FOOT PROBLEMS AND CARE

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“Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well; …and not today’s pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man.”
– James H. West

Foot Problems and Care – What You Need to Know 

As with all medical conditions, from time to time, there may be an ailment of your feet. When foot problems occur, working with your orthopaedic surgeon will be an ideal way to ensure that you have a clearly mapped solution for your treatment. Foot problems often have a solution to improvement, no matter the age to be treated. The constancy in the treatments is reflected in their results. Dr Gordon Slater is a trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in foot surgery, particularly in the treatment of bunions. To start off the 2020 foot care season, here are some things you should know about different foot problems and the care needed. Awareness is the key to effective prevention. 

Pain

While the myriad of ailments have varying root causes, one of the primary symptoms that you’ll experience when you discover a foot condition is pain. The pain may either be at the site of the root cause of the site, or alternately you may feel pain in auxiliary parts of the body.  The body skeletal components are connected to each other…and pain in the knees, hips and spine can have their origin in the feet, although they do not hurt.                                       

Sport

A statistically high category patient of foot and ankle specialists is the athlete. Athletes stress their bodies to extremes and are prone to the twists and turns that will more than likely result in injury. The best advice for the care of your feet if you do sports is prudence and moderation. Wear the footwear indicated for each sport discipline, paying special attention to the correct choice of size, both in length and width, the American size includes these factors. The key to finding the right shoe is comfort, not price or brand. Do not wait for a shoe adaptation period to start feeling comfortable: you must have it from day one. In the shower wear flip flops to avoid fungal and papilloma infections, if you have fungi and papillomas, remember that both are highly infectious and can infect those who live with you.

Warmer weather induces outdoor activities. From strains to fractures to arthritis, the root causes of the majority of the cases received are linked to athletic activity. Depending on where you take your exercises, you may or may not have access to an athletic trainer, who can access you and treat you on the spot if you have an injury. Many individuals self train after a while, thinking that they know their bodies. Under those circumstances, it will be best to have a toolkit on hand, to treat any immediate ailments that may crop up, until you are able to access an orthopaedic surgeon for treatment. 

An athlete’s toolkit is a kit, much like your home medical kit, that you keep on hand on the periphery as you are exercising. Equipped with your critical medical supplies and auxiliary equipment, you can create for yourself a kit that can range in side from a small case the size of a cosmetics bag to one that is about the size of a backpack. The key is to have your kit be something that you will welcome in your routine, and will be easily accessible and light enough to be mobile. 

A light sweater is always recommended in the lower ranges, as cooler weather contributes to conditions that can weaken the immune system. Carry a light sports jacket that you can keep on hand to keep you covered as you work out, if you’ll be outdoors. 

The convenience of having your athlete’s tool kit will benefit you once the relevant moment arises. According to the Henry Ford Livewell program, the following is what an athletic trainer keeps in his sports bag. You can modify your personal list according to your activity. You will need: 

  1. Athletic tape (in several versions) : Athletic tape is a pressure sensitive tape that resembles surgical tape. It adheres itself to the skin, and is utilized to keep muscles and bones in a set position. Depending on your activity, taping can help to prevent injuries to critical areas such as ankle joints. 
  2.  Band-aids: In everyday living, it is not uncommon to receive a scrape. In physical activity, the odds of injury are significantly increased. If you’re out jogging for instance, you may be prone to cuts from anything from the bark of a tree, to a scrape against a concrete wall or even exercise equipment that may have sharp edges or screw exposed. If you’re cut in such a manner that you are bleeding, a band-aid is an ideal way to cover your wound. 
  3.  Bandages: For larger cuts and scrapes that standard band-aids will be able to cover. 
  4. Antiseptic wipes: Depending on where you are, you may not always have access to clean water. If you’re in a gym and get an injury, you’ll be fine with respect to accessing your restroom facilities and cleaning your wound there. If you decide to go hiking for instance and get cut against the bark of a tree, a moist towelette like an antiseptic wipe will help you to clean the wound, while soothing it with healing agents. 
  5. Wipes: Wipes are always advised for gym use. Since some pieces of equipment are shared by multiple individuals, it will be important to clean the equipment between uses. Well equipped gyms have wipes in stock in an open area. If you don’t see any, you can ensure you have your own, and wipe down your equipment prior to, and after use. You will minimize the occurrence of communicable diseases. Additionally wipes are great for outdoor usage to cleanse prior to eating, if you’re in a remote location. Antibacterial gel also works well. 
  6.  Antacids: These will settle stomach during those instances where you may have upset your stomach, or involved in physical activity that involves excessive motion that can induce dizziness and impact your stomach as a result. Keeping antacids on hand will help you to stabilize your stomach. Additionally, you can keep a can of a drink containing ginger to help you settle your stomach. The active ingredient in ginger is a natural antiseptic and antacid.
  7. Petroleum Jelly: To soothe your skin after irritation.  
  8. Scissors: To cut various items in your list such as your tape and bandages to size. 
  9. Specialized Tools : These vary according to your sport. If you’re a runner for instance, you may keep extra spikes in your bag, along with a screwdriver to affix them to your boots if you lose any. 
  10. EpiPen for treating allergic reactions, If you’re allergy prone, buy generic allergy tablets like Loratadine, and keep them on hand. If you’re prone to headaches, either keep tabs with two tablets of Advil/Tylenol or a full box of their generic equivalents of ibuprofen/acetaminophen. 
  11.  A resistance band for rehab and ankle taping
  12. Elastic wraps and extra padding for injuries.

It is better to be prepared! In some instances, you’ll find that having your safety kit will enable you walk with a sense of assurance as you progress through your workout. When you have a cushion, you act more confidently as an athlete, than in instances when you don’t. Take good precautions. Injuries often appear when you least expect them, so ensure that you are able to manage them when they do. There’s no such thing as a risk free life! Take good care of your health! 

In Town

Urban footwear should be comfortable, weigh little, of noble materials and subject to the instep or heel. Avoid flip flops for continued use.

Barefoot

It is beneficial to walk barefoot on beach sand, so it is recommended in a generic way (except for diabetic people) to strengthen all the intrinsic and extrinsic foot muscles and improve circulation.

Protection

If you have recent scars, defend yourself from the sun with high-protection sun creams so that they do not suffer pigmentation variations.

Reference: 

  1. Inside An Athletic Trainer’s Toolkit: https://www.henryford.com/blog/2018/10/inside-athletic-trainers-toolkit
  2. Tourism Australia: https://www.australia.com/en/facts-and-planning/weather-in-australia.html

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Dr. Gordon Slater

Dr. Slater is one of the first foot and ankle surgeons in Australia to adopt minimally invasive surgical techniques. He routinely uses MIS to treat a range of conditions, including bunions.

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Dr Gordon Slater is a highly-skilled surgeon specialising in foot and ankle conditions and sports injuries. Dr Slater is one of the first foot and ankle surgeons in Australia to adopt minimally invasive surgical techniques. He routinely uses MIS to treat a range of conditions, including bunions. MIS  has many advantages including shorter operating times, reduced post-operative pain, reduced risk of infection, minimal scarring and better cosmetic outcomes.

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