Regular exercise is the best way to ensure you stay healthy and active for years to come, but a foot injury could put you on the sidelines for a full season. This summer follow these guidelines to stay on your feet.
Anyone that plays sports or loves to exercise knows that it’s absolutely crucial to wear the right shoes for that activity.
If your active in sporting activities, whether it be for fun or as a career, it can have a lasting effect on your foot and ankle health.
Foot sports injuries are common since many people participate in a variety of high intensity activities at all ages.
Sports Injuries are a common cause of foot and ankle injuries due to the inherent risks involved with high performance activities.
Runners are prone to a lot of injuries. Overusing the feet and overtraining are the main culprits for common running injuries. Other causes include ill-fitting footwear, irregular biomechanics and the lack of flexibility and strength. Consult a podiatrist for any signs of chronic foot pain. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from foot disorders.
It is a condition that causes pain in the knee and is characterized by the wearing away of the back of the kneecap.
- Reduced strength of the quadriceps muscles
- Ill-fitted shoes with no proper support for the inside of the forefoot.
Treatment and prevention:
Strengthening exercise which focuses on quad muscles.
- Use of sports orthotics.
- Preventive measures include hip strengthening and quad-strengthening exercises to keep the alignment of the kneecap.
- Physical therapy
Iliotibial band syndrome
This is a common injury which is usually caused by overtraining. Pain and discomfort is created outside the knee area when the iliotibial band gets irritated.
It is the irritation and inflammation of the bone in the foot where a large amount of pain is often felt.
- Having a high arch
- Tight muscles
- Flat feet
- Improper footwear
Treatment and prevention:
- Wear proper footwear with good support for the foot.
- Do stretching exercises prior to running activities to avoid plantar fasciitis.
These are fractures brought about by too much or repeated mechanical stress. It can also occur in several locations like the leg inner bone, bone at the base of the spine, thigh bone, and bones of the toe.
- Improper running style
- Lack of calcium
Treatment and prevention:
- Wear proper footwear.
- Run only on flat and hard surfaces. It will absorb some of the shock that running created.
General preventive tips
The best way to stay away from these running injuries is through prevention.
1. Wear footwear with proper fitting. You should also wear footwear that is appropriate on the activity that you will be doing. The only available protective gear for runners that can save them from having injuries are running shoes.
2. Consider your running routine like training schedules, strengthening and flexibility. These things should be considered and adjusted to your running needs to help maximize your running time while minimizing the possibility of injury.
3. Do stretching exercises before and after a run as it enables your muscles to have greater flexibility and lesser chance of getting an injury.
Repetitive stress causes small breaks in the bone and these are called stress fractures. The bones of the foot or ankle absorb the full impact of each step you take, and this constant abuse can lead to stress fractures.
- Abnormal foot structure
- Bone deformities
- Wearing of incorrect footwear while exercising
Stress fractures are hard to detect and if left untreated can lead to severe foot injuries. Consult a podiatrist to learn more about stress fractures and its causes. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from fractures of the foot and ankle.
Groups at high risk
This injury is common among people whose daily activities include high levels of impact on their feet and ankles such as those who:
- Play tennis or basketball
- Practice gymnastics
- People who had a sedentary lifestyle and suddenly gets active through a high impact and intense workout. They are affected since they do not yet have a strong muscle to handle the intensity and degree of their activity.
- Someone with osteoporosis are at high risk because their bones are weakened by the disease, thus, prone to fractures.
Characteristics of pain in stress fracture
- The pain felt usually occurs at the general area of the fracture.
- It manifests as a “pinpoint pain” or pain felt upon touching the site of the injury and is accompanied by swelling.
- Pain occurs during or after the activity, disappears when resting, and may return when moving or standing.
- Any activity, high-impact or not, will just aggravate the pain.
If you increase your level of activity before a stress fracture is healed properly, it may lead to a full fracture.
Treatment (Check with your podiatrist for treatment)
It varies depending on the individual and the level of injury.
- Resting the hurt foot is the primary way to treat a stress fracture
- Use of crutches
- Physical therapy
- Surgery may be required to have support pins installed around the stress fracture and assist in healing.
Some ways to that may help to prevent foot and ankle fractures
- If you have a new exercise regimen or other kind of high level impact activity, set incremental goals weekly so that you can still build-up your muscle strength. Also wear supportive shoes to protect your feet better.
- Stop exercising and rest if you start to experience any symptoms of the stress fracture. Should the symptoms persist, it is best if you consult a podiatrist and get yourself checked and examined.
- Knowing and remembering these tips will help you prevent stress fractures to your foot and ankle, and will allow you to live normally and continue running without any injury at all.
At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with foot and ankle fractures. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.
Running shoes are not created equal. And this goes beyond its shape, size or color. Using the right type of running shoe can go long way in improving your performance and preventing foot injury. The key to maximizing the health benefits of running is to use the right equipment. And when it comes to running equipment there is nothing more essential than running shoes.
Determining your Foot Type
- Determining your foot type is essential when shopping for the right type of running shoe that can enhance your performance and protect you against injuries.
- Closely inspect shoe wear. Its location can indicate foot type. People with flat foot have wear located at the inner side of the shoes. High arch have wear on the outside or the shoes and those with neutral foot have evenly worn out shoes.
- Wet test – soak your feet and place it over a piece of paper. Observe the outline or foot impression left.
- Ask your local shoe outlet if they have foot specialist that can identify your foot type.
- Visit a podiatrist for help. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who can help identify your foot type and give you advice on which running shoes works best for you.
Types of Running Shoes
Choosing your personal pair of running shoes can be a daunting task especially with the wide selection of running shoes that come in all shapes and sizes available today. While most of us would base our decision on aesthetic appeal, smarter runners incorporate form and functionality into the mix.
Trail Running Shoes
Trail shoes offers a mix of traction, stability and toughness for running on less than ideal running surfaces. These are often used during wet weather conditions or off-road.
Stability Running Shoes
Ideal doe people with neutral feet that only require shoes with shock absorbing qualities, extra foot support and durable.
Motion Control Shoes
This type of shoe limits or controls over-pronation. This is recommended for people with flat foot.
Minimal and Barefoot Running Shoes
Easy to recognize, minimal and barefoot running shoes is an alternative for highly built running shoes. It provides minimal cushioning abilities and promotes optimum contact between your feet and the ground.
Foot pain when running can indicate injury. This should not be taken lightly and should be immediately rested to prevent further injury.