If you don’t take proper care of your feet, a foot injury can be one of the worst things you can experience. When you’re older and have more health issues, you may even be at risk of a broken bone from an improperly cared for foot. Some of these injuries are minor, while others can result in serious foot pain and problems, and may even cause permanent disability if they’re left untreated.

Being able to recognize the symptoms of a foot injury can help you get proper treatment and prevention. Knowing what to look for and avoiding them can ensure that you don’t have to frequently deal with an injury down the road.

If you’re looking for information on how to avoid common foot injuries, then you’re in the right place. You’ve probably seen the news about the large amount of foot and ankle injuries that are happening in the sports world each year. Unfortunately, these types of foot injuries happen more frequently in the recreational game than they do in the professional one. However, with enough knowledge, you can protect your feet from these kinds of accidents and prevent them from occurring.

Read on below to learn more about the common injuries that may occur on your feet and how to prevent them.

Common Foot Injuries

The following are the common foot injuries that people experience:

  • Bunions – The first common foot injury that’s often discussed are bunions. People with arthritis are more likely to have this problem than people without the condition. They may also develop bunions after wearing a brace for an extended period of time.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – A second common foot injury that many people have is plantar fasciitis. This is also a common type of foot injury for those with arthritis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia in the foot becomes inflamed. Oftentimes, this type of inflammation may occur on the inside or outside of the foot. Common causes of this type of foot injury are shoes that don’t provide adequate support or flat soles that have been worn incorrectly.
  • Bone Spurs – Finally, there are bone spurs. Bone spurs occur when bones rub on each other in a bumpy fashion. This can cause discomfort and pain, but if the bones that are rubbing are damaged or broken, they can be repaired. A podiatrist in Idaho Falls could treat your bone spurs. Of course, you could also consult the local podiatrist in your place.
  • Achilles Tendinitis – Another common foot injury is called Achilles tendinitis. It occurs when the tendon that runs from the front of the ankle to the heel bone starts to become stressed. Oftentimes, there are no symptoms until the middle of the week. Usually the pain gets worse when you run or jump, and is more severe when you’re standing. It can also cause pain in other parts of your body and a great deal of swelling, although sometimes this doesn’t happen until a few weeks after the initial incident occurred. If you start experiencing these symptoms then it’s important to go see a doctor so the injury can be diagnosed and treated before it gets any worse.
  • Stress Fracture – If you only get occasional stabbing pain in the heel, which usually only occurs at night and gradually goes away after many hours of resting, it’s most likely stress fracture. While it’s very rare, stress fracture can lead to other problems. For example, if the bone is pulled out of its socket, you can end up with a fractured bone or even worse, an ankle fracture, or even more serious foot problems such as shin splints, which are caused by damage to the inner part of a person’s ankle bone. These types of foot injuries are very serious and should be treated as soon as possible so that the bone can heal and the affected area can be fixed properly.
  • Bursitis – Another common foot injury is bursitis, also known as amnionitis. It’s actually a swelling of the tendons and ligaments that support the arch of your foot. Bursitis is usually caused by an injury or abnormality to the arch. When bursitis is present, the pain often radiates to the front of your foot where it moves outward, and this is called a clicking sound. It often goes away on its own without treatment. But if bursitis doesn’t go away on its own, and if it doesn’t heal, then it might develop into another condition. A podiatrist may be required in order to correct the problem.
  • Ankle Sprain – Ankle sprains are very common foot and ankle injuries. You may already know that sports-related injuries can occur if you’re involved in physical sports like running and jumping. Sprained ankles and other ankle injuries are very common in sports and are even potentially serious. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid these painful injuries, which will be discussed later on.

Sprains generally occur from too much use of your ankle or the weight being placed on it. If a sprained ankle doesn’t heal or heals improperly, it can result in permanent damage. Other foot injuries such as shin splints or heel spurs can also cause damage if not treated quickly. When the swelling and pain go away, your footwear should have been able to support the weight. The good news is that sprains usually won’t cause permanent damage and can usually heal without the use of surgery. Just be sure to avoid placing too much strain on your ankle or any other body part for that matter.

Things You Can Do To Avoid Common Foot Injuries

There are also several things you can do to avoid getting a foot injury in the first place. These include the following:

1. Keep Your Feet Dry

One of the first things you should do if you want to prevent foot injuries is to keep your feet dry. There’s not a more inviting way for fungus and bacteria to grow on your feet than in your shoes. If you don’t keep your feet dry, you can be sure you’ll be susceptible to infections and slipping. This is one of the major causes of foot injuries.

Shoes are meant to protect your feet, but if they’re not dry, they won’t be able to do so properly. That’s why it’s important that the shoes you choose should be waterproof and have good ventilation.

2. Use Foot Creams

Foot creams also help to prevent infections, and are used to heal and protect your feet from injuries. You should always use shoe-free creams when walking around, especially if you’re doing strenuous activities.

3. Perform Strengthening Exercises For Your Feet

Strengthening exercises and stretching helps you in a number of ways. It helps you strengthen and tone the muscles of your feet, which, in turn, help your body move faster, stronger, and longer throughout the day. Your muscles also burn more calories as the body’s metabolism increases, which can also help you lose weight quicker. When you work out your muscles, you also build your bones, which can also lead to being more durable in the long run.

The best way to get started with strengthening exercises is with a routine that you can stick to for about a week or two. Start slowly so that you can get used to the movement and not do too many reps or sets.

4. Warm-Up Before Exercising Or Doing Any Strenuous Activity

Warming up is one of the most essential components of any exercise regimen. When you start any type of activity, especially one that requires quick movements, your body tends to work against you and can end up being very sore. You can’t avoid this soreness but you can make sure that your body is prepared for the activity. By doing a good warm-up, it prepares your muscles and joints for whatever activity you’re about to do. Some people even consider doing warm-ups before they do any other sort of activity.

A good warm-up can increase your endurance so you don’t feel as tired as you normally do during exercise or when doing a strenuous activity. It can also help prevent injuries in your muscles or joints. You might also find that you have more energy during the exercise and it’s easier to complete the workout.

5. Wear The Right Shoes

Footwear made with rubber and synthetic materials is often considered best for protection. They’re less likely to be torn, and will also cushion the impact of hard surfaces. Your shoes should be the type that don’t wear tightly, such as sandals or athletic shoes.

Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes if you have worn them for a while, since these are made from a hard material and can cause spikes to irritate your feet. In the same vein, you shouldn’t wear high heels if you want to avoid painful foot injuries. High heels are also a leading cause of foot injury, since they can cause the bones to rub against each other. Shoes that have heels that are too high can aggravate the problem if you already have an existing injury. Shoes that are too high also create pressure on the foot when walking and running, which can increase the likelihood of an injury.

If you still wear high heels, it’s better to buy ones made of softer material and those that don’t have hard spikes. The softer ones are more comfortable for people with lower legs. Shoes with good heels help alleviate both of these problems.

Having the proper footwear is really important. You should be able to stand and walk on your toes without feeling any pain. In general, you want to make sure your shoes fit tight on the foot and the arch of the foot without feeling any type of strain. You should also ensure your footwear doesn’t rub against your feet. It’s better to get rid of worn-out shoes and replace them with more comfortable ones.

6. Always Wear Socks

Wearing socks to protect your feet while you’re running or jogging can help reduce the risk of ankle sprains or twisted ankles. Wearing socks when you’re running will prevent you from slipping on hard surfaces. If you’re on a treadmill, choose socks that are designed to keep your feet dry while also keeping you from the cold.

7. Keep Your Weight Off Your Foot When Standing And Walking

There are other things you can do as well to avoid having a common foot injury. For example, keep your weight off the foot when standing and walking. You need to make sure your feet are supported properly when climbing stairs or trying to do a variety of exercises.

8. Make Sure You Don’t Overpronate

One of the most common causes of foot injuries is being overpronate when you run or walk. The term overpronation refers to the way you land when running or walking. When your foot lands too far out to the side of where it should be, it puts stress on the arch.

9. Avoid Over-Exercising The Feet

Another thing that you should avoid is over-exercising the feet. Exercises that require a lot of jumping and twisting will cause you to put a lot of stress on the foot, which is a common cause of foot injuries.

Conclusion

The most common injuries to your foot involve accidents. These include a lot of sports-related accidents and falls. Common foot injuries may include shin splints and bone spurs. Ankle sprains can also occur from wearing the wrong type of shoe, too much walking and running, being overweight or simply doing too many activities.

Also, people who get these injuries often experience them again when they’re inactive. It’s important to achieve balance between being active and caring for your feet. To avoid these types of injuries, always use the correct shoes, keep your feet and ankle healthy, and never engage in risky sports activities.

Learning how to avoid common foot injuries isn’t as difficult as it sounds, as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly. If you want to avoid common foot problems, do any activity with care and caution. The more you know about the most common foot injuries, the better prepared you’ll be to handle the injuries that you might experience. In addition to knowing how to avoid common foot injuries, make sure you’re following all the proper precautions and exercising on a regular basis.

The ones discussed above are just a few of the ways you can go about preventing foot problems. By using these simple techniques, you’ll be able to keep your feet healthy and keep yourself free of many common foot problems.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "How To Avoid Common Foot Injuries," in Medicalopedia, October 17, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9314/how-to-avoid-common-foot-injuries/].