Podiatrists from the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association Can Help Skiers Prepare for Their Ski Outing

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Podiatric physicians helps patients prepare for skiing by ensuring proper boot fitting and advising on appropriate clothing and warm up.

The recent snow storm has given local skiers hope that area slopes will be in excellent shape for skiing the rest of this winter. But whether you are a seasoned expert or a beginner navigating the bunny slope, a Chicago-area podiatric physician has some good advice to prevent injuries and enjoy your skiing experience.

Schaumburg-podiatrist and certified ski instructor Dr. Robert Steinberg, is also an avid skier and frequently dispenses advice to friends and patients to help them avoid injuries while skiing.

“A skier in the USA can ski from late October, all the way to the 4th of July, but to enjoy the sport to the fullest, Patients should keep in shape year round and to dress appropriately,” he said. According to Steinberg, this means avoiding clothing made of cotton.

“Cotton is great for absorbing sweat, until it is too soaked and then it can cause deep chilling.” Steinberg advises. Instead, choose your layers made from wicking materials and focus on adding layers that allow better temperature and moisture control--ideally the outer layer should be made of a windproof and breathable material,” he said.

For more advanced skiers, Dr. Steinberg provides a range of sophisticated foot-care treatments that optimize the skier’s experience.

“Podiatrists can help skiers select the proper ski boot and fabricate a custom sports medicine orthotic that works with that boot to ensure their feet maintain proper structure, i.e., preventing arch collapse.

“Ski boot fitting is as much an art, as it is a science,” Steinberg said. “Ski boot liners and shells can be heated, to soften the liner and shell materials, allowing the boot fitter to give the skier a glove-like fit, without creating pressure points. Advanced skiers often benefit from an optimum balance point for the binding mounting position on the boot which also decreases fatigue on the foot, ankle and leg.”'

For skiers, Steinberg provides a range of motion and gait analysis to ensure the boot not only fits the skier’s foot, but adjusts to their stride and length.

Steinberg said a chief complaint among skiers, especially beginners, is that their feet get cold.

“Foot warmth starts with the legs, so concentrate on several thin layers covering your legs, plus a good pair of windproof ski pants. It’s better to over dress, then under dress, your legs. The aim is to prevent the blood from chilling, as it heads to your feet. When you are walking to the lift, unzip your jacket, before you start to sweat! I cannot over emphasize the importance of wearing medium weight (not thick), ski boot socks. They wick moisture off your feet, and, up and out of the boot.

About the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association
We are a non-profit organization representing a majority of the doctors of podiatric medicine in the state of Illinois. To find a podiatrist near you, visit http://www.ipma.net and click on the Find a Physician button! Or, Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/IllinoisPodiatricMedicalAssociation

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Chris Martin
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