Plantar Fasciitis Pain

Let us know if this happens to you: the alarm clock rings, you wake up, but you just don’t want to get out of bed. It’s not that you’re still sleepy, but you dread the feeling of your feet hitting the floor first thing in the morning. That stabbing or burning heel pain that accompanies your first steps and can plague you other times through the day is likely the fault of plantar fasciitis, and you are not alone. common-cause-of-heel-pain


This condition is the leading cause of heel pain. It involves an inflammation of the band of tissue that exists between the toes and the heel. This supportive band helps prevent the arch of the foot from collapsing, but too much stress on it can cause very small tears to develop within the tissue. These tears can grow worse and become inflamed as stress continues to be placed on the foot.

The pain under your heel is often worst in the morning, but begins to recede as the tissue limbers up. Becoming active again after a lengthened period of sitting or standing can also trigger the pain.

Too many people live their lives bearing their discomfort because they believe it’s a normal part of life. They are only lending themselves to unnecessary discomfort. No foot or heel pain is normal, and addressing the sources early can prevent plenty of misery in the future. Ottawa Foot Clinic can get to the source of the problem and recommend treatments to keep your feet happy and healthy.

Contact our office in Ottawa, ON at 613-627-2710 to schedule an appointment and take the first step toward fearless mornings again.

diagnosing pediatric flatfoot

Flat Feet in Children

diagnosing pediatric flatfootDiagnosing Pediatric Flatfoot

Most babies have flat feet when they are born, because the foot arch does not develop until about age five. Pediatric flatfoot refers to the congenital foot structure in which the arches never develop. They may appear when your child stands on tiptoe or lets the feet hang down when sitting, but as long as they put any weight on them, the feet look flat.

Expert foot specialists can usually diagnose the problem with a simple examination. We look at your child’s feet as he or she sits, stands, and walks to see how they appear in these situations. We may also have them stand on tiptoe to see if the arches reappear, and manipulate the feet to see how flexible they are. Some cases may warrant an exam of the legs and hips to see if there are other related issues that need to be addressed. Observing the wear patterns on the soles of their shoes can help identify the condition as well.

Are Flat Feet in Children a Problem?

Depending on the type of condition, your child’s low arches may or may not ever cause trouble for them. Flexible flat feet can be symptom-free for many children, and may never need any treatment. If foot structure is rigid, however, and does not accommodate the force of their steps, their feet may ache along the bottom, or they may have cramping in their legs.

Sometimes this condition causes the heel to tilt outward and the ankles to fall inward. This can put extra pressure on muscles, tendons and ligaments, resulting in pain while walking. Your child may develop a change in gait or stride to counteract the tilting or the pain. That may make them more reluctant to be active, and cause fatigue when they are.

Treating Pediatric Flatfoot

If your child has no symptoms, there is no need for treatment at all. We will just continue to monitor the situation and re-evaluate periodically to see if anything has changed. At some point, we may recommend custom foot orthotics if we feel it will prevent problems from occurring.

On the other hand, painful feet that make it hard to wear shoes or participate in normal activities or sports are not good for your child. Set up a visit at our office and we will see what can be done to make him or her comfortable and improve foot function. We may use one of several conservative treatment options, including:

  • Reducing activity that causes pain until it has subsided
  • Medications for a limited period of time to get over the worst of the pain
  • Supervised stretches that will help alleviate pain and strengthen the feet
  • Explaining the right kind of supportive shoes needed for your child’s foot
  • Using over-the-counter or custom orthotics to counteract poor biomechanics

Don’t worry too much about pediatric flat foot if your child has no symptoms, but if they do hurt, don’t wait too long to get help. Pain is not normal and shouldn’t keep your child from being active if there is a solution available to take care of it. Call Ottawa Foot Practice at (613) 595-9700 and set up an appointment at our Deakin Street office in Ottawa, ON. You can also request one online, as well as keep in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest in foot care news and tips.

arthritic condition onset by diet

Gout Treatments

People typically associate arthritis as a condition that happens as individuals become older. The cartilage that protects joints can wear down over the course of time and result in stiffness, but there is also a form of arthritis that is affected by what you eat. Understanding gout, an arthritic condition that causes painful attacks, can help you to either manage the condition or even keep it from happening in the first place.

What is Gout?

This arthritic condition is usually marked by swelling, stiffness, and burning pain in the joint found at the base of your big toe – the first metatarsophalangeal (MP) joint. The first MP joint is the most common location for symptoms when the condition flares up. (Unlike other ailments, this form of arthritis only strikes periodically.) Flare-ups are mostly likely to happen at night and then the condition often goes back into a state of dormancy until its next attack. Periods between these gout attacks might extend as far as a couple of years or decades.

What Does It Happen?

arthritic condition onset by diet

A commonality between the various forms of arthritis is that they all cause stiffness and painful inflammation in joints. When it comes to gout, the stiffness and pain is in response to hyperuricemia, which is a matter of the blood containing excessive amounts of uric acid. This acid is the byproduct from the process of your body breaking down purines, which are substances found in a wide range of foods that are contained in a normal diet.

The uric acid itself is not an issue while it is floating in your blood stream. Once it crystalizes, though, problems can arise. Your pain, discomfort, and subsequent gout attacks are the result of hard uric acid crystals forming in your joints, particularly the big toe’s MP joints where the temperature is low thus favoring uric acid crystal formation and precipitation.

Which Foods Should be avoided with Gout?

An essential part of gout management is paying close attention to the foods you eat. Food products that have a high purine content will ultimately lead to uric acid, which can then lead to the onset of a painful attack. Given that this is the case, it is a wise idea to limit or avoid your intake of:

  • Animal Protein – Limiting the quantity of meat consumed to 4 – 6 total ounces during the course of the day will decrease your risk, but it is even better to simply avoid meat altogether.
  • Refined Carbohydrates – White breads, cake, and candy all increase uric acid levels and should be avoided.
  • Alcohol – Beer, wine, and hard liquors ultimately interfere with the body’s natural ability to flush uric acid out through the kidneys.

These may seem like a lot of dietary restrictions, but a focus on healthy foods and the safe, delicious meals you can make from them, can help you realize that there are many options still available.

How can Gout Be Treated?

When it comes to treating and managing this condition, making healthy lifestyle decisions is the right place to start. Restrict or eliminate meat, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol, but also add more beans, legumes, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and low-fat or fat-free dairy into your daily diet. This kind of diet will help, but also incorporate regular exercise into your weekly schedule to keep your bodyweight down. Weight management, exercise, and smart dietary choices are key steps, but your family doctor may need to prescribe medication(s) to reduce your uric acid levels and your Doctor of Podiatric Medicine may inject local anesthetics and cortisone in your affected big toe joint to stop the excruciating pain associated with a sudden gout attack.

Can it Be Prevented?

The steps for treating this condition also are useful for decreasing your risk of ever having the problem in the first place. Simply start with your diet and make sure that you eat plenty of whole grains, legumes, and vegetables. As you do this, make sure that you avoid the common pitfall of not taking in enough calories. A diet that is overly low-calorie can potentially trigger a gout attack.

Effective Gout Care in Ottawa, ON

If you would like addition information, or are currently suffering with pain from gout, Ottawa Foot Practice is here for you. Contact our office by calling (613) 595-9700 or use our online form to schedule your appointment with us.


Remembrance Day in Ottawa

rememberFrom all of us at OttawaFootClinic: Remember

It’s only one day out of the year, between the craziness of Hallowe’en and the bustle of the holiday season.

Yet it is one of the most important.

We are asked only one thing on November 11 each year.

That is: to remember.

We don’t have to sing songs, or write poetry, or essays, or perform on theatre stages.

We don’t have to search for old war movies, or read books written by major generals and great war strategists throughout the ages.

We just have to remember.

That’s all.

It is the one thing that binds us together as human beings and will last as long as we do.

For the one thing that has been there ever since we began is conflict.

Lord knows we still have many, and probably always will.

But doesn’t remembering make it a little more bearable?

I like to think that, somewhere up above, ones who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country are looking down on a mother somewhere, tucking in her child, and saying, “Today’s the day we remember Grandpa and Grandma and all they did to keep us safe.”

What a Simple Thing, Just to Remember.

It doesn’t ask much of us.

It’s really a very small thing.  After all, we asked so very much of those who gave so much.

We asked them to leave their homes, their families, their children, in frightening times of so much uncertainty.

We are still doing that.  And now we remember those presently overseas and peacekeeping here at home, who are in a very real way reliving the ordeals of their counterparts of past conflicts.

Each of our families has many stories to tell.  War has touched everyone in some way.  It is a great, sobering leveller.

We spare a moment today, to join with millions of others around the world: a giant unbreakable chain forged of respect, gratitude and love.

Let us never, ever forget our veterans and peacekeepers: the unselfish bravery, the professionalism, the will to succeed, the caring for others in other lands, the sense of humor never lost, the camaraderie among teams, the respect for human life.


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.


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.