Ah, the life of a Hollywood starlet. Dashing off to Pilates, Starbucks in hand, goes the bombshell. Perfect in every way, except perhaps for that one big toe with the bandage on it. The nature of Mila Kunis’injury is unclear – ingrown toenail, fracture, laceration, sprain or any other toe and foot ailments that are seen daily in my NYC podiatry practice – though it does beg the question of continuing Yoga or Pilates with an injured foot.
As my patients and blog readers know, I’m a runner. And as a runner, I understand the fanatic devotion for a regular run and what a drag it is to be told to stop running. For that reason, I take “downtime” very seriously and only advise it where there’s a real risk of further injury or a pressing need for rest and healing – for all types of exercise. While I don’t practice Yoga or Pilates, my wife is an occasional frequenter of the latter, and I have a great deal of respect for those who are able to work on their core on a regular basis, and would apply the same downtime rules, with some exceptions.
Both Yoga and Pilates are low impact activities, and don’t place the same burden on a foot fracture, sprain, or recovery from a bunionectomy, hammertoe correction, or other type of foot surgery. However, as any die hard practitioner can attest to, significant strain is placed on the lower extremity, the foot and ankle in particular. That being said, it’s generally OK to continue Yoga or pilates with an injured or painful foot while avoiding certain positions – specifically downward dog, warrior, crane and half moon to name a few. It’s critical to evaluate these exercises on a case by case basis, taking into account the type of injury, patient, and specific exercise regimen. The best medical advice I can give to my patients is to listen to your foot – it knows when you’re doing too much and will tell you, and use a healthy dose of common sense.
So for all you Yoga devotees, fear not the visit to my NYC podiatry office. It’s always better to treat injuries when they are fresh and tackle problems when they are small. We will work together to keep you moving (you go Mila!).
See you in the office.
Dr. Ernest L. Isaacson