Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Cheer Up!

Tender toes can be toughened up.

Q: I am a varsity cheerleader at my school and I was wondering what kind of shoes to wear. The ones I have don't give me enough arch support, and the balls of my feet always hurt from jumping around.

Conrad, Iowa

A: A good, well-fitting, comfortable aerobics shoe is probably the best type of shoe for cheerleading. Find a pair that has plenty of cushioning and shock-absorbing material in the forefoot, and that provides solid arch support. Make sure there is plenty of room around your toes.

Your problem may not be solved by good shoes alone, however. You may need an insert to achieve the arch support necessary to take the pressure off the first metatarsal head (the biggest bone in the ball of your foot).

Try using an inexpensive Dr. Scholl's arch support, or a felt pad called HAPAD (both are available at many pharmacies), and see if that fixes you up. If it does seem to help, you may want to invest in custom orthotics made by a podiatrist for a more permanent solution.

Also, putting a big glob of Vaseline directly on the skin of the metatarsal head and wearing a sock over it can reduce friction and prevent blistering. It will also soften any callous build-up, and make their removal with a callous scraper (also found at most pharmacies) much easier. Be sure not to let a callous pad harden and thicken, or it can tear and cause a very painful blood blister underneath it all.

This is a problem that you should not have to live with. Keep looking for the right combination of shoe, orthotics, and Vaseline until you get the problem under control. Then you'll be able to keep it that way.

About the authors: Carol L. Otis, M.D., is Chief Medical Advisor to the Sanex WTA and a UCLA student health physician. Roger Goldingay is a former professional soccer player. They are married and the co-authors of The Athletic Woman's Survival Guide.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
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