12 Foot Care Methods for those with Diabetes
Diabetes is considered to be a global epidemic. It’s a metabolic disease that has no permanent cure. Uncontrolled blood sugar level can cause organ damage including skin disorders. Diabetic neuropathy is a disease caused by diabetes that can affect nerve endings located in our foot. Ulcerative blister, gangrene and thickening of the foot’s skin are some common foot skin disorders for diabetic patients. In rare case amputation is required if infection spreads and persists for a long period with discharging fluids. Precautions early on is the best way to manage diabetic foot issues.
If you would like to learn more about diabetes in Brampton, you can contact our Brampton foot clinic, and one of our team would be happy to consult with you.
Know Your Skin First
A common approach may not be suitable for everyone, as we have different skin types and textures, respectively dry and oily skin. This is better to consult a skin specialist to know your skin type and take measures accordingly. If you have dry foot skin, use medicated moisturizer or if you have oily skin try to keep your feet as moderately dry as possible, excessive dry skin can also lead to skin problems.
Avoid Extreme Hot And Cold
People with diabetes have a risk of developing diabetic neuropathy, a condition where it is difficult to sense the temperature correctly, thus risking foot damage because of not reacting to hot and cold in a normal fashion. Avoid walking on the beach or hot surfaces as there is risk of burning the skin on your feet. The cold can be similarly dangerous for the skin of your feet. Checking the temperature with thermometer of a bath, hot tub or hot spring before entering. If you don’t have a device to check the temperature, use your elbow to check the degree of heat.
Exercising regularly helps diabetes in control. Increased blood sugar level often prevents adequate blood flow to the different parts of body. Non-impacting foot exercise is very helpful for blood circulation. Low foot impact exercise may include something like walking. Should walking be difficult, massage is also considered a passive form of exercise. You can massage your feet by hand to increase blood flow or have someone else assist to massage your feet.
Control Your Sugar Level
This is probably the most important part of self-care approach to the prevention of ailments caused by diabetes. According to many Endocrinologists, diabetes is a silent killer without any symptoms at initial stage. Uncontrolled sugar level in blood may cause diabetic neuropathy that may damage nerves of your feet permanently. High blood glucose level reduces the body’s natural healing mechanisms. In this case prevention can avoid unnecessary treatments. Use of a blood glucose monitor to take periodic readings will help you manage your blood sugar levels.
Healthy Food Habit
Eating fresh fruits and salads on a regular basis boosts the immunity system and helps recover from diabetic foot symptoms. Endocrinologists can provide special diet charts for diabetic patients to assist with managing appropriate food quantities.
Keep Your Feet Clean
Wash your feet regularly with clean lukewarm water. You can use mild or medicated soap. Do not use harsh soap and hot water as these may be harmful for the skin on your feet. Immediately use a towel to absorb the remaining water on the skin and let it dry at room temperature. This will prevent growth of microorganisms. Moisturize the skin. Before washing don’t forget to test the temperature of water with your hands or elbow, because if you have already developed diabetic neuropathy, your foot may not be able to determine the exact temperature of the water.
Check Your Feet Daily
Cracked heels are often common in diabetic patients. Keep notice if there is any hot spot on the soles, toes or in-between the toe-joints. Hot spots are the primary symbol of a blister or other skin-related ailment. This condition may appear if you have been suffering from diabetes for a long period of time. Use a mirror to get a full and clear view of the sole. If you find any swollen part or red spot, immediately consult a dermatologist who is specialized in diabetic skin treatment.
Choose Right Footwear
Choosing the right footwear is essential for protecting your feet. Select footwear that fits properly and is comfortable. Check for hardness of sole. Ideally look to purchase soft soled shoes because hard soles tend to apply more pressure to the feet. A high quality soft sole shoe can offer the maximum cushioning effect. Footwear should be well ventilated to prevent excess accumulation of sweat, which can promote the growth of bacteria or fungus. A good quality walking shoe along with other sportswear are a good option for diabetic patients as these tend to be made of high quality perforated fabric that allows the shoe to breathe. This is helpful for those with oily skin or whose feet tend to sweat. Avoid the use of cheap nylon-made shoes that do not tend to allow for ventilation.
Avoid Moving Around in Bare Feet
Always wear shoes and socks even when you are at home. Walking without protection can create unnecessary friction or trauma to the feet. Also walking without foot protection with a less sensitive foot can also increase your risk of foot damage without your awareness. Avoid the use of nylon or polyester socks. Use good quality cotton socks as they tend to allow for better ventilation and do a better job of cushioning the feet. Synthetic socks accumulate moisture and are not good for damaged skin.
Trim Your Toenails
Cutting and trimming your toenails on regular basis can prevent an extended toenail from rupturing the skin. Bacteria or fungus can also grow under untrimmed nails which may lead to infection in the future. Trim toenails after bathing when the toenails are soft. Be careful not to cut the skin during trimming of cutting toenails. Avoid cutting them too closely to the skin. Utilize assistance of a podiatrist if necessary.
Do Not Rub
Hardening and thickening of foot skin is common among those who are suffering from diabetes. If you notice any red spot, sores, patch or swollen area avoid itching, which can develop into skin-related issues. Consult an specialist and utilize any medications as prescribed.
Avoid damp and filthy environments. Quit smoking or excessive consumption of alcohol if possible. Always avoid corrosive chemical exposure like toilet cleaners or acids. Always keep your feet clean. Special attention should be taken in winter. You can use aloe vera gel if your doctor permits. This herbal gel can protect your feet from bacterial infection and it can soften your skin.
All The Top Questions About Diabetes & How It Affects Your Feet
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that last a lifetime. It is a disease of the pancreas. Pancreas, located behind the stomach, are responsible for releasing a substance known as insulin into the blood. Insulin is a crucial substance for the body to maintain equilibrium as it helps to use sugars and fats which are broken down from the different types of foods we consume. However, when a person has diabetes, the pancreas either do not make insulin/ make only very little insulin (Type 1 Diabetes) or the insulin that it makes does not function in the way it is supposed to (Type 2 Diabetes).
For additional information visit: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Diabetes-the-basics/
What is a diabetic foot ulcer?
Diabetic foot ulcers are common in people with diabetes, affecting approximately 15 percent of diabetics. It is an open wound or sore that is usually located on the bottom of the foot. Research has shown that the development of a foot ulcer can be prevented. Six percent of people who develop a foot ulcer will be hospitalized because of an ulcer-related complication such as an infection. They can affect your feet down to the bones and are most commonly found under the balls of your feet and under your big toes. There are three main types of classifications of foot ulcers – neuropathic, neuro-ischaemic or ischaemic.
For additional information visit: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/460282-overview
Who is at risk of developing a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
Anybody who has diabetes is at risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer. However, it should be noted that certain demographics are more at risk than others. For example, Native Americans, African Americans as well as Hispanics are more likely to develop foot ulcers that are led on by diabetes. Older men also have a higher risk. Patients suffering from diabetes-related eye,kidney and heart diseases as well as people who use insulin are more likely to get a diabetic foot ulcer. People who lead an unhealthy lifestyle such as using alcohol/tobacco or being overweight can also increase the chances of developing a foot ulcer. People with foot deformities also have a higher chance of getting an ulcer in their foot.
For additional information visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2888355/
How do the microorganisms enter the foot?
Microorganisms are the things that can complicate the foot ulcer. It most commonly enters the foot through an open wound. It can also enter the foot through cracks in the space between the toes, direct puncture, or through paronychia. However, this is less frequently seen. Most of the infections are due to a break in the skin. Diabetic foot ulcers are usually caused by sensory and motor neuropathy as well as vascular insufficiency (when blood does not go to your foot properly). It is important to prevent breaks in the skin, especially in the areas where continuous mechanical stress occurs (such as the base of the foot). The area of the ulcer might start out like a blister, but with continuing irritation, it will develop into an ulcer. Well-fitted shoes can prevent foot irritation.
For additional information visit: http://microbiologyonline.org/about-microbiology/microbes-and-the-human-body/routes-of-transmission
How do diabetic foot ulcers form?
Diabetic foot ulcers usually form because of a combination of factors. They can form because of trauma, poor circulation, foot deformities, lack of sensation in the foot or irritation (such as pressure or friction). It is dependant on the duration of diabetes as well. People who have had diabetes for several years can also develop a condition known as ‘neuropathy’ where there is a reduced or a complete lack of ability to feel pain in the feet due to nerve damage. This is due to the high levels of blood glucose the body has to handle over a long period of time which can also reduce the body’s ability to heal and also reduce the body’s ability to fight off potential infection . A diabetic person might not even be aware of the problem as the nerve damage can occur without pain.
For additional information visit: http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetic-foot-pain-and-ulcers-causes-treatments
Why should a foot ulcer be treated?
You should immediately seek the help of a medical professional (preferably a podiatric) after you spot an ulcer on your foot. Patients with diabetes should seek treatment for foot ulcers otherwise it can further complicate the disease and lead to unwanted consequences such as an amputation or a severe infection. An ulcer left treated is very vulnerable to getting an infection. When a foot ulcer is infected, it can develop into an abscess (a pocket of pus), or a spreading infection of the skin and cellulitis, or a bone infection or a gangrene (an area of dead tissue caused by poor circulation). Treating a foot ulcer early can reduce health care costs, improve quality of life and function of the body.
For additional information visit: https://www.drugs.com/health-guide/foot-ulcers.html
How can you treat a foot ulcer?
There are different ways one can treat a foot ulcer. The first way is known as ‘off-loading’ where pressure is taken off the area of the foot with ulcer. In this method, patients will be asked to use special footgear, crutches or wheelchair to reduce the irritation and pressure to the ulcer area. The second method is known as “debridement” where the dead skin and tissue is removed. The third method is to apply dressings and topically-applied medications such as skin substitutes, growth factors and ulcer dressings. As proper blood circulation is needed to heal a foot ulcer, your podiatrist might order evaluation test such as noninvasive studies. Managing blood glucose is another crucial aspect of treating a diabetic foot ulcer. Sometimes surgery is also used to treat a foot ulcer – especially in cases where the patient suffers from a foot deformity such as hammertoes.
For additional information visit: http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetic-foot-pain-and-ulcers-causes-treatments
Is Antibiotic Therapy Indicated for All Patients With Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
Antibiotic Therapy is not indicated for all patients that have been diagnosed with diabetic foot ulcer. It is only indicated in patients whose foot ulcer has purulent discharge (pus) or shows signs of inflammation. This therapy is also conducted if the ulcer is suspected to have an underlying osteomyelitis. However, if the ulcer persists for more than two weeks even with no signs of infection, careful examination should be performed. Parenteral antibiotic therapy is only used for patients who have moderate to severe infections in their foot. The duration of the therapy varies from patient to patient with patients without osteomyelitis only having to do therapy for 2-4 weeks.
For additional information visit: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/237378-treatment#d9
Which Patients With Diabetic Foot Infections Can Be Treated in the Office?
Patients who have non-limb-threatening infections can be treated in the office using an oral agent. Patients who have mild superficial infections can also be treated in the outpatient setting. Most of the patients will not have a very complicated case of ulcer. These patients do not have purulent discharge (pus) with their skin infection and they will also not have cellulitis, systemic toxicity or osteomyelitis. Patients who have marked tissue necrosis with or without gangrene, bacteremia, shock and systemic toxicity should be immediately hospitalized and treated with much more aggressive management of infections as well as glucose control.
For additional information visit: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/237378-treatment
How to prevent a foot ulcer?
There are several ways one can prevent a foot ulcer. The most obvious way is to maintain a healthy life. This involves reducing factors that increase the risk of developing an ulcer such as high blood glucose and high cholesterol. It also means that one should quit smoking and/or drinking alcohol as it only makes your body more vulnerable to diseases. You should also see a podiatrist on a regular basis and should consult with them to make sure that you are wearing the appropriate type of shoes and socks. You should also do routine checks of your feet at least once a day to check for potential problems such as bruises, blisters, redness etc. You should immediately report a problem to a medical professional no matter how trivial it may seem.
For additional information visit: http://patient.info/health/diabetes-foot-care-and-foot-ulcers
What causes diabetes?
Health care providers have been unable to pinpoint one specific cause for diabetes. While they do know that type 1 diabetes is a disease where the immune system destroys cells in the pancreas, they do not know what causes such behaviour. However, many scientists suspect that genetics might play a huge role in the passing of type 1 diabetes. Most researchers have narrowed down some triggers that increase your chances of getting type 1 diabetes. Some of these triggers include viral/bacterial infection and chemical toxins within food. Your chances of getting type two diabetes increases if you are overweight, take certain types of medicines, are old and are pregnant. Being pregnant puts additional stress on a female’s body which causes some women to develop diabetes, however blood sugar levels do often return to normal after childbirth.
For additional information visit: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-causes.html
How is diabetes managed?
Although researchers haven’t found a proper cure for diabetes yet, they do recommend several ways to manage this disease. Most people manage diabetes through a combination of diet, exercise and medication. Diabetics should also use home and office tests to monitor the levels of triglycerides (a type of fat), sugar and cholesterol in their blood. The method of managing diabetes also depends on the type of diabetes that one has. Type 1 diabetes is usually controlled with exercise, insulin shots and carefully planning of meals whereas type 2 diabetes is controlled by medicines (taken by the mouth) as well as proper diet and exercise. Insulin shots, although taken by some, are less commonly used to manage Type 2 diabetes for patients.
For additional information visit: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=59972&page=4
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Symptoms of diabetes also depends on the type of diabetes. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually come out of the blue and are quite severe. People might feel as if they have to urinate often, have a dry mouth, increased level of thirst and blurred vision. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes also include feeling weak and tired most of the time and experiencing weight loss despite eating an adequate amount of food and feeling hungry. Unlike type one diabetes, type two diabetes build up over time and can often go unnoticed. Symptoms for type two diabetes include increased thirst, increased need to urinate, itchy skin (often in the groin/ vaginal area), yeast infections, slow healing cuts or sores and dry mouth.
For additional information visit: http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/symptoms-in-women
When Is Limb Amputation Indicated?
Limb amputation is not indicated in all cases of diabetic foot ulcers. As healing does not occur in the presence of necrotic tissues or poor vascularity, surgical consultation and intervention is carried out to restore the function of the foot. Surgical debridement in the past has proven to eliminate the need for amputation for many patients. In order to avoid above ankle amputation, doctors amputate the transmetatarsal area or do the resection of a toe. While a ray resection (resection of a toe) can affect a person’s gait, it can be mended via proper orthotic management. However, if the diabetic foot ulcer extends beyond the midfoot, a below knee amputation should be considered.
For additional information visit: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1232102-overview
What Is the Role of Hyperbaric Oxygen, Growth Factors, and Other Biotech Agents?
Hyperbaric oxygen is used in the treatment of foot ulcers. While it may delay the development of a rapidly advancing infection, it should not be used as a substitute for the removal of devitalized/ damaged tissue. As it has low cost-benefit ratio and in some cases also interferes with surgical debridement, it should just be considered as a supplemental treatment to surgical intervention. The new modalities of treatment should be thought of as supplemental therapy to adequate blood supply, antibiotic therapy and surgery. Growth factors too are only effective when the dead tissue and debris is removed from the wound, when there is ample blood supply to promote healing and when antibiotic activity is present to decrease the chances of infection. Biografts are also used in the same ‘add-on’ manner and are only effective when basic wound care is already in place.
For additional information visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4317316/
What Are the Common Etiologic Agents Associated With Diabetic Foot Infections?
When a patient is suspected to have a diabetic foot infection, it is crucial to find out the depth of the infection as well as the antimicrobial agents for empiric therapy and it is also important to get the cultures. In superficial foot infections, the most commonly isolated bacteria are gram-positive cocci such as Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. On the other hand, for infections involving deep structures both aerobic as well as anaerobic bacteria are usually isolated. After the removal of devitalized tissue through surgery, a swab of tissue can be taken for culture. It is important to consider the role of both aerobes as well as anaerobes. However, it should be noted that since superficial swab cultures are misleading, they should not be performed.
For additional information visit: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/237378-overview
Which Antibiotics Are Most Appropriate for the Office Patients With Diabetic Foot Infections?
As most patients with mild infections have gram-positive cocci causative agents such as Because Staphylococci and Streptococci, research has shown the use of oral narrow-spectrum agents to be highly effective. Amoxicillin/clavulanate 500 mg given every 8 hours or 875 mg every 12 hours orally has also seen to be effective. Clindamycin 300 mg every 6 hours and Cephalexin 500 mg every 5 hours given orally were also seen to be equally effective. However, it is important to note that use of antibiotics isn’t always the best way to treat foot infections. Depending on the condition, vascular augmentation, debridement, and pressure relief through shoe modification could be used as well.
For additional information visit: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/237378-treatment
How can I monitor the development and progression of diabetic complications?
Diabetes can come with several types of health complications. This is why you need to make sure you monitor your health properly and seek help of a medical professional as soon as you see something odd about your health. However, to catch the diabetic complications at the earliest stage you must test your urine and get a dilated eye examination at least once a year. Patients who have experienced symptoms of blurred vision in one eye or blind spots or have a history of eye diseases need to see the doctor more frequently. Blood pressure should also be maintained less than 130/80 as high blood pressure can make your body more vulnerable to kidney diseases. Feet should be regularly checked and if swelling, redness, calluses, skin breakdown or cracks are spotted, it must be immediately reported to the doctor.
For additional information visit: http://www.uptodate.com/contents/preventing-complications-in-diabetes-mellitus-beyond-the-basics
Which Diagnostic Test Is Most Useful to Detect Osteomyelitis? Which of the Tests for Vascular Disease Should Be Done Routinely on Hospitalized Diabetic Patients With Foot Infection?
A practitioner who is familiar with foot autonomy can proble an ulcer with a sterile metal probe to see if the bone can be reached. Radiograph is another type of examination that can be carried out to determine the presence of bone infection. However, due to the poor vascularity in diabetic patients, radiographic changes might not be observed quickly. Technicium bone scan and leukocyte scans can also be done but they should not be used as a routine screening tool. Surgical debridement is the most cost-effective and expedient method as it can not only determine the depth of the ulcer but also the extent of vascularity and the presence of osteomyelitis. If the bone is still viable, bone aspiration or biopsy should be performed to confirm the presence of osteomyelitis. MRI can also be used as a supplemental measure of detection.
For additional information visit: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteomyelitis/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20025518
Can I take both pills and insulin to control my blood sugar?
You can take both insulin and oral medication to control your blood sugar as long as your doctor has mentioned that it is okay for you to do so. When you take a combination of pills and insulin as directed by your doctor, it becomes easier to control your blood sugar. Combination therapies are especially useful for people who have type 2 diabetes. Most people taking combination therapy tend to take an oral medication during the day and an insulin injection at night. While insulin will help you get better control blood sugar, it is very crucial that you monitor your blood sugar more often to decrease the chances of low blood sugar reactions.
For additional information visit: http://www.diabetesaction.org/site/PageServer?pagename=tip_medication_insulin
Managing Your Feet with Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that can bring upon several side effects – especially in your feet. If you are a diabetic person, you might want to take extra care of your feet to prevent them from being affected by your condition. A report by the CDC has shown that people with diabetes who were aged 45 years or older were ten times as likely to lose a leg or foot to amputation as to their nondiabetic counterparts. It also mentioned that 60% of leg amputations in adults in America were of diabetic patients.
Two main types of diabetic feet complications:
Diabetes can make your feet feel numb – you might not be able to feel any type of pain, heat or cold whatsoever. This is caused when diabetes damages your nerves. The most troubling part of diabetic neuropathy is that you might not realize the damage to the skin and tissue before it is too late. You might not respond to the potential damage and infection in your feet which can increase the level of complications. Nerve damage can also lead to foot ulcers. Diabetes related nerve damage is more common in people who have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, are overweight, or are over 40 years of age.
Peripheral vascular disease
Diabetes can affect blood flow. When blood circulation is poor, it takes a longer amount of time for cuts and sores to heal properly. If infections don’t heal on time then it consequently increases the risk of an ulcer or a gangrene developing. Gangrene is the technical term given when the skin tissue dies.
Contact your doctor immediately if you start experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- You might feel tingling in your feet
- You might notice changes in the shape of your feet. In this case, try to avoid walking until you go to visit a foot specialist. Don’t try to fit your feet into old shoes as it might cause unnecessary pain.
- You might notice corns, warts and ingrown toenails. Do not try to take them out yourself as it can cause more harm. Try to see your doctor as soon as possible.
- Your toenails might turn thick and yellow.
- The skin on your feet might look dry and have sores.
- You may lose hair on your feet, toes and lower legs.
- You might experience a loss of vibratory sense along with loss of thermal sense and loss of feeling to light touch.
- The skin of your feet might look cracked and calloused. The temperature and color of your feet might also change.
- You might feel pain in your thighs, calves and buttocks during physical activity.
- Fungus infections such as ‘athlete’s foot’ might appear between your toes.
Caring for your feet with diabetes:
- Do not smoke. Smoking further reduces the blood supply to your feet and complicates the pre-existing problems.
- If you have experiencing changes to the shape of your toes and feet then it might be better for you to get therapeutic shoes.
- Limit alcohol as it might worsen the symptoms.
- Check your feet daily for any sores or open wounds which could lead to infections. You should also check for red spots, blisters, changes in color etc.
- Clip your toenails after washing your feet and do not cut the corners. If you are finding it difficult to cut your nail straight, as a foot specialist to do it for you.
- Do not walk barefeet whether you are indoors or outdoors.
- Only wash your feet after you’ve checked the temperature with your elbow. The nerve receptors in your feet might not work well and if you dip your feet directly, you might burn yourself unknowingly. While you should make it a point to wash your feet regularly with warm water (especially the part between your toes), never soak your feet in the water for a prolonged period of time.
- Use talcum powder to keep your feet safe from infections.
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity helps to improve blood circulation to your feet and can also help to manage your sugar levels.
- Don’t buy shoes that need “breaking in”. Make sure that the shoes are immediately comfortable. Try to request the salesperson to show you shoes with deep toe boxes as well as shoes made out of leather/ other flexible upper material.
- Don’t ignore even the most minor of injuries on your feet. It might look small to you, but for diabetic patients even the smallest of wounds can be very risky. Call your doctor immediately.
- Avoid using tape or any sort of sticky products on your feet as they can rip your skin.
- Remember to have your doctor give you a comprehensive foot exam at least four times a year.
For more information about living in Brampton with Diabetes and your feet, contact us in Brampton for your consultation.
Best Foot Clinic in Brampton
Congratulations on making the Brampton Foot Clinic the First Place Winner in the 2016 Brampton Guardian Readers’ Choice Awards in the Foot Clinic category.
The staff at the Brampton Foot Clinic appreciates this award given to them by the residents of the community. This is a very gratifying honour and the clinic recognizes they wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the support of its community.
Since 1994, the Brampton Guardian has been giving the citizens of Brampton and the surrounding areas the opportunity to vote annually for their favourite businesses and services in many categories. This year thousands of citizens voted in October 2016 and the winners for the year were announced in November 2016 and presented with their official certificates. The Brampton Foot Clinic which was in the Foot Clinic category, received the most votes and was presented the First Place Platinum award.
The Brampton Foot Clinic has been proudly serving its community since 1990 and always providing its patients with the utmost standard of care. The chiropodists at the clinic are committed to providing complete foot care treatments, including foot surgeries, diabetic foot care, custom orthotics, orthopedic shoes and laser therapy. The clinic also offers Saturday appointments for patients’ convenience that might be looking for a weekend appointment.
There are no referrals needed and new patients are always welcome. In addition, all healthcare insurance plans are accepted at the clinic.
Please contact our office in Brampton at 905-796-6585 for a comprehensive assessment and treatment.
November 25, 2014Foot Care, Insurance coverage, Orthoticsadmin
Most people do not realize that regular visits to a Chiropodist and even custom made foot orthotics are covered by their insurance.
Orthotics are very good to support your feet and correct any gait issues you may have. Wearing custom made orthotics will reduce foot, ankle and even any back pain that is resulting from an incorrect gait. There are 2 basic types of foot orthotics that are explained on our Orthotics page.
How often have you taken the time to look over your insurance benefits booklet? Do you only research what you are covered for when you have some sort of emergency and need treatments that are not covered by OHIP such as Physiotherapy treatments? As the year comes to a close it is a good idea to check your insurance coverage, if your insurance resets at the end of the year, and your coverage includes Chiropody visits and treatments, now would be a great time to get your feet checked. The Chiropodist at Brampton Foot Clinic will check your feet for signs of fungus, warts, and will remove any corns, calluses and dry / dead skin. If you have any issues that cannot be treated in the first appointment we will outline the treatment course needed and you can then verify with your insurance about your coverage. So make sure to verify with your insurance about your coverage, and get in to see us before the year is done, let’s get your feet in top “running” shape!
Some general information about insurance coverage for orthotics and orthopedic footwear, as explained by CLHIA (Canadian Life and Health Insurance Industry) you can find it here.
Protect Your Feet in the Winter and Avoid These Issues
In the warmer weather of the spring and summer it’s easy to spot issues with our feet. Besides the fact that many of us wear open sandals for much of the better weather, we also like to indulge in pedicures, giving us the opportunity to see our feet and nails up close, helping us spot something that might be troublesome, such as discolored nails, or painful ingrown toenails.
In the winter our feet are mostly covered by socks, shoes, and boots and often by less flexible footwear such as ski boots or skates. Many people do not want to give up their fitness routines in the winter so their feet can end up being pinched, squished and injured in their boots or shoes.
Most of the feet issues that arise from winter activities are circulation oriented, such as chilblains and Raynaud’s Phenomenom. Chilblains are red swollen areas of the toes, than comes from when our toes get cold and then heated too quickly. Blood leaks into the tissue of the toes, making them red, swollen and itchy. While these mostly cause a period of discomfort they can also become ulcers or infected if they are aggravated or if the skin cracks. The best way to protect against chilblains is to keep your feet warm, wearing warm socks under well-fitting footwear and letting your feet warm slowly and gently when they do get too cold. Raynaud’s Phenomenon is similar to chilblains but the result is more severe with more pain and blistering. Sudden changes in temperature are often the worst culprit so be sure to wear warm socks and keep an eye on your toes. As with any circulation issues, diabetics need to be especially aware.
Skier’s Toe and Morton’s Neuroma
Skier’s toe and Morton’s neuroma are another 2 common issues that come from winter. Skier’s toe is when your shoes or boots are too tight against your toes and cause trauma to the nail. If you see a black toenail get it checked by your Chiropodist, they will ensure it is not serious, treat it and counsel you on how to avoid further issues. Morton’s neuroma is also caused by your footwear being too tight, but it is a pinching of the nerves, which will cause numbness, burning and tingling. If the condition is not treated and relieved it can cause permanent nerve damage.
Of course there is the regular issue of blisters. Blisters can be very painful and can lead to infection if not treated. The best cure is prevention with proper fitting shoes and socks, avoiding the issue of blisters if at all possible. If blisters do arise, protect the fragile skin under the blister until it is fully formed and no longer causes pain when touched.
Cold LASERs and Foot Conditions
All of us suffer from pain from injuries, accidents or chronic conditions at some point in our lives. Most of us have some sort of arthritis or joint pain, and most people experience some sort of tendon or ligament injury, or simply sore muscles at some point. These things are normal occurances in a busy active lifestyle and our bodies are built to repair them. However sometimes our body needs help, or the pain is so severe that it hinders our daily lives. When your quality of life is suffering, research if cold laser therapy might be the answer.
There are several foot conditions that can be treated with Cold LASER Therapy. These include:
- Joint pain of the balls of the feet, midfoot, toes, and ankle
- Arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritislaser pain relief
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Plantar fasciitis, arch pain, and heel spurs
- Achilles tendonitis (and other forms of tendonitis)
- Strains and sprains
Cold LASER: How Does it Work?
The LASER’s light is applied around the area where pain is being experienced. When this happens, the electromagnetic energy within each cell becomes chemical energy. This begins a chemical reaction chain, which sets off the healing process. The cell’s chemical reaction facilitates several occurrences, including:
- It increases endorphin release, which reduces pain
- It improves tissue strength
- It stimulates tissue repair and healing
- It increases lymphocyte activity levels, thus strengthening the immune system
- It increases ATP and protein synthesis, which improves growth factor response in the cells and tissue
- Improves the level of ATP and sets off the activity of enzymes in the cells that are targeted.
- It facilitates improved cellular oxygenation and detoxification
- It facilitates faster healing of wounds
- It decreases inflammation and swelling
It stimulates and helps improve nerve function
Cold LASER Therapy (Low Level Laser Therapy, or LLLT) is a technique that European clinics have used for over thirty-five years. Additionally, more than 3,500 published scientific papers (on studies) have appeared worldwide, including ones published and accepted by The Ottawa Panel. Cold LASER Therapy has gained a great deal of favour amongst North American athletes.
Cold LASER treatments are non-toxic and painless, and there have not been any reported side effects. The only sensation you might feel during treatment is a very mild tingling. Many patients feel absolutely nothing. Six to fifteen treatment sessions may be required.