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Posts for tag: Sports Podiatrist Charleston

Foot blisters can be a frustrating foot condition. Foot blisters are caused by friction, usually your shoes or socks rubbing against your skin. Anything that intensifies rubbing can start a blister, including increasing your pace, poor-fitting shoes, and  improper socks.  Heat and moisture intensify friction by making your feet swell. That explains why many runners only suffer blisters during races, especially marathons.

The body responds to the friction by producing fluid, which builds up beneath the part of the skin being rubbed, causing pressure and pain. While most blisters don't pose a serious health risk, they can have a negative impact on your exerices routine.

First Aid

If you have a large blister that is painful you can drain it with a sterile needle. If you don't drain it, your blister will hurt, and it could puncture on its own or cause a potential infection. To drain a blister first wash your hands, then wipe a needle with alcohol to sterilize it. It is not recommended to heat the needle.Once you've punctured the blister, carefully drain the liquid by pushing gently with your fingers near the hole. Then cover the blister with a tight bandage to keep bacteria from getting in. You can take the bandage off periodically and soak your foot in warm water and Epsom salts to draw out the fluid. After soaking, put on a fresh bandage. If you have a small blister that is not necessarily painful leave it intact. The skin acts as a protective covering over a sterile environment. Furthermore, if the fluid amount is small and you try to pop it, you could cause additional problems by making it bleed.

Blister prevention tips:

Choose blister-free socks. Synthetic socks wick moisture away from the skin. Cotton may be lighter, but it retains fluid. It is well worth spending a little extra money on this type of sock at a local sporting goods or running store.

Run with slick skin. Coat your feet with Vaseline or another lubricant before you run. Or use Second Skin, a padded tape that stays on even when wet. Both methods form a protective shield between your skin and sock.

Wear shoes and socks that fit. Shoes that are too small will cause blisters under the toes and on the ends of the toenails. There should be a thumb's width of space between the toes and end of the toe box. Your socks should fit smoothly, with no extra fabric at the toes or heels.

Products over the counter for blister care: Moleskin, Body glide, Foot Glide, Compeed blister pads, Blister shield, gold bond powder, and aquaphor healing ointment.

If you have any upcoming races and have experienced chronic foot blisters please contact at: Carolinafootspecialists.net

 

Baseball And Your Feet

America's Pastime

Based on a document produced in cooperation with the: American Podiatric Medical Association.

For more than a century and a half, America has carried on a love affair with baseball. Kids slam fists in their first gloves, and dream of one day playing in the big leagues. For a few, the dream comes true. The rest of us keep the fantasy alive through youth leagues, on adult softball teams, or pickup games with friends. We pledge allegiance to our favorite major league team, sharing the triumph or agony of every win and loss.

More than following big league baseball, we all want to play the game ourselves--to hear the crack of a base hit, execute an around-the-horn double play, or shag a screaming liner. But like all vigorous exercise, baseball and softball should be played sensibly and safely. Improper preparation and technique can lead to injury, especially to the lower extremities, which take us around the bases and under fly balls.

Before the First Pitch

Most American kids begin playing organized baseball at age 6 or 7. If a child is in generally good health and has no preexisting physically compromising conditions, baseball is relatively safe with proper instruction in the game's fundamentals.

Weekend warriors who pick up the sport again in adulthood are less apt to be in optimum condition than younger athletes, and should take it slow before jumping right into a game. Anyone who is more than 40 years old, diabetic, a smoker, or has any physical disability should see a family physician before taking the field. People with existing foot problems should see a podiatric physician specializing in sports medicine, who can perform a gait analysis and assess any risk inherent in a sports regimen.

Because baseball and softball involve quick starts and stops, it's important to loosen up before the game. Even the youngest children should make sure to do some simple stretching, running and playing catch before the game to avoid muscle pulls or other problems.

Before playing pickup games, make sure the field is free of hazards like holes on the base path, which could cause a foot or ankle injury. Sticks, rocks, and other debris on the field cause players to trip, risking injuries, and should be removed.

Shoeing Up for Baseball

Young players will do well to wear molded cleats rather then steel spikes. They should be gradually introduced before being worn in a game. A young player needs to get a feel for cleats, which should not be worn off the field.

While the improved traction of cleats may enhance play, it also leaves the ankle more susceptible to twists and turns. Any child with preexisting foot conditions should see a podiatric physician before putting on cleats. Never put a child in hand-me-downs; ill-fitting cleats increase the danger of ankle injuries. When sizing cleats, make sure the feet are measured by a footwear technician, and always wear a game-size sock when trying them on.

In some competitive baseball leagues, the use of metal spikes is permitted for players more than 13 years old. Spikes must be understood as dangerous weapons on the base paths; they require a certain level of maturity to be worn safely. They are not necessary for casual play, and should not be worn unless in league competition.

Spikes, which technology has made lighter and more flexible these days, perform the same function as cleats, but engage the ground differently. They too should be worn on a limited basis until the feel of how they engage the turf is understood. Unfamiliarity with spikes can lead to ankle twists and turns in a competitive situation.

When wearing cleats or spikes for the first time, watch for irritation, blisters, or redness, which could indicate a biomechanical problem in the legs or feet. Pain is a clear indicator of a problem. If cleats cause pain, discontinue wear for two to three days; if it returns, see a podiatric physician specializing in sports medicine for evaluation.

Preventing Baseball Injuries

One of baseball's most exciting moments comes when a batter stretches a single into a double by beating the tag in a dust-kicking slide. Sliding is a fun part of the game at all levels, but proper technique is crucial to avoiding foot and ankle injuries, especially when bases are firmly secured to the infield. Coaches at all levels should make sure their players are well schooled in proper sliding. Careless slides can result in sprains and even fractures of the lower leg and feet.

Pitchers also need to be coached on the proper way to come off an elevated mound with their back foot and land on an incline with the front foot. The repetitive motion of pitching can lead to overuse injuries to the feet and ankles. Pitchers experiencing pain in their windup should take a few days off before returning to the mound.

Catchers too are susceptible to overuse injuries by squatting behind home plate for every pitch. Again, coaches should teach their catchers how to alter their stance to vary weight displacement.

Today's trend of trying to achieve perfection by year round sport participation may result in an overall increase in injury. This is not just a lower extremity phenomena but is often seen in young pitchers having both elbow and rotator cuff injuries serious enough to lead to surgery while still in high school.

Lower Extremity Injuries and Treatment

Contusions. A baseball will inevitably make contact with a player's foot and ankle, whether it's a pitched ball, foul tip, or line drive, and sliding base runners often run headlong into a infielder's legs. Usually this contact results in contusions, which are not often serious injuries. Ice packs and a few days' rest will usually help the contusions, or bruises, feel better.

Sprains and fractures. Stretched or torn ligaments, known as sprains, can occur from running the bases, or pivoting to make a play. Sprains may cause extensive swelling around the ankle just like a fracture. Immediate treatment from a podiatric physician is crucial to quick healing. Fractures, where the bone has cracked or broken, often require casting. After a sprain or fracture, a podiatric physician can prescribe a rehabilitation regimen to restore strength to the injured area before returning to the sport.

Plantar fasciitis. Catchers are particularly susceptible to arch pain, commonly traced to an inflammation called plantar fasciitis, on the bottom of the foot. A podiatric physician can evaluate arch pain, and may prescribe customized shoe inserts called orthoses to help alleviate the pain.

Heel Spur Syndrome. A related condition, to which catchers are also susceptible, is heel spur syndrome. Often related to plantar fasciitis, heel spur syndrome occurs when the plantar tendon pulls at its attachment to the heel bone. This area of the heel can later calcify to form a spur. Many times the ligament pulling on the heel creates the symptoms, and not the spur itself, especially after getting up from resting. With proper warm-up and the use of supportive shoes, strain to the ligament can be reduced.

Achilles tendinitis. The stop-and-start of baseball often creates pain and tightness in the calf, and aggravation of the Achilles tendon. Again, regular stretching of the calf muscles gently and gradually before and after the game will help minimize the pain and stiffness.

Shin splints. Shin splints usually stem from an inflammation of the muscle and tendon attached to the shin, caused by stress factors. Treat shin pain with cold compresses immediately after a game to reduce inflammation. Proper stretching and strengthening exercises should prevent the onset of shin splints.

Are you training for an upcoming Cooper River Bridge Run and can't run as long as you want? Is your foot and ankle hurting you after just a few miles? If this is the case then you may consider taking a look at your running style and posture. Please take a look at this blog post from CFS on a new running style called "Chi Running. Chi Running focuses on posture, leg swing, the position of the pelvis and a forward lean.

Danny Dreyer has developed this running technique and if you have time purchase his book callled:
" ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running.

http://heelpaincharleston.blogspot.com/2016_01_01_archive.html

We would like to briefly explain the basics behind what pronation and supination mean which will help you on selecing the proper running shoe and possible supporitve custom foot orthotic.

Pronation is a normal facet of the gait cycle. Pronation can become a problem only when it becomes excessive. Overpronation can result form an inherited foot structure, muscle or tendon imbalance, injury, or biomechanical irregularties. A foot that overpronates is considered an unstable foot. The advantage is that it can become better a better shock absorber but it may not be able to be stable enough to prevent injury. In this circumstance a shoe model that incoroporates motion control characteristics will be more benificial. In certain cases this may not be enough and a custom foot orthotic to further help control pronation may be required.

Supination is the opposite of pronation. It occurs normally after heel strike to help the foot become a rigid lever to propel off of. Oversupination is rare. What is more common is underpronation, which can occur with a rigid, high-arched foot. A foot that underpronates is not not able to absorb shock as well which can lead to stress fractures, heel pain, and other lower extremity sport related injuries. A foot that underpronates requires a shoe capable of absorbing shock well. 

Evaluating over-and underpronation by wathcing someone walk or run can be difficult for the untrained observer. This judgement should be left to your Sports Physician, professional shoe store or coach. Normal foot strike occurs on the outside portion of the heel area, where most shoes typically exhibit excessive wear. This is a normal pattern. If the counter bends inward usually means underpronation is taking place.

If you have bunions, arthritis, and hammer toes in your feet you may select a shoe with a wider toe box or make sure the upper of the shoe does not irritate any painful areas of the foot.

Do you complain about pain on the ball of your foot or radiating numbness and tingling in your toes? You may be suffering from a neuroma. As a runner myself I have experienced this running injury and it is best to recognize and treat it as early as you can. We would like to discuss the basics of what a neuroma is, how you get it, as well as simple conservative treatment to resolve it and keep you running pain free.

A neuroma is a thickening of a nerve, and on the foot this occurs most frequently between the third and fourth metatarsal bones and toes. The nerve runs in between these areas can become inflamed when the metatarsal bones are compressed together such as may occur with tight fitting shoes. It may also be aggravated by overuse micro trauma that occurs in weight-bearing sports and exercise, and by biomechanical asymmetries such as over-pronation of the feet.

The symptoms of a neuroma can include pain on the ball of the foot that may be accompanied by a feeling of "pins and needles" or numbness to the 2nd, 3rd or 4th toes.

The initial treatment for a neuroma involves the correction of the causative factors. This can include changing to a wider toe box shoe as well as getting rid of worn out running shoes (more than 400 miles or older than 6 months). A removable metatarsal pad that offloads and takes pressure off the ball of the foot is very helpful to relieve symptoms. If this is still not effective we may recommend a series of injection (NO MORE THAN 3) to help reduce inflammation around the nerve.  Alcohol sclerosing agent injections is another conservative treatment option that essentially quiets the nerve inflammation. Other conservative treatment may include the use of custom sports orthotic devices to control any biomechanical problems such as overpronation.

Finally, if aggressive conservative treatment does not resolve your symptoms, and the pain is causing a modification of your normal activities, surgery may be recommended to remove the inflamed nerve.

It is best if this foot injury is caught early and diagnosed correctly because other problems such as metatarsal stress fractures and metatarsal bursitis can sometimes mimic the symptoms of Morton's neuroma.

http://www.carolinafootspecialists.net/neuromas.html