various treatment options available for ingrown toenails.  If the problem is not chronic, regular treatment by a chiropodist can help prevent infections and a chiropodist can cut the nails properly preventing any further damage.  If the problem is chronic and the ingrown toenail(s) are continuously infected, there are more permanent solutions that can be done.  Firstly, antibiotics can be prescribed to fight off any infection that is present.  A minor surgical procedure can then be completed that removes the offending nail piece and a chemical is applied to ensure that the nail does not grow back.  This procedure is called a partial nail avulsion.  A total nail avulsion, which is removal of the whole nail, can also be done.  The type of procedure that is utilized depends on the severity of the ingrown nail and the patient’s preference.

If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail or for more information or to arrange an assessment, contact Ontario Foot & Orthotics at one of our two locations: 519-623-3000 in Cambridge or 905-878-6479 in Milton. You can also visit us at www.ontariofoot.ca.

Foot Clinic Milton & Cambridge : What causes fungal nails and how can they be treated?

Fungal nails, also known as onychomycosis is caused by an infection of the nails by a fungus.   Fungi can live on nails, dead tissues of the hair, and oouter skin layers. Fungal nails are more common in adults and in most cases follow fungal infections of the skin.  Toenails are more commonly affected then fingernails.

There are a number of ways one can contract a fungal nail infection.  The fungi that cause infection thrive in moist, dark environments.  These include public showers, swimming pools, gyms, and other areas where people sweat a lot.  Those who use these facilities regularly are at a higher risk of contracting the fungi.  Other things that can increase the risk of a fungal infection include getting manicures and pedicures where the tools used are not sterilized correctly, having moist skin for a long time, wearing closed-toe footwear, compromised immune system, and having a nail deformity or nail disease.

There are a number of changes that occur to the nails once infected by fungi.  These changes include discolouration of the nail (yellowish, brownish, and sometimes black), brittleness, thickening of the nail, crumbling of the outside edges of the nail, odour, debris trapped under the nail, and lifting up or loosening of the nail.  The nail(s) can become very hard to cut and in come cases can start to cause pain.

Once a fungal nail is diagnosed, the appropriate treatment option can be advised.  There are a number of topical anti-fungals that are available.  Some of these are prescription strength and some may be available over-the-counter.  Oral anti-fungals are also available, however they pose a higher risk and must be discussed with your health care professional before starting.  Fungal nails can take anywhere from a few months to a year to completely clear out.

For more information or to arrange an assessment, contact Ontario Foot & Orthotics at one of our two locations: 519-623-3000 in Cambridge or 905-878-6479 in Milton. You can also visit us at www.ontariofoot.ca.