Whether you’re a professional athlete, recreational jogger, or just someone who enjoys being active with your family – foot and ankle injuries are among some of the most common that you can sustain. With 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in your foot, it’s little wonder so many things can go wrong.
While you can’t prevent every injury, the good news is that you can take steps to reduce many common problems. Here are a few tips that will help keep your feet in good shape and going strong throughout the year.
Listen to Your Body
“Playing sports and exercising is great, but it’s important to listen to your body,” says Dr. Chris Testerman, one of Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic’s foot and ankle specialists. “If your feet are tired or your ankle becomes sore, you should stop and take a rest. Often injuries may start out small and then become worse if you don’t take a break or rest your feet.”
Exercise with Caution
When you exercise, it’s important to take a few precautionary measures to help avoid injury. These include:
Have Proper Footwear
Not wearing appropriate shoes for your activity is a significant cause of sprained, strained, and fractured feet and ankles. “Wearing shoes that are too loose, too tight or do not provide the right support or grip can cause issues not only in your feet, but throughout your lower legs, hip and spine,” says Dr. William T. McPeake. “Having the most appropriate footwear for your job, sport, or activity is essential to maintaining your foot health.” You should also make sure that your shoes fit you properly and don’t rub or slide while you’re exercising. Here are some additional tips to help you find the right shoe and fit for your activity.
Avoid Being Barefoot
While it may be tempting to go barefoot, especially in the summer, going without shoes can increase your risk of injury. This is especially true if you’re in a public place or if you’re walking on surfaces such as concrete or pavement. In addition to stepping on debris or glass, going barefoot can make you more prone to overuse injuries.
Watch Where You’re Going
While it may sound basic, not being 100% mindful of your surroundings can lead to a foot or ankle injury. If it’s dark, or you’re walking on an uneven or slippery surface, take extra care to watch where you step.
Your feet and ankles have a big job of supporting your entire body – so look after them. You’ll reduce your chance of injury and help keep them healthy for years to come.
If you or a loved one has sustained a foot or ankle injury, visit Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic today to learn about your treatment options. Call 865-558-4444 to make an appointment with Dr. McPeake or Dr. Testerman.