Posts for: May, 2021

May 27, 2021
Category: Heel Pain


How can I best stretch my plantar fascia ? 



Simple answer, you shouldn’t ! 


The plantar fascia is not a muscle, it's not meant to stretch or lengthensignificantly. It has minimal elasticity and I generally liken it to a braided steel band when explaining this to patients. Man has copied this natural construction method for centuries with varying degrees of complexity and success.




Plantarfascitis is the pain from inflammation of the plantarfascia most commonly at the insertion of the medial band to the heel bone. Micro tears in the band usually caused by trauma or over use trigger the inflammation as part of the healing process and also serves to dissuade the individual from further aggravating it while healing takes place.




To treat the condition, first identify the cause and don’t aggravate it in the mean time. So to summarize, aggressive stretching, deep tissue massage and impact exercising will all likely add fuel to your flames.

Be nice your plantar fascia they can bite back!.


Give us a call and have one of our "engineers" look into your structural issue!

May 20, 2021
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Here in southern ontario the sun is out, Covid numbers are headed in the preferred direction and lots of our patients are poised to replace or improve existing running shoes as soon as retail stores are permitted to open. 


     The following running shoe review is primarily targeted at our typical symptomatic patient requiring mild to moderate functional control, moderating the impact of over pronation. Previously we reviewed shoes intended for the heavier and larger framed individuals. Some of these mid range shoes may work for them but will be less controlling or have a noticeably shorter life span. (mid sole material will compress of distort, and/or the stability in the mid-foot will weaken)


All of the major running shoe manufacturers produce bewildering ranges of models all boasting unique abilities and features. Some fact, some fiction. Within that range are likely some suitable shoes for you. What we’re trying to do is provide a few to models to compare to and then let comfort and common sense be your guiding light.

Basically we want a stable rear foot, incorporating some shock absorption, adequate cushioning in the mid sole, hard wearing outer sole and stable structure between the heel and forefoot preventing too much rolling. For a refresher shoe test video click the following link. How to test a shoe


Over the years I’ve gone from one brand to another, favouring one model for a particular type of challenge and different for another. Some brands I’m not as familiar with as I should be as a result of the limited retail experience I’ve had over the last 14 months. 


For the purpose of this discussion I’m going to use Asics to illustrate my considerations and then list other options, but its in no way meant to be exclusive or biased.

We treat lots of active adolescents needing functional control yet they have not reached adult muscle and bone mass.


The Asics GT1000 has been a terrific option for them, especially where schools require black or colour neutral shoes. (some models have white lines in mid soles that can be made to disappear with a little black “sharpie” use). These work well for lighter weight adult female runners looking for more cushioning.


For larger teens, ladies, smaller guys and those in need of a little more control the GT2000 is a nice option to try. Again bear in mind the activity and the level of control required. A shoe that works great for walking many be too firm for running moderate or longer distances.


For those of us requiring even higher levels of control, or larger runners the Asics Kayano is a useful option. 

All three models share many similar attributes  with varying levels of control, shock absorption, stability and of course price tag!.


As always your mall sporting goods store offers good variety and pricing, however if running is your game find a specialty running store ( preferably not a franchise ) and (if not for ever shoe) once in a while visit and chat with an experienced runner who can present options based on your present model and past experience. Especially for new runners it can save you lots of money and potential discomfort to seek skilled advice.

    For lighter weight runners some considerations include

               Asics GT 2000, Kayano, Cumulus, Fortitude (w), GT 1000 

               Teen: Asics Dynaflyte & Roadhawk, Brooks Addiction
               Young Kids: Asics GT1000, Noosa, Scram, NB 680, Saucony Cohesion 

               New Balance 880, 840, 1080, 990, 

               Saucony Pro Grid Ride, Echelon (wide) 

               Brooks Glycerin, Ghost 


    For the middle weight machines!

               Brooks Dyad or Echelon (both wider)
               Asics Gel Kayano (w), Fortitude (cushion-w) 

               Saucony ProGrid Omni
               New Balance 928, 990,1260 (volume)


One last consideration for those that wear functional orthotic device. The design of our devices will vary in prescription and material based on your running style and discipline. A more controlling shoe or higher density midsole may cause the device to increase its function control and possibly reduce shock absorbency. A lot of the running publications provide reviews of new products and emerging technologies which while fun to read may not always be completely unbiased.

 It can be complicated and as always if you get stuck we're here to help and again we intensionally do not retail footwear or other non prescription products as we can no longer remain unbiased and does you the patient a disservice in the long run.

Let us know what your personal preference is ( brand and model ) and a little about your style of running and body size.


May 13, 2021
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More than ever during this Covid pandemic, hiking has become one of the most popular forms of outdoor physical activities.



The best part is that it can require very little in the way of equipment and participants can set their own pace and level of challenge. It also affords the ability and opertunity to reconnect with the beautiful outdoors that surround us. Be that in the wilds of Algonquin park, the Bruce trail, the Tiny Marsh (that isn’t so tiny actually) or a quiet ravine hidden around the corner from your house in Mississauga.

There are lots of online resources you can access through or a terrific app that Marilyn and I have just discovered called AllTrails.  After downloading it on to your phone, it will show trail options close to your location, the location of your choice, and at various levels of difficulty.  It is amazing the sheer availability and diversity of these trails, even amongst the urban environments that so many of us reside in. 


One piece of equipment that we do recommend  for fun and safe trail walking and hiking is a suitable pair of footwear, which brings us to todays footwear review. 


The Merrell Moab is primarily aimed at the day hiker with good stability, traction, and breathability. 


It is not particularly waterproof. For most companies, something waterproof means either a weight gain and/or a price increase of the shoes. All the shoes in this category are built tough and thus will weigh significantly more than a comparable running shoe.

Typically, the style of the shoe will also be influenced by the terrain. For the casual trail walk a lower cut trail walk/run shoe will be sufficient, as the terrain becomes more aggressive the ankle support correspondingly increases. This is also true with increased load carrying where the shoe becomes a boot and the mid sole requires beefing up and thus may require breaking in for the full function and comfort to be enjoyed. 

The best information to take from this is, like most unique sports the more you get into it, the better you are visiting a specialty store employing skilled staff willing to listen to your goals and needs. But be realistic about your needs, as embellishing your abilities or goals can end up costing you, not only financially, but also in comfort and satisfaction. The beauty about these specialty stores is that they are staffed with folks that are passionate about your sport or activity and general love to help, so be open to suggestions and options.


Other noteworthy models worth looking at at  Keen Targhee III Low WP, Salomon X Ultra 4 Low GTX , Oboz Firebrand II BDry, Saucony Peregrine 11


May 06, 2021
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First stop on our promised review of some suitable footwear models


The Heavy Weight Contender.


The Brooks Beast and Ariel; men’s and women's shoes respectively, are now on its 20th model and has been a “solid” performer (yes the pun was intended)!

This has been a terrific stability shoe for lager patients, for both walking and running for years. While not the lightest running shoe it delivers unsurpassed levels of control and durability. Given the frightening numbers of footwear that end up in land fills worldwide every year Brooks have ensured that the midsole in the new model is biodegradable, not perfect but it does show intent. Clearly it may be an old dog but its learned or aquired some new tricks over the years. It is available in multiple widths, however note to the good folks at Brooks, it is not readily available or readily shipped.  Even in a city like Mississauga our patients come across this frustration all too often. While they can be ordered online, we always stress that for first time buyers the you to try the shoe on to assure comfort, sizing and general fit. If there is a ready source we’ve missed please comment below as Brooks has lots to offer and we’d love to help patients source out these items.

To avoid any bias, other contenders for the heavy weight title are, Asics Foundation, Brooks  Addiction, New Balance 1540, 1260, and Saucony ProGrid Stabil. 

This is, by no means a comprehensive list but at least a few options to help you through the jungle of shoes out there.