The Rise of Plantar Fasciitis– Everyone’s got it…but why?

As a Pedorthic clinic as well as a destination store for comfortable footwear, orthopedic shoes and high-end running footwear we see all kind of foot pain at Soles in Motion. Lately, though it seems we’re seeing one problem more and more, and that is plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse/repetitive strain type injury, and typically presents as heel pain, often particularly acute first thing in the morning, or when getting up after being at rest.  Pain typically diminishes with a few minutes of walking but may come back with extended weight bearing.  Pain may also exist in the arch of the foot.

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that connects the heel to the toes, and it supports the arch of the foot.  Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of that tissue and is typically brought on by a sudden increase in activity, improper footwear, poor foot biomechanics or some combination of these factors.  With the inflammation comes increased strain at the insertion point into the heel bone, and consequently increased heel pain.  The increase in pain in the morning or after rest is due to cramping/tightening of the tissue that occurs when weight is taken off the foot.

Given this information, the question becomes why are so many people from so many different walks of life suffering from the same condition?  It’s impossible to say for sure, but there are a number of possible explanations.  For one, as we become more knowledgeable about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle more and more people are trying to be more active.  In fact, it seems almost everyone has a step counter of some kind these days!  While this is undeniably a good thing, it does increase the impact and strain on the feet. The prevalence of hard surfaces in our world (asphalt roads, concrete sidewalks, concrete floors, hardwood, tile, laminate) likely contributes as well.  One more option I’ve been considering recently is recent trends in footwear design.

It seems like footwear companies lately have shifted their focus toward making their shoes as soft and as lightweight as possible, often at the expense of proper support.  This creates a shoe that out of the box feels fantastic, and you’ll often hear rave reviews like “it feels like there’s nothing on my foot!”  However, these shoes are often marketed as “walking shoes” or “running shoes” and when footwear that lacks adequate support is used for physical activity it can often be a recipe for foot pain.

At Soles in Motion our trained footwear staff, as well as our two Certified Pedorthists are happy to discuss treatment options for plantar fasciitis or to discuss ways to avoid the problem in the first place.  Drop in or call for an appointment today!

Custom Orthotics and Cleats – A challenging combination… but not an impossible one!

As Certified Pedorthists, we are constantly balancing the needs of our clients against the restrictions that exist in the form of footwear. There are countless different styles of footwear in the world today, and not all shoes are created equal in terms of their ability to accommodate an orthotic. In a perfect world we would be able to design the “perfect” orthotic for our clients, and then fit it in the “perfect” shoe. However, in the real world, this is very rarely an option. The restrictions I alluded to earlier come in different forms, including but not limited to:

  • Occupational requirements – all black, steel toe, business attire and a non-slip sole to name a few.
  • Aesthetic concerns – the constant debate of fashion vs function.
  • Sports/Activities – In many cases there are certain shoes designed for specific activities.

Focusing on that last point for a moment, the performance demands of many sports (and the athletes who play them) cannot be met by a standard everyday shoe, and this can create a difficult fit for someone who wears custom orthotics. This is particularly true in sports such as soccer, baseball, football, rugby, lacrosse and others, where more often than not the athletes use cleats. While there are different types of cleats for the different sports, a common theme among them seems to be that they are a more narrow fit, often with very little extra space in the shoe. So, the question becomes how do we balance our clients’ need for control and support (a need that only increases during high impact activities) with the restrictions that exist in the form of their cleats?

The answer is in the orthotic design, and more specifically the materials used. More rigid materials such as carbon fibre or various plastic polymers can be molded into a shell as thin as 2 or 3mm while maintaining adequate control through the strength of the material. A thin top cover completes the product without adding bulk. This design provides the athlete with the support they need without negatively affecting the fit of the cleats.

This is just one of the many ways in which different orthotic materials and designs can be used to provide solutions to the problems encountered by many orthotic users. Speak to a Canadian Certified Pedorthist to find out what option would be best for you

Pedorthics vs Podiatry

One of the most common sources of confusion that we encounter at Soles in Motion is the difference between a Pedorthist and a Podiatrist. Today, I’d like to clear that up once and for all.

Imagine a scenario: You find yourself suffering from persistent foot, leg or back pain that just doesn’t seem to want to go away. It reaches the point where you decide something needs to be done, and so you consult with your doctor (or Dr. Google) and determine that you should be talking to somebody about custom foot orthotics. You call Soles in Motion, and the clinic coordinator offers to book you an appointment with one of our Canadian Certified Pedorthists. Typically, that offer generates a response something along the lines of “Pedorthist? Is that like a Podiatrist?” Well, yes and no. It’s true that both Pedorthists and Podiatrists work with feet, but the scope of practice is quite different.

According to the College of Pedorthics of Canada, a Pedorthist is “an individual who is trained in the manufacturing, fitting and modification of foot appliances and footwear” with the goal of “alleviating painful or debilitating conditions of the lower limb” and “accommodation of foot deformities” among others. So, a Pedorthist specializes in using orthotics and shoes to treat a number of conditions of the foot and lower limb.

A Podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, meaning they have completed graduate studies and hospital residency in the field of podiatry. As such they are trained and qualified to diagnose and treat many feet and ankle problems. Podiatrists may perform minor surgeries as well as providing treatment for various foot ailments such as calluses, corns, warts, ingrown nails and many more. Podiatrists may also fit patients for orthotics in addition to other treatments provided.

Now, that still might not seem like a big difference, so allow me to summarize the key points. A Podiatrist is able to assess and diagnose your foot pain, and in some cases, they may be able to provide treatment in the form of minor surgery, corn, callus or wart removal, nail trimming or removal, etc. A Pedorthist is a professional trained specifically in the use of custom orthotics and related devices to treat various disorders of the foot and lower limb.

In the end, both professions are valuable resources for anyone dealing with foot pain, and many treatment plans will involve input from both Pedorthists and Podiatrists. That said, knowing the difference between the two will help you get started in the right place and get you on track to feeling better as soon as possible!

If you would like more information about Canadian Certified Pedorthists and what they do you can visit www.pedorthic.ca or www.cpedcs.ca, or you can contact Soles in Motion to book an appointment with either Graham or Sandra and they’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Elbow Pain – Tis the Season – Golf, Baseball, Raking

lifters elbow treatment soles in motionGolfers elbow or medial epicondylitis (Inside of the elbow) is caused by the repeated movement of the palm toward the forearm applying a strain on the inner tendons and muscles attached to the inner part of the elbow bones (wrist flexors), causing pain. If the flexors are overused, it causes inflammation. Although called golfers elbow, medial epicondylitis is however not confined to golfers. Actually, a lot of people suffer from it without ever playing golf. It is common among people over using their arm doing different activities, such as painting, raking, typing, turning doorknobs, picking something up with the palm down, even shaking hands, and can be worsened by opening a jar. Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is similar but effect the outside of the elbow. Treatment for both should include rest, ice and physiotherapy. Take the pressure off and reduce the pain – wear a support/brace.  There are many different types of golfers elbow braces available.  Counterforce braces are generally straps worn just below the elbow. Another style is a full-elbow compression sleeve, with a strap to tighten around the forearm. The braces help reduce tension on the painful tendons. You can wear the braces either during activities that cause pain, such as golfing or throughout the day.

Another common condition of the elbow is Bursitis is a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs called the bursae that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed. Treatment typically involves resting the affected joint and protecting it from further trauma. In most cases, bursitis pain goes away within a few weeks with proper treatment, but recurrent flare-ups of bursitis are common.

Consider making a no obligation appointment with one of our Certified Brace Specialists to show you the options available.  Our goal is to understand your problem, educate you on non-invasive solutions and come up with a plan that will minimize your pain, maximize your mobility, and provide long-term gain.

Submitted by Jen Estabrooks, Co-owner, General Manager, Soles in Motion, 133 Baker Drive, Dartmouth 902-468-7911 (solesinmotion.ca)

LET US TALK TO YOUR FEET!

Your feet have a lot to say if you listen. They will tell you what they like, what they don’t, what hurts and what makes them feel great. They’ll tell you what keeps them up at night and what stresses them out. The good news is that the right footwear and foot orthotics can help you achieve proper body alignment, reduce pain, prevent injuries and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Here’s a little information just for you. If you have low arches or flat feet you probably have very flexible feet with an arch that sits low to the ground. Very little arch definition. This means you may over-pronate, have or are susceptible to plantar fasciitis, post-tibial tendonitis, heel spurs, medial knee problems and bunions. Orthotics should incorporate medial rear foot posting and arch support to keep the foot aligned and help control overpronation. Don’t sweat it! Approximately 20% of the population has low arches so you’re in good company!

Medium arches mean your feet are biomechanically efficient, moderately flexible and have a defined arch. People with medium arches may be susceptible to common foot problems such as heel pain and metatarsalgia from repetitive stress and improper fitting footwear. Orthotics should have arch support, cushioning and shock absorbing materials for comfort and foot pain prevention. Approximately 60% of the population has medium arches so you have lots of company!

Those of your with high arches tend to have very rigid feet with an arch that sits higher from the ground. This puts excessive pressure to rear foot and forefoot and can cause plantar fasciitis, heel pain syndrome, arch strain, metatarsalgia, calluses, claw toes. Orthotics should have proper arch support, metatarsal pads for forefoot relief, and strong cushioning properties. Approximately 20% of the population has high arches so don’t feel you’re all alone! High arches are usually classified as supinated and are more rigid than other feet. When we walk or run, our feet absorb most of the impact and shock. With high arches, you have less surface area for absorbing impact and you place excessive pressure on your rear foot and forefoot areas.

The good news is that the right orthotics can help fill in your arch cavity to disperse the shock and provide the cushioning and alignment needed for you to prevent injuries and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Let our professional staff at Soles in Motion be your Foot Whisperers!

talk-to-your-feet

Don’t let sore feet slow you down this spring!

There can be many reasons why your feet hurt – improper footwear, not enough support in the right places, not enough cushioning, medical condition or an injury.  It is hard to know where to start.  The best option is to see a Canadian Certified Pedorthist for an assessment.  Assessments determine what the problem is and what solution would be best for you.

Custom and off the shelf orthotics are shoe inserts that can:

  • Correct gait problems
  • Address structural foot fault
  • Provide foot support
  • Relieve pressure on painful areas of the foot
  • Provide motion control

Custom-made orthotics provide individual correction specific for your foot problem. There are different types of orthotics.

Functional orthotics are used to correct problems with a person’s foot mechanics such as overpronation (the foot rolls inward) or supination (the arch is too high and the foot rolls outward) Accommodative orthotics are designed to fit and protect the foot generally from where it functions via cushioning and specific unloading and to relieve pain and pressure in the foot. They improve tolerance for the weight-bearing tasks of daily life and typically used with diabetic patients.

Custom orthotics can be used to treat many different medical conditions such as:

  • Arch pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ball of the foot pain (Metarsalgia)
  • Shin splints
  • Bunions
  • Leg or knee pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Flat feet

Generally speaking, your feet should NOT hurt. Pain indicates that something is wrong.Consider making a no obligation appointment with one of our Certified Canadian Pedorthist to have a gait and lower leg assessment. The goal of the Pedorthist is to understand your foot problem and come up with a solution that will minimize your pain, maximize your mobility, and provide long-term gain.

Soles in Motion has two Canadian Certified Pedorthists on staff – make a no obligation appointment today by calling 902-468-7911.Submitted by Jen Estabrooks, Co-owner, General Manager, Soles in Motion, 133 Baker Drive, Dartmouth 902-468-7911 (solesinmotion.ca)

Happy Walking!

Arthritis Awareness Month

September is Arthritis Awareness Month.  Here are some key points about arthritis that I am sure you have heard at one time or another but this disease needs public attention.  Arthritis can impair a person’s ability to perform “everyday” tasks. Physical activity has a positive effect on arthritis and can improve pain, function and mental health. Factors in the development of arthritis include injury, abnormal metabolism, genetic makeup, infections and immune system dysfunction. Treatment for arthritis aims to control pain, minimize joint damage and improve or maintain a quality of life.

There are many types of arthritis and one of the most common is osteoarthritis. I believe education and solutions to delay future damage and keep active is extremely important. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that tends to get worse over time. Because of this, early treatment for OA is incredibly important to take control of your disease, delay future damage and keep your joints healthy. Look at your non-surgical options, and make your own decision. As part of the Medicine in Motion team, there is a non-referral Knee Clinic day offered every month.  Patients can make an appointment directly with a Sports Medicine physician who specializes in joint injuries and diseases. Soles in Motion offers a no risk 30 day trial on our Osteoarthritis Unloader Knee Braces. By unloading the affected compartment of the knee, the unloader brace offers people with knee OA a safe, proven, low-risk treatment that will reduce your pain and improve your mobility. I have seen the results and am confident you will be able to maintain or return to an active and healthy lifestyle as a result. As part of our Centre of Excellence, we also provide physio, massage and a specialized exercise/rehab clinic dedicated to working with clients with injury and disease.

Soles in Motion focuses on providing you with the best solution to improve your lifestyle, mobility and activity level no matter what your ability.  Come in a talk to us, we would love to help you!

Submitted by Jen Estabrooks, Co-owner, Soles in Motion, 133 Baker Drive, Dartmouth

Osteoarthritis---rheumatoid-arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease of the entire joint involving the cartilage, joint lining and ligaments and underlying bone. The breakdown of these tissues eventually leads to pain and joint stiffness.

The joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis are the joints that get heavy use, such as hips and knees, hands, the spine and also often the base of the thumb and the big toe joint.

Nearly 1 in 2 people develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis by the age of 85, and 1 in 4 people develop hip arthritis in their lifetime.4 Knee osteoarthritis is one of the five leading causes of disability among non-institutionalized adults. Weight loss of 11 pounds can halve a woman’s risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.

Taking part in moderate physical activity 3 times or more per week can reduce the risk of arthritis-related disability by 47% in older adults with knee osteoarthritis.

Between 1979 and 1988, osteoarthritis was responsible for an average 0.2 to 0.3 deaths per 100,000 people. This figure has increased over the years, with OA accounting go around 6% of all arthritis-related deaths in 2003, working out to around 500 deaths per year.

These calculations are likely to be underestimated as they do not include deaths related to things such as gastrointestinal bleeding caused by medications used to treat OA.

For more information on osteoarthritis, see our article: What is osteoarthritis? What causes osteoarthritis?

Does your Back Pain travel down your leg?

Sciatica (pronounced sigh-at-eh-kah) is not a medical diagnosis in itself. It is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Common lower back problems that can cause sciatica symptoms include a lumbar herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis. Sciatica is often characterized by one or
more of the following symptoms:

  • Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both legs)Back-Pain
  • Pain that is agitated or worse when sitting
  • Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling
  • Weakness, numbness
  • Pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes (it rarely occurs only in the foot).

The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body and is made up of individual nerve roots that start by branching out from the lower spine and then combine to form the “sciatic nerve. It runs from both sides of the lower spine through the buttock into the back of the thigh and all the way down to the foot. It serves a vital role in connecting the spinal cord with the leg and foot muscles.

When patients engage in a regular program of gentle exercises, they can recover more quickly from sciatica pain and are less likely to have future episodes of pain. Referred pain from arthritis or other joint problems that may cause leg pain (which feels like sciatica) is actually more common than true sciatica.

There is a wide range of sciatica symptoms and the type and severity of pain depend on the condition causing the symptoms, as well as the individual patient’s experience of the pain. Wearing a back brace can help relieve pain caused by sciatica and will not weaken the muscles but assist in recovery and relieving pain. It is always best to come in to see a Certified Brace specialist and try on several of the products to see if they are the right solution for you.

Submitted by Jen Estabrooks, Certified Brace Specialist, Co-owner, Soles in
Motion, 133 Baker Drive, Dartmouth 902-468-7911 (solesinmotion.ca)

Enjoy the Summer!

Golf, Baseball, Raking – Overuse of the Elbow – Ouch!

Golfers elbow, or medial epicondylitis, much like tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), is caused by the repeated movement of the palm toward the forearm applying a strain on the inner tendons and muscles attached to the inner part of the elbow bones (wrist flexors), causing pain. If the flexors are overused, it causes inflammation. Although called golfers elbow, medial epicondylitis is however not confined to golfers. Actually, a lot of people suffer from it without ever playing golf. It is common among people over using their arm doing different activities, such as painting, raking, typing, turning doorknobs, picking something up with the palm down, even shaking hands, and can be worsened by opening a jar.  The causes of golfers elbow can occur through a direct injury to the inner elbow. Sometimes when this happens, the muscles can partially tear. It can also be caused by a neck injury causing referred pain.  Treatment should include rest, ice, and physiotherapy. Take the pressure off and reduce the pain – wear a support/brace.  There are many different types of golfers elbow braces available.  Counterforce braces are generally straps worn 1 to 3 inches below the elbow. Another style is a full elbow compression sleeve, with a strap to tighten around the forearm. The braces help reduce tension on the painful tendons. You can wear the braces either during activities that cause pain, such as golfing or throughout the day.

Consider making a no obligation appointment with one of our Certified Brace Specialists to show you the options available.  Our goal is to understand your problem, educate you on non-invasive solutions and come up with a plan that will minimize your pain, maximize your mobility, and provide long term gain.

Submitted by Jen Estabrooks, Co-owner, General Manager, Soles in Motion, 133 Baker Drive, Dartmouth 902-468-7911 (solesinmotion.ca)

Enjoy the Summer!

Skiing and Snowboarding season is here!

skiing-and-snowboarding-injuries

These popular winter sports are a great way to stay active.  Although the incidence of injury in both skiing and snowboarding is relatively similar, on the body where these injuries occur are considerably different. Skiers tend to injure the lower extremity – most commonly the knee – while snowboarders are more likely to injure their backs and upper extremity – specifically areas such as the wrist.

The most common knee injuries in skiing are the MCL (medial collateral ligament) and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).  They occur for different reasons based on the skier’s skill level, the most common being when the knee tilts inwards and the lower leg is forced forwards. This often happens during a fall or when catching an edge.  Preventing knee injuries when skiing is multifactorial. With the pediatric and youth skier, appropriate strength is required before jumping into ski boots. This also is true for the adult skier. Areas of specific focus should be in the hip stabilizers, knee stabilizers, hamstrings and lower back.  Knee braces are designed to prevent injury during skiing and provide support and stability after an injury to keep you on the slopes.  There are several different kinds of knee braces for ligament protection – light weight, designed to fit with ski boots, provide the highest level of twisting and lateral movement.

The most common snowboard injury is the wrist.  The upper body is used to help generate turning forces on the board. In the event of a loss of balance and a subsequent fall, the instinctive reaction of a snowboarder is to outstretch a hand to try and break their fall. This mechanism is commonly known as an ‘FOOSH’ ( Fall Onto an Out Stretched Hand).  There are wrist braces designed to provide maximum protection for the wrist while allowing a range of motion to match your needs.  Made of carbon fiber, they are incredibly strong and are designed for high impact sports.

Soles in Motion services and products are an excellent solution for everyone who wants to be healthier, more active and in less pain.  Whether you want to ski, skate or do your daily chores.  Our team works together to implement the best solution for you.  Soles in Motion also offers a 30-day free trial program on our Osteoarthritis hip and knee braces to make sure they are going to work for you before you commit to purchase.  We are dedicated to making sure our products work.