In the wintertime, Dr. William Knudson must address the importance of maintaining healthy winter feet so that his patients avoid issues and injuries that may arise during this season. In the following Q & A, Dr. Knudson presents several examples of foot problems that could occur and offers suggestions for treatment.
Q: Why are my feet at greater risk during the colder months?
Dr. William Knudson: Opportunities to experience a foot injury or condition are higher as a result of participation in winter sports like figure skating, ice hockey, snowboarding and skiing. While these activities are physically and mentally stimulating, they can also be wreaking havoc on your feet.
Q: What are the most common afflictions that your patients typically face during winter?
Dr. William Knudson: Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a regular occurrence. When feet experience a lack of oxygen and blood supply due to sudden drops in temperature, the feet may present with discoloration, blistering and pain. This condition is more common in young females. In order to prevent Raynaud’s Phenomenon, avoid caffeine and smoking that constricts the blood vessels.
Q: How else may people be suffering at this time of year?
Dr. William Knudson: Skier’s toe is a common problem. Too-tight shoes – most notably, ski boots – do not provide the right amount of cushion or roominess for the foot and the pressure begins to affect the blood vessels. Morton’s neuromas may eventually become an issue as well.
Q: How do Morton’s neuromas affect the health of the feet?
Dr. William Knudson: Morton’s neuromas are generally caused by footwear that is too tight and squeezes the bones and tissue against nerves. You might feel a tingling, numbness and burning due to pinched nerves. If not treated properly with medications, orthotics and footwear padding, there could be permanent damage.