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

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Barefoot Running, Hype or Healthy? - Part II



This week we will conclude our discussion of running barefoot.. Last week, we investigated the potential advantages of running barefoot so this week we will discuss the cons.

Cons of Barefoot Running

-          In “forefoot strikers,” i.e. those runners who land on their forefoot while running, barefoot Rrunning can increase the load on the forefoot. This predisposes to injury of this area, particularly metatarsal stress fractures.

-          The muscles of the back of the leg work much harder while running barefoot and this predisposes to posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis and other sprains and strains

-          The fat pad of the foot is subjected to 150% more pressure while running barefoot than in shoes, leading to concerns of fat pad atrophy which can lead to callus buildup or wounds in high risk individuals

-          The risk  abrasion, scratches, splinters and wounds is significantly higher in  barefoot running. In high risk individual such as diabetics, barefoot running can quickly lead to infection

After consulting the science and our conclusion is that there really is no concrete answer or solution to whether barefoot running can be beneficial! Therefore, every runner will have to make that decision individually. But having a foot exam can tell you if you have conditions or injuries which will make barefoot running harder on your feet. So, give us a call to learn more! 

Happy Sunday! 

Lets talk Sports Medicine!

We have heard a lot about stretching and its importance both before and after exercise.  But have you ever been at the gym and noticed that most people walk for five to ten minutes on the treadmill before doing anything else?  This five minute warm up is actually very important for injury prevention- even in the feet!  Here are some reasons why:

A warm up:

Increases oxygen delivery to the tissues, even those far-away toes!

Getting the body into warm-up mode helps to increase heart rate, which in turn increases blood flow to the distal extremities- i.e. the toes! Blood carries oxygen and oxygen is necessary for normal functioning, healing and tissue regeneration, so increasing activity slowly to get that heart rate up before intense activity will help prevent injury in the long run.

Increases the elasticity of muscles

Muscles subjected to warm-up prior to vigorous exercise are pre-lengthened and are subjected to less damage and injury than those that are not warmed-up. Bottom line? Warm-up prevents over-stretch and tear of muscles.

Increases joint range of motion

This ultimately prevents injury by reminding the joints that they can move further than they are normally required to do during normal gait. By doing this slowly and gently prior to intense activity, joints are protected from overexertion.

Increases cardiovascular activity

As we mentioned earlier, increase CVS activity increases heart rate and circulation, which ultimately increases performance and aids injury prevention. But remember the heart is also a muscle and warming it up helps it to be better prepared for an intense workout. Increased blood flow also helps to clear metabolites. Metabolites buildup in muscles and cause cramps during activity if they aren’t adequately cleared.

We hope that this brief outline will convince you to warm up prior to your next hard workout! If you have any questions, or think your problems are more significant than warming up- call us at 519-624-4122! We can likely help! 


A common question we often get regarding our line is work is “why feet?” While, each of us here at Achilles has our own particular reason for choosing the foot health profession, we can all agree on one thing, and that is that feet are a  more important factor in health and well-being than most people think. Here are some things you may not have known about your feet, but shed light on why a visit to a podiatrist/chiropodist may not be a bad idea.

  1. Feet can tell your health story

From blue spots to black nails to swollen toes to itchy feet- we have seen it all, and the list goes on. These small and seemingly benign changes can be indicators of underlying systemic conditions such as malignancy, arthritis, or peripheral arterial disease. Something you barely even noticed could be an indicator of a bigger problem. Your chiropodist will examine your feet on your first visit and make referrals accordingly.

  1. Don’t get a pedicure before you visit us!

Why not? Because we will likely just take it off. We want to see the condition of your nails, especially if we are providing you with nailcare or performing a diabetic assessment. Additionally, just for your information, nail salons are often a breeding ground for fungal infections. Try to be cautious when choosing a salon!

  1. Try to be honest when we ask you what medications you are taking

This is a big one. We often are given an incredulous look when we ask patients for full disclosure on their medications. However, medications can be a huge factor in some of the symptoms patients come in to our office with. For example, diuretics cause itching and cramping in the lower limb. Other antihypertensives cause swelling of the lower limb. Cancer drugs can cause tingling and numbness. There are so many reasons why being as honest as possible is in your best interest when you come visit us!

  1. Footwear can make or break your mobility later in life- seriously.

And pointy pumps are actually terrible for your feet.   Footwear is a major factor in the development of hallux abducto valgus (HAV), otherwise known as bunions. Bunions, in their earliest stages don’t pose much of a problem. But the later stages of bunions involve complete dislocation of the first metatarsalphalangeal joint of the foot. This joint is responsible for producing toe off in gait. Without it, major problems can persist. And with the increased popularity of pointed dress shoes for men, bunions are no longer a problem for just women.

These are just some details that may help prepare you for your first visit to the chiropodist! If you have more questions, call us at 519-624-4122.  Looking forward to seeing you!

January 04, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
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Happy 2016!

    Now that we are back in the office full swing we thought we would talk resolutions. New Years is a time where many people recommit to health and wellness. We are betting that when resolutions are made, no one is really considering the health of their feet! What is interesting though is that some of the most common resolutions, if achieved, can provide tremendous improvement to the lower limb! Therefore, we thought we would take some common resolutions and tell you how they could benefit your feet!

Lose Weight

Weight can play a major role in foot pain. We often see the development of painful foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis following significant weight gain. Extra weight can also exacerbate knee and ankle problems. The feet are after all, weightbearing structures and therefore, the more weight they have to carry, the more overworked they become.

Quit Smoking

Long term smoking can lead to blood vessel damage and is a major risk factor in the development of peripheral arterial disease, a condition of reduced blood flow to the lower limb. Reduced blood flow leads to many problems in the foot including delayed wound healing, wound development, neuropathy, gangrene, necrosis, infection, and pain. All of these factors can lead to reduced mobility or eventual amputation. Need more motivation? timelines suggest that within 2 weeks of quitting, lung function and circulation return to normal, so you will start to see benefits immediately!

Be Less Stressed

Stress can be a good thing, and definitely has its place in our lives. However, constant stress leads to persistent release of the stress hormone cortisol from our adrenal glands. This single hormone has a wide array of effects in the body, and these effects can be transmitted to the lower limb. For instance, cortisol suppresses the immune system, reduces calcium absorption (reducing bone strength), minimizes skin integrity, increases fat deposition and increases blood pressure.  All of these factors can lead to diseases of the foot, and can contribute to immobility. Therefore, stress reduction in the New Year will not only improve your quality of life but will also greatly benefit your feet!

If you were needing any extra motivation to uphold your New Years resolutions, there you have it. We are available to further discuss your foot health goals and get you started on the path to improved mobility! Call at 519-624-4122 to book an appointment today!

Happy New Year!

Doug and the Achilles Team


So, Its Psoriasis Awareness Month and in honour of that, we thought we’d well, make you more aware of this condition!

Ask most people what they think psoriasis is, and they would probably note that it is a condition of the skin. And this is true. But psoriasis is actually much more than a simple condition of the skin. Psoriasis is known as an autoimmune disease; a systemic condition which results from the body’s immune system attacking itself. In the case of psoriasis, the body’s skin cells are forced into overproduction. This process whereby skin cells are produced usually takes one month but with psoriasis, it only takes a few days. This leads to the presentation of the 5 Ps:  purple, planar, pruritic (itchy) papules and plaques.  The plaques tend to appear on the outside of the knees, elbows, and shins but can also appear on the foot. While as chiropodists we need to be aware of the effects of psoriatic plaques on the feet, there is another condition related to psoriasis which we also need to be aware of and that is psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that arises in people with psoriasis. It can take years after a diagnosis of psoriasis to present itself- or a patient with psoriasis may never get arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis most commonly occurs in the joints of the toe, which swell and become very painful.  Often a single toe will swell producing what is often referred to as a “sausage digit.”  Patients present to clinic when this happens because it is alarming and often occurs out of the blue.

The good news is that psoriatic arthritis, like most forms of arthritis can be managed through medications and accommodative footwear and orthotic devices. If you have psoriasis and want to learn more about arthritis or want to learn more about orthotics, give us a call at 519-624-4122. We 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