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When you come in with heel pain, there is a decent chance we will tell you it is due to plantar fasciitis. We’ll explain that it involves an inflammation in the ligament under your foot, and prescribe a course of treatment, but what if you want to learn more? You know you can always ask us questions, but maybe you retain information better if you can read it rather than just hear it. That’s what our online patient education library is for—to give you a written resource to dig a little deeper into the causes of foot problems and learn more about foot care techniques.

Explaining Your Foot Problems

Did you know that about one fourth of your bones are found in your feet? 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments comprise this complicated foundation of your body that allows you to run, walk, and jump. Add to that your blood vessels, nerves and skin, and you can see how many possibilities there are for something to go wrong.

Understanding your problem can help you see the causes, the importance of treatment, and the ways you may be able to prevent it from getting worse or coming back. Take Achilles tendinitis, for example. When you learn that this condition often happens from overuse, or from not properly conditioning your feet and ankles for the actions you demand of them, it will help you realize the importance of resting to let the tissue heal and stretching to make the tendon more limber. You can also be careful to add new activity gradually in stages so your body gets used to the added trauma and can withstand it better.

Understanding Your Foot Care Options

You can use the patient education resources to learn about various remedies for a problem. Look up the causes of bunions, and you will understand that treatment may be as simple as changing your shoe style or being fitted with orthotics. Learn that if you do nothing the problem will most likely get worse, and may end up requiring surgery to correct the alignment of the bones in your foot, so you can regain comfort and mobility.

The library includes information on all types of foot conditions, including deformities like hammertoe and heel spurs, injuries like fractures and sprains, nerve compression problems like Morton’s neuroma, complications from disease such as diabetic ulcers, or nail and skin problems like calluses, warts, and fungal nails. Just enter the term you want to learn about in our search bar to see what we can tell you about it.

Don’t forget to check out our blogs, too. These help keep you up-to-date on common foot conditions and the current trends in caring for them.

Working Together for Your Foot Health

We strongly believe that an informed patient has a better chance at a good outcome, because then we can partner and work together to put an end to your pain and allow you to resume your normal activity. Great foot care is a team effort, with all hands needed on deck—including yours!

If you have pain or numbness in your feet or have injured them in some way, give Axis Foot & Ankle Clinic a call at (403) 477-3338 to set up an appointment at one of our three, convenient locations in Calgary, AB. We look forward to helping you restore your feet to full health and function!

A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Bunions form when the toe moves out of place. The enlargement and its protuberance cause friction and pressure as they rub against footwear. Over time, the movement of the big toe angles in toward the other toes, sometimes overlapping a third toe (known as Hallux Varus). The growing enlargement or protuberance then causes more irritation or inflammation. In some cases, the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, which is known as Hallus Abducto Valgus. Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe.

Many people with bunions suffer from discomfort and pain from the constant irritation, rubbing, and friction of the enlargement against shoes. The skin over the toe becomes red and tender. Because this joint flexes with every step, the bigger the bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Over time, bursitis or arthritis may set in, the skin on the bottom of the foot may become thicker, and everyday walking may become difficult—all contributing to chronic pain.

Wearing shoes that are too tight is the leading cause of bunions. Bunions are not hereditary, but they do tend to run in families, usually because of a faulty foot structure. Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, flat feet, and pronated feet can contribute to their formation. It is estimated that bunions occur in 33 percent of the population in Western countries.

Treatment for Bunions

Because they are bone deformities, bunions do not resolve by themselves. The goal for bunion treatment is twofold: first, to relieve the pressure and pain caused by irritations, and second to stop any progressive growth of the enlargement. Commonly used methods for reducing pressure and pain caused by bunions include:

  • Protective padding, often made from felt material, to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
  • Removal of corns and calluses on the foot.
  • Changing to carefully fitted footwear designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.
  • Orthotic devices—both over-the-counter and custom made—to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
  • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
  • Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly. This is often recommended for adolescents with bunions, because their bone development may still be adaptable.

Surgical Treatment

Depending on the size of the enlargement, misalignment of the toe, and pain experienced, conservative treatments may not be adequate to prevent progressive damage from bunions. In these cases, bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, may be advised to remove the bunion and realign the toe.


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