The new year is a good time to reflect on last year and make new goals for this year. According to surveys, the top 3 goals for 2022 are: Lose Weight, Eat Healthier, and Exercise! Sound familiar? While it is definitely a good resolution to exercise more, doing too much too soon can lead to injuries, especially to your feet and ankles! Once an injury occurs, this can sabotage your fitness goals. Here are some of the common foot conditions to watch out for when trying to keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and ways you can help prevent them from happening to you!
Ankle Sprains– Sprained ankles are one of the most common sports injuries. Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, which may result in excessive stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments on the ankle. Primary symptoms of an ankle sprain include pain following a twist or injury, swelling, and bruising of the foot and ankle area. Proper treatment and rehabilitation are crucial to ensure adequate healing. If proper treatment isn’t obtained, you risk further damage to the tendons, longer healing time, or possibly even surgery. To prevent ankle sprains, try to maintain strength, balance, and flexibility in the foot and ankle through exercising, and wearing well-fitted shoes. Stretching your muscles before and after workouts can also help prevent ankle sprains.
Stress Fractures- A stress fracture may feel like an ankle sprain at first, but you may notice some additional symptoms such as swelling without bruising, and pain even during normal activities or when the area is touched. These fractures usually occur in the bones of the forefoot extending from the toes to the middle of the foot. Stress fractures are like tiny cracks in the bone surface. They can happen with sudden increases in exercise (such as running or walking for longer distances or times), improper training techniques, or a change in surfaces. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact Idaho Foot & Ankle Center for an evaluation. To prevent stress fractures, increase your stamina and the length of your workouts gradually. Wear well-fitting, supportive shoes designed for the exercise you are participating in.
Achilles Tendonitis- The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body and can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more. Achilles Tendonitis often begins with mild pain after exercise or running that gradually worsens. Other symptoms include recurring localized pain along the tendon, morning tenderness, sluggishness, swelling, and stiffness that generally diminishes as the tendon warms up. If left untreated, it can result in a ruptured tendon which requires surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation. Seeking treatment can ensure the proper diagnosis and minimize the risk of further injury. To prevent Achilles Tendonitis, avoid doing too much too soon. Slowly increase your mileage, speed, or exercise routine. Always stretch and warm up the foot before a workout, and make sure to wear the proper fitting footwear for your activity.
Heel Pain- Heel pain is a common overuse injury. If you have heel pain that lasts more than a day or two, or seems to worsen when you stand after sitting, you may have plantar fasciitis. This is the term commonly used to refer to heel and arch pain traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. More specifically, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia, that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. Early treatment is recommended, as heel pain can usually be resolved with conservative measures. Delaying treatment can increase the severity of the injury and take much longer to be resolved. To prevent heel pain, always wear proper shoes that provide cushion and support. Maintaining a healthy weight and slowly increasing your activity can also help prevent heel pain.
If you are experiencing any pain, swelling, or other issues, contact Idaho Foot and Ankle Center for an appointment. Dr. Kylin Kovac and Dr. Jed Erickson are specially trained in conditions of the feet and ankles. They can help find the right diagnosis and the right treatment plan to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Same day appointments are available, and they even have X-Rays right in the office! Receiving prompt and proper treatment can help you avoid complications and slower healing times. Dr. Kovac and Dr. Erickson are qualified and ready to help your feet and ankles be healthy so you to accomplish your resolutions for 2022!