Shoes, not drugs, tendinitis key

Fitness Q & A

Health & Fitness

February 08, 2004|By Gailor Large | Gailor Large,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I'm a tennis player with tendinitis of the foot. I've been taking Celebrex but it's hard on my stomach and I'm worried about long-term effects. What other ways can I treat it? My brother has the same problem. Can it be genetic?

We posed your question to Michael Mont, director of the Center for Joint Preservation and Reconstruction at Sinai Hospital. While about 90 percent to 95 percent of the population can stomach anti-inflammatory drugs such as Celebrex without problems, says Mont, more than 15,000 Americans die each year from gastrointestinal problems related to such medicine.

If you are having stomach pain from these drugs (including those available over-the-counter), stop immediately and see a doctor.

As for the tendinitis itself, the solution could be as simple as finding shoes that fit better. It is unlikely that your problem is genetic, says Mont, unless it is caused by a flat or "dropped" arch, which is rare.

Make sure you stretch, and if the problem persists, see a specialist. He or she can diagnose an arch problem or a pronation problem, which is more common and can be corrected with orthotics.

While you may have to cut back on tennis at first, take these steps and you should be back on the courts in no time.

I want to encourage my wife to get more fit. Any suggestions for a Valentine's Day gift that will motivate, but not offend, her? Is this even appropriate?

A fitness-inspired gift can work on Valentine's Day, but you're walking a fine line. Straying from traditional gifts such as flowers and jewelry is risky enough, so be thoughtful when choosing a health-related present. A Thighmaster, for instance, will not convey the message you're after.

Instead, choose a present that combines health and romance, and make it something you can do together. A ski or spa weekend, joint tennis lessons or gourmet vegetarian cooking classes are sound choices. None are as tasty as heart-shaped chocolates, but you will get points for originality.

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