Charcot Foot

Charcot’s foot is a bony deformity that can lead to serious disability and damage.  This usually occurs in people who have neuropathy, where they have diminished or no sensation in their feet that is usually the result of diabetes.  This can lead to deformity in the bones of the foot.

Imbalance can cause a person with neuropathy to have an abnormal gait.  This can cause the joints in the foot to eventually collapse causing a deformity such as a complete collapse of the arch and flattening of the foot.  Since there is no feeling in the feet because of the neuropathy, if one continues to walk on the affected foot it can cause further injury such as diabetic/pressure ulcers.


  • Early onset includes swelling of the foot.  This can occur without an obvious injury.
  • Redness
  • Heat
  • Instability of the joint
  • Misalignment of the bones that form a joint (subluxation).
  • Strong pulse
  • Dislocation of the joint.

Those with Charcot do not usually feel any pain as they have no sensation in their feet.


The main goal of treatment is to heal the broken bones and prevent further damage.

  • A cast to protect the foot and ankle. It reduces swelling and protects the bones.  The patient must be non-weight bearing and it can take up to 3 months for the injured foot to heal.
  • A specialized custom boot or diabetic shoe.  This decreases the risk of ulcers and is recommended once the swelling has gone down and the bones have begun to fuse.
  • Various surgical procedures for advanced cases where a cast or specialized shoe will not work.

The sooner Charcot foot is diagnosed the better the outcome for the patient.  X-rays are usually done to diagnose Charcot along with the accompanying symptoms. Patients should check their feet on a daily basis and control blood sugar levels.

For more information on Charcot’s foot, or to book an assessment, please call Ontario Foot & Orthotics at (905)878-6479 or visit us at


Why wearing Flip-Flops are bad for your feet

Flip-flops go hand in hand with summer time and warm weather. You can slip them on and keep your feet cooler for the whole summer. One might find though that after consistently wearing them they experience pain in their feet and lower limbs. This is because flip-flops are not very good for your feet.

Recent studies claim that continuous use of flip-flops can cause permanent damage to your feet later on in life. Wearing flip-flops changes the biomechanics of your feet. When you wear them, it forces you to scrunch your toes together and rock in an awkward side to side motion, starting with your heel and moving to the outside of your foot to your toes. Due to your feet being the base of the weight of your body, this can cause much more severe damage than you think. The first signs of damage come from pain in the shin or heel area.

Flip-flops affect all areas of your feet starting with:

  • Toes – When there is only one strap to hold your feet in place, they tend to use the muscles more and could cause cases of tendinitis.
  • Bones – Wearing flip-flops too often can lead to stress fractures in the bones of your feet which develop from continuous trauma without shock absorption or cushioning.
  • Bacteria – One pair of flip-flops can have as much as 18,000 different kinds of bacteria.
  • Ankles – While wearing them you take shorter steps and touch your heels to the ground with less vertical force, which can throw off your natural gait and can trigger pain throughout the body. Changes to your natural gait can lead to issues including your ankles, hips, knees and back.

If you’re a fan of wearing flip-flops and are starting to experience foot pain or think you will, then it is time for the proper Foot Care. Your feet are the base of your body and should be taken care of with the utmost importance.

For more information, or to book an assessment, please contact Ontario Foot and Orthotics at one of our two locations: 519-623-3000 (Cambridge), 905-878-6479 (Milton). Or visit us online at

My Body Changed When I was Pregnant, Especially my Feet!

During pregnancy, there are many changes that occur in the body. The one change that most women don’t realize is the change that occurs in their feet. Some of the main changes you may notice are swelling of the feet, flat feet, and pain in the arch and heel.

During my pregnancy I noticed that my feet started to look like they were getting flatter and I started to develop pain in my heels. This pain started to occur in my second trimester when most of the weight gain tends to happen. I had a hard time fitting in to some of my shoes and it felt like my feet had gotten bigger. Let’s discuss why these changes occur and ways we can manage the pain and discomfort.

Swelling (Edema)

We will start with swelling of the feet. Swelling, also known as edema, occurs when excess fluid collects in your tissues. A certain amount of swelling during pregnancy is normal because you are retaining more water. During pregnancy there is an increase in blood volume that helps you to carry extra oxygen and nutrients to your baby. Pregnancy hormones cause changes in blood vessels that can result in swelling. Gravity pulls all of the extra fluid down to your feet and ankles, causing the swelling.

Here are some tips that can help reduce swelling. Many of them worked for me!

  • Keep your feet elevated as much as possible. If you are working, place a stool under your desk to help elevate the feet.
  • Stretch your legs frequently if you are sitting for long periods of time. Make sure you stretch before walking or participating in any form of exercise.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that allow for stretching.
  • Do not wear socks or stockings that have a tight ring around the calves or ankles.
  • Wear compressing socks or stockings to help keep the circulation going and to prevent pooling of blood.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Exercise regularly.

Flat feet and plantar fasciitis

Flat feet occur because during pregnancy there is an increase in hormones in your body. One of these hormones is called relaxin and it does just that, relaxes the ligaments in the body including the feet. Relaxation of the ligaments plus weight gain contributes to collapse of the arches causing flat feet. When this occurs you may end up having to go up half a shoe size and unfortunately this does not change post pregnancy.

When I noticed my arches starting to collapse, I made sure that I wore good supportive footwear. I also tried to avoid walking barefoot to help reduce pressure on the joints of my feet. I have hard wood floors and ceramic tile throughout my house so I always made sure I was wearing supportive sandals in the house, which helped prevent foot pain. This also helps prevent plantar fasciitis, or heel pain. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia is overstretched causing pain at the insertion point in the heel. When the arches collapse, they put a lot of strain on the plantar fascia, which can lead to inflammation of the fascia causing heel pain. Stretching and icing exercises can also help reduce heel pain.

These are the main changes that occur in the feet during pregnancy. Not all pregnant women experience these changes, however most will experience at least on of these changes. The changes can be mild or can be severe causing an increased amount of pain and discomfort. By following these tips on prevention and treatment of these symptoms, you can manage your pain level and still enjoy a happy and healthy pregnancy!

As the owner of, and a chiropodist (foot specialist) at, Ontario Foot and Orthotics, I welcome any of your questions or concerns. For more information, or to book an assessment, please contact Ontario Foot and Orthotics at one of our two locations: 519-623-3000 (Cambridge), 905-878-6479 (Milton). Or visit us online at

Benefits of Foot Care Services

Relaxed & Healthy Feet Indicate Better Health
Your feet are one of the most wonderful and most complex working mechanisms in your body. Balancing your weight evenly, absorbing its impact every time you take a step, your feet are the only reason that you are able to jog, run, walk and even stand.  As you age and as you gain weight, your feet need extra care and attention so you can continue to stay active and agile. Foot orthotics in Milton can help in keeping your feet healthy, happy and pain free.

Common problems & timely foot care
Do you know how intricately and elaborately designed our feet are? A structure of superb balance with some 26 bones, multiple muscles, tendons and ligaments – some quite sturdy and strong – some delicate and fine-looking, your feet do their work every minute – every second. Painful foot conditions can develop over time that can affect the fine quality of your life. This can be avoided easily by the right treatment at one of the best foot clinics in Milton area.

Care for your feet – imperative
When foot problems occur, both the major tasks performed by your feet become disrupted.

  • Mobility gets affected due to the ill effects of age, weight gain and debility.
  • Supporting your body weight gets very tough due to loss of strength and flexibility in the feet/legs.

Foot pain and other conditions affect the posture and walking ability which can aggravate the problem if not taken care of by the right foot care professionals in a well-equipped foot clinic in Milton, Cambridge and other areas.

Chiropodists & orthotics
Chiropodists are foot specialists and they specialize in treating painful foot conditions due to any medical or mechanical causes. They take time to study you, your foot problems, your gait pattern and any congenital or acquired posture habits that affect the function of your feet and contribute to the development of pain. Chiropodists diagnose the problem and prescribe orthotics, which can be

  • Arch supports
  • Padding
  • Insoles

Made from specialized and custom materials, and moulded individually to suit individual feet, orthotics are corrective devices inserted into shoes.

Take care of your feet – now
Feet can be often neglected until there is a painful issue. They have a major share in all our daily activities including sitting down. They are essential indicators of your overall health status. When you have feet that are well looked after by a foot specialist, your healthy feet contribute to your overall health. When certain foot conditions arise custom made foot orthotics in Milton and Cambridge can alleviate your foot problems tremendously.

Reaching out to any reputable and experienced foot clinics in Milton and Cambridge at the first indication of any foot related problem is the best and wisest precaution. 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

Ball of the Foot Pain – Metatarsalgia

One of the most common complaints people have with their feet is Metatarsalgia, or “Ball of the Foot Pain”.

Metatarsalgia is an umbrella term for a range of conditions that affect the ball of the foot and cause some kind of discomfort and pain. There are many anatomical structures that make up the ball of the foot including: bones, muscles, tendons, fat pad, ligaments, joint capsules, bursa, nerves and blood vessels. As you can see, there’s quite a bit going on, and from time to time, these structures can get stressed or injured!

Symptoms that can be experienced include: sharp shooting pain, dull aches, numbness, cramping, and burning sensations.

These symptoms can be linked to a number of factors such as:foot structure and biomechanics (eg: cavus foot, flat foot, or hypermobile joints), systemic disease (eg. Diabetes Mellitus or Rheumatoid Arthritis), or degenerative joint disease (eg. Osteoarthritis).

Other factors that can affect your feet include: lack of cushioning in footwear, wearing high heels, prolonged standing (particularly on hardwood and concrete floors), or sudden increase in activity or exercise.

There are a number of options for treatment that are offered at Ontario Foot and Orthotics for Metatarsalgia. A full biomechanical assessment will help to establish the cause of the pain, and some treatment options include: Custom Foot Orthotics to help stabilize the foot, correct abnormal joint movements and redistribute excessive pressures; MedXLaser Therapy to reduce inflammation and pain, and promote healing; and footwear advice and recommendations.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or would like further professional advice on your feet, contact us at 905-878-6479 in Milton or visit us at

Written By Kirsty Millwood B.Pod
Chiropodist/Foot Specialist

Milton Orthotics – Qualities Of A Good Shoe

There are many shoe manufacturers and many stores, particularly discount stores.  This has led to a large variety of shoes and also a large variety in the quality of the shoes.  Since the feet serve as the foundation of the structural support of your body, it is important to select quality shoes.  Below are some tips in selecting a good shoe.

What makes a good shoe?

  • Flexible in the right places – the front end of the sole must be soft and should flex to correspond to how your toes flex.  Two tips in selecting a good shoe is to make sure the front third of the shoe bends easily (not the rear two-thirds), and secondly, try to twist the shoe (holding the front and back parts of the shoe) by rotating your hands in opposite directions – a good shoe should not twist very much or very easily.
  • Room for the toes – in regular walking your toes naturally spread out.  Make sure when you try on a shoe, it has some ‘wiggle room’ for your toes.  This will prevent hard calluses from forming and reducing the chance of developing bunions and foot discomforts and pain overall.
  • Mind your arches – the shoe you purchase should either have an interchangeable inner sole, or you should purchase the shoe according to the type of arch you have.  There are three main categories of the arch:
  1. Neutral arch – these require firm midsoles and straight to semi-curved ‘lasts’ (‘last’ is the shape of the sole).
  2. Low-arch or ‘flat feet’ – select a shoe with a straight last and motion control to help stabilize your feet.
  3. High arch – get a shoe that provides cushioning to assist with shock absorption; a curved last also can help.

If you are still not sure and want professional advice on your feet and shoe selection, visit a chiropodist, your foot care specialist.

To arrange an assessment, contact us at one of our two locations: 519-623-3000 (Cambridge), 905-878-6479 (Milton).  Or visit us at

Chiropodist Milton – Why Flip Flops are Bad for your Feet

One of the sounds of summer is the sound of flip-flops. However warm that makes you feel, it can eventually lead to pain and discomfort in your feet. Most flip-flop style sandals are poorly designed and can lead to chronic problems. Read on for the top four reasons why flip-flops are bad for your feet.

Four reasons why flip-flops are bad for your feet:

1. Flip-flops Lead to Excessive Toe-gripping
Since there is only a narrow strip of material holding your foot in place in the flip-flop, with every step, your toes will naturally start to grip on to the sandal to simply keep the flip-flop on your foot, to keep it from falling off.  Repetitively, over weeks and months, this can lead to inflamed tendons, or tendinitis.  Over a few summers, this can eventually lead to a condition called ‘hammer toes, which is associated with pain in the toes and sometimes the balls of the feet.

2.  Flip-flops Provide Little Cushioning and Shock Absorption
Flip-flops are inherently very thin on the bottom, so they provide very little shock absorption as you walk.  By constantly wearing sandals that have such little cushioning, you can develop stress fractures in the bones of the feet.

3. Arch Problems
You could easily call these sandals ‘flat’-flops since they are flat and provide no arch support.  This can promote the actual flattening of your arches, leading to what’s called ‘flat feet’ or pronated feet.  The flimsy flip-flops also can lead to “plantar fasciitis” – an inflammation in the thick band of tissue that runs from your heel to the balls of your feet…so guess where you can get the pain; between the heel and the balls of your feet.

4. Burning Blisters
Flip-flops provide very little material to hold the foot in place while you walk.  This means that the foot moves quite a bit as you walk, rubbing against the base of the flip-flop.  The resulting friction creates a burning feeling or even blisters on the underside of your feet.

For more information, or to book an assessment, contact us at one of our two locations: 519-623-3000 (Cambridge), 905-878-6479 (Milton) or visit us at

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 for more info.

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

Over-the-counter shoe inserts vs. custom prescription orthotics

When you have discomfort in your feet, it’s only natural to look for solutions. Some will try over-the-counter (OTC) foot inserts to try and get relief, while others seek professional advice from a foot care specialist and get a custom solution, prescription orthotics.

A store bought insert/insole usually provides cushioning, or has pre-moulded arch support and can assist in correcting foot structure. However, despite relieving mild to moderate discomforts, such inserts can increase foot problems as they wear down, so it is important to replace them regularly. What has also been commonly found is that each of your feet can be unique from each other, so each may have different support requirements. So how is it possible that a standard OTC foot insert solves different problems uniquely appearing in each foot? Keep in mind that if there is inadequate support, other problems can develop.

The best route to take is to see your registered foot care specialist. A chiropodist will assess the needs of each of your feet and recommend a custom solution that also suits your lifestyle, work requirements and the type of exercise that you enjoy the most. Your chiropodist may recommend either non-custom inserts, or prescription orthotics. It would depend on your unique needs and your budget. Prescription foot orthotics are covered by most extended health insurance benefit plans and best solve your foot problem for a long term solution.

In addition to obtaining the proper supportive orthotics, your chiropodist will also make preventive suggestions to optimize your foot health. This may include advice on which style of shoe best fits your feet, foot care instructions, sports medicine and much more.

For more information, or to arrange an assessment, contact Ontario Foot and Orthotics at 519-623-3000 in Cambridge or 905-878-6479 in Milton. Visit us at