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Cambridge, Ontario N1R 6J6

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Posts for category: General Foot Care

    Did you know that our ancestors were actually very strong runners? This is because homo sapiens, prior to the advent of weapons, had to chase their prey until the animal was too exhausted to continue running. And because the first running shoe did not come about until about 1890, we know that homo sapiens were definitely running barefoot. Because of this, many runners believe running is simply in our genes. This information has made runners ask the question, “why wear running shoes?” Just Google the subject of barefoot running and you will find thousands of accounts of runners whose knee hip and foot injuries were “cured” by switching out of shoe gear toward barefoot running.  However, studies also have shown that the biggest deterrent to trying barefoot running is fear of injury. So which is it? This week we will examine the science behind why barefoot running can be beneficial. Next week we will look at its cons!

The Benefits of Running Barefoot

  • Studies show runners land softer and more gently when running barefoot. This is because barefoot running is asscoatied with a shorter stride length, meaning the distance between two heel strikes of the same foot is shorter. This shorter stride length alters the impact of running and leads to reduced stress on the foot
  • Running barefoot seems to increase input to the neuromuscular system of the body. This ultimately means that runners who are running barefoot report more balance and less falls
  • Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that barefoot running does not result in fallen arches. In fact one study found that there was an increased arch height in subjects who had been running  barefoot for 3+ months
  • Hip and knee joints experience less abnormal rotation and motion when running barefoot, and this can reduce the risk of injury to these joints
  • There is less stress on the metatarsal bones of the feet when barefoot running, suggesting reduced forefoot pain  in runners who have had previous injury

So there you have it- the potential benefits of running barefoot. Don’t make your decision just yet though- stay tuned until next week when we discuss the cons of running without shoes. Questions? Give us a call at 519-624-4122.

Happy Spring!


January 25, 2016
Category: General Foot Care
Tags: Raynauds   Cold feet   blue feet  

Brr, its cold out there! It looks like after that balmy December, winter has finally arrived! And its a cold one, to say the least. While most of us can beat the cold by dressing as warmly as possible and doubling up on layers, the reality is, some people cannot get warm, particularly in their toes and feet.  Indeed, there are a couple of specific medical conditions which make a person’s feet colder than usual, and on days like today, this coldness can become hard to bear.  The good news? A registered Chiropodist can be there to assist with the problems associated with these conditions, and make the day-to-day better for our patients.

Before we discuss treatment, we need to discuss the conditions:


This condition occurs following exposure to cold in which the affected body part (often toes) becomes itchy, red and swollen for 7-14 days. The condition represents s a form of localized vasculitis, which simply means inflamed blood vessels. The development of a swollen digit often appears suddenly and can be alarming to patients if they haven’t seen it before. Sometimes the entire foot can become swollen.

Reynaud’s Phenomenon

This is a fairly common condition in which there is reduced blood flow to the digits of the feet and hands.  This condition is characterised by attacks which are usually initiated by a rapid change in temperature, causing the affected body part to change colours. First, the body part becomes white, then blue and finally bright red.  When people see blue toes, they generally become very concerned.  The blue occurs due to reduction in blood flow and the red occurs at the end of the attack when blood flow to the digit increases.  This condition can affect anyone but most commonly affects young women.  Reynaud’s attacks can also be precipitated by strong emotions such as stress or anxiety. This condition can happen on its own or in combination with other diseases. When it’s in combination with other diseases, it’s called Secondary Raynauds.


So now that you know what these conditions are, we can discuss treatment. For both conditions, keeping the feet as warm as possible is the only real treatment.  Keeping the home and office warm, regular daily exercise and avoidance of vasoconstrictors such as caffeine may also help. In cases of chilblains, your chiropodist may be able to prescribe a topical corticosteroid which could be helpful for symptom relief.

If you have cold feet and toes that extend beyond that of what you consider to be “normal,” then you should call us at 519-624-4122! We can help!


Stay warm and Happy Monday!

October 27, 2015
Category: General Foot Care
Tags: Lupus   Raynauds  

Many often wonder why we spend so much time talking about systemic diseases when they don’t seem to have anything to do with feet whatsoever. What you may not realize is that many systemic  diseases can have effects on mobility, skin integrity and more. Further, lots of systemic issues present first in the foot, so in many cases, a chiropodist is the first person to notice when something bigger could be going on.

One example of a condition that can have effects in the foot is lupus. Lupus is a fairly common connective tissue disease in which the main initial symptoms are extreme fatigue, generalized fever, photosensitive (sun-related) rashes and polyarthralgia (joint pain).  Lupus, being systemic, can have a pretty profound effect on all body systems and is connected to other disease processes such as atherosclerosis, kidney failure, alopecia (hair loss), anemia and greater susceptibility to infection.

Lupus also has a major impact on the feet. What can begin as simple aches and pains for patients can become debilitating.  Patients sometimes come into our office barely able to walk. Some lupus patient’s feet are extremely cold, and turn blue frequently which can be alarming. Vasculitis, or swelling of blood vessels can lead to open wounds on the lower limb in lupus patients.  So how do we manage these many different presentations of lupus in the foot?

Lupus and the Foot 

With lupus, footcare is mostly palliative. Patients are advised to protect the fragile skin on their feet and report to us with any lesions. So what may be a simple blister for you or me can be a nightmare for a patient with lupus. Patients are also fitted with accommodative, cushioning orthotics. Patients may require local wound care as well, depending on the severity of vasculitis and arterial disease.  Overall we have seen firsthand the benefits of seeking podiatric care when diagnosed with this condition. The sooner symptoms are managed in the foot, the greater the longterm mobility outcomes.

If you have any of the foot problems discussed here today, give us a call at 519-624-4122! You never know, it could make the difference between walking in pain, or walking pain-free.

Happy Tuesday! 

With fall comes the onset of many different types of sports teams. Whether recreational, competitive or in-between, sports can have an incredible impact on the feet. Let’s take a look at some common sports and discuss how they can impact the foot.

Baseball (Go Jays Go!)

Baseball has lots of starts and stops, running, and uniquely, sliding.  These motions, especially the sliding, can result in irritation to the ankles and therefore sprains and strains of the ankle joint are common in sports. If playing competitively, players may be wearing cleats.  With cleats, forefoot damage such as neuroma, stress fractures, and bunions and hammertoes are more common.


Unlike baseball, this sport has a lot of jumping and running.  Therefore, the most common injuries in basketball tend to be damage to the first metatarsal-phalangeal joint, or what most people refer to as the “ball of the foot.” Extra cushioning in this area can help.  Additionally, ankle sprains are commonplace in basketball players.


Much like baseball, there is a lot of shuffling from side to side in tennis. Therefore, we often see sprains and strains of the ankle joint, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis and tennis toe.  A good tennis shoe is imperative to injury prevention .

Ice hockey

With hockey being Canada’s favourite pastime, we tend to see a lot of injuries resulting from this sport. Even though the foot is protected in a skate, injuries to the lower extremity account for 27% of all injuries in skates.  One of the most common is sprained ankle from the actual motion of skating. A second common injury is referred to as “skate bites” and refers to inflammation over the top of the foot where the laces are usually tied.  In general skate bites are caused by laces tied too tightly, irritation and friction between the skate and the foot, and improper socks (too thick or too thin). Finally, contusions and fractures are common in hockey.  The most important thing with a fracture is to seek treatment- and not just play through pain, as many competitive players often do.

Each sport has a unique set of motions and actions required and this means that different injuries can result from different sports. If you are playing sports this fall or winter, we can help with injury prevention by discussing footwear, orthotics, etc. If you are already injured, we can help with that too, so give us a call at 519-624-4122 today!


Arthritis and its Impact 

September is Arthritis Awareness Month, and so in the name of that, we thought we would help to bring some awareness to arthritic conditions that affect the foot. According to the Arthritis Society of Canada, 4.6 million Canadians live with arthritis, 33 billion healthcare dollars are dedicated to arthritis treatment, and arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the Canadian populations.  And when you think about the role of the foot, the impact of this condition on mobility can be devastating.  

When most of us think of arthritis, we usually think of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. However, the term “arthritis” is actually an umbrella term which covers many, many diseases.  Some of these conditions, in no particular order, include: gout, ankylosing spondilitis, Reiter’s disease, lupus, infectious arthritis, scleroderma, stills disease, fibromyalgia, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and Paget’s disease.  This list is not even exhaustive!   So how do we as chiropodists manage such diverse conditions?

Treating the Arthritic Foot

  Because many of the arthritic diseases are progressive with no cure, much of the treatment is therapeutic and involves pain management modalities. Some of these modalities include: padding and strapping, taping, prefabricated insoles, cushioning footwear, orthotics which can accommodate arthritis-related deformities, interdigital wedges, laser therapy or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.  Some specific forms of arthritis can be managed and prevented with certain medications and lifestyle changes. For example, gout, a form of arthritis caused by deposition of proteins in the joint space, is managed with drugs, diet modification, and hydration.

With so many options out there, it is always best to seek professional advice rather than MacGyvering your own  cushioning modalities!If you have arthritic related pain in your feet, give us a call at 519-624-412. We can help to determine what form of treatment may be best for you.



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366 Hespeler Road
Cambridge, Ontario N1R 6J6

Chiropodist - Cambridge, Douglas C. Broad, D.Ch, 366 Hespeler Road, Cambridge Ontario, N1R 6J6 519-624-4122