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The Difference Between Bunions and Gout

Bunions and gout share similarities in their impact on the big toe. Both are characterized by pain, swelling, and redness, often leading to walking discomfort. However, they possess fundamental differences in origin and treatment. Bunions are localized foot deformities, while gout is a systemic issue resulting from excessive uric acid production. Bunions arise from genetic or structural foot anomalies and are impacted by footwear, while gout stems from hyperuricemia triggered by purine-rich foods. The location, sensation, and causes of each condition diverge. Bunions appear as bony protrusions at the big toe joint, while gout predominantly affects the big toe but also other joints. Gout attacks involve excruciating pain, heat, and tenderness, while bunions cause discomfort through structural changes. Diagnosing these conditions involves various tests, with gout requiring a more extensive evaluation to rule out similar conditions. Gout is confirmed through medical history, physical examination, uric acid blood tests, joint aspiration, and imaging. Bunion diagnosis involves physical assessment and X-rays. Gout management focuses on acute attack relief through lifestyle changes and medications to control uric acid levels. The initial treatment of bunions includes wearing proper footwear, taping, and arch supports. If you are having pain or discomfort in your big toe, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Bunions progressively worsen over time and may cause walking in your shoes to become difficult. To learn more about bunions, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Are Bunions? 

A bunion is a bony bump that protrudes from the base of the big toe. Bunions are caused due to a misalignment of the first metatarsal. The characteristic bump of a bunion forms when the metatarsal shifts outwards from its proper position. Bunions develop slowly over time and progressively worsen without treatment. The skin over the bunion may develop calluses due to the friction from shoes. Eventually, a bunion can make walking uncomfortable or even painful. Bunions are one of the most common foot deformities and are especially common in women and older adults.

Symptoms

A bunion appears as a bulging bump on the outside of the base of the big toe.

The bunion may also: 

  • Be swollen, red, or sore 

  • Develop corns or calluses over it

  • Cause pain

  • Limit the big toe’s range of motion

Treatment

There are several different treatments available for bunions. Conservative treatment options include wearing shoes with a wider toe box, cushioning the bunion with a specialized pad, wearing shoe inserts, icing the bunion if it becomes inflamed, and taking medications to relieve pain. In more severe cases, more invasive procedures may be done. This may involve removing the swollen tissue around the bunion, straightening the big toe, realigning the bones at the front of the foot, or a combination of these procedures. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs

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Understanding the Differences Between a Chiropodist and a Chiropractor

Some people confuse a chiropodist and a chiropractor because they sound the same. A chiropodist and a chiropractor are both healthcare professionals, but they focus on different areas of the body and treat distinct conditions. A chiropodist specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the feet and lower limbs. They use various techniques, such as foot and gait examinations, orthotic prescriptions, and provide other treatments to manage nail and skin disorders. On the other hand, a chiropractor specializes in neuromuscular disorders and primarily focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the spine and other joints. While a chiropodist deals with foot-related issues, such as bunions, heel pain, and ingrown toenails, a chiropractor's expertise lies in treating conditions such as back pain, neck pain, and joint problems. If you have a foot-related issue or concern, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist.

If you have any foot or ankle concerns, contact one of the chiropodists of The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists can provide the care you need to keep you on your feet.

A chiropodist is a healthcare professional that specializes in the feet, ankles, and lower limbs. With the amount of work the feet do in a lifetime, the whole body works better if the feet are properly supported. Chiropodists must have a bachelor’s degree in science and complete a three to four-year chiropody program. They can then work independently or as part of a team. Chiropodists are like podiatrists, the only difference being the country they obtained where they obtained their degrees. The field can be called podiatry in the United States and chiropody elsewhere. A chiropodist is a popular term for this profession in the UK and Canada. Chiropodists treat a variety of foot problems from corns and calluses to fungal infections. Some also offer orthotics. They might provide a variety of foot therapies, injections, and surgical procedures. Normally one sees a chiropodist when they are experiencing pain but visiting one regularly, as one would a dentist, can help ensure the feet are in top form and help prevent future problems. If you suffer from foot or ankle pain or have questions about your lower extremities, book an appointment with a chiropodist today.

What Does a Chiropodist Do?

A chiropodist helps people with problems with their feet and ankles with the goal of making their lives more comfortable. A chiropodist takes care of blisters, corns, bunions, cracked heels, nail problems, and sprained ankles, just to mention a few things that can go wrong with our feet. A chiropodist will take your medical history and examine your feet for blood circulation and any other problems going on. They will watch you walk and how you move when you walk. They will discuss any findings they come up with and discuss a treatment plan with you.

What Does It Take to Become a Chiropodist?

Chiropodists must have seven to eight years of post-secondary school before beginning to practice. They must obtain a bachelor’s degree in science and complete a three-to-four-year chiropody program. Chiropodists work independently or as part of a team.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Niagara Falls, ON . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Top Fall Prevention Techniques for Aging at Home

As we age, maintaining a safe and secure home environment becomes paramount to prevent falls, which can lead to serious injuries. Implementing simple fall prevention techniques can significantly enhance the safety and independence of seniors living at home. An effective technique can be to remove clutter. This can help to eliminate tripping hazards, ensuring clear pathways throughout the house. Placing sturdy handrails in hallways and staircases, and installing grab bars in bathrooms can provide adequate support and stability. Having good lighting will brighten up all areas, especially stairways and entrances, that can improve visibility and reduce the risk of missteps. Using non-slip mats or adhesive strips to secure rugs can be helpful in preventing accidental slips. Empowering aging individuals with these fall prevention techniques ensures they can continue to enjoy their independence and live comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. It is suggested that you confer with a chiropodist who can give you additional methods on how to prevent falling.

Falls are a common but preventable problem for older adults. If you would like to learn more about preventing falls, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

Did you know that most falls occur in the home? Fortunately, there are many simple changes that you can make to the living environment to reduce the risk of falling. 

In the Bathroom:

  • Install grab bars near toilets, bathtubs, and showers

  • Put non-skid mats on all surfaces that may get wet

In the Bedroom:

  • Keep a light near the bed so that you can easily turn it on if you have to get up at night

  • Keep the path from your bedroom to the bathroom clutter-free and well-lit

  • Consider installing a bed rail for added support

In the Kitchen:

  • Use non-skid mats

  • Wipe up any spills immediately

  • Move commonly used items to areas that are easily within your reach

In the Hallways:

  • Place handrails on both sides of the stairs

  • Install good lighting in the hallways and around the entire home

  • Keep hallways free of clutter

  • Don’t use throw rugs or small area rugs

In Other Living Areas: 

  • Keep loose cables, cords, and wires near the wall and away from walking surfaces

  • Make sure that all carpets and rugs are secure firmly to the floor

  • Arrange your furniture so that it is not in your way when you walk

  • Use chairs and couches that you can easily get up from

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most common complaints of heel pain comes from a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a wide band of tissue that runs from the toes to the heel. The main cause of plantar fasciitis is the degeneration of collagen in the area where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone. The main function of the plantar fascia is to provide support for the arch and absorb pressure in the heel from prolonged standing, walking, or running. Symptoms are usually felt first thing in the morning after sleeping. Pain and stiffness develop and will generally get worse later in the day. Being overweight and overtraining are the two major causes of plantar fasciitis. People who have flat feet or high arches are also at further risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Rest, stretching and strengthening exercises are the best treatments for plantar fasciitis. A change of footwear that offers more cushioning and fits well, in addition to wearing custom orthotics, are other treatment options. For more information on managing plantar fasciitis, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist. 

Plantar fasciitis can be painful and interfere with your daily activities. If you are experiencing foot or heel pain and believe you may be afflicted with plantar fasciitis, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. Repetitive activities, such as running or jumping, can injure the plantar fascia over time. Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by flat feet, high arches, pregnancy, and activities that put excessive pressure on your feet, like standing all day for work. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it causes pain and discomfort. 

Symptoms

Typical symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Stabbing pain near the heel

  • Pain that is worst in the morning or after a period of rest

  • Pain that increases after exercising

  • Swelling

  • Tightness in the Achilles tendon

Diagnosis

Plantar fasciitis is typically diagnosed via medical history and physical examination. 

Treatment

Treatments for plantar fasciitis include resting and icing the affected foot, stretching the foot, taking medications to reduce inflammation, and wearing orthotics. In severe cases where pain does not improve with conservative treatments, injections or surgery may be recommended. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Dealing With Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection, known as tinea pedis, that causes itching and scaling between the toes or on the bottom of the foot. The spaces between the toes can crack, split or peel, and blisters may develop. Because athlete’s foot is contagious, coming into contact with the infected area can easily spread the fungus to other parts of the body. This particular fungal infection thrives in warm and moist environments, such as sweaty socks, swimming pool shower areas, and gym locker rooms. A precaution for avoiding contamination is to wear some type of foot covering in these areas. Furthermore, washing the hands thoroughly if they have come in contact with the infected toes may help to limit the spread of athlete’s foot. Additionally, it is beneficial to avoid sharing towels and to disinfect the shower or bathroom spaces after use. It is also a good idea to expose the feet to fresh air as much as possible, in addition to wearing cotton rather than synthetic socks. If an athlete’s foot infection does not improve after applying antifungal cream, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist for more advanced treatment options. 

Athlete’s foot can be uncomfortable and unsightly. To learn more about preventing and treating this condition, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Is Athlete’s Foot? 

Athlete’s foot refers to an infection of the skin on the feet that is caused by a fungus. This fungus is contagious and thrives in warm and moist environments. It is often spread in common areas such as public pools, locker rooms, and showers. It can also spread when sharing personal items, like shoes or towels, with an infected person. 

Symptoms

The symptoms of athlete’s foot may include: 

  • Itching, stinging, or burning of the skin on the feet

  • Cracking or peeling skin, especially between the toes and on the soles of the feet

  • Scaly, red rash on the foot

  • Blisters 

  • Foul odor

Treatment

Treatment for athlete’s foot typically involves using over-the-counter topical antifungal medications on the feet. When over-the-counter options are ineffective, you may need to take prescription oral medications or topical antifungal drugs, or a combination of both. 

Prevention

Preventing athlete’s foot places an emphasis on good foot hygiene practices. 

You can prevent athlete’s foot by:

  • Washing and drying your feet thoroughly every day

  • Wearing shoes when walking in public areas

  • Not sharing personal items, like shoes or socks, with others

  • Wearing shoes and socks made out of breathable materials

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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How Did I Get a Blister on My Foot?

The majority of blisters that develop on the feet are not serious, despite the discomfort they can cause. A blister appears as a small bubble that forms over damaged skin. It is filled with liquid that protects the skin as it heals, allowing new skin to form. A blister is the body’s natural defense to protect raw skin, and will gradually drain when the new skin has developed. A blister generally occurs as a result of excess friction that can be caused by wearing shoes and socks that do not fit correctly. A blister may also form as an allergic reaction to an insect bite, or if the skin has been burned by fire or chemicals. Additionally, people who have been exposed to extreme cold temperatures may develop blisters as a natural method of keeping heat in the body. Many people choose to put a protective covering over the blister, which may help prevent it from popping or draining prematurely. If you would like more information about prevention techniques for blisters on the feet, it is suggested that you speak with a chiropodist who can provide you with useful tips. 

Blisters can usually be treated at home, however, if you have recurring blisters or experience significant discomfort or pain, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Is a Blister? 

A blister is a small pocket of fluid in the upper skin layers and is one of the body’s natural responses to injury or pressure. Blisters can also result from burns, fungal or viral skin infections, and the feet are particularly prone due to ill-fitting footwear and friction. Friction on the skin causes the upper layer of skin to separate from the lower layers. The space that this separation creates then becomes filled with a liquid called serum, which protects the lower layers of skin. 

Treatment 

If you notice a blister on your foot, you can cover it with a soft bandage or dressing to protect it. Popping the blister is discouraged. Doing so exposes the raw skin underneath it to bacteria and also raises the risk of infection. If a blister pops naturally, let it drain before covering it with a bandage. Blisters usually heal on their own or with home treatment, however, if your blister is recurring, very painful, or appears infected, it is recommended that you see a chiropodist for treatment. 

Prevention

You can help to prevent blisters by wearing comfortable, well-fitted shoes. Keep your feet dry by wearing moisture-wicking socks and dust your feet with talcum powder if they tend to get sweaty. If you have areas on your feet that are more susceptible to blisters, you might be able to prevent the blister from forming by covering it with a pad. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Affect the Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune condition where the immune system tries to destroy the linings of the joints, known as synovium, or the fluid in the joints called synovial fluid. The body mistakes these areas as disease invaders. Most people who are afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis develop symptoms in their feet. In fact, inflammation and pain in the feet are often one of the first signs an individual can have with RA. With rheumatoid arthritis, there can be pain in the joints, which may be accompanied by constant aching. Symptoms of this condition may often become worse after prolonged standing, walking, or running. With RA, a patient can experience swelling and stiffness, especially in the morning. The long-term inflammation thickens the synovium, which erodes cartilage and bone. The joints may look deformed, and wearing shoes may be challenging. The different types of foot problems associated with RA are heel pain, swelling of the nerves, and skin rashes. Rheumatoid nodules or lumps may develop under the skin. If you have rheumatoid arthritis and are experiencing foot pain, it is strongly suggested that you visit with a chiropodist as soon as possible who can help in providing relief and possibly prevent progression of this disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its own otherwise healthy joint lining or synovium. While RA can affect any joint in the body, it often affects the small joints of the feet and the ankle joint. If you’re dealing with RA in your lower limbs, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

Symptoms of RA primarily affect the joints of the feet and may include:

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Stiffness 

  • Redness

  • Warmth

  • Difficulty walking

  • Gait changes

  • Bunions

  • Hammertoes 

Treatment

While there is no cure for RA, your chiropodist can help you manage the health of your feet and maintain your mobility while living with this condition. Possible treatments include wearing orthotics, doing foot and ankle exercises, resting the feet, taking anti-inflammatory medications, getting steroid injections, and wearing braces for foot and ankle pain. In advanced cases of RA, joint replacement surgery may be helpful for mobility. Bunions, hammertoes, and other deformities can be corrected with surgery as well. 

If you have RA, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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