Monthly Archives: February 2011

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

For those fully engaged in outdoor winter activities the thought of spending hours outdoors can be delightful. However, for those less prepared for the outdoors is it can be a dangerous and unpleasant experience.  To make the most of your skiing experience no matter how skilled (or unskilled) you happened happen to be, there are several tips to help keep you injury free this season.

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Winter Blues, Seasonal Stress Syndrome and S.A.D.- How Massage Can Help

It’s that time of year again.  The days have gotten shorter, the weather has gotten colder and the holiday season and long stretch of winter lies ahead of us.  For many people this is a difficult time of year as we struggle to keep our spirits and energy levels up, remain active and stave off the ailments and health issues that often are a hindrance at this time of year.

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Look To Your Feet For Back Relief

Since poor posture is one of the biggest reasons for lower back pain, correcting your posture from the ground up is a vital part of reducing or eliminating your back pain.  If your foot over-pronates (rolls inward) when you walk you are likely causing undue stress to your back.  That inward rolling motion produce a torque force which causes internal rotation of the legs and hips.  This motion, over time, can cause ligament instability in the low back and sacroiliac (SI) joints which generates chronic back pain.

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Orthotics In Hockey Skates

Explosive leg power is one of the key components in hockey player development (4).  However, if that power cannot be harnessed on to the 0.001” of the skate blade used by hockey players to carve across the ice (6), the power output increases produced during dry land training may not be reproduced on the ice at game time.   Proper foot mechanics are essential in distributing the force more evenly, thereby having increased edge control (2).

An orthotic is used to control the foot and ankle, helping keeping them in a neutral position.  This will allow the forces produced in the legs to travel down through the foot and on to the skate blade in the most efficient manor.  The blades of a hockey skate are place where the manufacturers believe the centre of gravity should pass through (where all the force is going through) (2).  However, often times our feet are not aligned in a neutral position, therefore not allowing your body to perform to optimal levels in the skate you wear (3).  Using orthotic inserts will allow the foot to work in the skate in the most favourable position therefore allowing your body to work in the most efficient and effective way possible.  The use of orthotics will also lead to a decrease in “hot spots”(2), an increase in stride length and therefore increase performance (4).  It will also help lower fatigue in musculature throughout the body (4).

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Hiking And Your Feet

Whether your planning a day on the Bruce Trail, a weekend at Killbear or several weeks portaging through Algonquin Park, how your feet feel an often be correlated to how good, or bad, your hiking experience was. So getting yourself in the appropriate footwear can be your first step to enjoying the outdoors this summer. The first question you should ask yourself is “what kind of hiking do you intend on doing this year?”. What is your expected terrain, weather conditions, duration and backpack load? For fair weather hikers who stay on well-maintained trails and other smooth terrain, a trail running shoe or hiking shoe may do the trick.  They are light, generally flexible and comfortable while still providing good support for your feet and ankles. Beware of the fashion hiker though, which may have the look of a hiking shoe, but lack the support needed for hiking. For more off-trail terrains, you may want to look at a mid-cut hiking boot.  The sole and general construction is less flexible, but will give you more support and protection as you backpack your way through the trails on a multi-day hike.  Off-trail heavy boots are intended for your serious rough terrain hikes.  These boots will give maximum support, shock absorption, water proofing and breathability, but the increased weight and stiffness of these boots will take some breaking in time. Just a few tips to keep in mind as you shop for your new footwear.

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Heel Pain

By: Kim Mills (CAT(c), C. Ped (C)) Certified Pedorthist (Canada)

If you’ve ever stepped out of bed in the morning to the feeling of hot daggers plunging into the bottom of your foot, only to be left in crippling pain crawling to the bathroom hoping the pain will subside enough to make it into work without the need of a Rascal scooter, then you know the pain of having plantar fasciitis. One of the most common complaints of people coming in to Milton Orthotic & Wellness Centre is the very well localized heel pain of plantar fasciitis. Though it is something that often develops over time, most people wait until the pain becomes excruciating until they do anything about it. However, plantar fasciitis can be best eliminated if the appropriate steps are taken early on, or, even better as a preventative measure. Plantar fasciitis can be a result of several different issues requiring several different treatments. It is always best to be looked at by a health care professional so that the appropriate treatment for you may be prescribed, however some simple steps can be done at home immediately.

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The Flip Side Of Flip Flops

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Our feet were built to walk on soft and varied surfaces like grass or sand, not the hardness of city streets, ceramic tile or hardwood floors (1). As the weather gets warmer, people of all ages prefer to air their feet out in a good pair of sandals rather than restricting shoes. Flip Flops have become a major summer accessory and exist in an array of different colours and styles. However, not all foot types are the same, and not all flip flops are the same either. If a person has been assessed by a Certified Pedorthist, or other allied health professional, and it has been determined that their feet have good alignment then regular flip flops are not a terrible choice for footwear inside the house, or out for the day at the beach. However, if it has been determined that the person is an overpronator, than a regular flip flop would not be a good choice of footwear, for inside the house or any kind of activity [2]. An overpronation of the feet means that while standing or walking, with every step the person takes the arches collapse and the ankles roll inwards. Pronation itself is normal and acts as a shock‐absorbing mechanism Overpronation, however, is when the arches of the feet collapse too much and the ankle rolls inwards, and the shin and knee roll inward, thus causing poor alignment of the lower extremity. Poor alignment at the feet will cause very common conditions such as heel pain, knee pain, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis [3].

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Shin Splints

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Shin splints is a common “waste basket” term many people use for any lower leg pain.  However, it can often be broken down into 3 different issues, general muscle soreness, true shin splints, (other wise known as medial tibial stress syndrome), and stress fractures.

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