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Cambridge, Ontario N1R 6J6

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Posts for: July, 2014

By Douglas C. Broad, D.Ch
July 28, 2014
Category: Stretching

Stretches for Pregnancy Foot CrampsWhen planning for the birth of your baby, resources abound in the Cambridge area. Prenatal classes are offered at Conestoga College and Guelph Pubic Health Unit, and you can find information on everything from hypnobirthing to breastfeeding from a variety of local organizations. When it comes to the condition of your legs and feet, however, some of the best information comes from Chiropodist Douglas Broad at Achilles Custom Orthotics & Footcare. We want to share the following stretches for pregnancy cramps, so you can treat or prevent painful clenching of the muscles in your legs and feet.

It is important to keep your calf muscles loose and limber. Put your hands at shoulder height on a wall an arm’s length away. Step back with your right foot, keeping your leg straight and the heel on the floor. Now bend your left knee slightly and lean in at the hip, causing a gentle stretch in the back of your right calf. Hold 30 seconds, with your back straight, and then release. Repeat with your other leg.

Then try a thigh shift. Stand with one foot about 24 inches ahead of the other, toes pointed forward. Now lean ahead to put more weight on your forward thigh, hold a few seconds, and lean back again. Repeat this four times with each leg.

Even if you need to sit for long periods, you can loosen things up by lifting both legs straight in front of you and gently moving them up and down in scissor-like movements. Then loosen your ankle muscles by rotating them gently, four times clockwise, four counter-clockwise.

These stretches for pregnancy cramps in your feet and legs should help relieve the pain of clenched muscles, and could even prevent night cramps if you do them before bed. For more information on the health of your feet and legs during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to consult Achilles Custom Orthotics & Footcare by calling our office in Cambridge, ON at 519-624-4122.

By Douglas C. Broad, D.CH
July 22, 2014
Category: Stretching

Stretches to Help After SittingDo you just sit all day? Whether you have to be at your desk for work, or you have gotten in the habit of watching way too much television, you probably realize that sitting all day is not a healthy way to live. Fortunately, Cambridge has several recreational centres that offer activities like clogging, “yogalates,” Zumba, and TRX classes to get you up and moving. Even doing some simple stretches after sitting can help you regain muscle tone and counteract some of the bad effects of inactivity. Here are some to try:

Stand Up and Sit Down – Do this simple action repeatedly without using your hands, even while you are on the phone or working on your computer, to put more motion in your day.

Shrug your Shoulders – Take a deep breath, raise your shoulders up, hold, and release as you let out your breath. This loosens tight muscles and gets rid of tension in your neck and upper back.

Twist your Hands in Circles – Do this with clenched fists, first in one direction and then the other, ten times each, and then shake out your hands.

Extend your Legs and Point your Toes – While sitting, lift your legs up parallel with the floor, then point toes forward and release. Do it five times, lower your legs, and repeat.

Write the Alphabet with your Feet – Lift your right leg while seated and use your foot to spell out all 26 letters in the alphabet; repeat with your left leg.

These will help you get some movement in while you are sitting down, but nothing substitutes for actually getting up out of your chair and doing something active. Take a walk on your breaks; eat away from your desk – standing up if possible; or stand next to a wall and do some calf and hamstring stretches after sitting.

At Achilles Custom Orthotics & Footcare we can treat any foot or ankle problems that are keeping you from being active. Call 519-624-4122 and set up an appointment at our Cambridge, ON office. In the meantime, get moving!

Photo Credit: Ambroa via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Best Stretches for Your FeetCambridge Trails is a network of over 50km of paved or natural surface trails that wind throughout the city. Whether you want to backpack a picnic lunch with your family and make a day of it, or just take a leisurely stroll on a Sunday afternoon, you’re sure to find lots of photo ops on the sections of trail along the Grand and Speed Rivers. Take time first, though, to do a few of the best stretches for your feet to head off injury.

A great way to keep your feet limber is the towel stretch. Sit on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you. Loop a towel around the bottom of your forefoot and then gently pull towards yourself, holding for 15-30 seconds. Repeat three times. You should feel a gentle stretch in your calf and foot muscles.

Now sit on a chair barefoot and lay the towel on the floor. Try scrunching it up in your toes and lifting it. Attempt doing that just with your little toes, which is harder. Do 5 reps with each foot. Next, spread out your toes as wide as you can, hold a few seconds, and then release. Do this 10 times. Then take a golf or tennis ball, or a frozen orange juice can, and roll your foot over it from toes to heel and back again. It’s a great, cooling massage for aching, tired feet, but also helps stretch out the ligaments underneath.

Finally, stand with your toes on a step and your heels off the edge. Slowly lower your heels, hold 10 – 15 seconds, and lift back up. Repeat 5 to 10 times. This helps keep the plantar fascia loose.

Keeping your muscles strong but flexible will make your feet more stable and able to handle uneven terrain better. This helps avoid injury. For more information on the best stretches for your feet—or great podiatric care for your foot problems—contact Achilles Custom Orthotics & Footcare in Cambridge and put Chiropodist Douglas Broad on your team.  Call 519-624-4122 today.

Photo Credit: Jesslef via Pixabay.com

By Douglas C. Broad, D.Ch
July 07, 2014
Category: General Foot Care
Tags: when to stretch  

Always stretch before physical activityIf you’re a part of a running club in Cambridge, you’ve probably noticed that some members like to stretch before hitting the trails and some like to stretch after. There might even be those who prefer to do both! When to stretch has been an ongoing debate amongst runners everywhere.

The latest consensus is that it’s best to stretch after a workout, when your muscles are warm. Many believe that stretching beforehand, when your muscles are cold and tight, puts you at risk for injury, which kind of defeats the purpose, right?

Warming up prior to activity by jogging slowly or moving with low intensity is thought to be a better way to prepare your muscles for a run. Once you’re done with your workout, stretching can keep your muscles relaxed, flexible, and loose, as well as help minimize any soreness.

The thing is, though, many experts agree that the best time to stretch is whenever you feel like it! If you are feeling stiff and tight and stretching makes you feel better—go for it. Everyone’s different. What works for others might not work for you.

If you’re not sure when to do it, try stretching before your run for a week. The next week, just stretch after, and the next week do both. See how you feel and go with what works best for you.

Although currently, stretching after exercise is winning the debate, the bottom line is—when to stretch is really a personal preference. To learn more, call Douglas Broad at (519) 624-4122 or visit Achilles Custom Orthotics & Footcare in Cambridge, Ontario, today.

Photo Credit: Serge Bertasius Photography

By Douglas C. Broad, D.Ch
July 02, 2014
Category: Wound Care

Preventing Ulcers in Your FeetIf you have diabetes, you don’t want a foot ulcer to keep you away from the Forbes Park Music Festival going on in Cambridge this Saturday, July 5. The day will be packed from morning to night with clowns, jugglers, splash pad, food vendors, arts, crafts, and of course—music! Practice the tips below for ulcer prevention to make sure you’re ready for all the action.

The statistics from the American Podiatric Medical Association are a little scary:

  • Diabetes is the main reason for non-traumatic foot amputations.
  • Eighty-five percent of such amputations start with foot ulcers.
  • About 14 to 24 percent of people with diabetic foot ulcers will need to have an amputation.

It is crucial, then, to do everything you can to prevent a foot ulcer from developing. This starts by being vigilant about monitoring your feet. You need to keep them clean and dry and check them every day for any sign of the smallest sore. If you see a spot when you take off your socks, examine your foot in that area to see what could be causing the drainage. A cut, a scrape, a puncture—any one of these could quickly develop into a major sore that doesn’t heal.

At the first sign of a problem, get your feet into our office for a check. Chiropodist Douglas Broad is well-trained to deal with all your diabetic foot complications. We will examine, treat, and dress the wound so infection doesn’t set in.

Other things you can do for your foot health: Keep your glucose levels under strict control; wear protective footwear, even in the house, to keep your feet safe; and get enough exercise to keep your circulation in top form.

Achilles Custom Orthotics & Footcare offers expert care for diabetic feet. Call our office in Cambridge, ON, at (519) 624-4122 for an appointment, or request one on our website. Keeping your feet healthy is our primary goal.

Photo Credit: Alexis via Pixabay.com

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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