5 Ways to Protect Your Feet and Ankles


Podiatrist vs orthopedist

Too many people go through life suffering from foot and ankle problems as well as back problems or knee issues. Instead of seeing a foot and ankle doctor, they just assume that this the way their life is going to be now. They mask the pain with medicines and continue on like nothing is wrong. However, while you may not have an ankle sprain, you could still have a very serious issue that needs to be tended to. If you don’t yet have any foot problems and want to try and avoid any foot pain in the future, here are a few tips that will hopefully keep you out of the foot and ankle doctor’s office.

Warm up, Cool Down and Condition
Most people end up seeing a foot and ankle doctor because of something that happens during a sports game or exercising. You need to make sure that you are stretching and warming up properly. The best thing to do is actually go for a short, light jog. Two or three minutes is plenty. Definitely forego the bouncing motion when stretching. This not only doesn’t help but it can actually hurt you. If you want to be doing more in your activity, gradually increase your time and effort over a period of a few weeks to give your body time to build up the strength and stamina.

Wear the Right Shoes
This is one that most people are guilty of not doing. If you have low arches or other foot issues, then you’ll need to get shoes that provide the proper support. The heel and back of the shoe should be totally stable which support in the front and under the arch. If you have stiff feet or high arches then you’ll need shoes with more cushion and a soft platform. It might be an investment but if you cross train, you should get shoes that fit each activity or sport that you are taking part it. Don’t try and use the same shoes for everything. Once your shoes begin to wear out, make sure you replace them quickly. Even if they don’t wear out, every six months you should be getting a new pair.

Avoid Uneven Surfaces
If you are running or hiking, be careful where there are rocks or loose gravel. Also, holes, roots and stumps need to be watched out for on a trail run. Dirt roads have a lower impact on your knees, feet and back than concrete paths. If you are going to be competing, then you’ll need to make sure that you are training and conditioning your body on the same type of surface that the race will be held on.

Watch Where You Run
Too many hills can an injury haven. Running hills, or attempting to, is a great work out but you have to work up to it. Surprisingly, the worst part of running hills, according to foot and ankle doctors, is running down hill. The force of your body and the momentum which you pick up can lead to major foot and ankle issues that can only be fixed through surgery and then your foot or leg may never be quite the same again.

Listen to Your Body
Overall, you need to listen to the signals that your body is giving you. If you are experiencing pain during a sport or activity, you need to stop what you are doing and either rest or modify your actions until the pain goes away. If you have been previous injured then it’s easier to re-injure that same area again. You need to make sure that you complete the proper rehabilitation and training before you try going back to what you were doing before.

You really should be careful when it comes to sports and high impact activities. Foot and ankle injuries are too common and can really hinder you from living how you want to live. You don’t want to have to stop doing something you love simply because you didn’t go about it properly. Pausing or resting is a step backwards in the sports and work out world, so take the time to implement the correct measures beforehand then you will never have to pause the activity that you love.

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