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The Sports Doctor: Do Zumba with caution

Zumba here or there, you could Zumba anywhere. There are some 12 million people worldwide who are taking up this cardiovascular dance called Zumba. However, as popular as this dance exercise is, beware of injuries that are caused by the high impact as one moves in a flying position.

One may not notice when they have contorted their own bodies into unnatural and inadvisable positions, often landing in an imbalanced position. Many are being treated for severe heel pain and, in some cases, a potentially more serious condition of "compartment syndrome" from the high-impact.

Compartment syndrome can be a serious condition that involves increased pressure in a muscle grouping. This can lead to muscle and nerve damage, or a problem with blood flow, which is a medical emergency. The symptoms are decreased sensation, severe pain that gets worse and weakness. In other cases, there can be ankle strains due to lateral movements or, even worse, fractured bones. It is important to know your limits.

Pre-warm up exercise with stretching and strengthening is of value, but do not get carried away while in motion, and do Zumba with care and caution.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss, a Sport Podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 & 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials.

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