how are plantar warts treated

Plantar Wart Causes and Treatments

What are Plantar Warts?

A plantar wart is a contagious skin lesion at the bottom of the foot caused by a viral skin infection by one or many of the 150 different species of Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV). Plantar warts are similar to normal warts, non cancerous skin growths, with the difference being that plantar warts form on the sole, ball or heel of your foot where the pressure from standing and walking can cause them to grow upwards into the foot.

how are plantar warts treatedHow are Plantar Warts Treated?

At Ottawa Foot Practice  we have trained foot technicians working under the supervision of doctors of podiatric medicine who have experience in dealing with plantar warts and providing appropriate treatments for all levels of conditions.

Our new plantar wart laser treatment protocol is a quick, in-office procedure. There will be no downtime due to chemically-induced blistering.

It is believed that the laser beam gently coagulate the mini blood vessels nourishing the infected skin cells. These cells will then be evacuated fast enough so viral transmission to newer skin cell generation will not take place. In many cases, three to four laser sessions performed two weeks apart may be enough to eradicate the viral lesion.

As plantar warts are a virus and in many cases are hard to treat it is advised that you contact our foot specialist to assist with their treatment.

Over the counter medications can often cause more harm than good by rendering the lesion more resistant to professional treatments. Home treatment can also damage healthy skin and  ”home surgery” is certainly not recommended because it only spreads the viral infection to a larger area. You may cause injury and most likely you may not be able to remove the growth entirely.


What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis Causing Skin Lesions on Feet

psoriasisPsoriasis is a medical condition that occurs when skin cells grow too quickly. Faulty signals in the immune system cause new skin cells to form in days rather than weeks. The body does not shed these excess skin cells, so the cells pile up on the surface of the skin and lesions form. Psoriasis may also affect the nail color and shape and may co-exist with a fungal nail infection or onychomycosis.

How is Psoriasis Treated?

There is no cure for this condition; however there are a number of ways psoriasis can be treated by a foot specialist or chiropodist. It is best to make an appointment with one of our foot specialists at Ottawa Foot Practice to have your condition assessed and an appropriate treatment prescribed to manage your specific needs.

Depending on the severity of the condition, a treatment plan may include the removal of excess layers of dead skin that may be required weekly, or monthly. Other treatments such as topical lotions and medication may also be prescribed to assist with the management of psoriasis.

arthritic condition onset by diet

Hallux Varus

Hallux Varus: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Hallux varus is a type of foot deformity that causes the tip of the big toe to point inward, away from the other toes on the feet.

People with hallux varus may have difficulty walking and wearing shoes. When the condition is mild it can be treated with stretching or splints, but if the condition progresses and causes serious pain, surgical intervention is often necessary.

Causes of Hallux Varus

Hallux varus is caused by trauma or congenital factors. Some people are born with a foot structure that predisposes them to a hallux varus foot deformity. Loss of the sesamoid bone can also cause a muscular imbalance in the foot that leads to drifting of the toe.

One of the primary causes of hallux varus is rupture of the ligament at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP or toe) joint. The condition often occurs as a complication from bunion surgery or occurs from trauma.

Hallux Varus Symptoms

The drifting of the big toe is the most obvious sign of hallux varus deformity. Other symptoms of hallux varus can include:  arthritic condition onset by diet

  • Chronic soreness.
  • Difficulty walking or standing.
  • Difficulty wearing close-toed shoes.
  • Foot weakness.
  • Ingrown toenails.
  • Limited range of motion.
  • Swelling and pain in the foot and ankle (caused by pressure on the toe).

Symptoms of hallux varus are aggravated when you wear shoes that crowd the toes. The condition does not cause joint pain. In fact, most of the discomfort associated with hallux varus is caused by friction between the toe and poorly fitting shoes.

Hallux Varus Treatment

Mild hallux varus deformities can be treated with non-surgical methods. The goal of treatment is to reduce discomfort and symptoms associated with the deformity.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Non-surgical hallux varus treatment options include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Custom orthotics.
  • Physical therapy (stretching the tendons in the toe).
  • Steroid injections.
  • Toe splints.

Surgical Treatment

When a hallux varus deformity progresses, your physician may recommend surgery to correct the structural problem in your foot. Surgical treatments of hallux varus include:

  • Osteotomy.
  • Sesamoidectomy.
  • Tendon transfers.

Talk to our team at Ottawa Foot Practice to learn more about the surgical treatment of hallux varus.

The Many Sources Of Heel And Foot Pain

Treatments for Heel Pain

Painful Plantar Fasciitis: Causes and Treatments

Following a comprehensive examination to ascertain how your feet align and function, Ottawa Foot Clinic then determines where and how much foot support or foot alignment correction is required to reduce or normalize unwanted tension stressing the ailing plantar ligament.

Depending on your specific needs, corrective treatment options can then be proposed.

Podiatric Orthotic Devices

Podiatric orthotic devices are a common and effective treatment option that, when constructed and used with expert guidance, can effectively help restore proper foot alignment and reduce tension within the plantar fascia.

After your foot is placed in an optimal stress-neutral position, a 3D scan is taken of the supportive surface area and a prescription created for the fabrication of properly moulded orthotics that will provide proper support and foot alignment when inserted in footwear.

The 3D scan and instructions are then sent electronically to a specialized laboratory where the corrective orthotics are custom-fabricated to the highest standard then returned for inspection by the Doctor of Podiatry at Ottawa Foot Clinic.

The fit of your new corrective orthotics are then assessed in a follow-up appointment to ensure the proper force transfer has been achieved that will allow your plantar ligaments relax, heal and grow out of pain.

Laser Therapy

If a heel pain condition is severe enough to limit activities or in a state of chronic discomfort for more than 6 weeks, the cells in the ailing plantar fascia are fatigued and have diminished healing energy and capacity.

To remedy this, Ottawa Foot Clinic offers a high-power laser treatment regime that introduces light photon energy at a cellular level to reduce or eliminate pain and facilitate healing.

The advanced laser used in this procedure delivers noticeable results in a much shorter time than less powerful lasers. Typical treatment is completed in just 4 sessions (2 per week over a 2 week period); noticeable pain reduction can be achieved right after the first or second session.

Other Options

Other available treatment options include:

  • Resting and icing the affected foot
  • Daily stretching in conjunction with night splints
  • High energy shock-wave treatment performed under local anaesthetic
  • Prolotherapy or local injections to activate a stronger healing phase

Book An Appointment Today

If plantar fasciitis or some other foot issue is causing pain or discomfort in your heel, arch or other foot area, our team provides effective treatment options for heel and foot pain.

Contact our office at 613-595-9700 to schedule an appointment.

Defining A Chiropodist

Defining A Chiropodist

What Is Chiropody?

Chiropody is the assessment, treatment and prevention of diseases or disorders of the foot by therapeutic, surgical, orthotic and palliative means.  It is practiced by qualified, regulated practitioners who have undergone government regulated and recognized programs and examinations.

Only those who are registered by the Ontario College Of Chiropodists are licensed to practice as Chiropodists or Podiatrists.

Some differences and similarities between a Podiatrist and a Chiropodist:

  • Education
    Podiatrists are required to have a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine/DPM degree, which is a post baccalaureate, four-year degree. The majority of chiropodists currently practising in Ontario hold a post-secondary diploma in chiropody, although some Chiropodists hold a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine/DPM degree.

  • Insurance Coverage
    Services rendered by a Podiatrist or Chiropodist may be covered by health insurance plans.

  • X-Rays
    Doctors of Podiatric Medicine registered as Chiropodists or Podiatrists may own and operate x-ray devices.

Treatment is Available

Are you suffering from pain or discomfort in your feet? Ottawa Foot Practice will provide effective treatment for your heel and foot pain.

Contact our office at (613) 595-9700 to schedule an appointment. Free parking is available at our state of the art Ottawa foot clinic.

the power of shockwave therapy

Shock Wave Therapy

The Power of Shockwave Therapy: a Highly Effective Treatment for Pain the power of shockwave therapy

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, a foot problem characterized by progressive pain, inflammation and microtears within the most powerful ligament of your body, you know the discomfort and the limitations this stubborn condition may cause. The affected ligament causes pain right under the heel bone and sometimes within the arch. Pain is worse especially at the very first steps following a prolonged period of rest (sleeping or sitting). Standing, walking or running for a few hours often worsen the symptoms. When conventional treatments are ineffective at minimizing symptoms and healing the plantar fascia, extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) can be an excellent and powerful solution.

ESWT delivers waves of energy deep into the rigid plantar ligament. The energy will literally melt the scar tissue, remove the adherence sand restore flexibility. The shockwave therapy prompts the body’s natural healing response, replacing the damaged plantar fascia tissue with new, healthy tissue. As a result, the shock wave  treatment can reduce or eliminate the pain and symptoms associated with a plantar fasciitis or Achilles’ tendonitis conditions thus significantly improving the foot’s functioning.

Reasons for ESWT

Generally speaking, ESWT is recommended for individuals with plantar fasciitis or calcaneal tendonitis whose symptoms have become unmanageable. It is also recommended when the patient does not respond to custom-made orthotic devices as the first-line treatment to restore proper force transfer and to reduce the tension within the affected structures.  Many patients choose ESWT as a less-invasive alternative to cortisone injection or cryosurgery.

The ESWT Procedure

ESWT is first administered at a low level of intensity to anesthetize the irritated and inflamed nerve endings. The power is gradually increased – with the consent of the patient – until the optimal therapeutic level is reached. Five thousand impulses is to be delivered into the affected ligament or tendon.

If you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis or Achilles’ tendonitis or are suffering from chronic arch or heel pain, contact your foot specialist to obtain more information on your treatment options, including extracorporeal shock wave therapy. With the help of a skilled Doctor of Podiatric Medicine at Ottawa Foot Practice, you can enjoy improved foot functionality.

podiatric medical foot care

Podiatric Medical Foot Care

Podiatric Medical Foot Care: What Is It Exactly?

podiatric medical foot care A podiatric medical foot care and/or pedicure includes a more comprehensive foot care service than a regular salon pedicure. First, our podiatric medical foot care and/or pedicure specialty service goes far beyond the basic foot care essentials as it is provided under hospital-grade infection control and safe practices for sterilizing instruments and decontaminating treatment areas so our healthy patients, including our medically compromised, senior and diabetic patients, will not get or transmit any bacterial, viral, or fungal infection.

Specific Conditions

Second, our comprehensive podiatric medical foot care is geared towards patients with specific nail, foot and medical conditions. Unattractive toenails due to discoloration, abnormal shape or stubborn fungal infection can now be instantly restored to natural colour and contour. Men and women will enjoy the natural end-result of our new nail restoration service; although no nail polish is needed, women can still cover their nails the usual way. Excessively incurvated nails can now be straightened up in a few days thanks to our transparent nail braces! Fungal skin (athlete’s foot) and nail (onychomycosis) infections can be zapped away by our laser and our comprehensive nail, skin & shoe anti-fungal topical approach. Cracked heels, rough plantar skin, corns and calluses will be thinned down and kept under control.

Our staff at Ottawa Foot Clinic have had specific training on not only how to efficiently treat foot skin and nail conditions, but also on infection control and safe practices for sterilizing instruments and decontaminating treatment areas.


Hallux Limitus

Hallux Limitus: Painful but Treatable

Hallux limitus is a term that describes early-stage stiffness and loss of motion in the joint at the base of the big toe. In hallux limitus patients, the toe cannot bend upward. Eventually this limited movement causes jamming of the toe joint. Repetitive jamming can lead to arthritis and extra bone growth over the top of the joint (this is known as a dorsal bunion).

Hallux limitus is a progressive condition; eventually the toe joint can become rigid or frozen. This later stage is referred to as hallux rigidus.

Causes of Hallux Limitus

Some people are genetically predisposed to develop hallux limitus; others develop the condition from trauma or overuse.

The following factors can lead to hallux limitus:

  • Excessive pronation (inward roll of the foot).
  • Gout.
  • High arches.
  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).
  • Overly long metatarsal bone.
  • Overly short metatarsal bone.
  • Repetitive injuries (particularly jamming the toe).

All of these factors contribute to excessive wear of the toe joint cartilage, causing limited mobility and deterioration of the joint.

Hallux Limitus Symptoms

Hallux limitus is the first stage of a progressive condition. Initially, patients will experience a deep ache when they try to flex their toe joint upward. Pain and stiffness at the base of the toe will occur when walking. Usually the pain disappears when the joint is at rest.

There may also be swelling and inflammation at the base of the big toe, especially on top of the joint. Eventually damage to the cartilage in the joint will cause an overgrowth of bone. These bone spurs might not be painful, but they can lead to calluses caused by friction between the skin and the shoe.

Hallux Limitus Treatment foot-big-toe

Early treatment of hallux limitus is essential to halt the progression of the condition.

Conservative treatment options include:

When conservative treatment fails, surgical intervention might be necessary. Every case of hallux limitus is unique; surgical treatment will depend on the cause of the condition, the quantity of bony overgrowth, the amount of joint deterioration, and the amount of pain.

Surgical options include:

  • Fusing of the joint.
  • Joint implants.
  • Joint remodeling.
  • Realignment of the bone.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, visit Ottawa Foot Practice, for an examination. Early treatment for this condition is important to halt its degenerative process.

physical exam entails

Foot and Ankle Exam

What a Podiatric Physical Exam Entails

If you come to us for a foot exam, it is probably because you have a symptom you want us to check out; such as pain, numbness, irregular toenails, or skin problems, to name a few. We want to give you an idea of what to expect and what we look for during your visit. physical exam entails

We start by gathering information about your medical history, your symptoms, and what you were doing when the problem began. Then we proceed with the actual exam:

  • Doing a thorough hands-on evaluation of your feet and ankles
  • Observing your movements (range of motion, walking, etc.)
  • Testing your balance and muscle strength
  • Checking for limb length differences or misaligned bones
  • Examining the condition of your skin
  • Checking your toenails as well as the presence or absence of digital hairs
  • Assessing any abnormal wear pattern on your shoes.

Why do we do all this if you just have, for example, a sore toe? Well, your feet are connected to and affected by other parts of your body, and everything must work together for you to function and move efficiently without foot pain. There are four main systems that we evaluate.

Do You Have Good Blood Flow?

Since your feet are the part of you farthest from your heart, their circulation is the first to suffer. Conditions like heart disease and diabetes, and habits like smoking, can lead to loss of blood flow, too. A foot exam can indicate poor blood flow by observing symptoms such as purplish skin color, loss of hair on top of the toes, cold feet, and slow healing, among others.

Do Your Nerves Carry Signals Properly?

Lack of sensation in your feet is a common complication of diabetes, injury, or even back problems. If you complain of numbness, we may use a pin, cotton swab, or nylon monofilament to test your feeling at various spots on your feet. Knowing where nerves are not functioning can help us diagnose foot problems such as peripheral neuropathy and neuromas.

Do Your Bones and Muscles Function As They Should?

We will check for foot and toe deformities where bones do not line up properly, including bunions, hammertoes, and misaligned ankle joints from having flat feet. We will also test the strength of the muscles that move these bones, as many times the deformity occurs from an imbalance between opposing sets of muscles and tendons. For example, with hammertoes, those under the toe are usually stronger and tighter, while those on top are weaker and looser.

Do Your Skin and Toenails Have Problems?

Dry skin, ingrown toenails, fungal infections, and rashes are just a few of the conditions we can identify with a thorough foot exam. Certain symptoms of your skin and nails can indicate underlying problems, as well. For instance, differences in temperature from one foot to another can indicate a vascular problem. Your feet are not immune to cancer, either, so suspicious spots should be checked as soon as possible.

Trust Your Feet to the Experts

When you notice something wrong with your feet or suffer from foot pain, let our foot specialist team at Ottawa Foot Practice in Ontario, do a podiatric foot exam and diagnose any issues. Once we have gotten to the root of your problem, we offer state-of-the-art foot treatments that will get you back on track. Call our office in Ottawa, ON, today at (613) 595-9700 to set up an appointment. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ for the latest in foot care tips and trends.


Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis

How We Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis

Our Ottawa foot clinic specialists identify specific points of tenderness in your feet through visual inspection (redness, swelling) and methodical palpation of foot structures (joint capsules, ligaments, skin, tendons, muscles, bones, fat pads and nerves). plantar-fasciitis

This examination is performed to help rule out other causes of heel pain that may be present at the same time such as:

  • Fat pad resorption at the bottom of the heel resulting with loss of shock absorption capacity;
  • Co-existing tendon and muscle conditions;
  • Stress fractures;
  • Long-standing inflammatory arthritic conditions; and
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome and/or medial calcaneal nerve impingement.

Major Diagnostic Equipment

Our Doctor of Podiatric Medicine may also perform weight bearing digital X-rays to help identify and quantify ankle bone misalignment, excessive pronation, or other issues creating abnormal tension/compression in the foot structures.

Effective Treatment is Available

If plantar fasciitis or some other foot issue is causing pain or discomfort in your heel, arch or other foot area, Ottawa Foot Practice provides effective treatment options for heel and foot pain.

Contact our office at 613-595-9700 to schedule an appointment. Free parking is available at our state of the art Ottawa foot clinic.