Posts for: December, 2010
Keep Your Feet Safe at the Gym in the New Year
Don't let foot injuries keep you from your fitness resolutions
In the New Year, don't forget to keep your feet in tip-top shape while following through with your resolutions to get fit.
Start new workouts gradually -- Increase your stamina and the length of your workouts gradually to avoid overuse injuries such as stress fractures or tendon strains and sprains. Stretching your muscles before and after workouts also helps prevent these types of injuries. "If you do feel you've sprained your ankle, be sure to seek treatment right away," Dr. Khaimov, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons explains. "Untreated or repeated ankle sprains may lead to chronic ankle instability, a condition that causes persistent pain and a 'giving way' of the ankle."
Wear the right shoe and sock -- Wear well-fitting athletic shoes designed for the exercise or sport. Shoes that don't support the arch of the foot and provide cushion for the heel can cause heel pain (plantar fasciitis). Shoes that are too small can also cause a neuroma, or a thickening of the nerve tissue, in the foot and may require injections, medication or physical therapy. Wearing cotton or non-slip socks are also key to help avoid painful blisters, which can become infected and cause more serious issues.
Use good technique -- Improper exercise techniques can result in injury to the tendons or ligaments in your feet and ankles. "Incorrect posture or misuse of exercise equipment can cause decreased stabilization in the foot and ankle, leading to joint sprains and muscle strains," Dr. Khaimov says.
Protect yourself from bacteria -- Sweaty shoes, public showers, exercise equipment and the pool deck at the gym are breeding grounds for fungus, viruses and bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which has become increasingly more common. Never go barefoot while in public areas; water shoes can provide a great barrier between your feet and the wet surfaces. "It's also best to cover cuts and cracks in the skin or ingrown toenails since these minor tears in the skin's surface can act as entry points for bacteria. If you have a cut or scrape that becomes red or swollen and is not healing in a timely manner, don't hesitate to see a foot and ankle surgeon for an examination," Dr. Khaimov says.
Above all, it's important to listen to your body. If you experience an injury or pain, call our office for an evaluation.
Don't let sore, achy feet ruin your holiday season. Here are five tips to healthy holiday feet.
1. If the shoe fits, wear it -- When hitting the dance floor or the shopping malls during the holiday season, don't compromise comfort and safety when picking the right shoes to wear. Narrow shoes, overly-high-heeled ones or shoes that aren't worn very often, such as dress shoes, can irritate feet and lead to blisters, calluses, swelling and even severe ankle injuries. "To ward off problems, choose a shoe that has a low heel and fits your foot in length, width and depth while you are standing," says Dr. Khaimov, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. "Be proactive, protective and preventive with your selection of appropriate shoes for the occasion."
2. Don't overindulge in holiday cheer -- Did you know your feet can feel the effects of too much holiday cheer? Certain foods and beverages high in purines, such as shellfish, red meat, red wine and beer can trigger extremely painful gout attacks, a condition when uric acid builds up and crystallizes in and around your joints. "Oftentimes, it's the big toe that is affected first since the toe is the coolest part of the body and uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes," Dr. Khaimov says.
3. Be pedicure-safety conscious -- Before you head for your holiday pedicure, remember nail salons can be a breeding ground for bacteria, including MRSA. To reduce your risk of infection, choose a salon that follows proper sanitation practices and is licensed by the state. Consider also purchasing your own pedicure instruments to bring along to your appointment.
4. Watch for ice and snow -- Holiday winter wonderlands can be beautiful but also dangerous. Use caution when traveling outdoors; watch for ice or snow patches along your trail. The ankle joint can be more vulnerable to serious injury from falling on ice. "Ice accelerates the fall and often causes more severe trauma, because the foot can move in any direction after it slips," Dr. Khaimov explains. If you do experience a fall, take a break from activities until you can be seen by a foot and ankle surgeon. Use R.I.C.E. therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) to help reduce the pain and control swelling around the injury.
5. "Listen" to your feet -- Don't let foot pain ruin your holiday fun; inspect your feet regularly for any evidence of ingrown toenails, bruising, swelling, blisters, dry skin or calluses. "If you notice any pain, swelling or signs of problems, make an appointment with your foot and ankle surgeon," Dr. Khaimov advises. "Often, especially for diabetics, what may seem like a simple issue can turn into a larger problem if medical care is delayed."
If you are suffering from foot pain or have concerns about your foot health, call our office at (201)363-9844 for an evaluation.