Qualities of a good sandal

Summer is almost here which means sandal season is here! We can finally get rid of those winter boots and bring out our sandals. Although sandals can be comfortable, there are certain qualities you should look for when selecting the right sandal.

  • Try to avoid wearing flip flops for long periods of time. They do not provide proper support to the foot and can cause heel pain and other foot ailments if worn for long periods of time. Flip flops are good for wearing around the pool, beach, or for short periods of time.
  • Wear a full open-toe sandal as opposed to a peep toe sandal. Peep toe sandals can put increased pressure on your bunions and can irritate hammer toes or claw toes. A foot open toe shoe will minimize pressure on these areas and won’t cause the toes to compress together allowing them to move around better.
  • Try not to wear sandals that have a very high heel. This can put pressure on the balls of the foot causing pain. Find sandals that have a wedge heel or a small platform to evenly distribute the pressure along the foot and avoid increased pressure in one area.
  • Avoid wearing sandals that have a lot of straps around the toes. This can cause irritation to the toes from all the rubbing and shearing from the straps. The rubbing can lead to blisters, corns and calluses around the toes.
  • Find sandals that have a good rubber sole with traction. This will help prevent slips and falls and is good for long distance walking.

For more information on good qualities of a sandal or any other footwear, contact Ontario Foot and Orthotics at our Milton office (905)878-6479. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tips on Getting a Pedicure at a Spa

Most people love getting pedicures. You get to sit on a nice massage chair while someone else pampers your feet. You get to soak your feet in nice warm water, get your nails cut, get nail polish put on (if you choose), and at times even get a foot/leg massage! You don’t ever think that getting a pedicure can lead to an infection, but it can!

Many spa’s that offer pedicures are very busy and they do not have time to sterilize their equipment. They simply wash the tools they use and the basin where you soak your feet with soap and water. Unfortunately, mild soap and water does not get rid of any bacteria or viruses that might be lingering around. If someone comes in for a pedicure and has a fungal/viral skin or nail infection, it can easily transfer to the next person if the tools being used are not sterilized appropriately.

Here are a few tips on what to look for before getting a pedicure done at a spa:

  • Make sure the tools the spa is using are sterilized. They should be brought out in a sealed package.  Always ask the esthetician if the tools are sterilized before starting the pedicure.
  • Find a spa that does pedicures by appointment only. These spas usually sterilize their tools and wash out their basin using the appropriate cleaning agent. Spas located in malls don’t usually have time to clean their tools efficiently since they have many people walking in and waiting for an available chair.
  • Make sure that the files/buffers that are being used are brand new and are given to you at the end of your treatment. Try to avoid spas where the same file/buffer is used over and over again. This can transfer bacteria/fungi/viruses from one individual to the next.
  • Don’t let the esthetician use a blade on your feet. Most are not trained on how to use the blades and can easily cut you. This can lead it an infection if the cut is not treated properly.
  • Do not soak your feet if you have any open cut or wounds as this can lead to an infection. The cut/wound is a portal of entry for any bacteria to get in.

If you have any health issues (e.g. diabetes), you should get your feet assessed by a foot specialist (Chiropodist/Podiatrist) instead of going to a spa.  The foot specialist can check your feet properly and do the appropriate tests to make sure your feet are ok.  Chiropodists/Podiatrists take infection control very seriously so all of their tools are sterilized and their working environment is usually very clean/sterile. During treatment, if any cuts should occur, they have the right tools to treat the cut in order to avoid any infections.  Chiropodists/Podiatrists are trained in treating the diabetic foot so they know what to look for and how to treat the diabetic foot.  They can also offer you proper diabetic foot care and footwear advice.

At Ontario Foot and Orthotics, we have two Chiropodists who are trained in diabetic foot care and wound care. We can assess your feet and give you more information on whether or not you should be going to a spa for foot care. To book an appointment, you can contact us at our Milton location (905)878-6479. We look forward to hearing from you!

Visit Chiropodist This Foot Health Month

May is Foot Health Month! The purpose of Foot Health Month is to raise awareness to the public about the importance of your feet and how to care for them properly.  Feet are an important part of your body and if your feet are sore and in a lot of pain, this can affect your day-to-day activities.

By visiting a Chiropodist at Ontario Foot and Orthotics, one can learn the benefits of proper foot care and the various diseases and disorders that can affect the feet.  Diabetes is one condition that can affect the feet in many ways.  There are complications that can arise from diabetes that can lead to loss of sensation causing wounds, infections, and possibly amputation.  By seeing your foot specialist on a regular basis, these complications can be prevented and if caught early, can be treated accordingly.

Conditions that can be treated by our foot specialists include corns, calluses, routine foot care, ingrown toe nails, diabetic foot care and wound care, warts, sports injuries, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, and much more.   Chiropodists at Ontario Foot and Orthotics can also assess and prescribe custom made orthotics and orthopaedic shoes.

Visit us this month for a foot assessment and learn how to care for your feet.  Learning about your feet and how to keep them healthy is very important and always remember that happy feet are healthy feet!  Call us at 519-623-3000 in Cambridge or 905-878-6479 in Milton or visit www.ontariofoot.ca for more info.



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.

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.

Foot Clinic Milton: What causes a plantar wart and how can it be treated?

A plantar wart, also known as verruca pedis, is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) that occurs on the sole of the foot or the toes.  The virus enters the skin through tiny cuts, breaks or other sensitive sites on the skin of your feet.  The spread of warts most likely occurs in areas that are contaminated by others with plantar warts.  This can include communal showers, pool areas, activities that include being barefoot such as gymnastics, martial arts, etc. The destruction of HPV once it enters the skin depends on the development of immune lymphocytes (small white blood cells) that destroy the virus-infected cells.

Plantar warts generally develop underneath pressure points in your feet such as the heel or the balls of your feet.  They can also occur on the toes.  Since the warts develop under pressure points, they may develop a callus (thickened skin) over top.  Plantar warts look like small, fleshy lesions or growths on the bottom of your feet.  Many warts have small black pinpoints, which are small clotted blood vessels.  If the wart is scratched, pinpoint bleeding can occur.  A cluster of warts in one area of the skin is called a mosaic wart.  Plantar warts can become very painful if not treated.  They are most painful when squeezed as opposed to direct pressure because the skin striations go around the plantar warts.  Plantar warts mostly affect children and teenagers and those with weakened immune systems.

There are various treatment options for plantar warts.  Treatment options depend on the individual and how long they have had the warts.  Since plantar warts can be resistant to treatment, it requires multiple visits and patience to ensure that the wart has been successfully treated. Treatment options include freezing (cryotherapy), various topical medication that includes salicylic acid, cantharidin, Immiquimod, silver nitrate, etc. If none of these treatment options work, there is laser treatment available as well as minor surgery, which involves cutting away the wart.

For more information or to arrange an assessment, contact Ontario Foot & Orthotics at 905-878-6479 in Milton. You can also visit us at www.ontariofoot.ca.

What are custom made orthotics/insoles and how can they help me?

Custom made orthotics/insoles are a corrective device that is used to support and correct the foot in a functional or accommodative manner.  It is a device that is placed in your shoes and helps correct biomechanical issues that may be occurring.  The orthotics can be prescribed to fit many different styles of shoes such as athletic shoes, dress shoes, safety shoes, and also hockey skates, soccer shoes, etc.

Custom made orthotics are recommended for a number of reasons.  These can range from flat feet to high arches, bunions, heel pain, knee pain, lower back pain, and general foot pain and fatigue.   The orthotics can restrict or assist movement of the foot in a specific direction and help redistribute pressure in the foot to avoid excessive pressure on certain weight bearing areas. The orthotics also helps change the alignment of the body to help reduce discomfort in the ankle, knees, and lower back.

Accommodative custom orthotics helps relieve pain and offload areas of the foot without changing the function of the foot.  These types of insoles are recommended for those with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic individuals with sensitive feet, and those who just need more support in their feet in certain areas.

Before custom made orthotics are prescribed, a comprehensive assessment is completed.  This includes a biomechanical exam, which looks at the range of motion in the joints of the feet, knees, and hips.  A gait analysis is then completed to determine how the feet function when the body is in motion.  Once that is completed, a cast is taken of the feet through different means (plaster of paris, serofoam, etc.) and the orthotics are manufactured to your specific needs.

For more information or to arrange an assessment, contact Ontario Foot & Orthotics at 905-878-6479 in Milton. You can also visit us at ontariofoot.ca.

You don’t have to live with ingrown toenails

Living in pain shouldn’t be something that becomes a permanent part of your life. Many people simply learn to live with the constant pain associated with ingrown toenails but there are services out there that can permanently relieve the stress you are dealing with as a result of recurring ingrown toenails.

This is an incredibly common problem and the experts at Ontario Foot and Orthotics can provide a variety of preventative and surgical solutions to ensure you don’t have to live another day with that stubborn ingrown nail.

The reasons that nails become ingrown are many. It could be as simple as wearing the wrong type of shoes for your natural foot shape. That is something that will be looked at during the biomechanical assessment provided at Ontario Foot and Orthotic. During your first meeting they can determine whether your footwear is the problem or if it goes deeper. Some people have feet that are anatomically disposed to cause ingrown nails and some people cut their nails improperly. If you have noticed that you are constantly in pain or that you develop infections in this area, it is time to book an appointment.

There are a few solutions that might suit you. The simplest options are to have the nails cut in the correct manner and to have the offending nail spike removed.  If the ingrown nail is a result of the position of your feet and the way you walk, customized orthotics can help reduce the pressure on the nail preventing ingrown nails from recurring. If it is a matter of nails that are being cut improperly, you can book recurring appointments to treat your nail problems. If you want to deal with ingrown nails once and for all, Ontario Foot and Orthotics actually offers a surgical option that will give you a permanent solution. By removing the nail and chemically burning the root that allows your nails to grow, your nail will not grow back in the area that is causing the pain.  There are options to have a portion of the nail removed, or to have the whole nail removed. It’s fairly non-invasive and many patients are back on their feet in the next day.

Call Ontario Foot and Orthotics at 905-878-6479 in Milton or visit www.ontariofoot.ca for more info.

Foot Doctor : Where does this pain come from? It starts with the feet.

Ouch! Lots of people experience seemingly inexplicable body pain, especially in cold weather. Aches in your lower body and neck can be a result of situational strain but if you are beginning to notice that it is happening frequently then perhaps the answer you are looking for isn’t under your nose, it starts with your toes.

Everything from the back of the heel, knee, calf, hips, lower back and neck can experience muscle pain as a result of problems with the anatomy of your feet and the way you carry weight when you move. These types of dysfunctions are called biomechanical issues and treating such afflictions is the specialty of a little place in Milton and Cambridge called Ontario Foot and Orthotics.

One example of problems many people have with their feet and simply ignore for most of their life is over or under pronation. Pronation is the way the ankle rolls and rotates naturally during a step and it is something everyone does. The heel comes down first and the ankle rolls a few degrees to evenly distribute the weight of your body across your foot. Problems begin to occur when either the shape of your foot or the way you naturally walk cause you to roll your foot either too much or too little during pronation. This causes too much weight to be disproportionally distributed to certain parts of the foot, depending on how you are pronating.

It seems like a simple fix but these things take an expert to diagnose. The staff at Ontario Foot and Orthotics will schedule an appointment and analyze the shape of your feet and the way you walk. Muscles in your feet span across joints and connect to a whole set of muscles which are connected all the way up your legs, back and neck. Through custom orthotic inserts and preventative strategies to fight pain, Ontario Foot and Orthotics can provide solutions to the mysterious muscle pain you thought would never go away.

Call Ontario Foot and Orthotics at 519-623-3000 in Cambridge or 905-878-6479 in Milton or visit www.ontariofoot.ca for more info.