The Medicine Shoppe in Martensville is the go to centre for numerous health care options, but did you know that it is a location for proper foot care as well? As the Medicine Shoppe is a smaller sized pharmacy, their goal is to provide numerous ‘niche’ services to the communities in which they reside. “We provide all of the same services and fill all of the same prescriptions as bigger pharmacies, but it is our niche services that differentiate us. One of those services focus on foot and leg related care,” Jolene Johnson, owner/operator of the Martensville Medicine Shoppe location, explained.
Johnson wanted to provide access to specialized services that people have traditionally been required to travel to Saskatoon for, and one of these services is foot care clinics and compression stockings. In doing this, Johnson has partnered with Soul to Sole Consulting out of Saskatoon to provide monthly foot care clinics to not only Medicine Shoppe customers, but anyone residing within Martensville and surrounding areas.
Within these monthly clinics, fifteen minute sessions can be booked to meet with Cheri Brochu, owner of Soul to Sole Consulting. Brochu, who is a Podologist with a Bachelor of Science, works with each client to provide basic foot health and education on how to prevent future health issues. “Foot care is a little behind other medical practices. I consider myself the segue between a doctor and an esthetician,” stated Brochu, who initially began her career in esthetics before transitioning into the health care side of the business. If a client has an ailment that is outside of Brochu’s scope, she can also refer patients to the appropriate person to receive care. “I can do an assessment and give people an idea of what they need, and point them in the right direction.”
Laura, a local resident, who has been going to see Brochu for quite some time, has experienced the benefits of the foot care clinics first hand. Having broken her ankle and wrist at one point, Laura found basic foot care to be quite difficult, which led to her having several ingrown toenails. Typically, with a case like Laura’s it would result in surgery being required in order to remove the nail. This can be quite painful and lead to a lengthy recovery time. Knowing that she could avoid putting Laura through this, Brochu utilized a nail brace, which has been around for over 30 years. This nail brace fits the nail, similar to a breathing strip on the nose and over time helps to bring the nail back into its true shape. “It gradually lifts the nail up as it grows out and it is not painful at all. Rather than have a client go through an invasive treatment, they can use this option, which takes longer, but they get to keep their nail,” Brochu said. This treatment is especially useful when treating clients that are diabetic or immunocompromised. “The difference is unbelievable. I got to the point that I could hardly walk and I didn’t want to show my feet in public, but I am so happy about how well this is working. I would recommend that anyone come in and see for themselves. It is amazing what Cheri has done for me,” Laura exclaimed.
This service can help people of all ages, as both Johnson and Brochu note the importance of learning proper care at a younger age in order to prevent issues as you age. “When your feet hurt and as you age and they continue to hurt, your risk of falling is compounded. You don’t move as much as you would without the pain, and by not being as mobile as you could be, you add to your health risks,” said Brochu. By learning proper foot care, it can help avoid bunions, plantar fasciitis, corns, painful cracks and numerous other painful concerns.Product used by Brochu is carried by Johnson in The Medicine Shoppe, so clients can continue their foot care at home on their own time as well. In time, Johnson plans to carry a wide array of other “bits and pieces” that can also benefit local residents.
The partnership between Johnson and Brochu has proved to be beneficial, as clients can meet with Brochu to learn about what they can be doing to better benefit them, and from there, go see Johnson, who can help recommend medication or product to benefit their ailment even more. The teamwork and passion that each of the women has for helping their customers is clear and they are constantly working together to bring in more options. “It is good to be partnered with such a complimentary business. You don’t typically think of foot care and a pharmacy, but it works so well together and we both believe in what we are doing and can see the benefits to our clients firsthand,” added Brochu.
One item that Brochu and Johnson strongly believe in is compression socks. They both made mention of the fact that the compression socks of today are not the ones that people remember from years ago and the inventory available within The Medicine Shoppe proves that fact. With a wide array of styles, material, and colours available, those looking for compression socks need not go far. Johnson, who has been regularly wearing compression socks herself for the past six months, has noticed a huge difference in the way she feels after a long day on her feet. “Anyone standing on their feet, sitting all day, travelling frequently, athletes, those driving for long periods of time, pregnant women, basically anyone can benefit from compression socks. Wearing them can help prevent so much damage in the future. Our legs have pumps that work to keep blood and fluids from pooling in the feet. When these pumps aren’t functioning well, or if they are weak, it results in venous disease,” Johnson explained. In the minor stages, the resulting ailments may be tired achy legs with minor swelling at the end of the day; however, this progresses and in time can cause increased swelling and discomfort, discolouration, and ulcers in extreme cases.
Compression socks are available in a range of prices and options, with non-prescription options being available for anyone, and those that require a little more can get a prescription pair through a doctor. How they work is by providing a precisely measured squeeze at the ankle and up the calf. This squeezing helps the pumps to work more efficiently and keep blood and fluid from pooling. A customer’s legs are measured to ensure the best fit and comfort possible. For those requiring a prescription pair, Johnson added that most insurance plans will cover 2-6 pairs per year. “We have certified fitters on staff and private fitting rooms. Each week, we are increasing our in-store stock, but if we don’t have the size or colour you want, we can have it in the next day. If a group of people need to be fitted, we can come to you,” Johnson said. Compression socks can be found in other locations, but in many of these locations, you are not provided with the same one-on-one care that you will receive at The Medicine Shoppe. Customers are educated on why they would benefit from the compression socks, how they work, have them fitted professionally and go over the various options together.
For more information, visit The Medicine Shoppe at #5 – 301 Centennial Drive North, call (306) 955-1055 or find them on Facebook at ‘Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy Martensville’.