Doctor’s Note

Dr. Jeffrey Armstrong, a Roper St. Francis Healthcare affiliated podiatric surgeon and certified athletic trainer, kicks around his top advice from two decades of practicing sports medicine and treating the USA Triathlon and Duathlon teams. Keep on your toes with tips for listening to your body and preventing injury.

Dr. Jeffrey Armstrong, Podiatric surgeon; (Right) Dr. Armstrong with the USA Triathlon medical staff in Spain during the 2014 ITU Duathlon World Championships.

What I wish my patients knew about persistent pain: “Persistent pain is an indicator of an injury or infection. Recognize that, and get to a doctor. Too often, people wait to seek medical attention, because they think their pain will simply go away or can be treated at home, but if you see a doctor early on, many times, the recovery is quicker and easier.”

Please don’t believe that: “‘If I can walk on it, it must not be broken.’ You might be able to limp into the office and put weight on a foot injury, but often, a bone is still broken and needs to be treated.”

To keep your feet happy: “Wear good, supportive shoes. Visit a reputable shoe store and get help finding the proper size and fit, which will decrease stress on the joints, tendons and ligaments while also protecting your feet from injury. Don’t buy a pair simply because you like them in yellow.”

I frequently recommend the book: “Fixing Your Feet, by John Vonhof. For my inquisitive athletes, this expert read talks all about caring for minor injuries, preventing long-term injuries and choosing a running shoe.

And remember to: “Pay attention to your feet. Stretching is your friend, especially in the lower leg, ankles and feet.”

Photographs by (Dr. Armstrong) Jared Shafto; (team shot) courtesy of Dr. Armstrong; (stretching) AnastasiaDudka