April is Foot Awareness Month. It’s a great opportunity to look into one of the most important yet often neglected parts of our body – our feet.
Our feet go through so much each day but they’re often taken for granted. While minor aches and pains don’t always lead to something serious, they shouldn’t be ignored. Oftentimes, minor foot and ankle injuries can lead to more pain and disability when left unattended.
Below is a list of the most common foot and ankle injuries and how to properly manage them suggested by our specialists at Ozark Orthopaedic:
- Plantar fasciitis
When you’re experiencing heel pain after long periods of rest, then you must have your feet checked. It can be a case of plantar fasciitis, a condition that occurs when the plantar fascia is swollen or irritated. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. These tissues can easily get injured among athletes and those who are constantly on their feet. Older people can also suffer from plantar fasciitis as a result of wear and tear.
How to manage plantar fasciitis:
Changing your shoes and giving your feet a break can help in relieving the discomfort from plantar fasciitis. Stretching exercises involving the ankle and the plantar fascia can also help.
- Ankle sprain
Mechanical twisting of the lower leg can cause ankle sprain. Some sprains heal on their own while others like high ankle sprains require more interventions like a cast or a boot stabilization.
How to manage ankle sprain:
Rest is important for the ankle sprain to heal. For chronic pain after an ankle sprain, imaging tests may be recommended to rule out other issues.
- Achilles tendonitis
Pain is a distinct symptom of Achilles tendonitis, a condition caused inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This is often an overuse injury but can also be caused by the lack of stretching before a physical activity, wearing high heels, or having flat feet.
How to manage Achilles tendonitis:
Rest is very important in managing Achilles tendonitis. Seeing a specialist may help in determining the extent of injury. In some cases, the use of crutches will be recommended to keep the weight off the affected foot.
- Turf toe
Turf toe refers to a sprain of the ligaments that surround the big toe. Common in football players, turf toe is often a result of bending the toe beyond its normal limit or from a sudden, forceful movement.
How to manage turf toe:
Managing turf toe is similar to managing other overuse injuries. Rest is very important. In some cases, immobilization may be needed (either by taping it to another toe or using a cast or boot) to promote healing.