Our Goals and Services

Is It My Back or My Feet Stopping Me From Walking??

Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage that can happen in your feet; most commonly from Diabetes, aging, alcoholism, and metabolic disorders. It causes numbing and tingling in the feet, sharp shooting pains in the legs and it is worse at night and worse at rest. This starts at the toes and moves upwards.

Often this is confused with Neurogenic Intermittent Claudication (stenosis) from degeneration in the low back. The degenerated areas in the low back can cause leg and foot problems as it compresses the part of the spinal cord that branches to the legs and feet. The symptoms are leg pain, leg weakness on walking, numbing in the feet and occasional bowel and bladder problems. Relief with sitting and bending forward – this will affect your lifestyle as it limits you golfing, walking the dog and shopping.

These two are dealt with very differently and a proper diagnosis is necessary in order to keep patient’s active and mobile so they can walk the golf course, walk the dog and go to the shopping mall. With Peripheral Neuropathy; we protect patients feet from peak pressure and ulceration if they cannot feel due to the numbing and tingling in their feet. With stenosis (Lumbar), we acquire advanced imaging (x-rays, MRI) and exhaust conservative options (flexion-distraction, cold laser therapy) before referring for less conservative options like decompression surgery.

For further information on properly differentiating these two and properly treating them in order to keep you on your feet and moving; please call 250 758 1716. It’s Your Future, Be There Healthy…


What is Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?

One of the most troublesome complications of Diabetes strikes the feet first. Elevated blood sugar damages small blood vessels in the feet which causes damage to sensory nerves.

As these nerves are dying; symptoms include throbbing, numbness, tingling or burning in the feet, the sensation of bugs crawling on your skin, and sharp, shooting pain down the legs.

As we lose sensation in the feet, we lose the ability to know when our tissues are being injured. Imagine a rock in your shoe and not being able to feel it, or walking for a long time without the messages back to your brain warning you when you need to rest, get off your feet or change your footwear. Sensory neuropathy (nerves dying) destroys our ability to protect our feet from injury.

The best defence against tissue damage common in peripheral neuropathy is to prevent injury in the first place. This can be done through preventative foot checks, callus removal, protective footwear and orthotics specifically for the Neuropathic foot.

All people with Diabetes should have a foot screening exam at least every 12 months. Call us today. Coverage under NIHB, DVA, Social Services and direct billing to extended benefits.

Why Do My Heels Hurt?

Problems with our feet can be scary because the pain and difficulty walking may threaten our lifestyle and our livelihood. Often, problems can be corrected with simple, straight forward solutions.

Heel pain often falls into two categories; Heel Spur Syndrome or Plantar Fasciitis. If your pain is worse when your heel hits the ground, worse after long periods of standing and worse at the end of the day; you may have a traumatized heel fat pad and have the beginnings of a heel spur. If your pain is worse in the morning, worse when you lift the heel and worse when you stretch the plantar fascia ligament; you may have Plantar Fasciitis. These are treated differently; so ask questions, get explanations and understand your diagnosis.

At Island Pedorthic FootCare, our goal is to keep you on your feet, active and moving. Simple walking will help manage the five common causes of pain and suffering over the age of 50; Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Obesity, Osteoarthritis. Lets fight these problems on the ground, standing and walking! Give us a call today to take a step towards painfree living.

Acquired Adult Flatfoot

One of the primary stabilizing muscles of the foot is the Tibialis Posterior. When this muscle is working properly; it locks the foot, supports the arch and assists you in walking.

Sometimes the tendon of this muscle becomes damaged and then the arch will progressively collapse, giving you a “flat foot”. Often the progression of this problem is painless and can go unnoticed until the foot is quite deformed and walking is difficult. This condition is more common in women over the age of 50, but can occur in anyone.

Being overweight, having Diabetes, and a history of previous surgery or Cortisone injections may also contribute to this condition. Once the condition develops it is common to have pain in various other parts of the foot, have difficulty with walking and standing on your toes. A specialized type of custom foot orthotic, worn in your shoe, can be very helpful in this condition and limit further arch collapse.

Please call us  at Island Pedorthic Footcare if you have questions about this or any other painful foot conditions limiting your mobility.

How Do I Deal With My Plantar Fasciitis?

The Plantar Fascia is a ligament located on the bottom of the foot. It functions by attaching the ball of the foot to the front of the heel. It is important in maintaining arch height and providing stability to the foot when you walk. When there are problems with the way you walk, increased stress on the Fascia causes injury and subsequently pain. Biomechanical problems can include the big toe having too much movement, the foot over pronating (arch collapsing) or the ankle being restricted or stiff in its movement increasing stress on the Plantar Fascia.

Typically the Fascia will try to repair itself when you sleep or sit for extended periods. Once you stand up and put weight on the Fascia, you tear the ligament and thwart these attempts to heal the Fascia. This explains why pain is often worse first thing in the morning or after standing from sitting for longer periods of time.

One of the more effective solutions is to support the arch with a custom foot orthotic. Custom orthotics in Nanaimo will limit the stretch on the Plantar Fascia. Once you limit the repetitive strain on the Fascia; the inflammation and the pain it causes will generally resolve over a period of 6-8 weeks. As you are correcting the biomechanics with custom orthotics, you will need to stretch the tight Achilles tendon and use cold laser, ice and ultrasound to decrease inflammation and speed up healing.

It’s Your Future, Be There Healthy…

Central Vancouver Island Foot and Ulcer Protection Clinic


Central Vancouver Island Foot and Ulcer Protection Clinic

Referrals are now being accepted (Please use attached referral form)

We are pleased to announce the opening of the Central Vancouver Island Foot and Ulcer Protection Clinic (CVIFUPC).

Our goal is to provide diabetic foot screening and risk assessment to all diabetic patients on an annual basis. This is a multi-disciplinary team approach with a focus on providing preventative foot assessments in the morning and biomechanical assessment and off-loading in the afternoon.   The clinic will be held at the Caledonian Medical Clinic, 340 Campbell Street, Nanaimo (see map below for directions) and will be open every Wednesday starting 29 April 2015 and will be staffed by:

Dr. Pieter Boshoff, MD, MBChB(Pret), International Interdisciplinary Wound Care Certificate

Dr. Katia Langton, Certified Pedorthist, Certified in Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention & Comprehensive Management and Treatment of the Neuropathic Foot. Canadian Diabetes Association representative for Diabetic foot care

Melinda Franklin, BSc Pharmacist, Certified Diabetes Educator

Services provided include:

  • Comprehensive Diabetic foot assessments including risk categorization for foot complications
  • Chronic wound assessment, management and dressing changes
  • Comprehensive foot exams for painful foot conditions limiting mobility including Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Bunions and Hallux Limitus etc.
  • Preventative off-loading based on risk categorization due to neuropathy
  • Patients will receive detailed education on monitoring and caring for the neuropathic foot in a preventative manner
  • Diabetic medication optimization and injection assistance service
  • Pedorthic assessment and treatment
  • Assessment for custom orthotics
  • Foot Care Nursing (Future proposed service)

Off-loading devices and custom orthotics may be covered by Social Services, Non-Insured Health Benefits (native affairs), extended benefits and DVA. We will attempt to access charitable donations through volunteer organizations.

Reports will be provided to the patient’s primary practitioner annually updating the patient’s risk category for developing further foot complications. These reports can be used as part of the Chronic Disease Management program. Recommendations regarding follow up assessments will be made to the patient as well as the referring health care provider.