Posts for: December, 2016
Summertime brings flip-flops, pool time and more. While these are the signs of enjoyable warm weather, they can also be concerning if you have diabetes. Higher temperatures and opportunities to walk barefoot increase the chances you can injure your feet or experience cracking, swelling and discomfort.
Because you are living with diabetes, you likely know the condition puts you at greater risk for nerve damage to your feet. This affects your foot sensations, meaning you may experience a scrape or cut without realizing you had it. Because diabetes affects your body’s wound healing time, having a cut that’s unknown to you can easily turn into a more serious wound if left untreated.
To ensure your feet have an event-free summer, here are some warm weather-specific tips from our podiatrist.
Always wear shoes. If you’re planning a beach vacation, it can be tempting to leave the flip-flops behind in favor of sand beneath your toes. This can be a troublesome habit, however, because it increases your risk for cuts from seashells, beach glass or other unknown beach items. Close-toed beach shoes that have breathable mesh and a protective sole are available that protect your feet from injury while also allowing you to walk comfortably.
Give your feet a once-over twice daily. When you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet at least as often as you should brush your teeth: at least twice per day. Pay special attention to the areas between your toes and underneath your feet. You may even want to get a mirror to place on the ground and put your foot a few inches away to identify hard-to-see areas. In addition to checking out your feet, you’ll also want to check out your shoes. Debris, such as dirt and rocks, can easily accumulate in your shoes and cause injuries. Give them a good shake before wearing to protect yourself.
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen. You can just as easily burn your foot skin as you can anywhere else, yet many people forget to apply sunscreen to this important area. When you are applying sunscreen to your arms, legs and face, don’t forget to apply it on the tops and bottoms of your feet before putting on your outdoor shoes.
Don’t feel the burn. Remember the beach isn't the only place you can burn or injure your feet. Campfires, cookouts and even ultra-hot pavement are all areas where you can unexpectedly injure your feet in the summer. The same rules apply when it comes to wearing shoes and taking every precaution to protect your feet.
Finally, remember that it’s important to see a podiatrist regularly to inspect your feet and ensure you have not experienced an injury that could easily affect your overall health. Visiting our podiatrist to have your toenails cut can help to prevent ingrown toenails and injury. If you notice other foot conditions, such as blisters or scrapes, seeing us as quickly as possible can help to prevent your injuries from worsening.
America has carried on a love affair with sports since its inception. Whether you are a professional athlete, play in youth or adult teams or have pickup games with friends, your feet and ankles take a beating while playing sports.
All vigorous sports should be played sensibly and safely. Improper preparation and techniques can lead to injury, especially in the lower extremities. Athletes of all levels should be aware of the various risks and potential sports injuries of playing the game. With the guidance of your podiatrist, you can avoid sports injuries and life on the bench.
Common Sports Injuries
Any sport offers a number of different ways to injure your feet and ankles. For instance, in baseball alone, ankle sprains may occur while running, fielding balls, stepping on or sliding into bases.
Your podiatrist will help to determine the extent of the injury and develop a treatment plan to guide you during the healing process. Failure to fully treat and rehabilitate a sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability and recurrent sprains.
Overuse or excessive training can also put some athletes on the bench with Achilles tendinitis or heel pain. The start and stop of many sports often creates pain and tightness in the calf and aggravation of the Achilles tendon. Regular, gentle and gradual stretching of the calf muscles before and after the game will help minimize the pain and stiffness.
Protect Your Feet: Wear Appropriate Shoes
There seems to be a shoe designed for every sport out there, but there is a method to the varying styles. Sport-specific shoes really can change your game and protect your feet from injury. There is no danger in wearing cleats, but they should be gradually introduced before being worn in the game. A young player needs to get a feel for cleats, which should not be worn off of the field.
While the improved traction of cleats may enhance play, it also leaves your ankles more susceptible to twists and turns. Anyone with pre-existing foot conditions should see a podiatrist before putting on cleats, and never wear hand-me-downs. Spikes, which are made to be lighter and more flexible these days, perform the same function as cleats, but engage with the ground differently. These should also be worn with caution until the feel of how they engage with the turf is understood.
Watch for irritation, blisters or redness while wearing cleats, because they can indicate a biomechanical problem in the legs or feet. Pain is a sure sign of a problem, and should be addressed immediately. If wearing cleats causes you pain, discontinue wearing them for a couple days and visit your foot doctor for further treatment and diagnosis.
When it comes to sports, it is important to protect your feet from injury. Activities such as football, baseball, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse often lead to ankle injuries as a result of play on artificial surfaces, improper footwear or inadequate stretching. Contact your podiatrist if you exhibit any injuries after playing your favorite sport. Your podiatrist can treat you and offer prevention techniques, so you aren't benched for the rest of the season.