At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we see it happen every year: our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients resolve to get in shape in the New Year and soon after are in our Long Beach office with a foot or ankle injury. Many of these injuries could have been prevented by taking the appropriate precautions.
Here are three common injuries related to exercise and how you can avoid those injuries:
- Achilles Tendonitis—the strongest and thickest tendon in your body runs down the back of your lower leg connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone. If you experience pain, swelling, or general discomfort or sluggishness in this part of your leg, you may have Achilles tendonitis. This is an inflammation of the tendon that can be caused by a sudden increase in activity after being sedentary for a period of time. Stretching, wearing appropriate footwear and gradually increasing activities such as running or stair-stepping will help minimize your risk for this disorder.
- Shin Splints—this condition’s signature symptom is pain on either side of the muscles or tendons surrounding the front of your lower leg bone. Shin splints can be caused by overuse or a stress fracture, or imbalance between opposite leg muscle groups. Because of the number of possible sources, it’s best to get shin splints evaluated by our podiatrists, Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas. Corrective shoes or custom orthotics may be necessary to eliminate the problem.
- Plantar Fasciitis—the plantar fascia is a band of tissue that is on the bottom of your foot. Significantly increasing the amount of walking or running you do can aggravate this tendon and can cause pain in the arch or heel of your foot. If the foot doctor diagnoses plantar fasciitis, you may need shoes with better arch support or more cushioning in the heel. In some cases, orthotics may be prescribed to make exercise more comfortable.
The bottom line is that getting in shape should not cause foot or ankle discomfort. If you find you have painful podiatric symptoms after starting a new exercise routine, don’t wait. Contact us by calling (562) 420-9800 for an appointment and get to the source of the pain before it becomes a debilitating injury.