Avoid Common Overuse Injuries
Do you love running? From trail runs through natural areas, to half marathons, to jogging or walking in your neighborhood with a pal for fun and fitness, opportunities abound to get out and move in the Sammamish, WA area. With them comes the chance of hurting yourself, especially your ankles and feet. Foundational problems can really slow you down.
What Can You Do to Avoid Getting Hurt?
There are steps that active people can take to head off overuse injuries. Here is a list of some things that can go wrong, and what you might do to prevent them:
Ankle Sprain – pulling or straining the muscles and ligaments of the ankle beyond their normal position. Preventive measures include watching out for uneven surfaces that might roll your foot inward, wearing shoes with proper support, and doing exercises that strengthen the ankle joint.
Achilles Tendonitis – inflammation from repeated trauma to the large tendon at the back of your heel that connects it to your calf. Help avoid injury to the Achilles by making sure your calf muscles are properly stretched out before and after you exercise, and not increasing your distances too quickly.
Stress fracture – a small crack in the bone resulting from too much stress to the feet and ankles. It is important to work into new or more intensive exercise routines gradually, so your body gets used the new motions and stresses and has time to heal between them.
Plantar fasciitis – inflammation or stretching of the long ligament under your foot from unbalanced gait or insufficient support for the feet. This can be related to tight calf muscles, so calf stretches can help prevent it. Most important is to have shoes with the correct arch support, especially if you have high arches or flat feet.
Morton’s neuroma – thickened tissue around the nerve (often between your 3rd & 4th toe) that puts pressure on it and causes pain. Don’t wear high heels that push a lot of your weight toward the ball of your foot, and make sure your shoes have toe boxes wide enough to let the toes move. Overuse of poor shoe styles can cause toe deformities which can be related to this condition.
Subungual hematoma – bleeding under the toenail. Avoid a running style or activities that repeatedly jam your toes into the front of your shoes. Make sure your shoes have a half inch of clearance beyond your toes.
Blisters – fluid-filled sacs that form at the point of friction on your feet or ankles. Because of the repetitive motion of running or walking, shoe fit is really important here. Don’t use shoes that rub against your toes or ankles or have inadequate cushioning for the balls and heels of your foot.
What to Do If You Get Hurt
You can do your best to avoid these common overuse injuries, but they may still occur and cramp your style. Remember, pain is not normal. If you have injured your feet or ankles, you need to call The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic in Sammamish. Dr. Howard Schaengold will evaluate your particular injury and prescribe the treatment that will help you to get up and moving again. If you live in Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond, Bellevue, or North Bend, help is nearby. Call (425) 868-3338 to set up your visit, or you can conveniently book an appointment online.