Foot Conditions and Injuries: Overuse and Acute Injuries - Great Feet for Life
A large percentage of foot injuries are overuse injuries, meaning that they occur gradually through repetative use. Overuse fatigues the muscle, bones,and soft tissues of our feet, making them less efficient at absorbing the forces that are transmitted from the gound up into our feet and legs, and back as we walk and run. And this, in turn, leads to stress injuries.
Overuse injuries are deceptive. Because they occur so gradually, it is often difficult to determine their onset and cause. The gradual onset of pain also makes it easier for people to ignore overuse injuries, believing they are merely common aches and pains. And while sometimes they are, pain that lasts for more than a few days should be taken seriously.
While we are not always aware of how oversue may be injuring our feet, an acute , or sudden -onset, injury leaves no doubt about how it occurred. Anke sprains, stubbings, or smashings (from objects falling on the feet) are some of the myraid acute foot injuries that prompt people to seek immediate treatment.
Foot injuries can be caused by seemingly trivial events as well. Occasionally, a differnt workout routine, a change in gait or walking pattern, or a new pair of shoes may trigger aches that persist for weeks or even months. However trivial the cause, the pain is real. It indicates the onset of an injury.
And the extent of the injury is, again, compounded by the thousands of steps taken each day.
If footpain persists for more than a day or two, there are several simple steps sufferers can do. First, make sure ther is no swelling, redness, warmth, or breaks in the skin in the area of the pain. If ther are, seek medical attention.
If these conditions are not present , limit weight bearing activities , wear supportive shoes, and ice the painful area for twenty minutes at a time, two or three times a day. (People with circulation or sensory disorders should consult a health care provider regarding the safety of icing.)
If two days of self- treatment do not improve symptoms, schedule an appointment to see a doctor protecting the area of pain as much as possible in the mean time.
Ongoing pain, redness, swelling, warmth, and breaks the skin indicate an acute injury and should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. Delaying treatment of acute injuries can complicate them,making them worse and leading to long-term pain or even disability.
Prompt professional care often makes for a speedy recovery. If in doubt, err on the side of caution, Have the injury evaluated by a physician.
Reference: Great Feet For Life Paul Langer, DPM
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