L is for Lace Bite

November 20, 2023

Lace bite is the term that ice skaters and ice hockey players use to describe the tibialis anterior tendinopathy that occurs from compression of the laces at the front of the ankle.

Lace bite is a condition that commonly affects hockey players and figure skaters, although it can occur in other sports and activities as well. It refers to irritation or inflammation of the muscles and tendons on the top of the foot, usually caused by the pressure exerted by tight or improperly laced shoes, particularly in the area where the laces and the tongue of the shoe come into contact with the foot.

Symptoms of lace bite may include pain, swelling, and tenderness on the top of the foot. In some cases, it can lead to the formation of small, painful lumps or nodules.

Treatment for lace bite:

  1. Rest and Ice: Give your foot some time to rest and apply ice to reduce swelling. Ice can be applied for about 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  2. Adjust the Lacing: Loosen the laces on your shoes to relieve pressure on the affected area. Experiment with different lacing techniques, such as skipping eyelets or using a different lacing pattern.
  3. Use Padding: Place padding, such as moleskin or gel pads, on the affected area to provide cushioning and reduce friction.
  4. Choose the Right Footwear: Ensure that your shoes fit properly and provide adequate support. Consider using shoes with a softer tongue or padding in the tongue area.
  5. Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help reduce pain and inflammation. However, consult with a healthcare professional before using any medication.


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