FOOTBALLER Adam Lallana this week took to Instagram with a shocking picture of his toes, which had turned yellow after a match against Southampton in freezing conditions.

The Liverpool midfielder asked “Any suggestions for defrosting feet?”, accompanied by a graphic image in which the colouration of his toes was totally out of sync with the rest of his feet.

As a podiatrist, Lallana’s feet concerned me. From the photo, the symptoms appeared similar to Raynaud’s – an abnormal response to cold where the toes change colour. Clearly, I haven’t examined Lallana so this is merely an opinion taken from the photograph he revealed.

Put simply, the presence of Raynaud’s means nerves that supply blood vessels become over-sensitive to temperature. There may also be an emotional factor. If a person is exposed to cold but also quite stressed, the combination can exacerbate the problem, causing fingers and toes to feel numb and cold.

The blood flow effectively shuts down, the result being a temporary loss of circulation to the affected area. Then, as the vessels dilate and the blood starts to flow again, the digits can change colour, turning blue at first and then bright red.

As with chilblains, it’s vital feet are warmed carefully, not put in front of a fire. Preventative measures are important too. For a sportsperson that could involve wearing silver socks, which have silver nanoparticles embedded in the yarn, conducting heat and stopping the abnormal reaction.

With Raynaud’s, which affects one in six people in the UK, it’s a case of managing the condition.  Those who feel they may be suffering should seek advice from a podiatrist.

It’s Raynaud’s Awareness Month at present. There is no better time to consider whether you are affected by the condition.

I recommend Lallana visits his local podiatrist and seeks advice if the problem persists.


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