Keeping your feet safe for the winter

As the weather starts to get colder, it is important to make sure you are keeping your feet warm and dry. Along with winter come winter activities such as skiing, skating, snowboarding, etc. All of these activities require the right footwear in order to keep the feet warm and prevent injury. Here are some tips for making sure you keep your feet healthy for the winter months:

  • When participating in winter activities, it is important to wear the right footwear intended for that sport. You should not wear anything other then the right boots for skiing or snowboarding. The boots should fit you properly, stabilize the heel and forefoot, and have enough room in the toe box for you to wiggle your toes.
  • You can wear custom made orthotics in your boots to ensure better stability and to offload painful areas of the feet.
  • For runners who continue to run in the winter months, make sure you wear warm clothing that helps to wick moisture away. This will help you stay warm in colder temperatures. Make sure to wear proper running shoes and run in areas that are not too icy to help prevent falls and injuries.
  • Stretching is important to keep the muscles warm. Make sure you stretch before you start your activity to warm the muscles up and increase flexibility.
  • Make sure you are wearing the right winter boots. Find boots that are water proof/resistant and that have a warm lining inside. Sometimes warm boots can cause the feet to sweat more making the feet moist. This can actually cause the feet to chill easily and make them more prone to bacterial skin infections. You can put foot powder in your socks to help absorb excess moisture.
  • When buying boots for kids, make sure you buy the right size. Buying boots that are too big can cause blistering, shearing of the skin and also cause injuries. Also make sure socks are not too small as they can cause the toes to bunch together creating extra friction.  Winter boots should fit to size every season.
  • Lastly, do not wear summer shoes in the winter. Wearing sandals or open toe shoes in the cold weather can increase your chances of getting frostbite, and other foot and ankle injuries.

For more information, or to book an assessment, contact Ontario Foot and Orthotics at 905-878-6479 (Milton). Or visit us online at

All of your foot and Orthotics needs under one roof!

Whether for an annual checkup or for a random pain, visiting the local foot doctor is almost like visiting the dentist. It’s not something patients like doing yet know they need to in order to keep their feet strong and healthy.

This is why the Ontario Foot and Orthotics is perfect for all foot needs. It’s a local foot clinic in Milton that has all of your foot needs in one place. The Milton Orthotic clinic serves every part of the foot, whether for something as generic as foot pain or for something much more severe like symptoms of diabetes. It’s staffed with great chiropodists so that patients don’t have to run around to numerous different businesses to get all of their foot questions answered.

Ontario Foot and Orthotics also makes custom orthopaedic shoes to fit around any foot ailment patients may have. There are many different types of painful foot ailments like ingrown toe nails, sports injuries and shin splints. Sometimes it can get bad when it comes to diabetic foot care and pain. This is why the custom orthopaedic shoes are perfect for any foot pain or ailment.

The chiropodists in Milton will help to treat any kind of foot pain that you may have. They have specialists local to you that can help in any situation concerning your feet. They also offer services like laser and compression therapy that can help in crucial foot situations. Their orthotics department helps patients with situations like ingrown toenails, fungal nails, plantar warts, bunions, corns and calluses, athlete’s foot, arthritis, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

They are a local foot clinic that has been serving the community for over 15 years. Their staff has two registered Chiropodists with experience in advanced biomechanics, advanced surgical techniques, diabetic and foot care. Their mission is to provide the highest quality and cost effective foot care in a comfortable environment.

If any patients need a checkup or need help with a pain or ailment they may be having, then please call and book your appointment today.

What can I do about fungus on my toenails?

One of the most common concerns amongst people when it comes to their feet are the changes that occur on their toenails. One might get concerned when they notice discoloration, thickening, or crumbling of their toenails. Sometimes one can experience all three events occurring at the same time. What causes these changes and why?

One of the main causes of change of the toenails is a fungal infection, also known as onchomycosis. This is an infection of the nails caused by a fungus. Fungi can live on nails, dead tissues of the hair, and outer skin layers. Fungal nails are more common in adults and in most cases follow fungal infections of the skin. How does one contract fungus in the nails? There are a number of ways this can occur. 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 many preventative measures one can take to reduce the risk of contracting a fungal infection. These include:

  • Keeping the feet clean and dry on a daily basis.
  • Avoiding pedicures at places that do not sterilize their tools properly.
  • Wearing water shoes or sandals on a pool deck when not in the pool and when using public facilities such as showers, baths, etc.
  • Changing socks on a daily basis.
  • Airing out shoes using a deodorizer to help kill any fungal spores that may live in the shoe.

If you do have a fungal nail infection there are a variety of treatment options available. These treatment options range from topical and oral antifungal medication to laser treatment that is now available to help remove fungus from the nails. These treatment options to take time so please note you will not see immediate results. You must adhere to your treatment plan and should see an improvement within 3-6 months depending on the treatment option.

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

Ankle Sprains: How they can occur and the different treatment options

Ankle sprains are on the most common injuries of the foot. They can happen at any time to anyone from athletes to adults and children. A sprain can occur when you are participating in a sport or physical activity, or even if you step on an uneven surface, or step down on an awkward angle.

An ankle sprain can be very painful and uncomfortable. I have sprained my ankle on numerous occasions from various sports injuries to stepping on an uneven surface. Luckily for me, all my sprains were minor and required conservative treatment that I could do at home along with some physiotherapy.

The ankle has many ligaments that help hold the bones and joints in position. They are in place to help prevent the ankle from any abnormal positions like twisting or rolling of the foot. Ligaments are like an elastic band; they can stretch within their limits then go back to their original shape. Once the ligament is stretched beyond its means, a sprain can occur. The most severe sprain occurs once the ligament(s) has torn. This brings us to the different types of ankle sprains that can occur.

The two main types of ankle sprains are eversion and inversion sprains. An eversion sprain is more rare and occurs when the ankle rolls too far inwards. This can be accompanied by a fracture of the fibula. The deltoid ligament is one of the strongest ligaments of the ankle making it harder to sprain. That’s why this type of sprain is often rare and is usually a result of a break or fracture of the fibula.

The most common type of ankle sprain is an inversion sprain. This occurs when the ankle rolls too far outwards injuring the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The two main ligaments that can be injured here are the ATFL (anterior talofibular ligament) and the CFL (calcaneal fibular ligament).

Once you get an ankle sprain it is important to get it checked to make sure it’s not too serious. Once you visit your doctor or foot specialist, there are a few tests that can be done to determine the degree of injury. An x-ray is sometimes done to determine if there is a break or fracture of the bone. There are three grades of a sprain. Grade 1 is a mild sprain, grade 2 is a moderate sprain, and grade 3 is a severe sprain that usually involves a break.

For grade 1 and 2 sprains the practitioner will probably notice tenderness and swelling at the site of injury. This is usually accompanied by bruising. You may also have limited range of motion of the ankle and should not try to force it in any one position. With a grade 1 or 2 sprain there will be a microscopic tear to partial tears of the fibers of the ligaments. With a grade 3 sprain you will most likely have a complete tear or rupture of the ligament.

There are a number of treatment options available for each type of sprain. Here are a few for each grade of sprain:

Grade 1 Sprain

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Make sure you rest and only weight bear as tolerated. Ice the area daily until the swelling comes down. You can use a tensor band to aid with compression and lastly elevate the ankle to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Full range of motion stretching and strengthening exercises as tolerated.
  • Do not immobilize the foot by casting or splinting, as this won’t allow for any stretching exercises.

Grade 2 Sprains

  • Immobilize foot with an air cast or splint to prevent further injury of the ligaments.
  • Physical therapy with stretching and icing exercises as well as strengthening exercises.

Grade 3 Sprains

  • Immobilization of the foot.
  • Physical therapy similar to a grade 2 sprain but for a longer period of time.
  • Surgical intervention if necessary.

Ankle sprains can happen at any given moment so it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and to wear proper footwear to help stabilize and support the foot. If you do sprain your ankle it is very important to get it checked out to determine the extent of the sprain and the appropriate treatment option necessary.

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

Running The Distances

Do you like to run? Run for stress relief, health benefits, or the challenge? Signed up for a race?

Running is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise, but it can put a great deal of repetitive stress on your body; on your bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments; on your knees, hips, lower back, and of course, your feet!

Whether you are new to running, returning from injury, making a long awaited comeback, or a seasoned runner, there are a number of things to keep in mind when it comes to your training and keeping yourself on the road:

Training errors (eg: too much too soon)

It is very easy to increase the mileage too much in a short period of time. Or to run all your training runs at the same or a high intensity. Remember the 10% rule when it comes to building up the mileage (increase training by no more than 10% each week), mix up you training runs throughout the week (you don’t have to run them all at the same pace), and alternate the routes so they are not all up hills or on the same pavements each time.

Poor fitting or worn running shoes

There’s great debate on how often you should replace your running shoes (or after X amount of kilometres), and lot of it comes down to how often and far you are running. Remember that with regular use, all those miles you are pounding the pavement with, will slowly wear out and break down the materials in the running shoes, that give you all that great support and cushioning.
Have a look at what you are wearing at the moment. Check to see how worn the soles are, how much of the tread has been worn away?
Are your feet starting to feel less comfortable in the shoes or have any new aches or pains started to develop?
Maybe it’s time to head down to your local specialised running store for a proper fitting and a fresh pair of shoes! One piece of advice I give all my patients is that you want to be walking out of that store with the most comfortable pair of shoes, even if that means trying on half a dozen pairs to get it right!

Biomechanical stresses / imbalances

When external factors such as training errors and footwear have been addressed, and there’s still a problem, then maybe it’s your biomechanics (how your body is structured and functions).
Excessive pronation (rolling in), pesplanus (flat feet), pescavus (high arches) and ligamentous laxity (hypermobile or flexible ligaments) are just some biomechanical factors that can create imbalances or extra stresses on our feet and lower limbs. And when you run, you put up to 4 times the stress through your body and joints, so it’s understandable that sometimes it can become too much!
Common running injuries that can occur include: achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis / heel pain, patellofemoralpain syndrome “runner’s knee”, iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome, stress fractures, bursitis, sesamoiditis, medial tibial stress syndrome “shin splits”, just to name a few.
In my personal experience, I have been running on and off for many years, but in the past 7 years I have increased my running from 5km races up to now training for my 2nd full marathon (42.2km) this October! I developed knee pain (patellofemoral pain syndrome) whilst training many years ago and it was my biomechanics that were a major contributor to the injury. I had Custom Foot Orthotics made for me to wear both day to day, and when exercising, to help improve my alignment, as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Orthotics are certainly something that have helped me, but every foot is different, so not everyone requires them, and having an assessment done by a qualified health professional is by far the best way to establish what is going wrong, what may be causing the issue (quite often multiple factors) and the best path of treatment.

If you do require Custom Foot Orthotics to help treat a sports injury, here are a few of tips I recommend:

  • Gradual wear in period – get used to wearing them in your day to day shoes (adding an extra hour each day over a 1-2 week period), before even considering wearing them running/exercising;
  • When buying new shoes (regular or running shoes) always bring your orthotics with you for the fitting, and mention to the staff member assisting with your shoe fitting that you wear them, as this can alter the amount of support/correction you will need from the shoes;
  • If you notice any squeaking of the orthotics when walking/running, I have found Body Glide to work well at eliminating this!

If you are experiencing any lingering aches and pains, or injuries that just won’t resolve, it may be worth a visit to your local Chiropodist/Foot Specialist. At Ontario Foot and Orthotics we provide lower limb biomechanical assessments to ensure the right path of treatment is established.
Treatment options available at Ontario Foot and Orthotics for lower limb sports injuries include but are not limited to; Custom Foot Orthotics (to help correct alignment issues and redistribute plantar pressures), MedXLaser Therapy (to promote healing, and reduce inflammation/pain), plus footwear and training advice.

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

Written By Kirsty Millwood B.Pod
Chiropodist/Foot Specialist

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

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

Are you a Runner? Here are some tips.

As the weather gets better, more people are starting to get active.  One of the most common activities includes jogging or running.  Although jogging and running are great forms of exercise, they can cause certain injuries or problems to the feet.

The most common foot problems associated with jogging or running are blisters, corns, calluses, athlete’s foot, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.  Ankle sprains are also common to runners and joggers, especially if the right footwear is not worn.   Below are some important preventative foot care tips for runners:

  • Make sure to wear the right shoes.  Go to a shoe store that specializes in shoes for running so the right shoe for your foot type can be recommended.
  • Make sure your shoes fit properly. Bring your orthotics (custom insoles) when shopping and make sure they fit the shoes you are considering purchasing.
  • Keep your feet and shoes powdered as this will absorb moisture and reduce friction.
  • Wear clean socks every time you run.
  • Let your body be your guide so you don’t strain your feet or joints; don’t try to run through pain.  Shoes should provide cushioning for shock absorption.
  • Prevent Achilles tendonitis by always stretching your lower leg muscles before and after every workout.
  • Wear shoes made out of breathable materials such as canvas or leather with a mesh toe box.

It is inevitable for runners to get injured, so have your chiropodist assess your feet to guide you to choose the right foot care regimen, give you tips on preventing injuries and guide you to help handle foot-related injuries.

To arrange an assessment, contact Ontario Foot and Orthotics at 905-878-6479 in Milton. Visit us online at

Corns & Callus Treatment – Lose The Sock Tan

Lots of people love to get out in the warm weather and show off their feet to the world but for many of us, the perennial sock-tan line exists for a reason. Those who have neglected proper care of their feet can benefit from a good pedicure but for many of us the line between a cosmetic problem and a genuine health worry was crossed long ago. Corns, calluses, warts and nail infections are more common than you might think but there is a pretty easy solution. There is no reason to continue hiding your foot’s inner beauty from the world and you can start walking down that path with confidence by taking a trip to Ontario Foot and Orthotics.

Calluses and corns are two related issues. A callus is an accumulation of thickened skin that can develop on pressure point areas of the body. Usually caused by poorly designed shoes or particular foot shapes, a callus is unsightly and can quickly develop into its painful cousin, the corn. Corns usually develop out of calluses and form into a cone shape that feels like a painful pebble in your foot. The corn actually has a root-like structure so it does take professional care to remove them. Ontario Foot and Orthotics can remove the callus and the corn as well as recommend proper footwear to prevent them from developing again.

Warts can look similar to corns in appearance but their causes are quite different. A wart is the result of a viral infection, usually contracted through direct contact with vulnerable skin on your feet. There are over-the-counter treatments available at most pharmacies but if you are looking for a quick solution then Ontario Foot and Orthotics is the place to go. We provide a much more aggressive treatment option that removes the wart quickly and prevents it from spreading. We also offer quick treatments for nail infections and offer follow-up consultations to make sure the infection does not return.

If you want your feet to see the light of day once again, call us at 905-878-6479 in Milton or visit for more info.