Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ice, ice baby...

It all started about 3 months ago when I got a red puffy spot on my heal. It was kind of itchy but mostly just swollen and very sensitive to both hot and cold. Desperate for answers I self-diagnosed a mild case of athletes foot before eventually going to the podiatrist.

He honestly wasn't very helpful with the diagnosis (partially because I was experiencing both plantar fasciitis symptoms along with this swelling and redness).

After about 4 days, the swelling and redness went away and I was back to running. Move forward a couple weeks...the same thing was happening to my opposite foot! Convinced it was athletes foot, I was spraying, cleaning and disinfecting all my shoes, the shower and sandals hoping that would prevent future instances. I thought the Tanactin was getting rid of symptoms...

Move forward to last Saturday. I got home from a long run and prepared for my traditional post-run stretching and foot-care rituals. My feet get a little self-massage with Bio-Freeze followed by some ice packs. I usually don't bother with the towels (meaning, I place my feet directly on them) typically for about 20-30 minutes.

Not moments after finishing my 20-30 minutes on the ice packs did my right heel start to sting and throb. WHAT THE HELL! I thought I was over this...

It turns out that ice pack burn is a real thing.

I had heard that putting your skin directly on the pads was like the warning to little kids about sticking your tongue on the icy pole...tempting fate but not necessarily bad for you. Besides, I've been doing this for years...

It's like a sunburn though - the cold burns the skin, blisters and can damage the nerve endings. Except, it's from the cold ice packs...go figure. So note to self - use the little cloth wraps that come with the ice packs!

Also, you shouldn't ice for more than 10 minutes at a time. Even better is that you should ice for 5-10 minutes and then alternate some heat for another 5-10 minutes...3-4 sets of this cold/hot combo.

What are the remedies you ask? Time, aloe and rest. Like you would treat any other burn really. Depending on the severity and location, see a doctor first if you think you need professional care - otherwise, wait for it to heal.

So hear I sit for 3-4 days waiting for this pain to go away (again)...but now I know. And so do you!

Have fun and be safe out there!

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