Age is just a number, and it shouldn’t slow you down. In fact, active adults are more likely to live longer and healthier lives. That said, activity also increases or risk for injury, but that’s okay. A slight increase in injury risk is worth it for all the health benefits of exercise. You can also help to prevent some of these more common injuries if you’re aware of how they develop and the best prevention strategies. So today, we’re going to look at five common foot and ankle injuries in active adults, and how to prevent and treat them.
Common Foot Injuries For Active People
Here’s a quick look at five common foot and ankle injuries for active individuals:
1. Ankle Sprains – Ankle sprains are one of if not the most common foot and ankle injury. They occur when you channel downward pressure on your foot when it’s at an odd angle or on an uneven surface. The ankle turns and in doing so stretches out the supportive ankle ligaments. There’s no surefire way to prevent ankle sprains, but ankle braces and partaking in some ankle strengthening exercises can help to improve the health of your ankle ligaments, which can make all the difference when they are stressed.
2. Shin Splints – Shin splints are the result of microtears in the muscle and bone of your shinbone, most commonly brought upon by overuse. Avid runners or track and field athletes can probably relate to the pain of shin splints, and treatment can be tough because the most effective treatment is to rest and allow the trauma to heal. That’s easier said than done if you have practices and meets coming up. Try to work in some cross training and limit the miles you put on your feet to help prevent the onset of shin splints and to help them heal.
3. Heel Bruises – Heel bruises can come as a result of a number of different activities, but the most common we hear about are jumping/falling and landing hard on your heels, or stepping on a hard object like a stone or rock while running. Acute force to the heel can lead to a deep bruise, and although this area is pretty well padded, pain and discomfort can linger. Rest and switching to shoes with more heel support are good ways to prevent and treat heel bruises.
4. Stubbed Toes and Fractures – You don’t need to be an elite athlete to know the pain of a stubbed toe, you just have to miscalculate your position relative to the kitchen counter or the coffee table. Rest is great for stubbed toes, but if pain continues or gets worse, have it examined by a specialist, because you may be dealing with a toe fracture. Stubbed toes can be tough to prevent, but fractures are preventable on the job site by wearing work-appropriate shoes.
5. Achilles Tendinitis – One final injury that is common among active adults is Achilles tendinitis. This is the result of injury or inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body. Left untreated, it can put you at risk for an Achilles rupture. Rest, anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy and even surgery are common treatment options for Achilles tendinitis.