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Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year

Resolutions to get fit can mean more podiatric pain, experts warn

SUNDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- January is the cruelest month for your tootsies, foot experts say.

Foot and ankle surgeons experience an annual increase in patients with foot pain caused by exercise during the first month of year, often from exercise done to keep New Year's resolutions, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS).

The ACFAS, in a recent news release, advises people to consult with a doctor or professional trainer before starting new exercise regiments. After you start, listen to your body and stop if you feel pain.

The ACFAS also offered these tips around specific foot conditions:

Heel pain: Wear athletic shoes designed for the sport you are participating in that also support the arch and cushion the heel. Over-the-counter orthotics may also help. To treat heel pain, ice the bottom of the foot before bed. Stretch two to three times a day by sitting on the floor barefoot with the knees straight, then hooking a towel around the toes and pulling back on the towel to the count of 10 before relaxing. Do this several times.

Pinched nerves: Exercising in tight shoes can cause a neuroma, or a pinched nerve, so have your foot measured before buying. Pain in the ball of the foot and tingling in their third and fourth toes indicates a pinched nerve.

Achilles' tendon pain: Ease into new exercise routines, alternating a hard workout one day with an easy workout the next. This will help avoid Achilles' tendonitis, a condition when the back of the foot becomes tender and painful. If Achilles' pain occurs, remember the RICE treatment -- rest, ice, compression, elevation.

More information

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more about foot and ankle issues.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, news release, Dec. 16, 2008

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