Foot and ankle injuries are common in work and sports activities, especially those that involve running, jumping and twisting such as basketball, tennis and soccer. However, even if you don’t consider yourself an athlete and you simply enjoy being active, it’s important to follow steps to prevent injuries in your foot or ankle.
OrthoIndy foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. David Brokaw shares his tips for preventing foot or ankle injuries during activity.
6 tips for preventing foot or ankle injuries
- Warm up: Lightly stretch or go on a short jog to loosen up your muscles and get your body ready for activity.
- Start slow: Increase a new activity gradually over time. It takes time to build muscle strength and mobility. If you want to run five miles, start by walking a few miles at a time and gradually increase to running.
- Be aware of uneven surfaces: Trips and falls are common causes of injuries to the foot or ankle during work or sports. Be careful on rocky terrain or loose gravel. Watch out for holes, uneven sidewalks or surfaces, and other trip hazards when hiking or running outdoors.
- Rest: Many foot and ankle injuries are caused by overuse. If you start to feel pain, stop the activity immediately and let your body heal before you resume. Ignoring the pain or “toughing it out” can make things a lot worse in the long run.
- Prevent recurrent injuries: If you have a history of ankle sprains, try wearing a brace during activity. If you have problems with heel pain, try shoe inserts. See a physician if pain persists.
- Choose the right shoe: Use sport specific shoes that fit your foot type. Cross training shoes are a good shoe if you participate in a variety of activities, but it’s best to use shoes designed specifically for the sport you are playing.
What happens if I am injured?
“Even with the best precautions, sometimes a foot or ankle injury can still occur. Treatment for these injuries varies depending on the severity. Most strains and sprains can be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation,” said Dr. Brokaw.
“Moderate to severe cases, however, may require some form of immobilization such as a brace or a cast. Certain injuries that don’t heal within the expected time frame may require more advanced treatment or even surgery.”
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible for foot and ankle injuries, especially if it is causing you to limp or there is extreme swelling and pain. Prompt and appropriate treatment and rehabilitation ensures the best possible recovery.
Schedule an appointment
Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.