Golf has often been called a good walk ruined, but golf involves so much more than walking. The demands of golf on your feet are like no other sport. During most activities, your feet are either moving forward in a steady gait or side-to-side with quick cuts and sudden direction changes. A golf swing is a unique blend of passive and active motions that both strain and twist the feet, causing a variety of problems.
Shin splints occur when the stress of walking or running slowly tears muscle away from the bone. It is a painful condition that is all too often ignored. Shin splints can be brought on by starting with too much exercise too fast, changing from flat to hilly terrains, exercising without stretching, and playing in worn out or unsupportive shoes. Because bones, muscles, and ligaments are involved in this injury, it is important not to “play through the pain.” Give yourself a rest, use RICE at home, and if your shin splints return, come see a podiatrist immediately.
READ MORE: Don't Let Shin Splints Halt Your Exercise
Characterized by heel and arch pain, plantar fasciitis is a condition affecting the band of tissue across the bottom of your foot that connects your toes to your heel and supports your arch. In other words, it’s important. Repeated stress on the plantar fascia may result in small ligament tears. Most people will experience this pain first thing in the morning as they are getting out of bed. Your podiatrist can create a custom plan with you that involves tapings, arch supports, stretches, and strengthening exercises.
READ MORE: What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and connects your heel to your calf muscle. It needs a certain degree of flexibility for an effective and proper golf swing. Repeating the same swing over and over again with a tight Achilles tendon can lead to damage and pain. Overuse injuries are the most common foot and ankle injuries in golf. Be sure to stretch before each game and wear supportive shoes.
If it feels like there’s a pebble constantly underfoot, you most likely have a Morton’s neuroma. This is caused by a thickening of the tissue around a nerve, usually between the third and fourth toes. Golfers may experience tingling, pain, or numbness in this area which can throw off balance and concentration. Wearing tight footwear that leaves little toe room can contribute to a neuroma.
READ MORE: Neuromas
Your balance can be thrown off significantly if you suffer from hallux rigidus, a stiffening of the big toe. At first, this may be minor, but as the condition worsens, you will experience pain, loss of balance, and even difficulty walking. After all, the big toe takes about 40% of the weight load when you walk and is the last part to push off from the ground. Non-surgical solutions are available if this condition is caught early. Wear properly fitting shoes and get to the podiatrist at the first sign of a stiff big toe.
Foot and ankle injuries in golf are more common than you know. Golfers who don’t stretch, don’t wear proper footwear, and don’t have a proper golf swing, could be putting themselves at risk of any number of foot ailments. Get training from a professional to ensure your golf swing isn’t damaging your feet.
Running is a great activity for your heart and overall health, but it can also be boring. Mile after mile of sidewalk, roadway, and houses can become monotonous and leave you uninspired when it comes time to work out. There is another option!
Fun events such as Savage Races, Mud Runs, the Obstacle River Run, the Green Beret Challenge, and Warrior Dash have given people a reason to start running again. These trails feature obstacles, and challenges participants will hurdle (sometimes literally) to get to the finish line.
READ MORE: Marathon Foot Health
Intense competitive races can be 6+ miles long and feature over 50 obstacles. More relaxed, family-friendly events are often 5K and have 35 or fewer obstacles. While these events have reinvigorated people to join races, they pose more risks for your feet than a traditional running race. Being prepared and getting through the obstructions safely requires some pre-knowledge of what you’ll encounter and the dangers they pose.
NETTING—Many races feature cargo net climbs, swivel ladder climbs, rope ladder climbs, net climbs over ravines and other rope-related challenges. Netting can pose a risk for your feet if you get tangled. Slipping from your foothold and becoming caught can lead to twisted ankles and rope abrasions. Wear high socks to protect your ankles and take care during your climbs.
WATER/MUD—if your race involves water or mud obstacles, you could be dealing with wet and dirty socks and shoes for the rest of the race or if you didn’t plan ahead, the rest of the day. Bring something to change into and be sure to wash and dry your shoes thoroughly after the run.
JUMPING—It wouldn’t be a challenge run if there weren’t a wall or two to get over. These classic obstacles often require a straight drop of up to 20’ which can mean major damage to your feet. Jumping upwards puts a strain on your ankle and Achilles tendon, leaving you open to the possibility of an Achille tendon rupture. Jumping down can be a large shock to your bones and cause a fracture.
RUNNING—In general, all the normal dangers that apply to running and exercise apply to these races as well. Shin splints are the number one reason runners stop running, and your risk increases with the uneven terrain of obstacle races. Be sure to wear proper supportive footwear and only exercise up to the level that you have trained. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast can lead to pain and injury.
READ MORE: What Are Shin Splints?
With everything from military crawls to running up a 10-foot sloped wall to monkey bars to cliff jumps to carrying heavy objects (logs, stones, etc.) to jumping over fire, Weekend Warrior races give everyone the chance to be their own superhero. If you’re looking for a fun activity to get yourself moving this summer, join an obstacle race. Just be sure to take care of your feet!
Sandals and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly, but too many sandals don’t offer the correct support or protection and can leave your feet aching or lead to other issues. Don’t fret, there are still plenty of options out there that will make your podiatrist happy and look fashionable.
The key features to look for in a summer sandal are:
Arch Support – Perhaps the biggest complain podiatrists have about sandals is the lack of support. When your foot is not properly supported, it can lead or contribute to plantar fasciitis, fallen arches, and even ankle, knee, hip, and back pain. Sandals might be appropriate at times, but you should never plan on walking in them for long distances or periods of time as this can exacerbate issues.
READ MORE: Plantar Fasciitis
Toe Protection – Personally, I love showing off my toes in the summer (especially after my latest PediCare Salon visit!), but leaving your tootsies exposed can result in pain or injury. Stubbed or stepped on toes are common and can result in fractures and unsightly bruising. There is also a potential for cuts and abrasions or even sunburn. Choosing sandals with enclosed toes can eliminate some of these flip flop risks.
READ MORE: PediCare vs Pedicure
Materials – Choosing the right sandal all depends on the occasion, but you should always match the material of the sandal to your activity. If you’re going to be wearing your sandals around water, don’t choose leather, suede, canvass, or other materials that absorb water or are damaged by it. Make sure any straps are comfortable and wont rub to form blisters. Pay attention to the sole thickness as well; the shoe should not fold in half if you attempt to bend it.
Sandals fit properly only if your entire foot is resting on the footbed. If your heel hangs off the back or your smallest toe is falling off the side, you need a bigger size or a completely different sandal. Look for brands that boast the APMA seal of approval. This seal is granted only to products that have shown consistent benefits for foot and ankle health. To find brands with this approval click HERE, scroll down to shoes, flip flops/sandals and click. There are over 400 individual sandals to explore!
If you’re looking for the perfect summer sandals, the FAAWC offers Revere sandals for both men and women. The footbed is removable to fit your orthotics, meaning you’ll be looking good and keeping your feet (and your podiatrist) happy and supported.
READ MORE: Insoles vs Orthotics
Call or drop by today to browse our selection of perfect summer sandals.
Pregnant women are at risk for many ailments and protecting yourself and your child from injury and disease is of the utmost importance. One common symptom of pregnancy is foot and ankle swelling. While this is a natural occurrence, if one ankle presents with swelling, bruising, and pain, that could be an indication the ankle has been injured and needs professional attention.
During pregnancy, the body begins producing additional Relaxin, a hormone that loosens the ligaments in the pelvis to prepare for birth. Unfortunately, the ligaments holding your ankles steady are also affected by Relaxin and can overstretch, causing the potential for sprained ankles.
READ MORE: Sprain or Strain
Unfortunately, there is more than just your hormones to worry about when it comes to increased risk for ankle sprains. The combination of weight gain during pregnancy and the shift in your center of gravity means that your balance is compromised. Wearing high heels, activities with sudden twists, turns, or changes in direction, and any movement that challenges balance can lead to a sprained ankle.
READ MORE: Pregnancy & High Heels
There are varying degrees of sprains; grades I, II, and III. A grade I sprain is mild, usually with sudden sharp pain and gradual bruising and swelling. A grade II sprain means you have partially torn a ligament. This will be evident by a looseness of the ankle, presenting as weakness and the feeling of instability. A grade III sprain is the most severe and leads to a complete tear that will render your ankle unusable until it is dealt with.
READ MORE: What is RICE?
Grade I sprains can be treated at home with RICE and should resolve within a couple of days. Be protective of your ankle afterwards as a ligament that has been stretched once is at higher risk of repeat injury. Any grade II or III sprains need to be treated by a podiatrist. Call and make an appointment immediately if you are pregnant and suspect you have a sprained ankle. There should be no chances taken with your health and the health of your baby.
Warts are unsightly and bothersome. While they may not be dangerous, they should still be removed by a trained professional and not treated at home with wives tales and OTC solutions. A wart on the bottom of the foot is called a plantar wart and is the most common place to form a wart. These appear as raised and callused pieces of skin, often with multiple black dots caused by clotted capillaries.
What are warts?
A wart, in the simplest definition, is a skin infection. Verruca Plantaris, a form of the HPV virus, causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, creating a raised mound. While it is only a superficial condition, it will not resolve on its own. Over one half of the population will experience a wart at some point in their life.
How do you get warts?
Don’t worry about picking up any toads; they don’t cause warts. Warts are caused by direct contact with the virus. It may enter the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions. Even simple issues such as cracked heels can give the virus a chance to enter your skin. Warts are communicable and can spread to others or different parts of your body. Symptoms may not manifest for weeks or even years after contact.
READ MORE: Cracked Heels in the Summer
How is it treated?
Warts are unsightly but not immediately dangerous to your health. Still, it is important that they are removed, so they do not spread. Home remedies should be avoided. Touching the wart will spread the virus, freezing it off could cause skin damage, acid is just a bad idea altogether. If you are diabetic or have any issues with foot and ankle circulation, you should not treat infections at home. Only your podiatrist can ensure your wart is taken care of safely and effectively.
READ MORE: Summer Ready Feet Today!
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