Swimmers Keep Your Flipper-like Feet Healthy!

Swimming kicked off the Olympic Games this past weekend with an exciting start as many of the events were full of surprises. Former champ Michael Phelps was defeated by fellow American Ryan Lochte in the 400 meter medley, in which Lochte won gold. Swimming is known for being an activity that is less damaging to the joints of the knee, foot and ankle, and can even offer a means of exercise for athletes of other sports with certain foot injuries!

Just about the worst thing a runner can hear is that they are injured and going to have to take time off from running. Luckily, swimming can help soften this blow by offering an alternative way to get some cardiovascular activity. Stress fractures are small fracture that occurs from excessive force on normal bone and can force runners to talk a break from running for several weeks. For the runner with a stress fracture, swimming is often a great alternative that will not bear weight on the injury. Swimming can also help an athlete ease back into their favorite sport after other serious injuries. For example, after a peroneal tendon tear, swimming can help to make the transition from being immobilized in a cast or a CAM walker boot to normal running or other weight bearing sports go more gently by allowing the muscles to slowly adapt.

Swimmers should also be careful to take care to avoid injuries that can occur from intense pool training. Ankle pain is a common complaint from the repetitive motion the ankles are forced through while swimming. The Achilles tendon, which is responsible for flexing the foot, may also become irritated from the repetition and develop Achilles tendonitis. While the Achilles is doing much of the work, the extensor tendons on the top of the foot can also become irritated by being tightly pulled. By taking care to stretch the feet and ankles properly and always listen to your body when working out, these injuries can be minimized. Swimmers also need to take extra care to avoid developing warts, Athlete’s foot, and fungal nails from bacteria and fungus that may live in locker rooms and poolside surfaces where other bare feet have deposited them. If these conditions do develop, contact your podiatrist immediately to treat the condition and prevent its spread to others.

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information on Swimmers Feet or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia