Shockwave Therapy: A Treatment that Resonates

Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

Have you ever experienced foot pain and scoured the internet for pain relief options or treatments? You might have stumbled across a treatment called Shockwave Therapy. The name might sound a bit scary or daunting. However, it may be a great, non-invasive option to help rid you of your foot pain. This blog post will explain what Shockwave Therapy is, how it works, and if it can help you.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy is a non-surgical treatment that uses high-intensity pressure waves to accelerate healing in tissues that are typically slow to heal or tend to heal incompletely. Soft tissues, ligaments and tendons are good examples of this.

How does Shockwave Therapy work?

In the clinic, we use the Swiss DolorClast® method of Shockwave Therapy (ESWT). This means that we use an applicator to apply non-invasive, high-energy radial pressure waves to the affected area via a gel medium.

It is clinically proven that pressure waves, when applied to injured tissues, stimulate metabolic reactions such as:

  • Reduction of pain felt by nerve fibres
  • Increase of blood circulation in surrounding soft tissues by the creation of new blood capillaries
  • Beginning of the healing process triggered by stem cells activation

To put it simply: better blood circulation and the formation of new blood vessels result in improved metabolism. This in turn, activates cell generation and helps the healing process.

Who would benefit from Shockwave Therapy?

People experiencing arch or heel pain and those with conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy may benefit from Shockwave Therapy.

Book an appointment with your Chiropodist today to determine if Shockwave Therapy is right for you!

Shockwave therapy cannot be used to treat pre-ruptured tendons, tissues with local tumours or local bacterial and/or viral infections, or areas treated with cortisone. In addition, Shockwave Therapy cannot be used to treat pregnant women, patients with blood-clotting disorders (including local thrombosis), patients using oral anticoagulations, and patients under the age of 18 years (except for Osgood-Schlatter disease and muscular dysfunction in children with spastic movement disorders).

Are there any risks?

When performed correctly, ESWT® with the Swiss DolorClast® has only minimal risks. You may experience minor pain or discomfort during and after treatment. You may experience a reddening of the skin or petechia (tiny purple, red or brown dots on the affected area). Minor swelling and numbness of the skin over the treatment area can occur. Typically, these side effects disappear within 24-36 hours after the treatment.

What should I expect at my Shockwave Therapy appointment?

During your booked appointment, your trained Chiropodist will assess your condition to determine if you are a Shockwave candidate. They will carefully consider if this therapy would make a meaningful impact on your healing. They will answer any questions you may have regarding your condition and recommend a treatment plan. If applicable, your Chiropodist will perform the treatment during this appointment. The actual treatment time takes approximately 5 minutes. Based on best practices, they will schedule three treatments, spaced one week apart. A follow-up appointment is scheduled four weeks after the third appointment to evaluate progress made or confirm pain resolution.

If foot pain impacts your quality of life and your ability to enjoy activities with family and friends, start a conversation with your Chiropodist today. We are here to help!

What is a Biomechanical Exam & Why Do I Need One?

Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Perhaps your doctor has recommended you see a Chiropodist or Podiatrist to find the root cause of your foot pain. They might have mentioned the term “biomechanical exam,” leaving you wondering what that is. This blog post will explain how a foot works, what a biomechanical examination entails, and why custom-made orthotics may help you.

Biomechanics: Every Foot Pronates & Supinates

Pronation is the flattening of the arch after a person’s foot first strikes the ground. This motion acts as a significant shock absorber for foot and body. A typical person’s foot will pronate starting when the heel first hits the ground until before the heel lifts.

Supination is the opposite motion of pronation wherein the arch increases while the heel turns in. This allows the foot to be a more stable, rigid structure for when we push off. A typical person’s foot will supinate before the heel lifts off the ground and remain supinated until the heel strikes the ground again.

Isn’t it amazing how your foot’s strong and flexible design allows them to stabilize and lift your body’s weight and propel you forward while acting as a shock absorber! However, when your feet fail to function as designed, pain, diminished endurance and performance can occur. Chiropodists and Podiatrists are the only licensed and trained professionals who can assess improper pronation and supination of the foot. This assessment occurs during a biomechanical exam and gait analysis.

Biomechanical Exam: The In’s & Out’s

A biomechanical exam and gait analysis is a comprehensive assessment of your feet and ankles. Your Chiropodist will examine foot function, range of motion and your walking pattern. Your Chiropodist will ask you to remove your shoes so that they may examine your feet, looking for abnormalities and testing range of motion. They will ask you to stand barefoot and walk a short distance. If your Chiropodist notices any irregularities with your feet or gait, they may recommend custom-made orthotics.

Who would benefit from a biomechanical exam?

  • Patients experiencing pain in the back, hips, knees, legs or feet
  • Patients diagnosed with flat feet or high arches
  • Excessive callus build-up or atypical wear on footwear
  • Athlete’s looking to enhance their performance and prevent injuries
  • Parents wondering what normal development of the feet looks like in children

How Do Custom-Made Orthotics Help?

Orthotics help control the foot’s range and speed of motion, thereby reducing abnormal stresses. The muscles that counteract the range of motion work overtime when a person overpronates or over supinates. This excess muscle contraction leads to inefficiency and fatigue. A foot with the proper biomechanics is much more efficient, requires less energy, and works pain-free. Chiropodists know how to design the correct custom-made orthotic device for you and will spend time with you to understand your specific needs and the type of shoe or boot you’ll be wearing.

Technology has advanced in recent years, allowing perfect 3D models of your feet without the use of messy plasters. Your Chiropodist will take neutral subtalar joint position negative impressions using a 3D scanner. These impressions are sent to an Offsite Accredited Lab to manufacture the orthotics. Custom-made orthotics are never taken “off the shelf,” and they are never shipped directly to you.

Orthotics are manufactured and shipped back to us in approximately two weeks. We then schedule you an appointment to fit your new custom-made orthotic to your footwear. Sometimes, small adjustments are needed to achieve the perfect fit. Our on-site equipment takes care of these modifications quickly and easily. We encourage a follow-up visit to check your orthotics’ function and comfort and make any adjustments at that time if needed.

If foot pain is something you have been living with, know that you are not alone. We can help! Please give our office a call and book your appointment with one of our professional Chiropodists today.

Running & Your Feet

Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2020

September usually marks the start of cooler weather and shortening days, drawing our attention to joggers’ flashing reflectives while they pound the pavement in the early morning or evening. Running or jogging can be a great way to stay physically active and improve our mental or emotional health. Around this time of year, we may be lacing up to run 5K, 10K or marathon races to support charities or reach our personal goals. While this year, we may see less organized group runs, there are still many virtual race options out there, supporting good causes while helping you stay active.

To stay healthy and perform well, we should ensure we have the proper equipment and take care of the part of our body that takes the biggest beating, namely our feet!

Equipment:

A good pair of running shoes is the most important piece of equipment, and often the only real expenditure for this sport. Do not minimize your shoe budget; treat your feet well. We recommend a sturdy, properly fitted and cushioned athletic shoe that has proper toe flexibility. A well-padded, moisture-wicking, breathable sock is also essential. Visit the shoe store in the afternoon when your feet are slightly swollen, and take along your thick running socks when trying on shoes. Properly fitting shoes should have a snug heel that does not slide, and there should be a thumb’s width between the big toe and tip of the toe box. When laced up, your feet should feel good and supported. If it doesn’t feel good in-store, it won’t when you are out on the road either.

Remember, proper shoes and socks are important to foot health!

Our feet:

The human foot is a biological masterpiece. Did you know the foot is an intricate structure containing 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles? The 52 bones in your feet make up about one-quarter of all the bones in your body! The strong and flexible design of your feet enables them to stabilize and lift your body’s weight and then propel you forward while acting as a shock absorber. Biomechanical issues arise when there is a breakdown in this process. These issues can result in abnormal ranges of motion, causing muscle fatigue, inflammation or pain. Possible structural changes to your feet can also occur. Biomechanical problems require professional attention and correction. Your chiropodist is well trained in the assessment and treatment of these conditions. Your feet should be made to function as closely as possible to what is called a “neutral” position. Orthotics designed specifically for you can correct these biomechanical issues and return your foot to this neutral position. If you are experiencing foot pain or discomfort, please give our office a call to book your appointment.

It is a good idea for a novice runner to visit a chiropodist. Your chiropodist will be able to perform a complete examination of your feet and identify any potential problems, and if needed, prescribe an orthotic device that fits into your running shoe. Your chiropodist can also recommend the best footwear style for your feet based on your needs and foot type. Our website offers a rundown of common sports-related foot problems, what to look out for and how to treat them.

Frequent runners also benefit from regular foot care from their chiropodist to keep their feet healthy and check for any potential stress. Some common complaints we hear from our active patients are that they have foot pain or have developed an ingrown or blackened toenail. We can help! Book your appointment today and let us help you achieve your running goals and keep your feet healthy and active.

We hope to see you out on the pavement, enjoying the fresh air and the cushioned, well-supported treatment you are giving your feet! Stay tuned to our blog and social media for more running updates as we hope to participate in the Road2Hope Virtual Run!