Common Foot & Ankle Injuries

Health & Wellness • N EW S L E T T E R •

Put Your Best Foot Forward: Common Foot and Ankle Injuries

Your feet are one of the most important parts of your body—after all, you use them to run, jump, walk, stand, or move around. Unfortunately, this means that your feet are also susceptible to injury. Injuries to the foot/ankle can be acute (sudden onset) or chronic, which come on gradually often through overuse. Some of the most common injuries include ankle sprains and fractures, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. Sprains: The most common of all ankle injuries, an ankle sprain, occurs when there is a stretching and tearing of ligaments surrounding the ankle joint. Ankle sprains occur when the foot twists, rolls or turns beyond its normal motions. It can happen when the foot is planted awkwardly, when the ground is uneven, or when an unusual amount of force is applied to the joint. The ligaments surrounding the ankle can become severely over- stretched and damaged. This can result in inflammation, swelling, and bruising around the affected joint as well as inability to put weight through the ankle. It’s important to address a sprain immediately because if you don’t, the ankle instability can put you at risk for further sprains and damage to ligaments, tendons and bones.

Fractures: An ankle fracture involves breaking one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint. These injuries can range from a small break in one bone, in which case you may still be able to walk on that ankle, to larger or multiple fractures that may require surgery to stabilize the bones. Most fractures result from trauma such as dropping something on your foot or from a fall. Stress fractures: Stress fractures can occur when there is a sudden increase in training such as running, a lack of supportive footwear or a change in the training surface like running primarily on grass and then switching to pavement. Metatarsal fracture: Ametatarsal fracture is one of the most common injuries in the foot. The foot has 5 metatarsal bones, which stretch from the ankle to the toes. These bones are fragile and can be damaged easily, especially when the foot is put under constant pressure like when an athlete is competing. A fracture of the 5th metatarsal is the most common. The best immediate treatment for sprains and fractures is the R.I.C.E. method: R est, I ce, C ompression, E levation. Achilles Tendonitis: If your pain is in the back

of the heel, you may have a case of Achilles tendinitis. The Achilles is your body’s largest and strongest tendon, but it is not infallible. When the Achilles is overused, it can become inflamed. You typically feel the strongest pain during activity and it generally subsides with rest. People with weak Achilles tendons are more susceptible to tears and/or ruptures, which is why it’s very important to strengthen this area. Having healthy, pain-free feet is the solid starting point for health. When your feet are achy, inflamed and tired, it can make it difficult to reach your fitness goals or even complete your regular daily duties. Receiving proper treatment can ensure the ankle/foot heals properly by restoring mobility and strength to prevent re- injury and get you back on your feet again!

By Angie Austin, LPTA

Are Your Feet in Proper Alignment? Your feet are the foundation for your entire body. When this foundation is misaligned or functioning poorly, you can feel the effects throughout your body in your muscles and joints. More than 75% of the population suffers from overpronation or excessive supination, but many of us are unaware of our own foot alignment and how it affects the rest of our body. OVERPRONATION: When the arch collapses too much and the foot rolls inward excessively, distributing weight unevenly. EXCESSIVE SUPINATION : When the foot leans to the outside and weight is distributed along the outer portion of the foot. It reduces the body’s natural shock absorbing capability. NEUTRAL : Foot and ankle maintain a straight line. Weight is distributed evenly across the foot and heel.

EXCESSIVE SUPINATION

NEUTRAL

OVERPRONATION

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