Visions Of The Future Of Heath Care: On The Road To Positive Change

A Great, Positive Change is Coming. exercise

The many people who work in health care believe we can do a better job of empowering patients as partners in their own health care. We are now on that road.

What an exciting thought!

This is why so many of them came together at the 3rd Annual Patient Care Experience conference. It was filled with physicians and other health care and hospital professionals who want to create a much better system for their patients. It was so inspiring to see these people who will represent the first wave of change.

Their commitment was strong; their words inspiring. Their vision focused on one thing: empowering patients as equal partners in their own health care.

Change is Always Frightening.

The human psyche does not like change. It prefers the usual, the comfortable, the familiar. Perhaps this is why, for so many years, patients have not wanted to “rock the boat” with their health care professionals and specialists – or they felt they did not deserve a voice in their own treatment. They felt they were not knowledgeable enough to participate.

As well, previous generations have grown up with the philosophy that the doctor should remain unquestioned. Once, we would never have dreamed even to ask about our treatment protocol or our prescriptions. It was unheard of.

At the conference it was very clear that health care professionals no longer want this type of system, either. They appreciate patients who are prepared; who have done their research; who do not hesitate to ask why a treatment is prescribed, and what results they might expect. Doctors, nurses and other clinicians now feel they have a much better chance of success if they partner with their patients.

The tide is changing. It may take awhile, but it’s coming. And it will only change with your voice. Nothing will get better if we don’t speak up: to our doctors, our surgeons, our hospital personnel, our politicians. Ask questions; as many as you need to fully understand your condition and proposed treatment. Remember, you should be an equal partner with your health care team. Your opinion, your history are valuable and should be respected as such.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him … We need not wait to see what others do.” – Gandhi


Your First Visit To OttawaFootClinic: What To Expect

What Is Going to Happen When You and Your Loved Ones Visit Our Office for the Initial Appointment?


foot Very often, people are apprehensive about visiting a new doctor or clinic. This is a natural reaction when you don’t know what to expect; and especially when you are in pain! You don’t need extra anxiety on top of that.

So here’s what will happen at your very first fisit! We will take the time to listen to you during your initial 60-minute appointment, which is quite unique in our community. You will be asked questions about your feet, ankles, legs, knees, hips and back, to identify your weakest links.

In the light of your personal history of your body’s musculoskeletal or locomotion system, a comprehensive physical examination, posture and gait analysis and digital radiological exam will be performed. A review of the overall findings will connect the dots so you will discover each one of your existing foot conditions and clearly understand:

  1. The root cause of  your specific foot condition(s);
  2. What should be put into action to get you back to vibrant health and out of pain fast!

If You are in Pain, Call Us Immediately.

We can often arrange for appointments the same day.  You don’t have to suffer needlessly.

If you are ready to go ahead with your personal plan designed to get you healthy promptly, we will commence your first treatment session without delay. We will take action to address the root cause right away and we will initiate the first treatment to support the repair of the most damaged foot structures. Many patients do experience a noticable improvement of their foot condition(s) right after this very first visit!

At the conclusion of your first appointment, you will be handed out a complimentary copy of Foot Pain and Nail Conditions, a book full of detailed information about many common foot problems. A detailed report will be faxed to your family physician (often the very same day) if this is your desire.

There is simply no reason to continue to suffer from foot pain, even if it doesn’t hurt all the time. We recommend you to make sure your very next step is a visit to our office so we can discuss your foot pain symptoms and find the right treatment for you.

Our entire team is passionately knowledgeable about foot health and dedicated to creating an outstanding patient care experience!  Right from the start.

We listen. We care. We make feet feel better.

running causes pain

How You Develop Sesamoiditis Pain In Your Foot

When Running Causes Pain running causes pain

Have you been training hard for an upcoming marathon? Are you a regular runner who has been experiencing pain in the ball of your foot? When this type of pain comes and goes with certain activity it could be due to sesamoiditis. Knowing why this injury happens may help you prevent it from ruining your running routine—or your normal activities if you’re not a runner.

The issue involves two small, round bones that lie in the tendon under your big toe joint. They work as pulleys to multiply the leverage as you push off for a step, and thus are subject to repeated micro-trauma if you walk or run a lot with misaligned ankle bones overloading the big toe joints. Young people who are active in sports that require side-to-side movements or squatting can be especially at risk.

That trauma eventually adds up, and the sesamoid bones and surrounding tendon can become irritated and inflamed—a condition called sesamoiditis. They may even fracture from repetitive and excessive pressure. The result is pain, swelling, inflammation, and the inability to walk and run as you normally do.

There are some other contributing factors to sesamoid issues as well. Aging and osteoarthritis can weaken the bones and lead to small stress fractures or tiny spurs that make them more susceptible to injury. The foot type you inherit can also magnify the problem. If your sesamoid bones are unusually large, you may always have problems walking, and if you tend to overpronate, extra pressure is placed on those bones with every step you take.

Treatment for Sesamoiditis

At OttawaFootClinic, we can treat the condition with non-invasive methods including  custom orthotics to reduce overload and laser treatments to stop your sesamoiditis pain fast and more, but wouldn’t you rather avoid the problem altogether? You can help prevent it by not wearing heels that put pressure on your forefoot or flats that don’t support your arch. We can design custom orthotics that will offload the pressure on the sesamoids.

When you notice pain in the ball of your foot, don’t delay—come see us right away. It’s the best way to keep an occasional annoyance from becoming a chronic, painful issue. Just call our Deakin Street office in Ottawa, ON at (613) 595-9700 to set up your appointment.

gout pain is no laughinh matter

Treating The Pain Of Gout

gout pain is no laughinh matter Gout pain is no laughing matter

Ottawa is a fun place in summer. For example, you will be able to enjoy street performers at the Ottawa International Busker Festival (Buskerfest) in July or August at Sparks Street Village—or maybe not, if you happen to get a gout attack. Nothing like excruciating pain in your big toe to take the fun out of life, and you out of the fun! That’s why treating gout pain is essential.

Although studies of alternative treatments (coffee, cherries, vitamin C) may eventually yield some promising results, at present the main way to deal with the condition is through medication. Home treatment for gout and making the right food choices can also help.

If an attack wakes you up at night, make sure you elevate your foot and use ice therapy right away to try to cool down the pain and reduce the swelling. Then call us in the morning so we can recommend the best pain reliever for you to try. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually the first option, but others include colchicine or oral corticosteroids.

Gout and Your Overall Health

As with many other conditions, there is a definite relationship between gout, weight, exercise, and food. Overweight and obese people are at increased risk for gout, so eat in moderation and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight. Certain “gout foods” seem to trigger attacks as well, because they are higher in the purines that your body finds it hard to handle. These include red meat, some seafood, alcohol, and drinks sweetened with fructose. Drinking lots of water may help flush excess uric acid from your body.

If the problem becomes chronic with repeated attacks, there are other medications that may help prevent future attacks by managing your uric acid levels. Please don’t suffer needlessly. Contact OttawaFootClinic in Ontario for help. Simply call our Deakin St. office by dialing (613) 595-9700 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.


Avoiding Gout Flares

Prevent Gout Attacks forks

Ah! Summer barbecues are filling the air with the smell of juicy hamburgers and sausages, and who wouldn’t love a big bite of one right about now? Unfortunately, that may be one of the pleasures you’ll have to forego if you want to avoid a gout attack in your big toe or other joints.

Let’s back up and see what really causes gout in the first place. It is a medical condition that makes you produce too much uric acid or be unable to properly process it. When it builds up in your bloodstream, it can crystalize, and tiny, sharp grains can precipitate in any foot, ankle or big toe joints where the temperature is lowest in our body and cause excruciating pain during sleep. The reasons you develop this condition can vary from injury, illness, and taking certain medications to crash dieting, drinking too much, or dehydration.

The foods you eat can also be triggers for gout pain. Any food high in purines may give your body problems when processing them. These include red meats (like hamburgers and sausages), shellfish, sugary beverages, and excessive alcohol—especially red wine—another summer barbecue staple you’ll need to watch. It is recommended that women limit themselves to one drink and men to two drinks in a 24-hour period.

Good Foods to Counteract Gout

To counteract the effects of these trigger foods and beverages, you can eat plenty of the kind that lower uric acid levels and promote heart health. They include vegetables, low-fat dairy, plant oils, whole grains, tart fruits, and water—or coffee if you are used to it.

If you have been dealing with gout for a while, you know what foods cause your gout attack, but if you are new to the disease, you may want to start a food diary. Each time your big toe pain strikes, write down what you remember eating over the previous few days, to narrow down which foods and drinks might be a problem for you.

For gout pain, or any other ailment affecting your feet, don’t hesitate to come to Ottawa Foot Practice for diagnosis and treatment. We will work closely with your family doctor to help you find relief. Just call our office in Ottawa at (613) 595-9700 and set up a time to come in. You can also schedule via our website.


Causes Of Arthritis

The Real Pain of Arthritis


Canada Day will be here before you know it, with fun and activities galore! From dancing to music and walking around taking in exhibits, to standing at attention for the annual fireworks display, changing of the guards, and flag raising ceremony—with all the events going on, we can hardly wait! If you have arthritis in your feet or ankles, though, dancing and walking and standing aren’t all that exciting—in fact they can be downright painful! So why do some people suffer from this condition? foot-xray

The causes of arthritis depend on the type, and while there are a wide variety, there are three common kinds that affect your feet and ankles. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear over time. As you age the cartilage between your joints breaks down and leads to pain and inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which your body produces cells that attack your joints resulting in swelling, pain, and stiffness. Post traumatic arthritis affects joints that have been damaged by injury.

Partner with Us to Manage your Arthritis Pain

No matter the causes of joint pain, the good news is that you can manage your condition and live a full and active life—so you can look forward to things like Canada Day celebrations! Pain laser treatments, anti-inflammatory medications or injections, synovial fluid replacement using sodium hyaluronate solutions (Synvisc or Neovisc), compressive socks, ankle and foot supports and orthotics are all ways to minimize symptoms. Wearing shoes that match the shape of your foot, and that are supportive yet flexible, will go a long way toward alleviating discomfort. Stretches and low-impact exercise will help to keep you moving which, believe it or not, relieves pain and stiffness. If all else fails, surgery is an option as well.

If you have questions about the causes of arthritis, or would like more tips on how you can manage your condition, call our foot specialists at (613) 595-9700, or visit Ottawa Foot Practice in Ottawa, ON, Canada today. That way you’ll be ready to enjoy all that Canada Day has to offer!


Exerciese for Arthritis

Step Out of your Arthritis Pain

We all know the benefits of regular exercise: weight control, better sleep, stronger muscles, more energy, and less pain. Wait. Less pain? It’s true, especially if you have arthritis. It may not seem to make sense that moving those sore joints could help them hurt less, but that is exactly what happens if exercises for arthritis are done the right way. man-jogging

Arthritis pain is often tied to stress on the joints. Increasing the strength of the muscles that hold them in place lessens that stress. It also keeps the tissues from getting stiff, which can help reduce pain. The trick is to start slowly and listen to your body’s limits while using the following routine.

You might want to take a warm bath or shower beforehand to get the joint fluids flowing. Start with a gentle warmup—a 5-minute walk or session on the stationary bike. Then reach toward the ceiling with your arms, and bend over and let them hang down toward the floor.

Stretching for Muscle Groups to Relieve Arthritis Pain

There are many different stretches for various muscle groups. Here are a few:

  • With hands on hips, bend sideways from the waist on one side, then the other.
  • Raise and lower your shoulders several times.
  • Hold your arms out to the sides and swing them in gentle circles, forwards and backwards
  • Stand with your feet lined up with your shoulders, toes out slightly for balance. Put hands on hips and gently twist left, then right.

If you have some hand weights or access to a gym, you can try doing bicep curls, triceps extensions, raising the weights from your sides out and up to shoulder height, or performing wall pushups (great if you can’t get down on the floor for the regular kind).

Cardio or aerobic exercise is also important, so if you are not able to walk briskly or do elliptical machines, try an arm cycle, swimming, or other low impact method to get your heart going. Start with 5 or 10 minutes a day, and try to build up to 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.

For more exercises or information about arthritis and your feet, contact Ottawa Foot Practice by calling (613) 595-9700 or communicating through ourcontact page. Our staff is passionately dedicated to helping you achieve the most optimal foot health you can have in spite of your arthritis.

feet ready for summer

Toenail Fungus Treatments

Fungal Nails May be Successfully Treated!

You may not have hauled out your best warm weather shoes just yet, but summer is not far away. If you want nice-looking nails in time for sandal season, but suffer fromtoenail fungus, the time to start treatment is now. feet ready for summer

This infection may not be dangerous, but yellowed, brittle, crumbly nails can cause a lot of grief and make you embarrassed to wear open-toe shoes. The treatment of a fungal nail infection is tricky, and you have probably tried most of the home remedies you’ve heard about, or even the medications you can buy at the pharmacy or discount store. We have tried many of them too, and have worked with other colleagues to see which therapies give the best success. Here’s what we have settled on as the prime treatment regimen:

Treatment Regimen for Fungal Nails

  • Daily shoe treatment with anti-fungal spray or UV light treatment, so the fungus can’t hide in them and keep re-infecting your feet.
  • Daily application of antifungal cream on the skin around the nails, to kill the fungus that might migrate from the skin at the bottom of your feet up to your nails.
  • Monthly nail laser therapy sessions, using concomitantly two clinically-proven fungicidal wavelengths, will destroy the fungal micro-organisms hiding underneath your nail.
  • Application of an antifungal sealant after each laser treatment on the two most affected nails will keep new fungi from re-invading your new healthy nails and will restore a normal and vibrant nail appearance right after thevery first laser treatment.

With this protocol, healthy nails should begin to grow out to replace the unattractive infected nail you are seeing now, and once they do, your toes will delight you and not embarrass you. Don’t delay and let the problem get worse. Schedule your fungal nail treatment at Ottawa Foot Practice by calling (613) 595-9700 or requesting an appointment on our website. You will be glad you did when you can show off your pretty new nails this summer.


Healing Pain Relief and Treatments

Painful Heels Can Change your Life painful-heels

Another Change The World campaign—the effort to get high school kids to volunteer in their community—has drawn to a close. Ottawa teens turned in their volunteer hours in support of a host of special events and ongoing projects. Changing the world is a big and worthy concept, but even a small thing like painful heels can change your world, too—for the worse. Although it may not compare to treating cancer or finding a cure for MS, we offer heel pain treatments that can help you heal, so you can go on to help others.  Such a worthy goal, don’t you think!

Sore heels can result from a variety of issues. Heel pain causes include:

  • Plantar fasciitis– inflammation of the ligament under your arch
  • Achilles tendonitis – inflammation of the tendon behind your ankle
  • Overpronation – excessive rolling of your foot to the inside as you take a step, which contributes to pain in your heel
  • Heel spurs – bony growths under or at the back of the heel that can irritate surrounding tissues
  • Arthritis, an inflamed bursa, or a bruise in the soft tissue next to the heel bone

Pain Relief is Essential

No matter where it comes from, you are looking for a change: relief from the pain so you can function normally again. The good news is we can usually help you with conservative, non-surgical treatments.

Remedies such as better types of shoes, taping and strapping methods, or custom orthotics designed by us to address your faulty foot movements can be surprisingly effective. We can always prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medications (oral or injected) that help you over the hump until your tissues heal. Physical therapy using certain stretches and exercises can also be beneficial.

In a few cases, you may not find enough relief from these treatments. That is when surgical procedures may be a final option. A torn Achilles can be repaired surgically so it heals better, and an inflamed bursa or heel spur can be removed if needed.

Find the expert foot care you desire at Ottawa Foot Practice in Ontario. You can call us at (613) 595-9700 or set up an appointment through our website. We want to change your painful heels to healthy ones, so you can go out and change the world.