It’s Spring! Rejuvenate Your Feet
How should I protect my feet as I become more active this spring?
For most of us, spring is a time of revitalization. We’re eager to get outdoors, to experience the freedom of more pleasant weather and increased activity. It’s called “spring training” for a reason! By the same token, early spring is a good time to prepare ourselves, not only to be more vigilant about sunscreen for our increasingly exposed areas of skin, but to protect our feet from potential injuries and infections. This can be accomplished by gradually increasing our activity level, wearing proper footwear, and consulting with a skilled podiatrist promptly when a problem occurs.
There are two basic types of sports injuries that affect the feet: those that result from trauma and those that result from repetitive stress. In many cases, preparing for increased activity by stretching first, wearing appropriately supportive footwear and well-padded socks, and proceeding gradually can help to prevent sports injuries. Common sports injuries of the feet often involve sudden increased intensity in training regimens without proper preparation.
Putting repeated stress on any part of the body can result in pain and inflammation, and may even do permanent damage. Some examples of repetitive injuries of the feet are injuries to the heel, stress fractures, shin splints, and sharp pains just behind the big toe (sesamoiditis).
Sudden accidental injuries can occur anywhere, but frequently occur during sports activities. Even non-combative sports, like tennis, bicycling, or track, can result in falls or trips, collisions or improper landings. Let’s face it — even those of us who don’t engage in athletic activities can suffer serious traumatic injuries due to bad luck or moments of inattention. Common traumatic injuries include bone fractures, ankle sprains, tendonitis or Achilles tendon ruptures, plantar fasciitis and turf toe.
All podiatric sports injuries heal best when treated promptly by one of our experienced, compassionate doctors. Much of the time, even very painful ailments can be treated with noninvasive, or very minimally invasive, methods. Before you are able to get to our offices, the home remedy known as R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is recommended to relieve pain and swelling.
Common, Less Serious Problems
Just because some problems are considered to be less serious, does not mean that they are any less painful or troublesome. Any of us who have had a really bad case of athlete’s foot can attest to the fact that, insignificant and easily curable as the condition may be, it can be tormenting. Other foot problems that commonly cause pain, and may, if not treated quickly and effectively, lead to serious infections, are ingrown toenails, calluses and blisters.
Such “minor” problems can most often be avoided by wearing well-fitted footwear, keeping the feet as dry as possible (particularly after being in public locker rooms or showers), and cutting the toenails straight across. It is also a good idea to check the feet for any abnormalities so any problem can be nipped in the bud. Daily checking is essential for anyone with diabetes.
So, as you get ready to spring into action, remember to take care of your feet!