News

December 2015

Journal Club: TBD

November 2015
BCPMA exhibited at the 12th Annual Live Well with Diabetes Conference;Nov 20-22, 2015

October 2015

Wednesday, October 7
Location: Miku Restaurant
Time: 6:30 pm

September 2015

Wednesday, September 9
Sponsored by Lady Sport
Location: Lady Sport Vancouver, 3545 W 4th
Time: 6:30 pm

April 2015

Tuesday, April 21
Gait Retraining for the Podiatrists - Chris MacLean, PhD
Location: Romer's 'The Vault'
Time: 6:00 pm

March 2015

Journal clubs were held in Vancouver & Surrey

January 2015

BCPMA Iron Chef Challenge - photos in the members area
BCPMA participated at the RCMP Health Fair

October 2014

BCPMA Board of Directors hosted a board retreat

September 2014

Wednesday, September 24

July 2014

Volunteers from the BCPMA attended the Special Olympics event to help with the athletes
Journal Club sponsored by Valeant

June 2014

Annual Conference was held at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, BC

Shoe Renu Program

May 2014

Journal Club

Podiatrists suggest parents check their children's foot health before school starts

Vancouver - The B.C. Association of Podiatrists recommends parents do a three-point check on their children's feet as part of regular "back-to-school" preparations.

"It only takes a few moments to check your child's feet and walking patterns," says B.C. podiatrist Dr. Greg Lindsey. "Those feet have to carry them through an entire active lifetime, and when a child develops early foot problems, it can profoundly affect their health later in life."

Foot problems can throw a child's body out of alignment, causing pain in the legs and back and affecting their physical development. They can also affect the child's social development by making them feel awkward and clumsy, and can inhibit them from participating in athletic and social activities. By taking a moment during the busy back-to-school season to pay close attention to this often-overlooked body part, parents are ensuring their children are ready to tackle the many challenges of the school year ahead.

The three-point check consists of a simple examination of the child's shoes, feet, and walking patterns which allows parents to monitor the child's foot health and address any developing problems right away.

1. Check their shoes

Take a moment to look at a pair of your child's shoes. Make sure the pair you choose are old enough to show signs of wear.

    * Are the patterns of wear on the sole or other parts of the shoe uneven?
    * Does any area show significantly more wear than any other?
    * Are the patterns of wear different on the right and left shoes, or symmetrical?

If the patterns are uneven in any way, this may indicate a potential problem. When you make an appointment with the podiatrist, bring the shoes along with you for him or her to take a look at.

2. Check their feet.

Look at your child's bare feet to check for abnormalities in the skin, nails and shape of the foot.

    * Are there rashes or abnormal skin conditions visible on the feet? Your child could have athlete's foot or some other skin infection.
    * Are the nails irregularly shaped or oddly coloured? This could indicate a fungal infection.
    * Are there any unusual lumps or bumps anywhere? This could be the result of warts, bunions or abnormal bone growths.
    * Do they have high arches or flat feet? Children often don't develop an arch in their feet until the ages of six to nine, so your child's feet may appear flat, but be perfectly normal. However, if your child experiences the tell-tale signs of flat feet - calf pain and cramping or fatigue in the legs or feet - it's always best to consult with a podiatrist.

Have a podiatrist check any abnormalities. Children with flat feet should begin treatment before they reach adolescence to prevent significant problems, such as arthritis, in adulthood.

A number of treatment options may be appropriate for a child with flat feet, including shoe modifications, orthotic inserts, physical therapy, stretching exercises, anti-inflammatory medications, and, in some cases, even surgery. All of these treatments are safe and effective, with patients reporting excellent outcomes in terms of pain relief and increased mobility and activity.

Many parents believe that 'growing pains' are a normal part of their child's development, says Dr. Lindsey. But, he continues, "It shouldn't hurt to grow. If your child is complaining of pains in their legs or feet during the day or at night, you need to consult with a medical professional. A podiatrist can examine your child's feet and prescribe immediate treatment that will help prevent problems that could affect them into adulthood." Ninety per cent of children born with flat feet will respond well to conservative treatment if the condition is identified early.

3. Check their walking patterns.

Ask your child to walk away from you in a straight line so that you can observe the way they walk.

    * Do they walk with toes pointed inward? This is known as in-toeing or "pigeon-toes," and can cause the child to trip or fall more frequently than normal. In-toeing can be caused by abnormal curves in the foot or rotation of the long bones of the leg.
    * Do they walk with toes pointed outward (out-toeing)? Out-toeing can also be caused by rotated bones in the child's legs, but it can also be caused by flat feet.
    * Do they walk with most of their weight on the tips of their toes (toe-walking)? Young children often toe-walk, but if the behaviour continues after the age of three, it may indicate an underlying problem and a podiatrist should be consulted.
    * Do their knees bow outwards ("bow legs") or do they touch ("knock-knees")? These conditions can indicate that the child's feet roll inward (pronation) or outward (supination), which can affect their physical development permanently if left untreated.
    * Does their stride appear irregular or asymmetrical, or do their hips seem to be set on a slant? Whether they feel any pain or not, this could be a sign of muscular disease, an infection, or a symptom of abnormal growth that needs to be treated. Or your child may have legs of slightly unequal lengths. This can be addressed with shoe inserts that add length to the shorter leg and prevent undue wear and strain on their bodies.

If the three-point check turns up any abnormalities or areas of concern, consult with a local podiatrist. They can identify any potential problems and suggest preventive treatment that will keep your child's stride strong and healthy throughout the school year.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For information or to arrange an interview: Rhonda Trenholm at 604-623-3007 or rhonda [at] karyo [dot] net

fact sheet

B.C. Podiatrists provide tips to keep you walking

Walking is the most natural and popular form of exercise. Taking a stroll will enhance your life socially, mentally and physically. But to keep walking part of your routine, you need to have healthy feet. Follow this advice from the B.C. Association of Podiatrists to help you keep active.

    * Wear good quality, lightweight shoes with breathable upper materials, such as leather or nylon. Make sure they flex properly; they should bend easily right at the ball of your foot.
    * Do some simple warm-up exercises before you start your walk. This helps prevent injury. Try body twists, Achilles tendon stretches and a back stretch.
    * Consult your family doctor before starting a walking program if you are over 60 or if you have health problems, are overweight, a smoker, physically inactive, or become easily fatigued.
    * Start with just a 20-minute walk three times a week if you are in good health. Walking too much, too soon will only lead to injury. Don't walk more than five times a week - the body needs rest time to repair minor injuries that could lead to more serious ones.
    * Use the "10-per-cent rule" - only increase your walking distance by 10 per cent over the previous week's mileage to avoid overstraining and injuring yourself.
    * Use good posture. Walk with your head erect, back straight, and abdomen flat.
    * Use a pedometer, which counts the number of steps you have taken, to gauge the distance you walk and calculate how much further you should walk the next time.
    * Wear socks that wick sweat away. Socks made of synthetic fibres or blends are better than cotton for "wicking away" perspiration to keep your feet cooler and drier.
    * Stay visible. Try not to walk at night. You are less visible to cars and bicycles, and you are less able to see uneven or unsafe sidewalk and road conditions. If you must walk in poor-visibility, such as rainy weather or partial darkness, wear clothing with reflective material.
    * Try to walk on asphalt or trails instead of concrete, as concrete is a harder surface and can lead to more injuries.
    * Walk indoors. Use a treadmill at the gym or take an indoor walk in a shopping mall to keep walking during bad weather.
    * Walk at a steady pace, brisk enough to make your heart beat faster.
    * Drink plenty of water before, after and even during the walk to stay hydrated.
    * Cool down after your walk. Taking a moment to cool down will help increase your circulation.
    * Stretch after your walk. This improves circulation and reduces muscular aches.
    * Don't ignore any pain you might experience as you begin your walking routine. Don't "walk off" or walk with an injury. For foot and ankle pain, consult a podiatrist.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For information or to arrange an interview: Rhonda Trenholm at 604-623-3007 or rhonda [at] karyo [dot] net

fact sheet

B.C. podiatrists' Top 20 B.C. walks

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists compiled this list of top walking trails in July 2006 to encourage British Columbians to get reap the health benefits of walking. Take a look at their favourite trails, then submit your own to our list.

   1. Kelowna's Mission Creek Greenway is among the top walking routes in B.C. Walkers can enjoy the spectacular geological features along the creek, including Layer Cake Mountain, Pinnacle Rock, and a number of hoodoos; tall, narrow, fantastically-shaped columns of rock.

   2. The Butze Rapids Trail is a popular and easy hiking trail just outside Prince Rupert. Follow a rainforest ecosystem to a viewpoint above the reversing tidal rapids. Deer, bald eagles and other local wildlife can frequently be seen along the trail.

   3. Walking over Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge affords a breathtaking view of the West and North Vancouver, as well as the downtown cityscape. Then dip through green, pristine Stanley Park to get to Denman Street, a lively strip filled with gelato shops and great restaurants.

   4. Squamish's Shannon Falls offers rugged terrain and cascading waterfalls, including the third-highest waterfall in B.C. A trail runs from this natural phenomenon to the top of the Chief, a granite monolith over 2000 feet high. This isn't a walking route for those with a fear of heights!

   5. Follow the dike from picturesque Steveston area in Richmond to the Quilchena golf course. You might spot the bald eagles which make their nest on its grounds!

   6. North Surrey's Tynehead Park is scenic and quiet, with walking trails in a variety of lengths. The trail includes wooden footbridges that span the Serpentine River and poplars and vine-maples provide a home to chickadees and Steller's jays.

   7. The Sunshine Coast Smuggler's Cove walk begins in a BC rainforest with the rich green and cool air. The trial then opens into a marsh where beavers make their dams. Wooden bridges lead to the ocean and then the trail then continues onto coastal rocks populated with arbutus trees overlooking the coastline.

   8. The White Rock promenade is 2.5 kilometres long, with beautiful beaches and the ocean on one side, and shops, restaurants and cafes on the other. Take a moment to walk out to the pier.

   9. The BNR Trail in Nelson is a popular day use trail located on the mountainside. It's a former railway line that is now used by walkers and cyclers. It features classic railway trestles and scenic views. Two popular trail destinations are "Troup Junction," a sand spit with wonderful beaches, and Cottonwood Lake.

  10. Just east of Sunnybrae on the Shuswap Lake, the trail to Margaret Falls provides an easy 10- to 15-minute self guided nature walk to a stunning waterfall. The paved path to the falls is enveloped by towering cedar trees, delicate ferns and a refreshingly cool mist from the falls. Margaret Falls is part of Herald Provincial Park, a popular destination campground and day-use area. The park covers 79 hectares of beautiful beach and forested uplands.

  11. The Giant Cedars hiking trail in Revelstoke takes you through a stand of 500- to 800-year-old Western Red Cedars, and the Skunk Cabbage trail introduces you to jungle-like wetland which is a bird-watcher's paradise with dozens of species making there homes there or visiting it during migration.

  12. The Lynn Valley suspension bridge in North Vancouver hovers 166 feet above the ground, offering a high point for thrill-seeking walkers, plus miles of trails through beautiful rainforest.

  13. Mundy Park, Coquitlam's largest park, is a stunning example of an urban nature forest. Visitors can enjoy a long, leisurely stroll under the forest canopy lost in the tranquility of nature at its best. The Mundy Park trail system incorporates a loop trail around Mundy Lake and passes by Lost Lake on the east side of the park. Visitors can take self-guided nature walks through the park with assistance from a trail guide.

  14. The Williams Lake River Valley trails follow the Williams Lake River as it snakes through dry Douglas Fir forests, open grasslands and stunning geological features. Wildlife includes deer, beaver, bears and birds.

  15. Dawson Creek: Radar Lake Community Forest offers a piece of tranquility near an urban setting. This area offers numerous well-marked interpretive trails where you can learn about local flora and fauna while strolling through peaceful natural surroundings.

  16. Burnaby Lake Regional Park is a designated wildlife sanctuary that is home to over 200 species of wildlife. Follow the trails to the wildlife viewing tower, or around the lake, which was formed by a glacier over 12,000 years ago.

  17. Spirit Lake Trail in Skidegate, Queen Charlotte Islands, is an easy to moderate hike that follows a forest stream to an old-growth forest. You can choose to spend the whole day exploring the many trails, or head to the lakeside for a picnic lunch. This area is steeped in Haida and pioneer history.

  18. Victoria's Galloping Goose Trail was formerly a railway line for a passenger car that carried mail and passengers between Victoria and Sooke during the 1920s. It moves through urban, rural and wilderness scenery on its 55-kilometre journey from Victoria to Sooke.

  19. Chilliwack's Rotary Vedder River Trail runs along the river for over 15 kilometres. There are some beaches along the way, and several excellent fishing spots.

  20. Whistler's Valley Trail is a 30-kilometre paved pedestrian/bike route which links parks and beaches to Whistler Village. Enjoy coastal mountain scenery and then mingle with visitors from all over the world in the Village.

Your Top B.C. Trails What are your favourite walks or trails? Let us know and we'll post them. Please put "top walks" in the subject line and email your suggestion to bcap [at] foothealth [dot] ca.

S. Paul Varga, managing editor of the Penticton Herald, submitted the KVR Trail in Penticton as his "Top Walk." He says, "It's fabulous. You can start in Penticton and follow the trail west through Summerland and out to Princeton down narrow canyons or head east and travel through tunnels and switchbacks with by far the most impressive views of the Okanagan Valley and on out to the Myra Canyon where you see the spectacularly rebuilt trestles. Or you can stay in town and stroll along a beachfront promenade, walk alongside an urban salmon-bearing stream, or simply use the trail (as so many do) for commuting purposes.

My wife and I purchased our home for many reasons, but at the very top of the list is the fact it is right alongside the KVR Trail. The railway tracks have long since been replaced by a paved and gravel pathway, but the traffic is much higher now. Every evening we see so many people walking past our home on the trail or on bicycles -- many of whom know our dog by name as he greets each one -- that we wonder how soon it will be before traffic lights are installed just to manage traffic flow."

-30-

For information or to arrange an interview: Rhonda Trenholm at 604-623-3007 or rhonda [at] karyo [dot] net

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists identifies B.C.'s most beautiful walking routes

Vancouver - Walking is one of the most beneficial and accessible types of exercise in the world, yet many B.C. residents still don't walk enough to reap the health benefits. B.C. podiatrists hope to change that by promoting some of the province's world-class walking routes.

"It almost sounds like a late-night infomercial," admits B.C. podiatrist Dr. Amarjit Masson. "How can one simple activity melt fat, reduce your risk of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and even alleviate conditions such as depression and stress?" But in this case, there's no need to reach for your credit card says Dr. Masson. "Walking gives you all these benefits and it's virtually free. It's the best thing you can do for your general well-being and the best exercise for maintaining healthy feet, too."

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists is encouraging people of every age and ability to achieve better health and quality of life by putting together a list of B.C.'s 20 most beautiful walking routes. Podiatrists from all over the province voted for their favourite walks. "Take some time to rediscover your province, and do something great for your health at the same time," says Dr. Masson.

B.C. podiatrists' top picks for beautiful B.C. walks include:
1. Kelowna Mission Creek Greenway     11. Revelstoke Giant Cedars nature trail
2. Prince Rupert Butze Rapids Trail     12. North Vancouver Lynn Valley suspension bridge and trails
3. Vancouver Lions Gate Bridge to Stanley Park and Denman Street     13. Coquitlam Mundy Park trails
4. Squamish Shannon Falls and The Chief hiking trail     14. Williams Lake River Valley Trail
5. Steveston dikes leading to the Quilchena golf course     15. Dawson Creek Radar Lake Community Forest trail
6. North Surrey Tynehead Park     16. Burnaby Lake Regional Park trails
7. Sunshine Coast's Smuggler's Cove trail     17. Skidegate Spirit Lake Trail in the Queen Charlottes
8. White Rock promenade and Pier     18. Victoria Galloping Goose Trail
9. Nelson BNR Rail Trail     19. Chilliwack Rotary Vedder River Trail
10. Shuswap/Sunnybrae trail from Harold's Park to Margaret Falls     20. Whistler Valley Trail

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca

-30-

For information or to arrange an interview: Rhonda Trenholm at 604-623-3007 or rhonda [at] karyo [dot] net

Vancouver - Believe it or not, there are people out there who want to hear about your aching feet. In fact, they'd like you to call to them all about it. Really.

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists will host the third annual Ask a Podiatrist hotline on Saturday, May 27, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. B.C. residents can call 1-866-611-FEET (3338), toll-free, and speak to a podiatrist about their foot pain or any foot-related questions.

"Foot pain is not normal. You don't need to put up with it and, in fact, you shouldn't. Foot health can affect your ability to lead an active life, and thus your overall health. In the majority of cases it can be treated successfully by a podiatrist," says Dr. Michael Choi, a Burnaby podiatrist, and one of several B.C. foot doctors who will answer hotline calls.

Women, in particular, put up with foot pain when they don't have to - maybe because of years of conditioning to high heels and pointy toes. While women have four times as many foot problems as men, high heels are only partly to blame. Other people encouraged to call the hotline are those who are at risk for foot problems: seniors, diabetics, athletes and active people.

Athletes and active people are more prone to trauma injuries, such as sprains, and overuse injuries such plantar fasciitis, which typically results in heel pain. Neuromas, enlarged benign nerve growths, and tendonitis, or inflamed tendons, are also common and can generally be successfully treated.

Seniors are urged to take extra care and attention to their feet to maintain mobility, which is crucial for overall health. Paying attention to toenails can also provide a heads-up to other health problems that appear later in life.

For those with diabetes, foot problems that other people might ignore can have devastating consequences. Anyone with diabetes who notices changes to their skin colour, swelling in the feet or ankles, leg pain, open sores on the feet, or dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel, should not wait to call the hotline, but call their family doctor or podiatrist immediately.

While regular check-ups by a podiatrist are the best way to ensure your feet are in tip top condition, simply kicking off your shoes and socks and taking a closer look at your feet is a great start to a foot health regime.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For survey details or to arrange an interview with a local podiatrist, contact: Rhonda Trenholm, 604-623-3007

Survey says: 69% of British Columbians love their feet; only 27% have had their feet examined by a medical professional in the last year

Vancouver - Close to 70 per cent of British Columbians love their feet, yet at their last general physical only 43 per cent took their socks off, and only 27 per cent had their feet examined in the last year by a medical professional, a survey released today says.

The province-wide survey was commissioned by the B.C. Association of Podiatrists to coincide with World Foot Health Awareness Month (May), and was conducted by the Mustel Group.

"It's fantastic to learn that most people love their feet," says Dr. Michael Choi, president of the B.C. Association of Podiatrists. "But it appears they're not as good at 'walking the talk' when it comes to their foot healthcare."

The survey also indicated that over one-third of British Columbians put up with foot pain, and about two-thirds usually treat foot problems themselves.

"Foot pain is not normal. You don't need to put up with it and, in fact, you shouldn't. Foot health can affect your ability to lead an active life, so it can impact your overall health and wellbeing," says Dr. Choi, a Burnaby podiatrist.

"We encourage patients to take their socks off whenever they have a general physical, and if they have a specific foot health problem or foot pain, to see a podiatrist instead of performing bathroom surgery."

While regular check-ups by a podiatrist are the best way to ensure your feet are in tip-top condition, simply kicking off your shoes and socks and taking a closer look at your feet is a great start to a foot health regime.

A total of 500 B.C. residents participated in the telephone survey, which included questions on attitudes and health care practices relating to feet. The results are considered accurate within +/- 4.5 percentage points at 95 per cent of the time.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

SIDEBAR:

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists will host the third annual Ask a Podiatrist hotline on Saturday, May 27, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. B.C. residents can call 1-866-611-FEET (3338), toll-free, and ask a podiatrist about their foot pain or any foot-related questions.

-30-

For survey details or to arrange an interview with a local podiatrist, contact: Rhonda Trenholm, 604-623-3007

Podiatrists host "Share Your Soles" to benefit people living with diabetes

Vancouver - Need some added inspiration for spring cleaning? The gently used shoes taking up space in the bottom of your closet can raise funds to support people living with diabetes.

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists and the Canadian Diabetes Association are encouraging British Columbians to donate their unwanted shoes to the annual Share Your Soles shoe drive this May. As part of World Foot Health Awareness Month, B.C. podiatrists collect donated shoes, which are then cleaned and resold to raise funds for the Canadian Diabetes Association through its Clothesline Program.

Dr. Joseph Stern, a B.C. podiatrist and chair of the foot doctors' annual campaign says all donations are gratefully accepted - but "gently used" shoes are most appreciated.

"Maybe your blue suede shoes are the wrong colour for your outfit. Or perhaps your kids are have outgrown their 'skater' shoes or feel they're not 'hawt' anymore," says Dr. Stern. "As long as there's still some wear and tear left, and they don't stink - we're happy to help you clear your closet of them."

Shoes can be dropped off at any podiatry office in B.C. To locate the nearest office, visit the B.C. Association of Podiatrists' web site at www.foothealth.ca or contact the association's administration office at 604-602-0400 or 1-866-FEET (3338).

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Rhonda Trenholm, 604-623-3007

B.C. Association of Podiatrists, Canadian Diabetes Association co-host Nov. 18 event

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists and the Canadian Diabetes Association invite you to get serious about diabetes by attending the Live Well with Diabetes public health fair or dinner on Friday, November 18, at the Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites in Vancouver.

More than 210,000 British Columbians have been diagnosed with diabetes, and that doesn't include the one in three who has diabetes but doesn't know it! When this disease goes undetected, or is poorly managed, the health risks are serious - heart disease, stroke, blindness and lower-limb amputations. Yet, with early diagnosis, the right information and proper management - including a team approach to health care - individuals can live well with diabetes.

What: Live Well with Diabetes Health Fair

Where: Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites, 1763 Comox Street, Vancouver. Pay parking available. Wheelchair accessible.

When: November 18, 2005

FREE Public Health Fair, 3-6:30 p.m.

    * blood glucose screenings
    * foot health screenings
    * retinal (eye) screenings
    * blood pressure tests
    * healthy cooking demonstrations
    * ask questions of podiatrists, dieticians, optometrists and other diabetes experts
    * find out about the latest diabetes products and services
      To learn more, visit www.foothealth.ca

FREE Diabetes Awareness Dinner, 6:30-9 p.m.

    * Enjoy an evening of diabetes awareness and seasonal cheer!
    * Delicious and nutritious diabetic dinner
    * Test your diabetes knowledge
    * Door prizes and giveaways
      Tickets are free, but seating is limited, so guests must register.
      Call the Diabetes Information and Support Centre at 604-732-INFO (4636).

Contact: 604-732-INFO (4636) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Sarah Burgess, 604-623-3007

60% of lower-limb amputations related to diabetes; most are preventable

Vancouver - Regular foot screenings, a dermal (skin) thermometer and optimal blood sugar control can prevent 85 per cent of diabetes-related amputations, says the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

"If you can't remember the last time your doctor examined your feet, it's time to knock your socks off for a foot screening," says Vancouver podiatrist Dr. Timothy P. Kalla. "Diabetes is a serious disease that affects the entire body, including the feet. Early diagnosis and intervention are key to reducing complications like lower-limb amputations."

About 60 per cent of lower limb amputations are related to diabetes, making it the leading cause of non-traumatic amputations. Furthermore, the National Institute of Health statistics indicate seven in10 patients with lower-limb amputations die within five years. Lung cancer is the only major disease group with significantly worse survival rates.

Given these sobering statistics, the B.C. Association of Podiatrists advocates optimal blood sugar control to reduce the risk of damage to the nerves and blood vessels of the feet. People living with diabetes are encouraged to inspect their feet daily for redness, swelling, loss of hair, temperature changes or anything that doesn't seem "normal."

"If you have to, engage the help of a loved one or use a plastic mirror (not glass) to check the bottoms of both feet," says Dr. Kalla. "Because diabetes can cause you to lose sensation to your feet, you can't rely on what you feel or don't feel. You need to visually inspect them to make sure you don't have any injury or breaks in the skin that could lead to infection."

As well, podiatrists recommend that patients at risk for developing diabetic foot ulcers use a dermal (skin) thermometer to check foot temperature daily. A sudden rise in temperature by as little as two degrees Celsius could indicate that a foot ulcer is developing and requires immediate inspection by a podiatrist or family physician.

"Amputation is always a last resort," Dr. Kalla advises. "With proper management - including a team approach to health care, British Columbians can live well with diabetes."

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Rhonda Trenholm or Sarah Burgess, 604-623-3007

B.C. podiatrists offer parents tips for back-to-school shoe shopping

Vancouver - To many parents' chagrin, expensive shoes have become fashion statements for their children in much the same way as jeans or brand-name athletic wear. The B.C. Association of Podiatrists says the good news for parents is this year's trendiest shoes - skate shoes and sneakers - can provide proper support for the feet.

Dr. Greg Lindsey, an Okanagan podiatrist, says the trend to good quality skate shoes and sneakers is a welcome reprieve from summer flip-flops, which provide no support, and from various platform sandals or shoes that many girls and young women sprain their ankles in.

ñWell-fitting skate shoes and sneakers provide good stability and adequate cushioning for everyday wear, provided kids keep their laces tied,î says Dr. Lindsey. But, he advises parents to think twice before shelling out the big bucks for an expensive brand name.

ñThe condition and fit of the shoe is still more important than any brand name. You can have the best shoe in the world, but if it doesn't fit right, it's not doing its job,î says Dr. Lindsey.

He also says as long as you're not sacrificing quality, sometimes it's better to buy a child two less-expensive pairs of shoes than one expensive pair, so the shoes can be rotated to avoid rapid wear deterioration and to let them dry fully between wearing to reduce bacterial or fungal growth, and odor.

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists offers these tips for buying children's shoes.

   1. Take your kids. If possible, bring your child with you when shopping for shoes so they can try them on, or be prepared to return the shoes if they don't fit properly. Shop for shoes in the afternoon, when the feet are naturally at their largest.

   2. Measure twice, buy once. To ensure proper fit, measure your child's feet (both of them) every time you purchase new shoes. Because a child's feet are constantly growing, it is important to allow at least one finger's width from the end of the longest toe when buying shoes.

   3. Match the shoe to the activity. Skate shoes and sneakers are suitable for general wear. When it comes to athletic shoes, an all-purpose sports shoe works well for most young children. For comfort and injury protection, children who regularly participate in a particular sport should wear shoes designed specifically for the demands of that sport. For example, tennis shoes are designed for side-to-side motion, while running shoes are made for forward momentum and have extra cushioning. A running-specific shoe is not suitable as an all-purpose athletic shoe, as it presents a greater risk of injury for activities with lateral movement, such as tag, court sports, skipping or floor hockey. For a general athletic shoe, cross trainers are a suitable choice.

   4. Examine your child's old shoes. Do the bottoms of your child's old shoes show uneven wear patterns? If the child's shoe is worn on the big toe side of the foot, it could be a sign of poor arch support or flat feet. For some children who have flat feet or who pronate excessively (their feet roll in), special orthotic inserts prescribed by a podiatrist may be beneficial.

   5. Look for support and cushioning. Look at the shoe to be sure it has a firm heel counter (stiff material on either side of the heel), adequate cushioning of the insole, and a built-in arch. It should be flexible enough to bend where the foot bends - at the ball of the foot, not in the middle of the shoe. Knowing what type of arch the child's foot has - high, medium or low - can help in selecting the most comfortable and supportive shoe.

   6. Walk in socks and shoes. When shopping for shoes, children should wear the type of socks they would normally wear with the shoes. To properly check the shoes' fit, have your child try on both shoes - with laces tied - and have them walk around in the store for several minutes. Toes should have room to wiggle freely. The heel of the shoe should not slip off the foot as the child walks or runs.

   7. Ask how they feel, and if they rub or hurt anywhere. Be aware that children might not complain about their foot discomfort, so make a point of asking. If the shoes don't feel comfortable right away, don't buy them - good shoes should not require a ñbreak inî period.

After you've purchased new shoes, podiatrists recommend that parents periodically check their child's shoes for sizing and wear and tear, and replace when necessary.

ñBecause the bones in a child's foot are so flexible, they can develop problems without the child experiencing any pain,î says Dr. Lindsey.

He says parents can also spot several potential foot problems by observing kids' walking patterns and posture. For example, if a parent notices that their child's hips seem to be at an angle, it may be that one leg is longer than the other. If that's the case, a heel lift may be necessary to restore proper balance and walking stride. Early intervention prevents scoliosis (curvature of the spine) later in life. Also, pronation can be a sign of flat feet, which are at risk for arthritis later in life if the problem is left untreated. If parents notice problems, or if their child complains of foot pain, they should consider visiting a podiatrist to determine if there are structural problems that should be treated to prevent long-term damage.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Rhonda Trenholm or Sarah Burgess, 604-623-3007

B.C. podiatrists offer women tips to make their feet look, feel and be their best.

Vancouver - Summer has finally arrived in B.C. and sandal season is well underway. The pedicurist's siren call lures women into nail salons at this time of year, but some toes shouldn't just be prettied up with a fresh coat of polish, according to the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

ñWomen are vulnerable to four times as many foot problems as men. A pedicure can be the perfect opportunity for women to examine their feet and kick start a foot care regime,î says Dr. Marc Lindy, a B.C. podiatrist.

B.C. podiatrists offer tips to keep toes healthy and pretty all summer long:

    * After a month of wearing sandals, the skin on your heels may be drier than normal. Keep feet well-moisturized to prevent cracks from developing.

    * Smooth rough patches and calluses with a foot file or pumice stone; never use a razor - it removes too much skin and can easily cause an infection and permanent damage to the skin if used incorrectly.

    * Contrary to popular belief, trimming nails straight across doesn't work for all toe shapes. Women are 50 per cent more likely than men to develop ingrown toenails, with nail corners that dig painfully into the skin. If you are prone to ingrown nails, consult a podiatrist for the best way to trim them.

    * Cuticles provide a barrier between the nail and the underlying soft tissue, protecting it against infection. Cutting your cuticles greatly increases the risk of contracting an infection. Some podiatrists even advise against pushing back cuticles.

    * While it's tempting to keep unsightly nails covered at all times, if you have a blackened toenail or your nails are constantly discoloured, remove the polish at least long enough to have an examination by a podiatrist. Discoloured toenails may be caused by a fungal infection, an allergy to nail polish, exposure to extreme perspiration or moisture, or diseases including psoriasis, eczema and diabetes. A blackened toenail - which typically indicates blood under the nail - could be caused by trauma or disease. Not only does nail polish ñhideî the problem from detection, but it also locks out moisture and doesn't allow the nail or nail bed to ñbreathe,î slowing down healing.

    * Cover your feet in sunscreen whenever toes are exposed in sandals or on the beach. Anyone with moles on their feet should watch them carefully. If moles are irregularly shaped, unevenly coloured, or if they change in colour or shape, have them examined by a podiatrist, dermatologist or family doctor.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Rhonda Trenholm or Sarah Burgess, 604-623-3007

Podiatrists say high heels unsafe at any speed, regardless of how "fit" feet are

Vancouver - The B.C. Association of Podiatrists is warning women that not all the dangers of high heels can be overcome by the popular Yamuna foot fitness craze.

One of the goals of Yamuna foot fitness is to enable women to wear stilettos and other high heels without pain by stretching and strengthening the muscles of the feet. While podiatrists have long supported the practice of exercising and strengthening one's feet, they cannot support the end goal of keeping women in unsafe shoes.

The problem, according to Dr. David Brooks, a Burnaby podiatrist, is not so much what Yamuna foot fitness does in stretching and strengthening feet, but what it can't do.

ñCertainly, keeping the muscles that support the feet stretched and strengthened will usually make high heels easier to tolerate, but the foot will still be in a very unnatural position,î says Dr. Brooks. ñAs the ancient practice of foot-binding shows, the foot has a capacity to be reshaped, but that certainly doesn't improve its function. And no amount of stretching and strengthening will alter the basic bone structure. Some feet simply cannot tolerate the overloading of the forefoot that happens in high heels,î he explains.

The extra pressure on the front of the foot may hasten the onset of bunions, hammertoes, neuromas (benign but painful nerve tumours) and other painful foot ailments. If you wear high heels all the time, the muscles in your calves are likely to shorten, making it difficult to wear an athletic shoe or regular heel. And, not surprisingly, high heels account for many ankle sprains.

ñPatients tell me every day that high heels were tolerable when they were younger, but if they knew then what they know now, they would never have worn them,î says Brooks.

Although podiatrists do not advocate high heels, Brooks says they realize heels are a reality of life for many women and respect their choice to wear them. Podiatrists suggest wearing heels in moderation or alternating between heels and flats to give feet a break and stretch calf muscles. Women may also choose a slightly lower heel height and a style with a wider toe box to distribute their weight more evenly. Foot fitness may also help, but women should be realistic. Eventually, they will have to give up heels - how soon depends on their foot structure and how kind they have been to their feet.

ñAbove all, when you do start getting foot pain, seek treatment early and get a proper diagnosis before starting a foot fitness program,î says Brooks. ñPain that is caused by repetitive motion injuries may need rest, not exercise, to prevent them from getting worse.î

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Rhonda Trenholm, 604-623-3007

Walking program, good shoes and proper foot care key, say B.C. Podiatrists

Vancouver – Although rest and relaxation are the goals for most vacations, vacations usually involve a lot of walking and a lot of walking usually involves sore feet, cautions the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

"Walking is great exercise and one of the most reliable forms of transportation," says Dr. Peter A. Fera Jr., a B.C. podiatrist and foot surgeon. "But if your feet aren’t in the best shape or you don’t have the right shoes, too much walking can cause foot problems."

Fera says good foot care is essential if you plan to subject your feet to long periods of walking.

Simple foot care tips include cutting toenails regularly; drying feet thoroughly after bathing, including between the toes; wearing thick, absorbent socks (materials that wick moisture away); and using powder before putting on shoes.

Bunions, hammertoes or any other serious foot problems should be evaluated by a podiatrist long before your trip, as you may want to have these tended to prior to your vacation, or you may need to take it into consideration when planning your itinerary.

The right shoe is also important to healthy walking, he says. This is particularly important if you are planning a European tour, where streets are often uneven cobblestone. "The ideal walking shoe should be stable from side to side, and well-cushioned, and it should enable you to walk smoothly. Many running shoes will fit the bill."

Fera adds that there are also shoes made specially for walking. Walking shoes tend to be slightly less cushioned, yet not as bulky, and lighter than running shoes. Whether a walking or running shoe, the shoes need to feel stable and comfortable.

Months before you leave, you should consider starting a walking program, and gradually build up the amount of time you can walk per day. "If you’re not accustomed to long walks, start slowly and rest if your feet start hurting," says Fera.

Warming up exercises to help alleviate any muscle stiffness or pulled muscles are also advised before walking. Loosening up the heel cords (Achilles and calf) and thigh muscles before a walk is especially effective.

"And above all,” says Fera, “Have fun."

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Sarah Burgess or Rhonda Trenholm at 604-623-3007

 - May is World Foot Health Awareness Month -

Vancouver - If you have aching feet, you're not alone, according to the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

ñWe had more than a 1,000 British Columbians call the one-day Ask a Podiatrist hotline to kick off Foot Health Awareness Month. The response was great,î says Dr. Michael Choi, association president, ñhowever, the statistics indicate there are a lot more people out there in pain.î

A phone survey of British Columbians suggests that about 50 per cent of British Columbians have had foot pain or problems, and that most try treating themselves. U.S. podiatry studies indicate that during a lifetime, up to 75 per cent of North Americans will develop a problem or incur an injury.

ñThe key thing to understand about foot pain is that while it may be common, it's not normal,î says Dr. Choi. ñAnd, in the vast majority of cases, it's treatable.î

Most foot pain can be attributed to the following ñTop 10î foot health problems:

1. Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Pain
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the long band of connective tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot. Heel spur syndrome is a bony overgrowth on the heel bone. Painful steps first thing in the morning are common to 83.5 per cent of patients with plantar fasciitis or heel spur.

2. Bunion
Bunions are an enlargement at the base of the big toe, cause by a misalignment of the joint. They tend to be hereditary, but can be aggravated by shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot. Surgery is frequently recommended.

3. Ingrown Toenail
When nail corners dig painfully into the skin, they have become ingrown. They may be caused by improper nail trimming, as well as by shoe pressure, injury, fungus infection, heredity and poor foot structure. Women are 50 per cent more likely to have ingrown toenails than men. If you have problems with ingrown toenails, consult your podiatrist for the best way to trim your nails based on the shape of your toes and toenails.

4. Athlete's Foot
Athlete's foot is a common infection of the skin and nails characterized by itching, scaling, redness and the formation of small blisters. The lesions usually begin between the toes and can extend to the bottom of the foot and under the toenails, causing them to thicken and change colour (often to yellow-green or darker). The nail condition is also called fungal nail infection or onychomycosis. A warm, dark and humid environment encourages fungal growth. The infection can be picked up anywhere where bare feet come in contact with fungus. A podiatrist may prescribe anti-fungal medications to treat athlete's foot. ƒmore ƒ2

5. Corn or Callus
A callus or corn is a build-up of skin that forms at points of pressure or over bony prominences on your foot. Calluses form under the foot; corns form on top of the foot or between the toes. They afflict 37 out of 1,000 men and 91 out of 1,000 women. Wearing supportive shoes with a wide toe box and a low heel helps alleviate them.

6. Hammertoe
When a toe is bent in a claw-like position, usually because of a muscle imbalance, it is called a hammertoe. Selecting shoes and socks that do not cramp the toes will avoid aggravating the condition.

7. Flat Foot/Fallen Arches
A flat foot is a structural deformity that causes the lowering of the arch of the foot. Painful fallen arches or high arches may need treatment such as prescription orthotics or surgery. People with flat feet may have ankle, knee or low back pain.

8. Plantar Warts
Warts invade the skin through small cuts and abrasions. They are often mistaken for corns or calluses, which are layers of dead skin that build up on an area of the foot that is constantly irritated. Warts, however, are caused by viral infections. They can be painful, particularly if they develop on weight-bearing areas. The virus thrives in moist, warm areas, which is why infection is common at bathing facilities.

9. Neuroma
A neuroma is an enlarged benign growth of nerves, commonly between the third and fourth toes. This can result in pain, burning, tingling or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot. Poorly fitting shoes, high heels, trauma and heredity can all be causes.

10. Achilles Tendonitis
Athletes who over-train or don't do warm-up exercises can experience an irritation and inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the back of the heel bone. It can be treated with ice, rest, aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications. Chronic pain or any swelling should be professionally evaluated.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca

-30-

For more information, contact: Rhonda Trenholm, 604-623-3007

B.C. Association of Podiatrists and the Canadian Diabetes Association host ñShare Your Solesî to benefit people living with diabetes

Vancouver – Shoes that have aged gracefully have a new purpose besides taking up valuable room in the dark corners of hallway closets. May is Foot Health Awareness Month and B.C. foot doctors and the Canadian Diabetes Association are encouraging you to Share Your Soles to raise funds to support people with diabetes.

Dr. Joseph Stern, a B.C. podiatrist and chair of this year’s shoe drive says a single pair of old shoes can make a difference. “Everybody has at least one pair of shoes that they haven’t worn in a year, and probably won’t wear again, that can be donated.”

Proper foot care and health awareness is particularly important for diabetics, adds Stern. “People with diabetes are at a higher risk for circulation problems, foot ailments and infections.”

The Share Your Soles shoe drive starts Foot Health Awareness Month, which also involves free talks by podiatrists on foot health to community groups, running clubs, athletic groups, seniors, and other members of the community.

Feet are typically over-stressed and underappreciated, says Stern. “Good foot health is vital to overall health and we need to take care of them to keep us moving.”

British Columbians are encouraged to drop off gently used shoes at their nearest podiatry office.

There are about 80 podiatrists in B.C. For the location of your nearest podiatry office, please visit the B.C. Association of Podiatrists’ web site at www.foothealth.ca or contact the association’s administration office at 604-602-0400 or 1-866-FEET (3338).

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Rhonda Trenholm or Sarah Burgess at 604-623-3007.

Vancouver - Believe it or not, there are people out there who want to hear about your aching feet. In fact, they'd like you to call to them all about it. Really.

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists will host the second annual Ask a Podiatrist hotline on April 30, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. B.C. residents can call 1-866-611-FEET (3338), toll-free, and speak to a podiatrist about their foot pain or any foot-related questions.

ñFoot pain is not normal. You don't need to put up with it and, in fact, you shouldn't. Foot health can affect your ability to lead an active life, and thus your overall health. In the majority of cases it can be treated successfully by a podiatrist,î says Dr. William Mirchoff, a Victoria podiatrist, and one of several B.C. foot doctors who will answer hotline calls.

Women, in particular, put up with foot pain when they don't have to - maybe because of years of conditioning to high heels and pointy toes. While women have four times as many foot problems as men, high heels are only partly to blame.

Other people encouraged to call the hotline are those who are at risk for foot problems: seniors, diabetics, athletes and active people.

Athletes and active people are more prone to trauma injuries, such as sprains, and overuse injuries such plantar fasciitis, which typically results in heel pain. Neuromas, enlarged benign nerve growths, and tendonitis, or inflamed tendons, are also common and can generally be successfully treated.

Seniors are urged to take extra care and attention to their feet to maintain mobility, which is crucial for overall health. Paying attention to toenails can also provide a heads-up to other health problems that appear later in life.

For those with diabetes, foot problems that other people might ignore can have devastating consequences. Anyone with diabetes who notices changes to their skin colour, swelling in the feet or ankles, leg pain, open sores on the feet, or dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel, should not wait to call the hotline, but call their family doctor or podiatrist immediately.

While regular check-ups by a podiatrist are the best way to ensure your feet are in tip top condition, simply kicking off your shoes and socks and taking a closer look at your feet is a great start to a foot health regime.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Rhonda Trenholm or Sarah Burgess at 604-623-3007.

Vancouver – Many British Columbians will develop a wart at some point during their lives, and often on their feet. When it comes to treating warts, it’s important to separate fact from fiction, says the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

“Warts are ugly and irritating, but harmless – except perhaps to your vanity, says Vancouver podiatrist Dr. Marc Lindy, “So it’s wise to make sure the treatment isn’t worse than the problem.”

Warts have plagued people for centuries, generating a great deal of folk remedies, charms and spells. One such remedy advises a patient to get a small pea, touch the wart with the pea, fold it in a paper and bury it in moist ground. The charm’s promise: as the pea rots, the wart will go away.

Many people believe that warts can be treated with creative visualization, or bribery, particularly when it comes to children. “These days, it costs $10 to get your child to wish away their warts,” says Dr. Lindy. The success of these methods may be based on mentally stimulating the body's immune system response.

Warts on the feet are caused by the human papilloma virus, of which there are 70 different subtypes. Like many viruses, susceptibility to it depends on a person’s age, immune system and the frequency of their exposure to the virus.

Warts are transmitted person to person and through contact with a contaminated surface. Warts often appear where a foreign body pierces the skin, permitting the virus to enter the skin. The virus that causes warts can survive on floors, so it’s not a bad idea to wear flip-flops in change rooms and communal showers.

The human papilloma virus dies within one or two years. About 20 per cent of warts disappear on their own within six months and 65 per cent disappear within two years. But for the unlucky few, some warts can grow up to 2.5 cm in circumference and spread into clusters.

“If you’re concerned about the wart or want it removed, visit a podiatrist to determine the best treatment option and to reduce the potential for scarring,” says Dr. Lindy.

Depending on your situation, a podiatrist may recommend at-home treatment with prescription topical or rarely oral medication, or in-office treatment using a mild acid, laser treatments, freezing or, in severe cases, surgical removal.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Rhonda Trenholm or Sarah Burgess at 604-623-3007.

- Nearly half of all frostbite cases involve the feet -

Vancouver – The B.C. Association of Podiatrists is warning outdoor enthusiasts to bundle up their feet to avoid frostbite, a serious, painful condition that can result in loss of toes.
“Nearly half of all frostbite cases involve the feet,” says Dr. Gavin Chalmers, a B.C. podiatrist. “Properly insulated footwear is as important as coats, hats or gloves outdoors during the winter.”

Without warm, dry socks and footwear, any wintertime outdoor activity is a potential risk for frostbite. You can get frostbite even if temperatures are hovering just around zero, depending on exposure and other contributing factors.

People with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or Raynaud’s disease are at risk because of reduced circulation from their condition. Drinking caffeine or alcohol and smoking also reduces circulation. Tight footwear – including skates and ski boots – can inhibit circulation, causing feet to become even colder.

Chalmers recommends choosing footwear that has enough room to allow for the insulating affect of air trapped in thick socks and the boot lining. He also reminds parents to periodically check the size of their children’s boots to ensure they haven’t outgrown them.

People with a history of frostbite often get it again in the same place. Anyone with wet feet from perspiration is vulnerable. Most winter footwear is not built to allow perspiration to escape. Podiatrists recommend wearing a single pair of thick socks made of a wool blend or acrylic blend fibres that "wick" away moisture caused by perspiration in boots, shoes or skates. New exothermic packs are also effective in keeping feet warm and preventing frostbite.

It's impossible to overstate the importance of recognizing the symptoms of frostbite, says Chalmers. “When the skin colour on your feet changes from blue to white, that’s a sign of impaired circulation. Unfortunately, you can’t see through your shoes or boots to tell. If your toes are extremely cold for a prolonged period, feel burning or numb, there is a danger of frostbite.”

At the first sign of severe cold and numbness, Chalmers recommends getting back indoors to warm up. Once inside, take off your shoes and socks and examine your feet. If the skin has turned extremely white, there may be tissue damage. In that case, apply controlled heat right away with warm towels and/or warm water and seek medical treatment promptly – whether it’s your podiatrist, your family doctor or an emergency ward. Do not apply hot water or direct heat sources, such as heaters, heating pads, electric blankets. Not only will this cause extreme pain, but it may also cause further tissue damage.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Rhonda Trenholm, 604-623-3007

Diabetes experts host public health fair, dinner and medical conference to help British Columbians “Live Well with Diabetes”

Vancouver – The public is invited to learn to Live Well with Diabetes at B.C.’s first public health fair of its kind devoted entirely to diabetes, on November 19 at the Coast Plaza Hotel in Vancouver.

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists, UBC Continuing Medical Education and the Canadian Diabetes Association are hosting the free public health fair the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 19, followed the third annual Evening of Diabetes Awareness and Seasonal Cheer later that evening. The remainder of the weekend is devoted to a diabetes conference for health practitioners.

Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects the entire body. So, ideally, diabetes management includes a team approach, says Dr. Timothy Kalla, a podiatrist who specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating diabetes-related foot problems. “About 15 per cent of people with diabetes develop a serious foot condition at some point in their lives. Foot problems are one of the leading causes of hospitalization for people with diabetes.”

Live Well with Diabetes – November 19, 20, 21
Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites, 1763 Comox Street, Vancouver

Public Health Fair –Nov. 19, 1-6 p.m.
The free public health fair will provide the latest information and technology in diabetes control. Experts including diabetes specialists, podiatrists, endocrinologists, dieticians and optometrists – along with CKNW’s Dr. Art Hister – will be on hand to answer questions and provide mini seminars and demonstrations.

Evening of Diabetes Awareness and Seasonal Cheer –Nov. 19, 6 - 9 p.m.
Following the health fair, people with diabetes may attend the 3rd annual Evening of Diabetes Awareness and Seasonal Cheer. The evening features entertaining diabetes presentations and a delicious diabetic meal. Tickets for the dinner are $15, and advance registration is required through the Canadian Diabetes Association at 604-732-INFO (4636).

Live Well with Diabetes Health Professionals Conference – Nov. 20-21
This one and one-half day conference for health professionals will provide a highly relevant and applicable update on the most important topics and latest developments in the care of patients with diabetes. For information, contact UBC Continuing Medical Education at 604-822-7301.

For more information, please call 604-732-INFO (4636).

-30-

To request an interview, please contact Sarah Burgess at 604-623-3007.

Heel pain to increase with trendy flip-flops

Vancouver ¿ This summer's trendy flip-flop sandals will lead to a significant increase in unfashionable heel pain, warns the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

ñThey're fun, they're cute, they're stylish ¿ but if you wear them a lot, you're almost guaranteed to have foot pain and a good chance of developing plantar fasciitis,î says B.C. podiatrist, Dr. Marc Lindy.

Flip-flops have no arch support and can accentuate any abnormal biomechanics in foot motion. This can eventually bring on plantar fasciitis, heel pain caused by chronic inflammation of the connective tissue extending from the heel bone to the toes.

ñAny sandal or shoe with little support for the foot can also cause heel pain, it's just that flip-flops are worse. They're meant to be worn at the beach, not for routine wear,î says Dr. Lindy.

Until pain or common sense prevail over fashionable footwear, people are still going to wear sandals, so B.C.'s podiatrists offer these tips for reducing problems.

    * Choose sandals with reasonably strong soles and arch support ¿ such as sport-styled sandals ¿ instead of completely flat and thin soles.
    * If you can't resist the urge to buy flips-flops, choose a pair with thicker soles to provide a little more cushioning.
    * Be smart about what activities you wear them for. Wear them when you're not being very active ¿ on the beach, lounging in the back yard or at a café. Don't wear flip-flops for an extended shopping excursion or for any type of athletic activity.
    * Limit the time and frequency of wear. If you're on your feet for a good part of the day, don't wear them all day or several days in a row.
    * If you start to develop heel pain - stop wearing them!

An estimated 15 per cent of all adult foot complaints involve plantar fasciitis. With plantar fasciitis, the pain is typically most noticeable after getting out of bed in the morning, tends to decrease after a few minutes, and returns during the day as time on the feet increases.

Initial treatment options for heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis include anti-inflammatory medications, padding and strapping of the foot, and physical therapy. Patients also should stretch their calf muscles regularly, avoid wearing flat shoes and walking barefoot, use orthotics (if prescribed) and limit the frequency of extended physical activities. Most patients with plantar fasciitis respond to conservative treatment within six weeks. However, surgery is sometimes necessary to relieve severe, persistent pain.

Not all heel pain, however, is caused by plantar fasciitis. It also can occur from inflammation of the Achilles tendon, bursitis, arthritis, gout, stress fractures, or irritation of one or more of the nerves in the region. If heel pain persists for more than a few days, visit a podiatrist to determine the cause and to receive appropriate treatment.

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca.

-30-
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Rhonda Trenholm, 604-623-3007