Foot and Ankle Injuries: How to avoid them in 5 easy steps
Injuries to the feet and ankles are common in sports. Swelling, redness, stiffness, pain, or other deformities are often the result of sports like soccer, running, and tennis.
Inside your foot lies a perfect mechanism of hardware that is enough to impress any engineer. There lie more than 100 tendons, 33 joints, and 26 bones along with muscles and ligaments working as squads to balance your body weight and propel you to carry your daily activities.
Fortunately, minor foot conditions such as flat feet, bunions, athlete's feet, corns, and warts can be avoided or reduced by using some easy techniques. Preventing foot and ankle injuries is simple if you read on to discover 5 easy steps discussed below to avoid foot and ankle injuries:
1. Wear Appropriate Shoes:
Wearing appropriate shoes has nothing to do with colour, brand, or fashion. Wearing proper footwear can have a significant impact on your foot health. The right pair of shoes can do wonders for your foot, ankle, stability, body posture, and most importantly, the wear and tear you put on them.
As you repeatedly place stress on your shoes, the greater the chances of your feet being prone to get damaged. It is important to wear shoes specifically designed for activity or sport even while you are just walking around the house since shoes enhance your feet's ability to heal themselves.
2. Stretch It Out:
It is a straight fact that stretching out or warming up before running and jogging can manage stress thereby preventing further foot and ankle injuries. It provides a sense of flexibility, strength, mobility and range of motion to your ankle joints, tendons, joints, ligaments, and even bones for better performance.
To avoid foot injuries while running, incorporate some stretches like single leg balance, standing heel lift, ankle circle, ankle flexion (plantar & dorsi), lunges (static), walking lunge, double leg hops, ankle jumps, and plyometrics.
A two- to five-minute warmup can help your feet muscles deal with stress more effectively.
3. Focus on Techniques:
Whether you are training your muscles and exercising on your own or following your coach, learn to use the right body mechanics. Focus on the right kind of techniques to jump, balance, land, and run.
Following wrong techniques can even squeeze your ankle bones leading to fracture, muscle strain, ankle sprain (most common injury among sportspersons) and other kinds of future injuries.
4. Replace your sticky Socks and Shoes:
You change socks every day, right? But how often do you replace your shoes? If you are someone who has a habit of wearing shoes every day and throughout the day, there are greater chances that your shoes will become wafer-thin and worn out.
If your feet sweat out frequently, it becomes a perfect place for fungal infections to grow. When you find a scaly rash that causes burning, itching, rashes, and stinging, you have an infection called "tinea pedis".
For this, we recommend picking up moisture-wicking socks. Also, replace your running shoe every 400-500 miles.
5. Skip Uneven Surfaces:
Running or practising on uneven surfaces are susceptible to rocket foot and ankle injuries. As compared to running on the ground, legs work hard and feel pressure to walk or run on uneven surfaces.
However, it is also not advisable to run on completely soft and plain surfaces. There will be no friction between your shoes and the ground surface increases the risk of falling directly on your face and twisting your ankles.
In addition to these 5 steps, it is also important to prevent injuries to your body. Follow these tips:
● Don’t start a conversation with breathlessness (start slowly).
● Avoid overstriding.
● Cool down after running.
● Proper rest.
● Drink plenty of water all the time.
● Practise in intervals.
● Maintain the level of fitness.
● Cross-train yourself.
● Listen to your body.
● A good night’s sleep.
● Providing proper nutrition to the body.
When should you see a doctor?
You should consult a physician if your foot injury causes you to limp or if the pain and inflammation do not improve after self-care treatments or worsen over time. Prompt and appropriate treatments assure the best possible recovery. Also, it's time to seek medical attention if the injury hinders walking.