Common Causes of Foot and Ankle Injuries

Let us tackle a common myth: people who are involved in extreme or intense sports are the only ones at risk for foot and ankle injury.

Not true.

The truth is, anybody can have foot and ankle injuries.

In fact, many people report to having had foot and ankle injuries at one point in their lives or another.

While not all injuries are caused by routine movements done daily, many symptoms are believed to be the result of overuse and everyday wear and tear.

Causes

Foot and ankle injuries often occur as a result of the following:

  • Projects and chores done at home
  • Recreational and sports activities
  • Work related chores

Gymnasts, soccer and basketball players, and dancers are also more prone to the condition compared to individuals that are not engaged in highly challenging and very competitive fields.

Because of possible loss of bone strength and muscle mass (osteopenia), older adults also become more susceptible to developing foot and ankle injuries. Balance and vision problems can also significantly increase their risk.

Foot and ankle injuries in children often occur during falls and while engaged in sports and play.

For injuries near a joint, a thorough evaluation would be required to help ensure the growth plate (physis) is not compromised in any way.

Fortunately, most cases of foot and ankle injuries often respond to home care treatments.

However, medical attention is required for those injuries that are secondary to bending, jamming, falling, twisting, etc.

Medical attention is also necessary when swelling and bruising manifests.

Treatment

When it comes to foot and ankle injuries, there are fortunately plenty of available treatment options one can choose from.

Physical therapy, special shoes (with orthotic devices), medications, and first aid measures (splint, cast, brace) are just some of the options available.

However, treatment approach will often depend on some key factors including:

  • Type, location, and severity of the injury
  • When the injury happened
  • Overall health of the patient
  • Age of the patient
  • Activities of the patient (hobbies, sports, work, etc.)

Provided the foot and ankle injury is minor, the following treatment interventions can already significantly reduce the pain and minimize the swelling and stiffness:

  • Gently rub or massage the affected area to encourage blood flow and alleviate pain. However, if pain is severe, massaging the injured area is not advisable.
  • To help restore flexibility faster, performing gentle exercises is recommended. Alternating between cold and heat treatments are sometimes suggested.
  • To help hasten healing, MSA (movement, strength, and alternate) exercises are recommended:

Movement – full motion range restoration is considered top priority after an injury.

Strength – once movement has been successfully restored, strengthening the injured area is the next priority.

Alternate activities – while still healing, integrating exercises in the patient’s daily activities is considered ideal.

  • To ensure swelling is minimized, avoiding elements that can trigger it (i.e. hot tubs, hot showers, alcoholic beverages, and hot packs, to name a few) is advised.

Prevention

To help keep foot and ankle injuries at bay, the following tips should be kept in mind:

  • Running shoes should be changed every 3 months – purchasing a new pair of running shoes after 500 miles of wear or every 3 months is recommended by experts.
  • Wearing proper footwear – the ideal shoes should not only provide good support but should also be comfortable.
  • Wearing supportive brace – during exercises or activities, wrapping the foot and ankle has been known to help significantly minimize injury risks.
  • Training accordingly – before and after exercising, make sure ankle, foot, and leg stretches are done. Excessive sprinting should also be considered a no-no.
  • Losing the excess pounds – extra weight can put stress and strain on the ankle.

www.Hotprintstore.com

Comments are closed.