Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Traveling in 2010

A woman I met this week was telling me the worst thing about traveling for her is not the security, not the lack of snacks given on the plane, not the lack of a pillow on morning flights - but the problems with her feet when she travels!! I don't think she even knew I was a podiatric physician (podiatrist)!!

She was complaining that her feet sweat a lot and that she is very uncomfortable when flying. She is bothered when she has to take her shoes off and expose her feet and feels very constrained when in the air. This was the first time I have heard someone listing their feet as their main problem with flying!!

Here are some tips to keep your feet healthy and comfortable when flying.

1) ALWAYS WEAR SOCKS!! It is just too gross to think about all those people who take their shoes off to go through security. Even if you just wear socks until you get to the other side of security. I keep a pair of white cotton ankle socks in my purse to slip on as I slip off my shoes.

2) Don't wear nylons when you fly. Several reasons - first of all, nylon holds moisture so your feet will feel sweaty. Second, your feet will feel restricted in them, especially if your feet swell while you are on the plane which is very common. Finally, and I heard this on the Oprah show and it made an impression on me, if you are in a plane crash that involves fire, nylons will spread the flames!

3) Wear shoes that you can run in, walk in, and run in! You never know when you will be running to a gate! I like to wear shoes that are easy to get off and on to make security go smoothly. I also put my shoes down the conveyor belt first so that they are there ready for me to put back on while my other things are still going through the x-ray. Low heeled boots with a zipper are perfect for travel!

4) Put your feet through a range of motion while you are in your seat. Making circles or even spelling out letters with your feet will help keep swelling and stiffness down.

5) Enjoy your flight and hopefully the feet will be the last thing on your mind as you fly over the Grand Canyon!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Flip Flop Danger

So I thought I have heard all the flip flop injury stories: getting one caught on an escalator, losing a flip flop when running, tripping over the end of the shoe, having the flip flop get stuck in bicycle spokes... and then until the other day I heard a new one!

A patient told me he tripped on the gas line while at a gas station! He fell, sprained his ankle AND broke a bone in his foot! He went to the ER for his ankle, but they totally ignored his foot pain.

Its not that uncommon to injure your foot when you sprain an ankle. The twisting can not only stretch the ligaments of the ankle, but can also cause a tendon to pull off one of the bones on the outside of the foot. Most emergency rooms will focus on the obvious - the ankle sprain and few ER doctors are even aware of the related injuries that can happen to the foot.

Whether its due to a flip flop injury, fall on the ice, or soccer injury, the BEST place to go after an ankle sprain is NOT the ER, but the office of a podiatric physician! Today's Podiatrists have the education, training and experience to properly evaluate ankle and foot injuries like no other physician. With almost all podiatrists having in office x-rays and many having diagnostic ultrasound, all your bone and soft tissue injuries can be identified properly the first time around! AND make sure you have the proper treatment - not just an ace wrap and crutches!