Thursday, April 8, 2010

Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis

Foot pain is…well exactly that; a pain. Heel pain, tends to be the most common complaint at our foot clinic.

Plantar fasciitis is the culprit behind that sharp pain we feel during those first sleepy steps in the morning and then creeps back after a long day on our feet. Heel pain affects both genders and people of all ages.

The arches of our feet are supported by several muscles and ligaments. The major supporter of our arch is a ligament called the plantar fascia. When we stand and our arches collapse inwards (pronate) it cause the plantar fascia to stretch. Although pronation is needed for normal foot function, it is when there is excessive pronation that problems occur. Small micro tears within the fascia itself occur causing inflammation and creating pain. This stretching motion also creates a pulling force at the fascia’s weakest point; the heel.

Heel spurs can develop with prolonged plantar fasciitis; our bodies try to reduce the amount of plantar fascia pull by increasing bone growth in the heel, causing a spur to form. Heel spurs almost always make your heel pain worse due to the pathological boney outgrowth now on the bottom of your foot. Pain can be experience not only in the heel but also in the arch due to multiple areas of stress.

Sudden increases in activity; particularly high impact activity is usually the trigger for plantar fasciits. There is almost always an underlying biomechanical issue which needs to be identified and corrected. Typically, patients with a ‘flat’ foot type have a higher chance of suffering from plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.

Plantar fasciitis is effectively treated with custom foot orthotics. Custom foot orthotics correct the mechanics of your foot by providing support to the arches; eliminating stretching and pulling of the plantar fascia. They are also used to off-load the painful heel area.

Omni Foot Clinic has treated multiple cases of heel pain allowing patients to walk away from their heel pain. Call today to make an appointment!

Happy & Healthy Feet!

Amit Kaushal, B.Sc., D.Ch.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Toe nails… Why are they important?

We have provided some general information on toe nails and a list of common conditions that can be managed by the Chiropodist’s at Omni Foot Clinic. We hope you find this information helpful and we look forward to answering any questions regarding any of these conditions.

Your nails grow at an average rate of 3 millimeters a month. Fingernails require 3 to 6 months to re-grow completely where as toenails can take from 12 to 18 months. Actual growth rate is dependent upon different factors including; age (as we age nail growth tends to slow), gender, season (expect increase growth in the warmer months), exercise level, diet (Diets high in B12 and Folic Acid increase nail growth) and Hereditary factors. Analyzing the recent growth record of nails can reveal the history of recent health and physiological imbalances, and has been used as a diagnostic tool since ancient times.

Major illness will cause a deep transverse groove to form across the nails. Discoloration, thinning, thickening, brittleness, splitting, grooves, small white spots, clubbing (convex), flatness, spooning (concave) can indicate illness in other areas of the body, nutrient deficiencies, drug reaction or poisoning, or local injury.

Some common Nail Conditions:

Paronychia is an inflammation of the matrix (surrounding tissue) of the nail with formation of pus and/or shedding of the nail. Paronychia results from the introduction of microscopic pathogens through small wounds.

Onychocryptosis; commonly known as "ingrown nails" most often affects the great toe but can occur to any of the toe/finger nails. In this condition, the nail cuts into one or both sides of the nail bed, resulting in inflammation and possibly associated infection (Paronychia). The relative infrequency of this condition in the fingers suggests that pressure from the ground or shoe against the toe is a prime factor. The movements involved in walking or other physical disturbances can also contribute to the problem.

Onychodystrophy is a deformation of the nails that can result from chemotherapy. It can include discoloration of the nail. Many times after chemotherapy has been completed the nails can return to the previous near normal condition or they can remain in this dystrophic state.

Onychogryposis, also called "ram's-horn nail", is a thickening and increase in curvature of the nail. It is usually the result of injury to the nail root. An affected nail has many grooves and ridges, is brownish in colour, and grows more quickly on one side than on the other. The thick curved nail is difficult to cut, and often remains untrimmed, increasing the problem.

Onychomycosis is a contagious infection of the nail caused by fungus. It can result in discoloration, thickening, chalkiness, or crumbling of the nails and is very difficult to treat.

Koilonychia is when the nail curves upwards (becomes spoon-shaped) due to an iron deficiency. The normal process of change is: brittle nails, straight nails, spoon-shaped nails.

Subungual hematoma occurs when an injury to the nail results in a collection of blood, or hematoma, under the nail. It may result from an acute injury or from repeated minor trauma such as running in undersized shoes.

Nail conditions can reflect your general health which is why you should have regular foot exams. The Chiropodist’s at Omni Foot Clinic can provide professional foot care leading to a healthier lifestyle. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Omni Foot Clinic & Orthotic Center

Thursday, August 28, 2008

General Foot Care Advice

Why is foot care so important? Simple; your feet carry you everywhere you go. Think of your feet as tires on a car, when the tires are not maintained they affect the way the car runs. Maintaining proper foot care health can be difficult due to decreased flexibility, sight and sensation in your feet as well as an increase in the thickness of your toe nails. For people with Diabetes, these problems happen faster than with normal aging.

Here are some useful tips in maintaining proper foot health:

  • Wear proper fitting shoes

-Features of a good shoe include: firmness in the heel counter (back part of the shoe that holds your heel), Cushioned sole and rigidity in the shoe (you shouldn’t be able to twist and fold the shoe).

  • Wear shoes in the house

Shoes have more protection than slippers which will protect your feet from bumps and bruises

  • Wear cotton seamless socks to absorb moisture
  • Check shoes and feet daily
  • Check shoes with fingers to make sure nothing is inside you might step on
  • Check in between toes and bottoms of feet (if you can’t reach, use a mirror) for any callous or lesions that could worsen and cause problems
  • Moisturize dry feet daily with a cream containing Urea
  • Cut toe nails straight across and not too short to ensure ingrown nails don’t occur

If you have difficulty cutting toe nails and maintaining foot health, make an appointment with your local Chiropodist/Podiatrist. For Diabetic’s it’s beneficial to see a foot specialist every 6 months for a regular check-up and to keep things under control. Remember it better to be on the cautious side when it comes to your health, whether the problem is large or small.

Wishing you happy and healthy feet!

Megan Grantham, B.Sc., D.Ch.
Chiropodist & Foot Specialist
Omni Foot Clinic & Orhtotic Center

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Getting ripped-off when purchasing Orthotics?

Thursday March 6, 2008; 1:38 pm:

There was an interesting feature on the CBC television show MARKET PLACE in an episode called "Sole Patrol".
Link above to watch the full episode online.

I have received many requests to comment on the content of this episode, so here is my opinion:

My compliments to the Market Place & all involved in this program for exposing this issue.

I feel that the show was eye opening for the public. There are certain practitioners that are taking advantage of the "naive" public.


Why are people seeing Chiropractors for their foot care needs anyways? I have never understood this at all.

Actually - why are the Chiropractors treating feet?

Think about this - if you have a throat infection, you aren't going to go see a heart specialist, are you? If you have the flu are you going to make an appointment with your eye doctor? Obviously, not - so then why do people who have foot pain go see a Chiropractor?

Did you know that most insurance company's no longer accept prescriptions for orthotics from Chiropractors? ... Big surprise ;)

Actually, most insurance company's ONLY allow either a Chiropodist/Podiatrist or a Medical Doctor (Family Doctor) to prescribe orthotics. - Makes sense.

General advice to the public - please use some common sense. If you have a foot related problem - SEE A FOOT SPECIALIST.

Now, this is not to say ALL Chiropractors are ripping people off.

I personally work with some Chiropractors. However, I do the assessments; I decided the treatment; I make the true custom orthotic. These chiropractors that I work with are doing the right and responsible thing - they are providing the best care for their patients by having a true foot specialist provide the best possible treatment.


Generally speaking, most of my colleagues; Chiropodists & Podiatrists, do not use the Orthotic Group & the Gait Scan system.

There is NO WAY of using the Gait Scan (2 Dimensional image) to manufacture a custom made orthotic.

I have used similar systems as a tool to measure pressure in order to determine the best possible treatment, but that is really what it is - just a tool. Orthotics should be casted in a 3D form (plaster is the best in my opinion).

The Orthotic Group does not allow people to see how they make their orthotics? That seems sketchy.

I really don't know what goes on in their secret manufacturing room. Actually i'm not sure I want to!

For those interested: A "pre-fab" refers to a kind of one size fits all type of generic orthotic. "Modified pre-fab" you take a pre-fab and add something to it (pad or extra support). A "Custom made Orthotic" is when you start from scratch and make a devise to a cast of the patient’s foot.

Actually - I concur with the lady in the report I suspect they may use pre-fabs or modified pre-fab. How do you make a custom orthotic without a cast? - Can they also make wine from water?

All of the Orthotic Labs that I use allow me to go see exactly how the orthotics are made. That is precisely why I trust my labs. I know exactly what they do and how they do it.

NOTE: Check out the "Orthotics" Section of our web site to see tips to help ensure you do not get taken advantage of.

BEST TIP: Come see me.

Contact me with any questions or comments.

Happy & Healthy Feet,

Your friendly neighbourhood Footman,

Amit Kaushal, B.Sc., D.Ch.
Chief Chiropodist & Foot Specialist
Omni Foot Clinic & Orthotic Center