Foot And Ankle Injuries Plague Dancing Celebrities

Foot Healing Advice from the American Podiatric Medical Association

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Dancing can take a toll on feet without the proper precautions.

There are simple steps that can be taken to prevent foot injuries from occurring and also treatments available to speed healing time and get one back on the dance floor.

Bethesda, MD (Vocus) September 30, 2009

Now in its ninth season, ever popular TV show Dancing with the Stars has launched with its largest cast ever. Tom Delay, contestant and former Speaker of the House, recently started the competition as the latest victim of a foot injury. Delay has said the "pre-stress fracture" in his right foot will not stop him from performing, but he's one of many celebrities who have dealt with foot problems on the show. Early treatment and proper medical attention from a foot and ankle expert, a podiatrist, can keep the stars, or anyone, dancing all season long.

"Like all rigorous, physical activity dancing poses an injury risk to the foot and ankle, especially when it's done for an extended amount of time on a daily basis," said APMA President Ronald D. Jensen, DPM. "There are simple steps that can be taken to prevent foot injuries from occurring and also treatments available to speed healing time and get one back on the dance floor."

The love of dance that's hit the country due to the show's popularity may have inspired some personal twirls and twists around the kitchen floor. Before trying anything too advanced, take heed of the following podiatrist approved advice so you're not seeing stars. Always progress slowly at any new activity or sport, wear shoes specifically for the activity, stop at the first sign of pain and immediately visit a podiatrist if sudden and severe pain is present.

Some of the most memorable Dancing with the Stars contestants, their foot ailments and proper treatment methods are:

Tom Delay: Foot Stress Fracture - Stress fractures usually occur from overuse. Repeated impact or stresses on the bone can lead to a small crack and continued activity on the injured foot can cause the small fracture to penetrate completely through the bone. Pain and swelling will often indicate a pre-stress fracture and appropriate treatment at this stage age may avoid a complete stress fracture. Treatment from a podiatrist is imperative to minimize healing time.

Misty-May Treanor: Ruptured Achilles Tendon - The Achilles tendon runs from the heel to the calf and while it's the thickest and strongest tendon in the body, explosive activities such as jumping can be to blame for the rupture of the Achilles. The tendon is "ruptured" when a complete tear has taken place right above the ankle. There may be warning signs prior to the rupture including pain and swelling - early treatment by a podiatrist may avoid a rupture.

Lance Bass: Broken Toe - Broken toes are not uncommon in the sports world, they can occur from trauma or repetitive movement. Swelling, stiffness, bruising and even a deformed shape may indicate a broken toe. A podiatrist will take x-rays to confirm the break and then prescribe appropriate treatment. In serious cases taping, casting or surgery may be necessary.

Kristi Yamaguchi: Ankle Injury - Ankle injuries, including sprains, most commonly occur when the ankle rolls outward, caused by activities done both during dancing and everyday life. There are varying degrees of an ankle sprain, and treatment from a podiatrist is always recommended. Implement the R.I.C.E. treatment for a sprain as soon as possible:

  • Rest - do not walk on the ankle.
  • Ice - keeps the swelling down.
  • Compression - bandages can immobilize the ankle preventing further damage.
  • Elevation - place the ankle above the heart as much as possible within the first 48 hours of injury.

For more foot health information, visit http://www.apma.org.

Founded in 1912, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is the nation's leading and recognized professional organization for doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs). DPMs are podiatric physicians and surgeons, also known as podiatrists, qualified by their education, training and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and structures of the leg. The medical education and training of a DPM includes four years of undergraduate education, four years of graduate education at an accredited podiatric medical college and two or three years of hospital residency training. APMA has 53 state component locations across the United States and its territories, with a membership of close to 12,000 podiatrists. All practicing APMA members are licensed by the state in which they practice podiatric medicine. For more information, visit http://www.apma.org.

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