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 host B.C.'s first Ask a Podiatrist  hotline

Got foot pain? Get smart and call 1-866-611-FEET

Vancouver ¿ You don't need a shoe phone to ñGet Smartî about your feet. In celebration of May as Foot Health Awareness Month, the B.C. Association of Podiatrists will operate the province's first Ask a Podiatrist hotline: a one-day only, toll-free information line all about feet. Whatever your question about foot health, call the hotline ¿ free of charge ¿ and speak directly to a foot doctor.

ñMany people wonder what is ïnormal' when it comes to feet,î says Ian Yu, one several B.C. podiatrists who will answer the Ask a Podiatrist phone lines. ñIf you think it's odd that your middle toe is longer than the rest, have a pesky case of athlete's foot, put up with foot pain or wonder what the heck orthotics are, give us a call. We can field your questions ¿ no matter how quirky they might sound ¿ and give advice on ways to keep your feet healthy,î says Yu.

Throughout the day, podiatrists will answer the phone lines and respond to your foot health questions.

    Ask a Podiatrist hotline
    1-866-611-FEET (3338) or
    604-602-0400 (Lower Mainland)
    Saturday, May 15 th , 8 a.m. ¿ 8 p.m.

Good foot health is vital to overall health, and many people are at risk for foot problems. Women have four times as many foot problems as men, and high heels are only partly to blame. Athletes are prone to a host of foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, neuromas and tendonitis, and seniors are urged to take extra care and attention to their feet to maintain mobility. Foot problems that other people might ignore can have devastating consequences for those with diabetes. 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.

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Additional materials available:

    * Ask a Podiatrist poster to illustrate story
    * 10 most common foot problems
    * Frequently asked foot health questions
    * Foot Health Quiz

For more information or to arrange an interview with a local podiatrist, contact: Tanya Volk or Rhonda Trenholm, 604-623-3007

Sharing Shoes Isn't Just for Bowling

B.C. Association of Podiatrists and The Salvation Army kick off ñShare Your Solesî shoe drive

Vancouver ¿ This May, shoe sharing isn't just a concept for the bowling alley. B.C. foot doctors and The Salvation Army and CTV are encouraging you to ñShare Your Solesî with those in need during Foot Health Awareness Month.

Everyone can help, says Dr. Joseph Stern, a B.C. podiatrist and chair of this year's shoe drive. ñTake a look in your closet. If there's a pair of shoes you haven't worn in over a year, donate them.î

Captain John Murray of the Salvation Army says donated shoes will assist in their mission to the needy. ñAs long as the shoes are in fair condition, they can be put to good use. Our goal is to collect more than 2,000 pairs of shoes this year.î

Share Your Soles plays double duty in helping those in need while increasing awareness of foot health and care. Stern explains, ñOur feet are probably the least appreciated and most abused part of our bodies. We need to take care of them, so they keep us moving. Good foot health is vital to overall health.î
British Columbians are encouraged to drop off gently used shoes at their nearest podiatry office or Salvation Army Thrift Store.

For the location of the 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 1-866-611-FEET (3338).

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British Columbia Association of Podiatrists: Tanya Volk or Rhonda Trenholm, 604-623-3007

The Salvation Army: Captain John Murray, 604-551-5388

B.C. Podiatrists Offer Foot Motion and Orthotics Tips in Sun Run InTraining Video

Vancouver - Perfectly functioning feet are rare. That's why more and more active people are turning to prescription orthotics to prevent and alleviate many of the common foot complaints that cause discomfort in otherwise healthy people.

The B.C. Association of Podiatrists partnered with Shaw TV to produce the following Sun Run InTraining TV video on foot motion and orthotics.

To watch the video clip, choose your connection speed:
high speed     medium speed     low speed

Skin cancer on feet often overlooked warns B.C. podiatrists

Study shows foot melanoma survival rate is just 1 in 2

Vancouver ¿ Physicians and patients need to be vigilant in checking the feet carefully for evidence of skin cancer, warns the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

ñA malignant melanoma on the foot, especially if it isn't painful or if it's on the bottom of the foot, won't be as readily noticed as a lesion on the face or arm. Foot melanomas, therefore, are more advanced and more dangerous by the time they are diagnosed and treated,î says Dr. Michael Feist, a B.C. podiatrist.

Malignant melanoma is increasing faster than any other cancer, and a study recently published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery shows the overall survival rate for melanoma of the foot and ankle is significantly lower than for melanomas found on other areas of the body.

Melanoma is the most common foot malignancy and is more likely to be missed or misdiagnosed than a melanoma located elsewhere, according to the study. Consequently, the overall five-year survival rate was 52 percent for patients with a primary melanoma of the foot or ankle compared to 84 percent for patients with melanoma on the thigh or calf.

Feist advises British Columbians to be highly suspicious whenever they have a pigmented or unusual lesion on the foot. To be safe, anyone with moles on their feet should watch them carefully. ñDon't forget to check the bottom of your feet ¿ you can use a mirror to make it easier. If the moles change in colour or shape, have them removed and biopsied by a podiatrist or family doctor.î

Melanomas can be found anywhere on the foot, including under a toenail. They most often appear as pigmented lesions. Risk factors may be similar to other skin cancers, such as excessive unprotected sun exposure, family history of skin cancer, numerous moles on the body and having fair skin.

In terms of prevention, says Feist, ñWhen you're out in the sun, wear sunscreen on any exposed skin ¿ and don't forget your feet!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.

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

Runners improve time, reduce injury with fit feet

Plantar fasciitis, neuromas and tendinitis most common running injuries

Vancouver ¿ Both long-distance runners and casual joggers can improve their performance by keeping their feet in top condition and taking steps to control foot problems common in runners, according to the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

"The human foot is a biological masterpiece that amazingly endures the stresses of daily activity," says Dr. Alan Boroditsky, a B.C. podiatrist who is training for the Vancouver Sun Run. "For runners, the feet are more vulnerable to injury than any other part of the body, and these athletes should be on the alert for signs of foot problems that can slow them down if not treated promptly."

Boroditsky says the most common complaint from runners is heel pain caused by inflammation of the ligament that holds up the arch, a condition known as plantar fasciitis. "In athletes, heel pain can result from faulty mechanics and overpronation in which pressure is unequally applied to the inside of the foot. Wearing running shoes that are worn out or too soft can also be a culprit," he explains.

At the first sign of heel pain, Boroditsky advises runners to do stretching exercises, wear sturdier shoes and use arch supports. In some cases, icing and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, are helpful. Should heel pain continue, custom orthotics, injections, physical therapy, or shock wave therapy might be required. Surgery normally isn't considered unless heel pain persists for more than a year and conservative treatment has failed to bring relief.

Neuromas and tendinitis are other common foot problems that affect runners. A neuroma is a pinched nerve between the toes that can cause pain, numbness and a burning sensation in the ball of the foot. Overly flexible shoes often are the cause and padding, orthotics or injections usually are effective. Sometimes surgery is the answer if pain between the toes continues for more than six months.

Serious runners can be sidelined with tendinitis if they ignore the warning signs of this overuse-related condition. "There are several forms of tendonitis that affect the Achilles and other areas, and all are treated with rest, icing, stretching and anti-inflammatory medications, and sometimes with orthotics and physical therapy," says Boroditsky. "Over-zealous training usually causes tendonitis, especially among beginners who try to do too much too soon."

A common myth among athletes is that it's not possible to walk or run if a bone in the foot is fractured. "That's just not true,î says Boroditsky, ñespecially with stress fractures when pain and swelling might not occur for a few days." If a fracture or sprain is suspected, he advises runners to remember the acronym RICE as an abbreviation for ñrest, ice, compression and elevation.î Should pain and swelling continue after following this procedure for three or four days, see a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

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.

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

B.C. podiatrists offer tips to avoid winter

foot woes
Falls on icy sidewalks and frostbite are leading causes

Vancouver ¿The season for ice, snow and sub-zero cold is here and with it comes the risk for serious foot and ankle problems for anyone who spends time outdoors, according to the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

Ankle sprains and Achilles tendon problems are very common in winter due to slips on icy sidewalks and from injuries that often occur when playing basketball and other indoor court sports. ñVery often ankle sprains are not taken seriously and may not heal properly. This can result in long-term ankle instability and increases the risk for joint damage and eventual arthritis,î said Dr. Greg Laakmann, a B.C. podiatrist and certified foot surgeon.

Initial treatment for ankle sprains includes rest, ice, compression and elevation to decrease pain and reduce swelling. Compression with an elastic bandage, splint or brace may be used for stability and to optimize healing. The ability to walk or put weight on the joint depends on the severity of the sprain, as determined by the podiatrist when assessing ligament damage caused by the injury.

ñEven minor sprains should be protected by bracing for several days,î says Laakmann. ñIn most cases, it takes at least three weeks for an ankle sprain to heal and up to eight weeks for severe sprains.î

Laakmann said another winter malady, frostbite in the toes, is best treated by rapidly re-warming the affected extremities at the first sign of severe cold and numbness. ñNearly half of all frostbite cases involve the foot or ankle and, in my experience, rapid re-warming is effective in preventing tissue damage,î said Laakmann. ñSo, at the first sign of possible frostbite it's imperative to seek prompt treatment and apply controlled heat right away with warm towels and warm water.î

Cold weather impairs circulation, especially in women who smoke and drink caffeinated beverages. ñBlood vessels can shut down in the feet, causing the toes to turn white and blister,î said Laakmann. ñJust as with frostbite, it's critical to keep the extremities warm and insulated to avoid exposure to the cold.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.

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

B.C. personal advisor back on his own two feet

Amputation avoided thanks to the specialized expertise of local podiatrists

Vancouver - This year, more than 1,000 British Columbians will suffer diabetes-related amputations. Vancouver personal advisor Bruce Eng could easily have been one of them, if not for the specialized care of a podiatrist at the British Columbia Foot & Ankle Clinic in Vancouver.

Eng used to make 40 sales calls a day, seven days a week and was on his feet constantly.
"Nike couldn't produce running shoes fast enough for me," said Eng, jokingly. However, his work came to a grinding halt in April 2002 when his health rapidly deteriorated.

"I was feeling really bad - really tired. I was losing my sense of balance. When I leaned forward, I would tip over!" said Eng.

To his surprise, the diagnosis was a foot infection that doctors speculate started in his stomach, moved through his leg and made its home in the bone of his foot. Eng's podiatrist, Dr. Timothy Kalla, operated to remove the portion of the bone that was infected and prescribed strong antibiotics. Unfortunately, just one week after the surgery, it looked like amputation would be inevitable.

"I was like Big Foot," says Eng. "It was still totally swollen. The doctors started talking about amputation. I told them I was willing to do anything and everything needed to try to save my foot, including experimental treatments."

That's exactly what they did. In addition to conventional treatments, such as working with an infectious disease specialist to prescribe antibiotics, the podiatrist also tried some new treatments. He used a vacuum suction pump that draws pooled blood away from the surgery site to aid healing. He also arranged for treatment using a hyperbaric tank - an oxygenated chamber - that oxygenates the blood to help fight infection. Doctors then performed an operation to take healthy skin from Eng's leg and graft it to the foot to aid healing. Eng was also put on a diet that included both a calorie count as well as nutritional changes to help improve his immune system.

The combination of therapies provided dramatic results. After almost three months in hospital, the infection subsided, and Eng was able to walk away on his own two feet.

"I'm lucky. Unlike many people with diabetes, my circulation was good, so that made a huge difference in the healing process. And I owe a lot to the podiatrists, doctors, interns and nurses who cared for me," said Eng.

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.

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

Foot surgery puts dance back into ballet instructor's life

Richmond woman successfully battles osteoarthritis

Vancouver - Eva Walker's joy is dance. So is her job. So when osteoarthritis threatened to take both away, the ballet instructor at Vancouver's Metropolitan Ballet Academy and Related Arts took a brave step. She chose to have a Vancouver podiatrist, Dr. Gregory Laakmann, surgically remove one centimetre of bone from her foot.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and stiffness, particularly with activity. The cartilage in the joint wears down and bone spurs develop. This can lead to permanent deformity or disability.

In Walker's case, the cartilage in the big toe joint on her right foot had completely disintegrated. "The bone was scraping against bone, and essentially whittling away," explains Laakmann.

When Walker was diagnosed about seven years ago, she first tried wearing different shoes that wouldn't aggravate her foot. But over time, her condition got progressively worse.

"I must have 50 pairs of shoes, and I was down to the last pair," says Walker. "Eventually, I couldn't put tights on, let alone ballet slippers. Wearing a sock hurt. I couldn't have the covers on at night. In the middle of winter, I was having to go outside in bare feet. I was in pain 24 hours a day. I hit rock bottom," she said.

That's when she turned to Laakmann for a surgical solution. Instead of just trying to relieve the symptoms, she chose to get to the root of the problem. Laakmann removed the damaged bone from her toe, shortening it by about one centimetre, and aligning it back to the foot.

"In my mind, there was no way around it [surgery], no other real option," said Walker. "It was still a difficult decision."

To the amazement of her doctors and Walker herself, she was back at work within two and a half months of the operation.

"Granted, I was taking it easy, but I was dancing and even doing jumps. I'm able to continue doing what I love. Dr. Laakmann gave me back my foot that I had lost. To me, what he did is a miracle. I would not have believed I could be pain-free."

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.

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

B.C. celebrities donate shoes to help B.C.'s needy

The Salvation Army and B.C. Association of Podiatrists kick off "Share Your Soles" shoe drive

Vancouver - CTV's Bill Good, Tamara Taggart, Coleen Christie and Mi-Jung Lee are just some of the B.C. celebrities who have joined the B.C. Association of Podiatrists and The Salvation Army for the "Share Your Soles" shoe drive to help the needy.

But you don't have to be a celebrity to help, says Dr. Joseph Stern, a B.C. podiatrist and chair of this year's shoe drive. "Take a look in your closet. If there's a pair of shoes you haven't worn in over a year, you qualify," says Stern.

Captain Juan Burry of the Salvation Army says donated shoes will assist in their mission to the needy. "Last year, more than 2,000 pairs were donated. As long as the shoes are in fair condition, they can be put to good use."

British Columbians are encouraged to drop off gently used shoes at their nearest podiatry office, Salvation Army Thrift Store, or at a participating B.C. high school until May 30.

For the location of the 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 1-866-611-FEET (3338).

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Podiatrists offer free lectures on foot health

B.C. podiatrists launch speakers' bureau for community, athletic, seniors and diabetes support groups in celebration of Foot Health Week, May 12-18

Vancouver - As part of Foot Health Awareness Week, the B.C. Association of Podiatrists have launched a speakers' bureau to provide ongoing free public lectures on foot health.

"The B.C. Association of Podiatrists is committed to sharing its expertise and information with British Columbians so they make informed choices about the health and care of their feet," says association president, Dr. Michael Choi. "B.C. podiatrists are dedicated to public education programs that focus on foot health and its positive impact on wellness."

A list of podiatrists who offer free lectures can be found at www.foothealth.ca. As lectures are organized, they will also be posted on this site. Topics can include general foot health care or can be tailored to athletes, parent groups, running clinics, seniors health issues, or people living with diabetes.

Currently, the speakers program is being offered throughout the Lower Mainland and in Victoria and Nanaimo. Lectures may be offered in other areas upon request.

For more information, please visit www.foothealth.ca or contact the B.C. Association of Podiatrists at 604-602-0400 or 1-866-611-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.

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

Feet place first in downhill performance, say B.C. podiatrists

Foot imbalance, other conditions greatly affect snowboarders, skiers

Vancouver – The difference between a gold-medal skier or snowboarder and someone struggling on the slopes can be measured in feet, says the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

Top-notch skiers or snowboarders likely have feet that are more stable than the average weekend downhiller, says B.C. podiatrist Greg Lindsey. For someone suffering from an imbalance or any other foot condition, going downhill can be a real uphill battle.

“Your feet and ankles act as steering, brakes and shock absorbers when going downhill,” says Lindsey. “If you have a foot condition, the impact trauma of skiing or snowboarding will only compound the problem and make your day on the slopes miserable.”

For example, feet that roll inward too much – or over-pronate – demand more leg effort to make a ski or snowboard edge turn sharply. This condition results in many problems, including: poor edge control that even the best lesson can’t remedy; a tendency to tighten boots to increase control, leading to decreased blood supply and cold feet; tired, aching or cramping feet; and greater risk of injury.

Before buying a lift ticket, pay a visit to your local podiatrist, stresses Lindsey. A winter check-up can determine potential instability through an evaluation of lower body mechanics and the fit of your ski boot. A personalized treatment plan may prescribe a boot adjustment, a new boot or orthoses – prescription inserts that compensate for imbalances and improve the stability of feet in your boots.

When Salmon Arm resident Evan Payer, an avid snowboarder for more than eight years, first switched to snowboarding from skiing, he immediately noticed added pressure on his arches from the mechanics of turning the board.

“My board is a race type design, which requires a higher degree of technical precision to ride than a normal board,” explains Payer. ”The first day of using prescription orthotics in my snowboard boots the difference was dramatic. The arch pain was totally gone and the feel of the board was much better. Now snowboarding is all about fun instead of a test of pain tolerance."

Sometimes, foot pain after powder days is not a result of poor mechanics, but a true medical problem affecting your foot, says Lindsey. A podiatrist can effectively diagnose the problem and prescribe 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 doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338).

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

Government urged to restore podiatry services

for British Columbians with diabetes
1,000 British Columbians suffer diabetes-related amputations each year

Vancouver – The British Columbia Association of Podiatrists and the Canadian Diabetes Association are urging the B.C. Ministry of Health to restore podiatry services for people with diabetes who are at high risk for amputations.

Each year, more than 1,000 British Columbians suffer diabetes-related amputations.

“The problem is only going to get worse now that preventative foot health care is no longer covered in the Medical Services Plan,” says Dr. Michael Choi, president of the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

Cathy Adair, executive director of the Canadian Diabetes Association, says the government cuts to foot health care for diabetes create a false savings. “Diabetes accounts for 16 per cent of B.C.’s hospital, medical and pharmacare expenditures. Half of these costs are from diabetes complications, which are largely preventable.”

Diabetes can result in decreased circulation to the feet, reduced feeling (neuropathy) in the feet and the formation of foot sores, also known as ulcers, that are difficult to heal. These ulcers can develop quickly. If left unattended, they can rapidly lead to more serious consequences, including infection, gangrene and amputation.

“Because of the possible complications, self-treatment for diabetic ulcers and other foot problems for people living with diabetes is not recommended. A diabetic ulcer needs to be carefully treated and monitored by an experienced health care professional, like a foot doctor,” says Choi.

Because diabetes is a systemic disease affecting many different parts of the body, ideal management requires a team approach. A podiatrist is an integral part of the treatment team and has documented success in preventing amputations. The key to amputation prevention in people with diabetes is early recognition and regular foot screenings.

In addition to check-ups, there are warning signs that people living with diabetes should be aware of so that they may be identified and called to the attention of their podiatrist and family physician.

The warning signs include skin colour changes, elevation in skin temperature, swelling of the foot or ankle, pain in the legs, open foot sores that are slow to heal, ingrown and fungal toenails, corns and calluses, and dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel. If a person with diabetes has any of these symptoms, they should consult a podiatrist and their family physician immediately.

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).

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

Diabetic neuropathy brings silent threat of amputation

1,000 British Columbians suffer diabetes-related amputations each year

Vancouver – The British Columbia Association of Podiatrists is warning B.C.’s 200,000 people living with diabetes that it’s what they can’t feel that can hurt them.

Each year, more than 1,000 British Columbians suffer diabetes-related amputations.  B.C. podiatrist Dr. Timothy Kalla says many of them don’t even realize there’s a problem because they suffer from diabetic neuropathy – an impairment of nerve function due to increased blood sugars. This often results in a loss of feeling in the feet.

“The nerves to the feet are like burglar alarm sensors. When the nerves function normally a foot injury will activate a pain alarm and alert the person about a foot problem. Neuropathy is like having broken alarm sensors, which means that foot injuries can go undetected,” says Kalla. “If left untreated, foot injuries like sores and blisters could quickly turn into serious infections that could travel up the leg and result in leg loss.”

Fortunately, many diabetes-related foot problems are predictable and thus preventable. People with diabetes should have an examination with a podiatrist to determine – and reduce – their risk developing diabetes-related foot complications. Risk factors include loss of feeling in the feet, loss of circulation to the feet, foot deformity and prior history of foot troubles.

“The key to reducing the risk of amputations is regular foot screenings as well as early recognition and immediate treatment of any foot related problems,” says Kalla.

In addition to check-ups, there are warning signs that people living with diabetes should be aware of so that they may be identified and called to the attention of their podiatrist or family physician.

If you have diabetes and suffer from diabetic neuropathy, the B.C. Association of Podiatrists offers the following tips for taking care of your feet:

    * Visually inspect the feet daily and look for sores, blisters, signs of infection or changes in your feet.
    * Do not cut your own toenails or trim corns or callus. Have your podiatrist do it for you.
    * Call your podiatrist if you have ingrown toenails. Do not dig them out yourself.
    * Do not check the temperature of water in a bathtub with your feet. Your feet (and hands) may not sense that the water is too hot and you could sustain a serious burn. Test the water with your elbow instead.
    * Always wear properly fitting shoes to prevent injury and to protect your feet.
    * Bring new shoes to your doctor to be checked for fit.
    * Each time you put on your shoes, use your finger to feel inside for foreign objects.

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).

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

Fashion not a good fit for kids, say B.C. podiatrists

Some trendy back-to-school shoes can lead to serious foot, ankle problems

Vancouver – Some fashionable back-to-school shoes get a failing grade from the B.C. Association of Podiatrists because of the potential injuries and foot problems they can cause.

Young and teenage girls are at particular risk because of the higher heels that are back in style, as well as platform shoes from last year’s season that have made their way to discount shoe stores, says B.C. podiatrist Dr. Bruce Booth.

The Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program indicates the rise in popularity of platform shoes has resulted in an increase in associated injuries. All injuries reported involved females and almost 80 per cent were between the ages of nine and 19 years.

More than one-third of the injuries were serious enough to require medical follow-up. The circumstances usually involved "falling off" or "turning over on" the shoes while running, walking, or playing sports. Almost half (47.3 per cent) of the injuries were sprains or strains of the ankle or foot, and 27.3 per cent were fractures of the foot or lower leg.

As Booth explains, platform and high-heeled shoes don’t allow for proper foot function and stability. Younger children may not have developed the proper balance and muscle support to safely wear them. He says these styles can also make knee and back problems worse, especially if young girls have flat feet or pronate severely.

“The most common problem I see is kids with really flat feet wearing shoes that do nothing to help support them. Many won’t notice any symptoms until they start having problems with their joints later in life,” he says.

Foot, knee and back problems associated with flat feet can be alleviated with shoes that have good arch support and, if necessary, prescription orthotics.

He also warns parents not to be fooled by the price tag or the brand name of shoes, but to look at the materials, construction and fit. “Trendy colours, hot designs and even gimmicky flashing lights are fine as long as they’re part of a well-fitting and supportive shoe. And you don’t need to pay a lot to get reasonable shoes. Good running shoes are often the best bet.”
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 doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338).

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Also available: 10 Tips for Buying Kids’ Shoes

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

B.C. podiatrists offer 10 back-to-school lessons for buying kids’ shoes

Vancouver – New shoes are on the list of back-to-school items many B.C. parents will be purchasing this fall.  The B.C. Association of Podiatrists has these tips to help ensure that growing feet are getting the well-fitting and supportive shoes they need.

   1. Shop for shoes at the end of the day. Feet are five to eight per cent larger in the afternoon than in the morning.
   2. Examine the shoe, first. A shoe should have a firm heel counter (stiff material on ether side of the heel), adequate cushioning of the insole, a tall and wide toe box, and, preferably, a built-in arch. It should be flexible enough to bend where the foot bends – at the ball of the foot, not the middle of the shoe. Feel the inside of the shoe for stitching, staples or irregularities in the glue that could cause irritation.
   3. The child’s foot should be measured while standing up, with full weight bearing. Make sure both feet are measured. If one foot is slightly larger than the other – which isn’t uncommon – always fit to the larger size. Allow one-half inch (or a thumb’s width) of room between the longer toe and the end of the shoe.
   4. When trying on shoes, have your child wear the socks they would wear most often with the shoes. While the child is wearing the shoe, feel along the sides of the shoe to make sure the widest part of the foot corresponds with the widest part of the shoe.
   5. Have the child walk around the store for more than just a few minutes wearing the shoe. Ask if they feel any pressure spots in the shoe.  Watch to see if the shoe has flexibility and the foot doesn’t step in and out of the shoe.
   6. Look for signs of irritation on the foot after the shoe is worn.
   7. Avoid platform shoes and high heels, which don’t allow for proper foot function and stability.
   8. Running shoes generally provide good support and stability and definitely should be purchased and worn for sport activities and gym classes.
   9. Monitor foot growth frequently to ensure children aren’t wearing shoes they’ve outgrown. Children who hit a growth spurt can outgrow their shoes in eight to 16 weeks!
  10. When fitting your child with shoes, if you notice anything unusual about your child’s foot development or gait, see 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 doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338).

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

Women a step ahead of men: B.C. podiatrists’ poll

Survey also reveals most unaware referral not required to see foot doctor

VANCOUVER – Women are head and shoulders above men when it comes to knowing about feet, according to a survey released today by the B.C. Association of Podiatrists. However, while females are foremost about feet, neither gender is in step with the fact you don’t need a referral to visit a podiatrist.

The survey, conducted by McIntyre & Mustel Research, reveals that women (79 per cent) are more aware than men (66 per cent) that podiatrists specialize in feet. Women are also twice as likely to identify specific foot problems. Most females mentioned skin and nail disorders and structural problems, while nearly 40 per cent of males drew a blank.

“Partly because of genetics and partly because of high-heels and other less-than-friendly fashionable shoes, women have more foot problems than men.As a result,they have first-hand knowledge of foot ailments and are more aware of what’s out there for treatment,” says Dr. Michael Choi, president of the British Columbia Association of Podiatrists.

Among those with ailing feet, females (73 per cent) are more apt than males (58 per cent) to seek treatment. Women are almost twice as likely than men to have used prescription orthotics to correct a foot imbalance.

More than half of those polled said they have experienced foot-related problems, the most common ailments being flat feet/fallen arches, non-sports-related injuries, heel pain, ingrown toenail and bunions. Of the foot problems cited, women reported a significantly higher incidence of heel pain and bunions, while men reported a larger occurrence of athlete’s foot.

Choi said he’s particularly concerned that only one out of four respondents knew a referral is not required to see a podiatrist and that less than half knew podiatrists could perform surgery.

“Good foot health is vital to maintaining and enjoying an active lifestyle. There needs to be greater awareness, first, that podiatrists are the primary source for comprehensive foot health-care and, second, there is little or no waiting list for treatment or surgery with your foot doctor,” says Choi.

A total of 506 B.C. residents participated in the telephone survey, which included questions relating to foot health-care awareness, attitudes and practices. The results are considered accurate within +/- 4.4 percentage points at the 95-per-cent level of confidence.

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).

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For more information, contact:

Rhonda Trenholm, 604-623-3007 or 604-831-5043 (cell)
       

Feet may be the root of back pain, say B.C. podiatrists

Studies show 68-per-cent improvement in pain reduction with orthotics

Vancouver – Untreated foot and ankle problems can really be a pain in the back, says the B.C. Association of Podiatrists.

Chronic lower-back pain affects thousands of British Columbians. However, a chronic aching pain in the lumbar region may start with the feet first, says B.C. podiatrist, Dr. Alan Boroditsky.

“There’s a reason why the condition is sometimes chronic,” says Boroditsky. “Lower-back pain sufferers are often ignoring the real source of the problem and are treating the area of discomfort instead. Through education, we’re hoping sufferers will realize treatment of possible foot and ankle problems may solve back pain.”

The legs and lower back operate as a single system for getting the body about. Normal walking motion exerts little strain on the lower back. However, foot and ankle disorders can restrict or alter normal walking motion, causing a repetitive strain on the lumbar region. If left untreated, this strain can lead to severe lower-back muscle damage.

Many sufferers are left unsatisfied by traditional methods of back pain treatment, including spinal manipulation, physical therapy, therapeutic injections and surgery. About 70 per cent of those who seek traditional treatment report a recurrence of pain within one year.

The cost of treating lower back pain is reportedly in the tens of billions of dollars in the U.S. alone. Boroditsky says custom-made orthotics – commonly prescribed shoe inserts – can be a relatively inexpensive solution to a very expensive health-care problem. Prescription orthotics can adjust a patient’s impaired walk, allowing for a more even distribution of weight to restore normal biomechanical alignment and eliminate back misery, as well as knee and hip pain.

A study published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association found test subjects suffering from lumbar discomfort reported a 68-per-cent improvement in pain reduction with orthotics. In a direct comparison to a study of traditional back-pain treatments, participants experienced markedly less improvement in pain alleviation over a much longer duration.

Podiatry focuses on the treatment of foot ailments and injuries for people of all ages. A podiatrist – Doctor of Podiatric Medicine – is a specialist in foot health who diagnoses and treats foot disorders and pain both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338).

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

Podiatrists poke fun with weird and wacky foot facts – but ask British Columbians to take foot health seriously

May 13-19 is Foot Health Awareness Week

Vancouver — Foot Health Awareness Week is May 13-19 and, to celebrate, B.C. foot doctors are asking British Columbians to kick off their shoes and socks and take a closer look at the most under-appreciated and abused part of their anatomy.

Members of the B.C. Association of Podiatrists want to increase public awareness of the importance good foot health care, says Dr. Micheal Choi, association president. “Many people put up with foot pain when they don’t have to – some people are embarrassed about how their feet look or think foot pain is normal.” says Dr. Choi. “Foot pain is no laughing matter, but if some light-hearted – if not amazing – foot facts can help bring some well-deserved attention to our feet, then that’s a step in the right direction.”

To help you get to know your feet, here are some little-known foot facts from your B.C. podiatrists:

    *
      Each foot has 26 bones and more than 150 ligaments.
    *
      The average person takes 8,000 steps a day, which adds up to about 185,000 miles over a lifetime. That’s enough to go around the circumference of the earth four times.
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      During a typical day the feet endure a cumulative force of several hundred tons.
    *
      One quarter of all the bones in the human body are in your feet. When these bones are out of alignment so is the rest of your body.
    *
      About 250,000 sweat glands in each pair of feet release nearly a cup of moisture every day.
    *
      Women have approximately four times as many foot problems as men. High heels are only partly to blame.
    *
      Cleopatra wrote a textbook on cosmetics. Her first chapter was on podiatry.
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      Elevator shoes with a hidden heel have long been a trend with shorter men. Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone wears them.
    *
      There are more web sites on the Internet having to do with foot fetishes than foot health. Feet and shoe fetishes outnumber any other fetish group by three to one.
    *
      In 15th Century Europe Aristocratic Italian women wore heels with an average length of six to 18 inches. The shoes called Chopines were considered so dangerous that in 1430 Venetian law prohibited pregnant women to wear them.
    *
      The Moccasin is the oldest of all shoes and dates back to 12,000 B.C.
    *
      Plato coined the saying, “When your feet hurt, you hurt all over.”

About the British Columbia Association of Podiatrists The British Columbia Association of Podiatrists represents the 81 podiatric physicians registered in the province, and is responsible for governing and licensing. Podiatry focuses on the treatment of foot ailments and injuries for people of all ages. A podiatrist – Doctor of Podiatric Medicine – is a specialist in foot care who diagnoses and treats foot disorders and pain both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their doctor to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338).

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For more information on foot health, contact: Tara Parker-Francis, 604-623-3007

Shoe collection drive to help B.C. Is needy

Salvation Army and students join in B.C. podiatristsÍ ñShare Your Solesî campaign to launch Foot Health Awareness Week, May 13-19

Vancouver B.C. foot doctors, the Salvation Army and high school students across the province have joined forces to encourage you to Share Your Soles with those in need as part of Foot Health Awareness Week, May 13-19.

British Columbians are encouraged to drop off unwanted shoes at their nearest podiatrist office, Salvation Army Thrift Stores, or at participating B.C. middle and high schools.

Organizer Dr. Joseph Stern, a B.C. podiatrist and chair of this yearÍs shoe drive, expects to blow the socks off last yearÍs results now that B.C. schools are involved. ñThere are a lot of enthusiastic teens who are able to donate shoes theyÍve outgrown,î says Stern. ñAs long as the shoes are in fair condition and have a bit of sole left in them, they can be put to good use.î

Major Max Bulmer of the Salvation Army says, ñDonated shoes will assist in our mission to the needy. And, in particular, children in need of shoes will be given assistance through our Family Services throughout British Columbia.î

In addition to helping the needy, Stern says another goal of the Share Your Soles shoe drive is to increase awareness of foot health and care. ñOur feet are probably the least appreciated and most abused part of our bodies. We need to take care of them, so they keep us moving. Good foot health is vital to overall health.î

For the location of the nearest participating podiatry office, Salvation Army Thrift Store, or for information on the services podiatrists provide, please contact:

B.C. Association of Podiatrists
Vancouver 604-602-0400
1-866-611-FEET (3338)

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For more information, contact:

British Columbia Association of Podiatrists: Tara Parker-Francis, 604-623-3007

Salvation Army: Major Max Bulmer, 604-306-5921
        

 

The BC Podiatric Medical Association is pleased to announce our next Annual Scientific Conference 2013 at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa
Please click here to view the program.

Visit the BCPMA Conference 2013 to learn more.

Click Here for Online Registration Form.