Adjust training, shoes to fit those recurring foot problems

Your new exercise shoes are light, supportive and have plenty of cushion, but after using them for a week you notice a few sore places on the heel or side of your foot.

Those new shoes may not be the cause of your problem. When you have been using the same pair of exercise shoes for several years, your feet gradually re-form the shoes. When you purchase new exercise shoes, what feels good at first can become tight and restrictive within a few weeks of use. Then you find yourself with a bad case of blisters.

Dorsal exostosis may be your problem. The dorsal exostosis area of your foot lies at the very top - the junction of the cuneiform and navicular bones. It is a structural defect that essentially means high-arch problems. On the top of your foot, the bones are usually smooth, but in dorsal exostosis, the bones stick up to form a joint, leaving a prominence that becomes irritated or enlarged when tight restrictive shoes are worn. Any shoe that is tightly laced, such as ski boots, hiking boots, etc. can add further injury to an already stressed arch. As pressure is continually applied during exercise, a bump begins to grow on the top of the arch and becomes larger with continued pressure and use.

This condition doesn't seem to inhibit your foot movement, but it can cause pain with the walking motion of the foot. After several weeks of using your new shoes during exercise you may begin to notice a sore, red, thickened spot on the top of your arch.

Ease up on impact moves during your exercise so your foot has a chance to heal. Lace your shoes loosely, and use moleskin or a similar type of padding over the sore area. Ice will help reduce the swelling, and heat applied to the sore area will help circulation and aid in healing.

You can try going back to your old shoes for a while until healing occurs. Or have those new shoes stretched to accommodate the dorsal exostosis problem.

If you wear orthotics, check to make sure your orthotics or inserts are not taking up too much of your shoe space and causing added restriction. It isn't a permanent shoe problem, but it is a permanent structural problem that you will need to be aware of if you wish to maintain a regular fitness schedule.

• Jerry Vance is the owner of Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through the Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Carson City Senior Citizens Center.

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