Posts for: April, 2010
Taking a vacation? Make it easy on your feet
Although rest and relaxation are the goals for most vacations, they usually involve a lot of walking and a lot of walking usually involves sore feet.
"Walking is great exercise and one of the most reliable forms of transportation," says Cherrie Cindric, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon with offices in Greensburg and Jeannette, PA. "But if your feet aren't in the best shape or you don't have the right shoes, too much walking can cause foot problems."
According to Dr. Cindric, good foot care is essential if you plan to subject your feet to long periods of walking. Some simple foot care tips include:
â– Wear thick, absorbent socks (acrylic instead of cotton).
â– Dry feet thoroughly after bathing, making sure to dry between toes. Use powder before putting on shoes.
â– Nails should be cut regularly, straight across the toe.
â– Bunions, hammertoes or any other serious foot problems should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon.
"The right shoe is also important to healthy walking," says Dr. Cindric. "The ideal walking shoe should be stable from side to side, and well-cushioned, and it should enable you to walk smoothly. Many running shoes will fit the bill."
She adds there are also shoes made specially for walking. Walking shoes tend to be slightly less cushioned, yet not as bulky, and lighter than running shoes. Whether a walking or running shoe, the shoes need to feel stable and comfortable.
Warming up exercises to help alleviate any muscle stiffness or pulled muscles are also advised before walking. Loosening up the heel cords (Achilles and calf) and thigh muscles before a walk is especially effective.
"If you're not accustomed to long walks, start slowly and rest if your feet start hurting," says Cindric. "And above all, have fun."
Contact Dr. Cindric's office at 724-832-1000 for more information. Dr. Cherrie and her husband, Dr. Todd Cindric are members of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Their consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org, provides reliable information on foot and ankle conditions. More information on these doctors is also available on their website, www.drcindric.com
Foot pain ruining your golf swing?
(Greensburg, PA 4/5/2010, also ran in Tribune Review) The barrier to a perfect golf swing could lie in your big toe. Or your heel. Or on the ball of your foot. Cherrie Cindric, DPM,FACFAS, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), says these are the three areas of your feet most likely to cause pain that can ruin your golf swing.
Behind these pain-prone spots can lie stiff joints, stretched-out tissues and even nerve damage. But pain relief is possible and frequently does not require surgery.
According to Dr. Cindric, the three most common painful foot conditions that can ruin your golf swing are heel pain, arthritis and pinched nerves.
■Arthritis can cause pain in the joint of your big toe that makes it difficult to follow-through on your golf swing.
■Heel pain typically results from an inflammation of the band of tissue that extends from your heel to the ball of your foot. People with this condition compare the pain to someone jabbing a knife in their heel. Heel pain can make it uncomfortable for golfers to maintain a solid stance during crucial portions of their golf swing.
■Neuromas, according to FootHealthFacts.org, are nerves that become thickened, enlarged and painful because they've been compressed or irritated. A neuroma in the ball of your foot can cause significant pain as your body transfers its weight from one foot to the other in a golf swing.
Several other painful conditions can also cause instability during your swing. Some athletes and former athletes develop chronic ankle instability from previous ankle sprains that failed to heal properly. Motion-limiting arthritis and Achilles tendonitis can also affect your balance. Ill-fitting golf shoes may cause corns and calluses that make standing uncomfortable.
For the majority of golfers and other patients Dr. Cindric recommends simple treatments such as custom orthotic devices (shoe inserts), stretching exercises, changes to your shoes, medications, braces or steroid injections and physical therapy. However, if these conservative measures fail to provide adequate relief, surgery may be required.
"Foot pain is not normal. With the treatment options available to your foot and ankle surgeon, a pain-free golf swing is clearly in view," says Dr. Cindric. "When your feet aren't in top condition, your golf swing won't be either."