Chiropodist - Cambridge
366 Hespeler Road Unit #12
Cambridge, Ontario N1R 6J6

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Posts for: October, 2014

    We talk a lot about "Pes Planus" or flat feet on the blog, but what about "Pes Cavus”, or a high- arched foot? The truth is, in general, flatter arches are more common within the population, and we see many more patients with a flat arch than a high arch, so that is probably why we discuss flat feet more on the blog! However, that said, high-arched feet, when they do occur, can cause sore feet and callous formation, and can lead to mobility issues down the road.  

    So what are common causes of high-arched feet? Often, arches are the product of genetics, and therefore we are born with them and they often don't change. However, occasionally, we see individuals with specific neuromuscular conditions that can affect the height of the arch, as well as mobility. Some of these conditions include Charcot-Marie Tooth disease, Polio, or Spina Bifida. Sometimes, cavoid feet are the result of biomechanics, and can occur due to weakened peroneal muscles, or spasticity of the posterior tibial muscle. Regardless of the cause of the problem, the effect of a heightened arch can cause some serious problems with pain.

    Some of the more common problems we see are severe callous formation under the left and right sides of the feet, and on the bottom of the heel. These can be very painful, high-pressure areas, and can become ulcerated, particularly in Diabetics.  We also see clawing of the toes and bunion formation, which can make finding accomodative footwear very difficult. Other problems we see are neuroma or bursitis formation.  In runners, we see inversion ankle sprains and plantar fasciitis. 

    Clearly, there are a number of problems associated with having high arches, and these tend to cause our patients a lot of stress! Often the solution is to provide comfort and relief to painful high-pressure areas, reduction of painful callous and improvement of tissue viabilty, and provision of accommodative footwear or orthotic management.

    If you think you have a high-arched foot, and that this could be a source of your foot pain, give us a call at 519-624-4122 because with an accurate biomechancial assessment, we can get you back on your feet and feeling much better!

“My toenails fall of regularly” and “my toenails turn blue/black and very thick” are terms that we hear often from runners. Chances are if you are an avid, frequent runner, you have experienced a thick, bruised toenail more than once in your life. Our patients who have this problem often come to see us because they are embarrassed about the appearance of their nails, but do not want to have to give up running.


    As with many conditions, determining the reason behind why nails become thick, bruised and eventually fall off, is the key to determining the solution. In runners, the simple answer is that often, with long or strenuous runs, the toes and forefoot are repetitively making contact with the front of the running shoe, and this is causing micro-trauma to the nails. With time, the nails bruise and change colour, and for many runners they do eventually fall off.

    What complicates this simple answer is the fact that some marathoners, long distance and extreme runners have never experienced this problem.  How is this possible? The answer is that there is variation in everyone’s individual biomechanics. That is, every person has a unique set of biomechanical measurements which determine how their foot will function under various conditions, including running.


    For example, if a person has “flat feet” or “low arches,” their forefoot will be constantly be closer to the ground than someone with a normal arch, and their foot will thrust forward in the shoe, more regularly than someone without a flat foot. The same is true for someone who has joint hypermobility, or a pronated foot type.


    So what is the solution to black, blue and thickened toenails in runners? It could be as simple as a change in footwear.  Alternatively, orthotics may improve the foot function while running, and thus alleviate the pressure caused by the interaction between the forefoot and the shoe.  The only real way to know is to have a biomechanical assessment.


If you are sick of your blue toenails and want a more permanent solution, give our office a call at 519-624-4122. We can help. Happy Friday and enjoy your long-distance run this weekend!

October 10, 2014
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Flat Feet   callus   Corns  

“Ouch, my feet hurt!” is a complaint that we hear on a daily basis from many of our patients here in Cambridge.  On examination, many of these patients present with corns or calluses. For those of you who are unaware, corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin, which is also known as hyperkeratosis. Specifically, a callus is a diffuse area of thickened skin, while a corn is a small localized area of thick skin in which a deeper nucleus is present. Much of the time, calluses and corns do not cause pain- they simply occur due to the wear and tear of everyday life. However, once in a while, corns and callus become pathological; that is, they become painful and can disrupt mobility.

So why do we get corns and calluses?

There are some specific health conditions which can predispose a patient to developing painful corns and callus, some of which may include:  foot deformities like claw toes, hammertoes or bunions, diabetic neuropathy, and arthritis. Often, though, calluses and corns arise from a patient’s natural foot type. An example of a foot type is “flat feet,” also known as pes planus, which occur in a certain proportion of the population, and can also cause pain. Because the flat foot contacts the ground differently than a foot with a more defined arch, a flat foot can lead to the development of pathological callus. There are many different foot types, or mechanical problems can predispose an individual to  callus and corn development.

How are callus and corns treated?

There are a few options for treating corns and calluses. The most common method involves routine debridement of problem areas. A chiropodist will use a scalpel to cut off the painful thickened skin. This does not cause the patient any pain. In general, a patient will have to return for debridement every 6-8 weeks. Alternatively, if calluses and corns are developing due to a mechanical problem, then orthotics may represent a more long-term and effective treatment option. Orthotics are in-shoe devices that can help correct faulty foot mechanics that lead to the callus developing in the first place. Finally, reducing callus and corns may be as simple as changing footwear. Footwear that is too tight, lacks the appropriate depth, or causes pain in any way can lead to callus and corn development.

To end the cycle of callus development, call our office at 519-624-4122 – our Chiropodist can help! 

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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