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

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Posts for tag: Diabetes

November 10, 2015
Category: Diabetes
Tags: Diabetes   Wound   Ulcer   Cambridge   Foot  


The staff at Achilles Foot Specialists and Custom Orthotics spent all of last weekend in Ottawa at the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine (CFPM) conference learning about all sorts of ways that we can serve you- our patients- better. One major topic this year was that of diabetic wound care.  The question often comes up in practice “why do Diabetics need special attention when it comes to wounds?”

The answer to this question is multifaceted but the reality is that diabetics tend to have poorer blood supply, less sensation, and other co-morbidities that can severely impede healability. A non healing wound can lead to infection, amputation and even death.  And therefore a small blister for one person can be life threatening to a diabetic.

If you have Diabetes, there are some simple actions you can take daily to reduce the likelihood of developing a wound:

  • Look at your feet EVERY SINGLE DAY!
  • Wear white socks so that you can see if your feet have been bleeding during the day
  • Keep your feet clean and in between your toes DRY
  • Inspect for cracks and dry skin and moisturize the bottom of your feet
  • Report  any new foot pain to your chiropodist IMMEDIATELY

If you do develop a wound, your chiropodist will have the knowledge, tools and supplies to act fast and provide local wound care, address your concerns, and help to prevent future occurrences and infection. SO give us a call today at 519-624-4122 if you have diabetes!

Happy Tuesday! 

    Happy Friday Everyone! In keeping with our theme of “Footwear Friday” we thought we would discuss an area of our practice that does not often generate enough discussion.  You guessed it- footwear!  Let’s state the obvious: whether you have foot problems or not, footwear matters.  Wearing the wrong shoe can lead to multiple issues, if not now, down the road. For example, in women especially, wearing heels on a regular basis can lead to shortening of the Achilles tendon, Morton’s neuroma, and callous.  In diabetic or high-risk patients who are in the wrong footwear, the result can be devastating because ulceration, infection or amputation can ensue. Fortunately, there are some basic footwear tips that can help to make shopping for the right shoe easier, and can also help to prevent mobility problems later in life.

Some basic footwear tips include:

  • If wearing heels regularly, wear shoes with variable heel height, and try to wear shoes which accommodate all the toes (aka no pointy shoes)!
  • Wear footwear indoors as much as possible and avoid walking outdoors barefoot
  • Slippers should have a back to them. This means no flip-flop style slippers. Your foot works too hard in this kind of shoe!
  • Wash shoes regularly. If you can’t throw them in the washing machine, purchase a spray disinfectant. This will help to prevent infection
  • If swelling of feet is an issue, then purchase footwear at the end of the day
  • Bring new footwear to your chiropodist prior to wearing them! We know what to look for!

Diabetics need to take extra care when purchasing footwear. Some tips include:

  • Shoes should have extra depth and extra width to accommodate deformities, and provide maximal comfort
  • Shoes should have functional fastening, a firm heel counter and should not be too loose or too tight
  • Buy a shoe with a firm, breathable upper
  • Look for cushioning properties. Materials to look for include: foams, poron, and ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA)
  • A stabilizing heel that is low and wide can provide stability
  • Footwear should be worn at all times
  • Seamless white socks are also recommended

While these lists may seem long and intimidating, lots of brands provide many of these features in many of their shoes. Brands we love include: Birkenstock, Finn Comfort, Clarks, Brooks, and Ecco. And lucky for you, we sell all of these brands in our office!   Come on in for a professional fitting by Karen, our in-house expert!  For more info call us at 519-624-4122.

Happy “Footwear Friday!”

July 09, 2015
Category: General Foot Care
Tags: Diabetes   Neuropathy   neuroma  

    You know that tingling, pins and needles, type of feeling you get when you have been sitting for a long period of time? Well the medical term for that feeling is parasthesia. If tingling in the lower extremity is progressive, it could lead to a complete loss of sensation in the toes or feet, and this is known as neuropathy. Tingling and neuropathy is common in many of the patients we see here at Achilles, and so we thought it would be worthwhile to discuss it here today!

    Tingling is a common symptom of some systemic disorders, some of which are serious and others which are not.  Some of the most common systemic conditions which present with tingling of the toes and feet include: diabetes (both Type I and Type II), vitamin b12 deficiency, multiple sclerosis, HIV, lupus, and lyme disease. Regardless of the condition leading to tingling and numbness, the cause is still the same, and that is damage to the nerves of the foot that is caused by these conditions.

    When systemic conditions are not the cause of peripheral neuropathy, local causes are investigated. Some of the more common local reasons for tingling in the toes include Mortons’ neuroma, and tarsal tunnel syndrome.  We will discuss these today!

Morton’s Neuroma

         Morton’s neuroma occurs due to compression of the nerve that sits in between two of the long bones of the foot, called metatarsals. The metatarsals are part of the midfoot and are the bones that attach to the toe bones. These bones can become compressed by footwear, especially high pointed heels, and therefore, neuromas tend to present more often in women. Symptoms of a neuroma usually are pain, tingling and a feeling of walking on a pebble. Pain relief occurs when shoes are removed and during rest. The symptoms usually occur to only one foot. Fortunately, neuromas are treatable with injection therapy, orthotics, and footwear modification. 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome

    This condition is caused by a compression of the nerve that travels along the inside ankle bone. Compression of this nerve can also occur with footwear, injury or trauma to the area. The symptoms, much like neuroma, include tingling, numbness and shooting pain in the ankle and towards the end of the toes.  Tarsal tunnel syndrome has a longer period of healing but the good news is, with orthotics, immobilization, casting, and other physical modalities, symptoms can be greatly improved.

    Regardless of the cause of your tingly feet, it is crucial to have them investigated to ensure that your feet are protected and that you are not exhibiting signs of an underlying, more serious condition. Give us a call at 519-624-4122 to book your appointment today!




    We hope everyone has been enjoying this warmer weather- we sure have been! With warmer weather comes barefoot fun; walking on the beach, running through freshly cut grass, and swimming.  Unfortunately, with warmer weather, there is also a spike in diabetic foot complications.

 Let’s discuss a major problem that can occur in longstanding diabetics- Charcot Foot Syndrome (CFS) or Charcot osteoarthropathy. This condition is progressive, and if left untreated can result in severe foot deformity, often called rocker bottom foot. A rocker bottom foot looks exactly like the convex surface of the bottom of a rocking chair. This is great for rocking, but not great for walking. Let’s take a look at how CFS occurs and how we can help to prevent it.

How does it happen?

CFS does not happen overnight. Usually, it occurs in longstanding diabetics who lack sensation in their feet. Without sensation, these patients do not typically feel much pain. Therefore, a diabetic may not notice an injury as quickly as the rest of the population.  This is how CFS starts.  An injury, such as a stress fracture, goes unnoticed, and therefore untreated.  Often, even when a patient presents with a red hot swollen foot, a health care practitioner prescribes an antibiotic without ordering an X-ray, thinking it is the beginning of a diabetic foot infection.

If this initial injury is not recognized, and immobilization is not undertaken, then deformity can ensue.  Once the swelling goes away and the foot shape starts to change, this is a sign that CFS is progressing. This is a stage we really all want to avoid- so let’s discuss how to do just that!

How to recognize a foot injury

As diabetics, you hear all too often the dangers of ulceration, and the higher risk of amputation. The nice thing is the same rules apply for CFS as for avoiding ulceration. These include:

  • Check your feet at the end of each day
  • Try not to walk barefoot.
  • Wear shoes indoors.
  • Wear white socks so you will recognize bleeding points
  • Have a biomechanical assessment to identify problems and get orthotics
  • And most importantly: if you notice discoloration, swelling or heat, get to your chiropodist, physician or emergency department IMMEDIATELY. And, if CFS is not mentioned, advocate for your own health and express your concerns with healthcare practitioner!

Have a safe and happy summer everyone and contact us at 519-624-4122 for all of your footcare needs

    One of the most enjoyable aspects of running a chiropody practise is that in general, most people leave your office feeling better than they did when they first came in. If the patient came to see you with an ingrown toenail, a plantar wart, or painful nails, corns or calluses, chiropodists have several tools at their disposal which can make the patient feel better right then and there. The most common reason for regular visits to a chiropodist is for what we refer to as routine nailcare. Now, if you are an active and healthy person you are probably wondering why on earth anyone would need someone to cut their nails, and even further, why does this require the help of a professional

    Well, there are many different reasons why a patient may require assistance with their nailcare, but two of the most common types of patients are individuals with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, and senior citizens. This week’s blog post will focus on why diabetics are at greater risk for foot problems than the average individual, and next weeks blog post will focus on why seniors may require assistance with their feet.

    People who suffer from Diabetes produce either no insulin (Type 1) or are considered insulin-resistant (Type 2). Insulin is an important hormone responsible for regulation of blood glucose levels. Therefore, Diabetics must be very vigilant about their sugar intake.  High blood glucose levels can lead to a multitude of problems, including a nerve condition known as diabetic neuropathy, which refers to a lack of sensation, and often affects the toes of the feet first. Without sensation, diabetics may not notice cuts or pressure points on their feet, and this can make using sharp instruments such as nail clippers dangerous. Additionally, high blood glucose also results in slow wound healing processes.  This puts Diabetics at an increased risk of infection.

    Many diabetics come to a chiropodist for a diabetic foot screening, nail care, callus debridement and general maintenance.  Because a Diabetic may not notice if they stepped on a sharp object or cut themselves, it is critical that any person with diabetes undergo routine footcare with an expert.

    If you have Diabetes, and aren’t sure if footcare is something you require, give us a call at 519-624-4122 and we can book you in for a foot screening which will help us to better meet your needs. 

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Call Today 519-624-4122

366 Hespeler Road
Cambridge, Ontario N1R 6J6

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