Posts for tag: Ankle Injuries
Anytime a person engages in sports, they are running the risk of suffering an injury to the foot and ankle. Many of the injuries that cause foot ailments and pain are caused by high-impact sports, such as running. Other times foot problems can arise from wearing improper footwear or from inadequate training.
There are a number of foot conditions that an athlete can suffer from, including ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot and blisters. Let’s take a brief look at two of the more serious and most common conditions: plantar fasciitis and ankle sprains. When these conditions occur, your podiatrist is available to provide you with the best treatment available.
Heel Pain Caused By Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot ailments experienced by runners and the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a thick, dense tissue that runs from the ball of the foot along the arch, connecting to the heel. People with flat feet or individuals who overpronate are more susceptible to heel pain because of the increased stress that occurs at the heel.
Many times the pain is worse in the morning when you first get up, but subsides as you move around throughout the day. Treatment will vary depending on each case, but generally rest, ice and stretching can help ease the pain. When conservative treatments aren’t effective and the pain persists, see your podiatrist for recommended treatment, such as orthotics.
Caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones, an ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries experienced by athletes. The severity of a sprain will depend on the extent of the stretching and tearing of ligaments. How severe the tear is will determine how long it takes for your ankle to heal - sometimes up to several months. When a sprain first occurs, there will likely be chronic ankle pain. The ankle will swell, and discoloration may occur.
The RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) procedure should be administered right away for an ankle sprain. Serious ankle sprains, particularly among competitive athletes, may require surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments. If you’re prone to ankle sprains, avoid running on uneven terrain and wear firm, supportive footwear for improved stability. Unfortunately, ankle sprains are often recurring. Your podiatrist can help determine the severity of your sprain and the necessary course of treatment, including exercises to strengthen your weak ankle.
Heel pain and ankle sprains can be easily treated, yet many athletes delay proper treatment for fear of discontinuing their favorite sport. Delaying treatment will only make the injury worse, often times leading to a far more serious injury that requires extensive care and treatment. If you frequently participate in sports and other physical activities, it’s important to pay close attention to your feet and ankles as they are placed under tremendous pressure and are at high risk for injury.
Remember to train properly for your specific activity and wear supportive shoes that offer stability for your specific sport. If you are experiencing pain for extended periods of time, take time to rest. Chronic pain likely indicates a serious foot problem and continuing to play your sport will only make matters worse. Talk to your podiatrist about the best ways to prevent and treat common sports-related foot injuries.
Whether you are pregnant, have increased blood in your body or decreased circulation or maybe you are always standing or sitting for long periods of time at work, there is relief for your swollen ankles. If you are experiencing swollen ankles, your podiatrist offers solutions for finding relief.
Why Are My Ankles Swollen?
Swollen ankles do not just happen to pregnant women, but can affect each and every one of us at any stage of life. Your ankles swell for an array of reasons, including too much sodium in the diet, sodium retention, obesity, neuromuscular disorders, allergic reasons, trauma and standing too long.
What Can I Do to Alleviate My Swollen Ankles?
Drink water. When you drink plenty of water you are flushing your system. While this may seem like the opposite thing to do when you are retaining fluid, it helps to flush fluid away with more water. This is effective and will help you to see a reduction in the swelling of your ankles.
Elevate your legs above your heart. Sitting in a recliner with it fully reclined will do wonders for your swollen ankles. However, if you do not have a recliner available, then lying flat on your bed or couch with your feet elevated above your heart on pillows will work well, too.
Walk around. Walking around may help with your blood flow and to reduce the swelling in your legs and ankles, but everything should be performed in moderation. Do not sit or stand in one place for too long. Remember to move your toes and flex your heels every few minutes to improve your circulation.
Visit your podiatrist. Prolonged ankle or leg swelling can be a sign of an underlying health problem. An appointment with your podiatrist is a wise decision, and will help put your mind at rest.
Chronic ankle instability (unstable ankle) is a condition characterized by a recurring “giving way” of the outer side of the ankle. It most often develops following an ankle sprain. When the stretched or torn ligaments do no heal properly or completely, ankle instability is often the result.
If you have chronic ankle instability, you may find it difficult to walk on uneven surfaces. Other symptoms include a repeated turning of the ankle during physical activity, tenderness, and persistent discomfort and swelling.
Treatment for an unstable ankle will depend on the degree of instability. Bracing, medications and physical therapy are all conservative treatment options that may help strengthen your weakened ankle. Often patients with ankle instability can be treated without surgery by strengthening the muscles that control the ankle joint; avoiding and or limiting high impact activities; and using a supportive brace to decrease the risk of recurrent ankle sprains.
In severe cases or when conservative treatments aren’t successful, your podiatrist may recommend surgery, which involves repair or reconstruction of the damaged ligaments.
If your ankle feels unstable or if you have had recurring ankle sprains, visit Columbia Podiatry for an evaluation. Left untreated, chronic ankle instability leads to activity restrictions, tendon complications, arthritis and continued instability. Our Irmo podiatrists can provide a recommended treatment plan based on the severity of your instability so that you can get back to the activities you enjoy.