Frequently Asked Questions of Our London Chiropodist
Welcome to Westmount Foot and Orthotic Clinic’s FAQ page. While this page provides some answers to our most commonly asked questions, it is not a definitive resource. For assistance with a specific question or concern, please feel free to contact our London office at any time. This page also contains a glossary of common terms used in the field of chiropody.
Who is a chiropodist?
Licenced chiropodists are professionally identified using an abbreviated title of “D.Ch.” following his or her surname. Chiropodists undertake an intensive three-year program that covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, biomechanics, pharmacology, anesthesiology, dermatology, sports medicine, microbiology, physical therapy, pediatrics, orthotics, medicine, and surgery.
The practice of chiropody involves the assessment, prevention, and treatment of foot-related conditions and disorders.
These treatments and therapies usually include orthotic or palliative devices. Under the Chiropody Act of 1991, chiropodists have primary care status in the province of Ontario and are licenced to provide services including:
Cutting of subcutaneous tissue to treat disorders of the foot
Administration of medicines by injection into the foot
Prescribing relevant medications
Did you know?
Even though the human foot makes up only a small amount of the body’s total mass and area, it comprises 25% of the body’s bones. And, connecting this system of bones is a complex network of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Just one single step requires the synchronization of all these bones and connective tissue. Yet, most of us perform this complex feat 4,000 to 10,000 times each day across a variety of surfaces. In an average lifetime our feet will travel between 240,000 and 320,000 kilometres—that's the equivalent of walking around the Earth six to eight times!
Whether you’re a child, senior, adolescent or Olympian, foot health is always of primary importance.
Do I have to wear orthotics for a long time?
For children, orthotics may be required for a short period to ensure proper bone growth and muscle formation. Yet, like prescription glasses, many adults may be need to wear orthotics over the course of their lifetime in order to receive the benefits of treatment.
Why am I required to give my medical history to the chiropodist?
Like many health professions, your medical history is useful in ensuring proper treatment.
What kind of shoes should I buy?
The general rule is to buy shoes that have laces, a firm heel area, and flexibility in the ball area.
I have a heel spur. How do I get rid of the pain?
Most heel spurs can be treated with orthotics.
Why are my heels cracking?
Most cracked heels are caused by wearing backless shoes, walking barefoot, as well as excessive pressure on the foot.
What's the best treatment for a corn on my toe?
Corns are often caused by tight-fitting footwear. Therefore, do not wear tight shoes, or have the shoes stretched out in the area causing the corn. You should also see a chiropodist to have the corn removed and the affected area appropriately padded.
What are the concerns with a pedicure?
Not all nail salons use sterilizing equipment to kill bacteria, fungus, and yeast that grow on nails. Pedicures are actually a leading cause of fungal nail infections. That’s why it’s important to only visit reputable and licenced salons.
Why should diabetics be more concerned about their feet?
Diabetics have a compromised nervous pain system and cannot feel pain, especially in the feet. They may have protruding nails in their feet and yet not be aware of it. This can lead to a secondary infection, which can result in an amputation in some instances.
Why are custom orthotics so expensive?
Like prescription eyeglasses, custom-made orthotics are not mass-produced, but specifically designed to suit the needs of each individual. This contributes to the overall price per unit in fabricating custom orthotics.
Custom-made insoles are specially designed to correct structural problems, or to maximize your comfort. Buying insoles from a drug or a shoe store is generally not recommended, as not all feet are alike, and may not solve the underlying condition.
Can orthotics correct the structural deformities of my feet?
In children, orthotics can resolve some problems; however, since adult’s bones are already formed they are generally used for alleviating pain, as well as preventing further damage.
Can shoes cause foot disorders?
Most foot disorders are caused by poor quality or ill-fitting shoes. Properly fitted, quality shoes can go a long way in providing the required comfort and protection, while minimizing damage to the feet. If you should have problems with your feet, always seek the advice of a chiropodist.
Here are some guidelines to be used when shopping for shoes:
Try shoes at the end of the day when your feet are the most swollen
Do not try to conform your feet to the shape and size of shoes
Fit shoes to your largest foot as most people have one foot larger than the other
Don’t just go by the size of the shoe as actual sizes vary by brand
Have your feet measured every time before your purchase - this is especially true for children
If shoes are too tight, do not buy them expecting to break them in
Avoid high heeled shoes with pointed or narrowed toe areas, because the pressure under the ball of the foot increases as heel height increases, thereby putting greater pressure on the forefoot as it is forced into the pointed toe box
Your longest toe should have a half-inch of free space between its tip and the inside edge of the shoe
Walk around in the shoes to ensure they fit well and feel comfortable
Make certain you are able to freely wiggle all of your toes in the shoes you select