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By Dr. Howard Schaengold
May 05, 2014
Category: Sports Injuries
Tags: stretching   soccer   prevent injuries  


Tips to Prevent Soccer InjuriesSoccer is big in Sammamish, WA. The YMCA offers Itty Bitty Soccer Class for 3 to 6 year olds in June and Issaquah offers the Spring Micro Academy that begins May 30 at Lake Sammamish State Park grass fields. If you play for one of the 69 high schools in the surrounding area, take advantage of the NCSA Athletic Recruiting Network to try for a college soccer scholarship. Young and old alike enjoy this fun sport—except when an injury keeps them off the field. Here are some tips to prevent soccer injuries from sidelining you.

Number one is maintaining your fitness level. Stay in shape outside of soccer season with aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching for flexibility. Always warm up with jumping jacks or jogging before a game and follow with slow and gentle stretches. After you play, cool down and stretch again to keep your muscles long and supple. Remember to hydrate well before, during, and after to stay cool and replace lost fluids.

Next, check your equipment. Wear proper shin guards to avoid leg and foot injuries. Shoes with molded cleats will help you keep your balance and traction during play. Avoid a leather ball in wet conditions because it will soak up water, increasing your risk for injury when you kick it. Soccer goals should be well padded and used only for intended purposes—not as a jungle gym once the game is done. Goal posts have fallen on players before with harmful consequences.

Finally, prepare for injuries by having someone trained in first aid available for treatment of minor cuts, bruises, and sprains on the field. Clean scrapes and cuts well to prevent infections. Also, make sure you have a plan for getting medical help for serious injuries like concussions, dislocations, or fractures.

For more information to prevent soccer injuries and other foot problems, contact The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic at (425) 868-3338. We specialize in sports medicine in the Sammamish, Bellevue, Issaquah and Redmond, WA, area.

Photo credit: Photonut via RGB-stock

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
April 08, 2014
Category: Sports Injuries

Baseball batThe bat cracks and the crowd goes wild. The crowd’s roar can be heard from high school ball diamonds all the way to Safeco Field. Spring is here. Whether you warm the bleachers at your kids’ games or take in a Mariners game this weekend, one thing you hate to see is a player down on the field with an injury. Baseball injuries may be an inevitable part of the game, but proper treatment can lead to full healing and help players avoid future complications.

Ankle sprains are so common that we sometimes underestimate their damage. Running the bases, dashing sideways to field a ball, or sliding into second can all cause the ligaments in your ankle to stretch too far. Pain may keep you off your feet for a while, but many players don’t take the proper time to heal properly from a sprain. The end result is weak ankles, future sprains, and chronic problems throughout their lives.

Overtraining can lead to Achilles tendinopathy and heel pain from plantar fasciitis, further limiting you from playing your best game. These conditions will get worse if you try to tough it out and play through the pain. You need to rest and seek proper treatment to avoid permanent damage to your lower limbs.

Wearing cleats can aggravate forefoot problems like neuromas and sesamoid injuries. Many cleats fit too tightly in the toe and bother bunions and hammertoes, too. Make sure your cleats are fitted snugly but contain enough room for your toes.

Finally, there are always those odd injuries, like getting hit with a bat or a ball or being stomped on by somebody’s cleats. Whatever form your baseball injuries take, Dr. Howard Schaengold at The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic in Sammamish is the place to go for expert diagnosis and treatment. In Sammamish, Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond, we’re only a phone call away at (425) 868-3338. We specialize in sports medicine and will help you heal completely so you can get back in the game without pain.

Photo credit: Now and Zen Photography via freedigitalphotos.net

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
April 03, 2014
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Calluses   proper shoes   corns  

With warmer weather on the way, you may be consigning your boots to the back of your closet, and readying space for lighter spring shoes. If a shopping trip to check out the new spring styles is in your plans this week, don’t forget that your feet may be tender after a winter of being enclosed in socks and shoes. Finding a new pair that fits well can help prevent corns and calluses from forming as you transition to sandals and barefoot styles that don’t protect your feet as well.

Shoes are the major source of the friction that causes hard calluses to build up on the soles of your feet, or corns to form where your bones rub against the inside. Extra dry heels can crack and split, and open shoe styles can expose them to infection as they encounter the environment. Corns can be aggravated by heels and tight shoes, and the added pressure can cause quite a bit of pain. Eliminating the friction with the right shoes reduces your risk of getting these patches of dry skin.

There are other things you can do, too, to prevent corns and calluses. Soaking your feet in warm water and then gently abrading the built up layers of skin with a pumice stone can help keep them under control. Using a good lotion or cream will also help to keep the skin softer and reduce the pressure from hard corns. Don’t underestimate the power of hydration, either. When warm weather has you perspiring more, make sure you drink enough fluids to keep your skin supple and smooth.

Don’t let corns and calluses ruin your fun this spring. For this and any other foot problem, come to the experts at The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic in Sammamish, WA. Call (425) 868-3338 for excellent foot care in a caring environment. We also serve the Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond areas, and you can request an appointment right on our website.

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
March 14, 2014
Category: Sports Injuries
Tags: Bunions   neuromas   sports injuries   skiiing   nerves   damage   pressure  

SkiingIs this the weekend you’re heading up to the Summit at Snoqualmie for a super time on the slopes? With four great areas and a few of the steepest runs in the area, plus a great network of cross country trails, it’s a paradise for skiers. Don’t let poorly fitted ski boots ruin the day! When toes are cramped, the nerves can be affected, and athletes with neuromas know how painful they can be.

Pressure on the toes can damage the nerves, and the tissue around them can swell up and become inflamed. Conditions like bunions and arch problems contribute to the pressure, as well as tight shoes or sports activities that give your feet a pounding. You may not feel pain at first, only a thick feeling—usually behind the third and fourth toes—or a sensation of a stone or bunched up sock under the ball of your foot. Eventually, though, the problem may increase until every step sends a shot of pain into your foot, or make your toes tingle or feel numb.

Athletes, especially those who ski, should be very careful when choosing shoes or boots. They need to be roomy enough for your cushioned socks and allow your toes to wiggle freely, while still fitting snugly enough to give support for your activity. If you notice tingly or numb toes, maybe it’s time to take a break from that activity and give your nerves a rest.

If the ball of your foot is painful, have it checked out at The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic. Dr. Howard Schaengold specializes in sports injuries and can help you get to the root of your discomfort. Conservative treatments often do a great deal to relieve your foot problem. For expert foot care in the Sammamish, Snoqualmie, Redmond, or Bellevue, WA area, give us a call at (425) 868-3338, and we’ll help you get back on the slopes without pain.

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
February 24, 2014
Category: Deformities

It seems NBA star LeBron James can’t go anywhere without someone taking a picture, and each one is subject to scrutiny from head to toe. So when he was snapped barefoot on a dock, columnist Matt King had a go at his “seriously messed up toes.” King seemed to think James’ overlapping toes were due to an injury, but the truth is many toe deformities are inherited.

In some people, a pinky or middle toe curls up and over another toe, and usually the condition is genetic. True, sometimes other causes like high arches or flat feet can cause a child to put weight on the foot in a different way, misplacing the pinky toe up over the next one. In adults, tight shoes that pinch the toes can cause them to move out of position. With bunions, for example, the big toe can move so far toward the second one that it overlaps it, or pushes one of the other toes out of position.

Toe deformities like these can cause pain when they rub against your shoes or each other. The irritation during movement may also bring about calluses, corns, or blisters. The abnormalities alter the way you walk or run, and even affect the bone structure in your feet. Athletes who place a lot of stress on their lower extremities may experience more severe symptoms than less active people.

What can you do for overlapping toes? Accommodate them, for a start. Make sure your shoes have enough room for the toe and don’t rub against it. Have Dr. Howard Schaengold at The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic take a look at them. He can recommend gel pads, taping, or toe straighteners to cushion and keep the toe in place. Taping may be helpful in infants to correct the deformity as much as possible while their bones form, although the toe may never be completely normal.

Foot deformities are one of our specialties, so call us at (425) 868-3338 for all your podiatric needs. Whether you live in Sammamish, Redmond, Issaquah or Bellevue, you can find great foot care with us!





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