Newsletter – Winter 2009
The Skinny on Getting Fit in the New Year
Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year to get in shape and shed those extra inches?
Each year this resolution spikes attendance at gyms, draws runners, walkers, and bikers to the roads and trails and finds us cleaning the dust from our home workout equipment. “No pain, no gain” may be a motto for most workouts, but “too much too soon” can lead to unwanted pains, such as foot and ankle injuries, thus sabotaging your fitness goals.
One of the most common sports injuries is a sprained ankle. If you sprain your ankle, don’t “play through the pain.” Proper treatment and rehabilitation of ankle sprains is crucial to ensure adequate healing. If you avoid seeking treatment for the injury, not only can you cause further damage to the tendons in your ankle, which may take much longer to heal or possibly require surgery, but you may be overlooking a more serious injury – a stress fracture.
A stress fracture may feel like an ankle sprain at first, but you may notice some additional warning signs, such as swelling without bruising and pain even during normal activities or when touching the area. If you have any of these symptoms, have your foot and ankle evaluated as soon as possible. Don’t walk it off! Improper treatment – or no treatment at all – may lead to improper healing, which could result in prolonged inactivity, no weight bearing on the foot, or possibly require surgery.
If you finish your workout and experience any pain or swelling around your Achilles tendon, seek treatment right away. These could be indications of Achilles tendonitis. If left untreated, a stretched or strained Achilles tendon may worsen over time, leading to stiffness and fatigue in your injured leg. Worse yet, untreated Achilles tendonitis could result in a ruptured tendon, which would require surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation of several months!
Another common “overuse” injury is heel pain. If you have heel pain that lasts for more than a day or two, or seems to worsen when you stand after sitting for an extended amount of time, you may have a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This common condition is a result of an inflammation of the tissue extending from your heel to your toes. If caught early enough, our office can examine the condition and recommend some at-home conditioning. In late stages, the problem is much harder to treat and takes much longer for the pain to resolve. Fortunately, most patients with heel pain and plantar fasciitis can be successfully treated without surgery, although in persistent cases, surgery may be required for complete pain relief.
If you’ve injured your foot or ankle during a workout, don’t ignore the pain. Schedule an appointment with our office for an examination. Early treatment leads to a speedy recovery, avoids further damage or subsequent injuries, and enables you to get back on your feet to enjoy a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Tailor’s Bunion – That Big Pain in Your Little Toe
Is your little toe a major pain? If so, you may have a tailor’s bunion, which is similar to a bunion on your big toe, but not as common. Tailor’s bunion is an enlargement at the end of the little toe’s metatarsal bone—the long bone leading from your foot to each toe. This condition is usually caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot – so if your parents had tailor’s bunions, you may get them, too.
Tailor’s bunion got its name centuries ago, when tailors sat cross-legged all day with the outsides of their feet rubbing the ground, causing a painful bump at the base of their little toe. Today, the symptoms of tailor’s bunions are usually caused when shoes rub against the enlarged bone, irritating the soft tissues beneath it, causing inflammation.
If you have a tailor’s bunion, you will notice redness, swelling and pain at the site of the bump. We can treat it with shoe modifications, oral medication, injection therapy, padding, or icing.
There’s no need to live with the pain. If you have tailor’s bunion, schedule an appointment with our office today.
Do Kid’s Flat Feet Need Treatment?
Young children’s feet often appear to be flat, and parents wonder whether this should be of concern or whether they will “grow out of it.”
Most children with flat feet have no symptoms. However, sometimes they may have trouble participating in physical activities and sports, or appear to walk and run awkwardly. They may also complain of pain or cramping in their feet, legs, or knees. Sometimes parents say that these are just “growing pains.” But growing should never hurt!
Any pain or difficulty with a child’s feet should be evaluated. There are several different types of pediatric flatfoot, and a variety of treatments are available. Ignoring painful flatfoot in a child can result in lasting damage that will continue to cause problems throughout his or her life. Early diagnosis and treatment will go a long way toward restoring the ability to fully enjoy the activities of childhood.
This information was developed by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.