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7.4.1 Bumps on feet


This article is from the Recreational Figure Skating FAQ, by Karen Bryden with numerous contributions by others.

7.4.1 Bumps on feet

Many of the foot injuries suffered by skaters are often a consequence
of breaking in a new pair of skates. Bumps on the feet (bunions,
cysts, bursitis or callus formation) and accompanying pain are a
common reaction to pressure and continuing distress to underlying
tissues, tendons or nerves. If you are lucky, the pain will go away as
you break in the boot (although sometimes the bumps stay). However, it
is better to use protective padding or have the boot punched out at
the earliest sign of discomfort. This will benefit both your feet and
your skating.

Malleolar bursitis is characterized by painful inflammation and
swelling on the medial protruding ankle bones. If you suffer from
this, you can try stretching out the boots at the sides by placing
golf balls or a similarly hard object (baby food jars and walnuts are
other suggestions) by the ankle area inside the boots and leaving them
laced tightly overnight. While skating, you can prevent this problem
by protecting your ankles with silicon sleeves (like Bunga Pads). Once
the condition flares up, it is better to use padding around the ankle
bone rather than on top it, in order to keep pressure off the bump as
it heals.

Lace bite arises from pressure of the laces over the extensor hallucis
tendon, which runs from the front of the lower leg to the base of the
big toe. Lace bite can result in the appearance of cysts and, in the
long term, the development of tendinitis. Silicon sleeves or pads
applied over the tendon are very effective to prevent or alleviate the
problem. If you start experiencing this problem as the boots age, you
can also get the boot tongue rebuilt by the boot manufacturer.

For many of the above mentioned foot problems, any time you take off
of skating will probably make the healing faster.If you really want to
give your feet ultimate treatment, soak them in a very warm (even hot)
bath for a half an hour occasionally. Try once/twice a week. Improving
your circulation in this manner will facilitate your body's process of
returning your feet to their original condition.

Of course, it will help if you can also identify and solve the primary
cause of the problem, whether it is the boot fit, on- or off-ice
exercise or other. If the problem persists for weeks or gets worse,
you should stop skating and consult a podiatrist or sports medicine
specialist. You can risk serious damage to your feet otherwise.


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