At Oh My Sole! custom orthotics are designed to fit your needs!
One of Oh My Sole!’s pedorthists literally spotted me walking in the shoe store next to the Curwin office in Halifax. “I think we can help you,” he said. (I have had several hip replacements and walk with a ‘penguin’ or ‘tick-tock” walk that is very hard on the back.) I was fitted for orthotic insoles; good things happened. I still have the “tick” but much less “tock.” The pain is gone and walking is a pleasure again. -Rod Ziegler, Halifax
Part of finding the right shoes, orthotics, or insoles is understanding your feet, and knowing the signs of a problem. Our staff are familiar with popular foot conditions and can help direct you to the products that are best suited for your feet.
- Corns & Calluses
- Hammer and Claw Toes
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Plantar fasciitis
- Ingrown Toenail
Bunions (hallux valgus) are often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. But a bunion is more than that. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. With a bunion, the big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. This throws the bones out of alignment, producing the bunion’s “bump.”
Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion.
Symptoms, which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:
- Pain or soreness
- Inflammation and redness
- A burning sensation
Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions.
- Changes in footwear. – Wearing the right kind of shoes is very important. Choose shoes that have a wide toe box and forgo those with pointed toes or high heels which may aggravate the condition.
- Padding – Pads placed over the area of the bunion can help minimize pain. You can get bunion pads from your foot and ankle surgeon or ask one of our specialists for help.
- Activity modifications – Avoid activity that causes bunion pain, including standing for long periods of time.
- Orthotic devices – In some cases, custom orthotic devices may be provided by a Certified Pedorthist to address faulty mechanics that are stressing the joint.
A callus is a thickened area of skin on the foot. The two basic types of calluses are the diffuse-shearing callus and the discrete-nucleated callus; however, the discrete-nucleated callus is otherwise known as a corn. A corn is distinguished by having a central core of hard material surrounded by thickened skin.
Both a callus and corn are usually formed when repeated pressure is applied on the skin, such as the rubbing of an improperly sized shoe. More specifically, a shoe that is too narrow or short will cause repeated frictional forces on the foot which encourage skin cells to thicken for protection against these stresses.
- Thickening of skin without distinct borders
- Vary in color from white to gray-yellow, brown, or red
- May throb or burn
- Texture varies from dry, waxy, transparent to a horny mass
- Distinct borders
- Most common on feet
- May be hard or soft
- Usually painful
- Place protective covering or bandages over the sore to decrease friction on the skin until the sore heals.
- Apply moisturizing agents such as lotions to dry calluses and corns.
- Rub sandpaper disks or pumice stone over hard thickened regions.
- Avoid stress to hands or feet by using gloves or changing shoes or socks.
- Soak feet or hands in warm soapy water to soften corns and calluses.
Metatarsalgia is a term used to describe a group of forefoot conditions that cause pain, burning or discomfort under the ball of the foot or in the toes. Each foot has five metatarsal bones that run from the arch of your foot to your toe joints, the pain experienced from metatarsalgia is due to inflammation surrounding these bones.
Metatarsalgia is caused when the soft tissues around the head of the metatarsal bones become inflamed. This is due to a number of reasons including the following:
- Intense activities
- Foot trauma
- Certain foot types such as high arches
- Foot deformities
- Fat pad deterioration (a thinning of the protective fat pads that cushion the balls of the foot)
- Excessive weight
- Improper fitting footwear
Key symptoms of Metatarsalgia include:
- Painful and/or burning sensation in the ball of your foot when standing, walking or running – which improves upon resting
- Sharp or shooting pain in your toes, and
- Numbness or tingling in your toes.
The first step in treating metatarsalgia is to determine the cause of the pain. If improper fitting footwear is the cause of the pain, the footwear must be changed. Footwear designed with a high, wide toe box (toe area) and a rocker sole is ideal for treating metatarsalgia. The high, wide toe box allows the foot to spread out while the rocker sole reduces stress on the ball-of-the-foot. Combined with an insole that has metatarsal support – the rocker sole is one of the best solutions
Sesamoiditis is inflammation of the sesamoid bones in the forefoot, usually caused by repetitive pressure on the ball of the foot.
Sesamoiditis may arise as a result of an injury, such as a stress fracture of the sesamoid bones. It can also be a result of repetitive pressure to the area due to improper foot mechanics.
- pain in the ball of the foot, especially on the medial aspect under the great toe. This pain is often intensified by movement in the big toe joint, and may be accompanied by swelling in the bottom, or plantar region of the forefoot.
- may vary according to severity, but typically consists of either a forefoot pad for the shoe or a metatarsal pad to offload pressure from the big toe joint.
- Custom or off the shelf orthotics may be needed to shift weight distribution and offer pressure relief from affected areas
Hammer and claw toes refer to toes that are contracted at different joints. In claw toe, the outer 2 joints are bent downward whereas in hammer toe the first joint in the toe flexes upward while the second joint is fully extended.
In most cases toe deformities such as these result from an imbalance in the muscles of the foot where certain muscles are contracting much more strongly. People with very flat feet as well as those with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are especially susceptible to toe deformities.
Warning signs in toe deformities include:
- the formation of calluses on the tops of the toes from rubbing against the shoe
- callousing or pressure ulcers on the sole of the foot.
- seek early treatment for hammer and claw toes before they become fixed in their respective positions.
- a custom or off the shelf orthotic insole can be used to balance out the muscle activity and improve overall foot mechanics while unloading pressure areas.
- If left untreated, surgery is often necessary to correct fixed joints.
Morton’s Neuroma is an enlarged nerve, usually located between the third and fourth toes.
The cause of this enlargement is not always known, but it is likely due to irritation of the nerve which could be caused by it rubbing against one side of the nerve compartment.
- pain most commonly between the third and fourth toes.
- pain may be sharp or dull, and is usually less when there is no weight being placed on the foot.
- wearing shoes and walking tends to made the pain worse.
- Sufferers will often describe a “wadded sock feeling”
- Often accompanied by numbness/tingling in the toes
- wear shoes with wide toe boxes and avoid high heels that load more pressure to the affected area
- a custom or off the shelf orthotic may be used to disperse pressure from the affected area.
- surgery serves as a more aggressive alternative.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed-resulting in heel pain.
The cause of plantar fasciitis is usually not easy to pin point exactly. It is most commonly caused by too much stretch tension on the tissue. With prolonged tension on the tissue, it begins to tear away from the heel attachment site causing pain and inflammation.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:
- Pain on the bottom of the heel (usually toward the inside edge)
- Pain that is usually worse upon arising in mornings or after resting
- Pain that increases over a period of months
- Stretching and icing
- Taking anti-inflammatories
- Avoid going barefoot on hard surfaces
- Off the shelf or custom foot orthotics to support foot structures (arches in particular)
- Supportive orthopaedic footwear
When a toenail is ingrown, the nail is curved downward and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe.
The most common cause of ingrown toenails is improper trimming. Cutting your nails too short encourages the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail. An ingrown toenail can also develop as the result of trauma, such as stubbing your toe, having an object fall on your toe, or engaging in repetitive kicking or running activities. Another cause of ingrown toenails is wearing shoes that are too tight or short.
Warning signs in ingrown toenail include:
- Pain, redness, and swelling at the side of the toe
- Trim nails properly: cut the nails in a straight line and avoid cutting them too short.
- Avoid poor fitting footwear: don’t wear shoes that are too short or tight in the toe box. Have your feet measured (for length and width) regularly to ensure you pick the proper size.