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Ankle injury – don’t let it take the ‘spring’ out of your step| The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

ankle sprains

Anyone from a well-conditioned athlete to the most inactive person can experience an ankle injury. Ankle injuries usually involve a sudden, unexpected loss of balance that results in a sharp twist of the ankle.
A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon overstretches. A sprain, which is more serious, occurs when the strong connective tissue that connects one bone to another (ligaments) become overstretched. In some cases, a ligament tears and may pull a fragment of bone with it. When a piece of bone is pulled away, it’s known as an avulsion fracture.
Everyone’s bone architecture is a little different and the arrangement of bone and muscle leaves us prone to injury. Uneven leg length, excessive pronation (flat feet), cavus foot (high arches), knee and hip alignment (bow legged or knock-knee) all play a part in creating weak points where injury may occur.
Sports-related injuries are part of the game and as athletes are becoming stronger, faster and better conditioned, higher energy injuries are becoming more common. Foot and ankle injuries are frequently designated as a sprain, which often minimizes the severity of the injury.
A healthy foot is necessary for running and push-off. These seemingly simple sprains can be devastating to the running athlete, often requiring an extended period of time to recover.
An ankle sprain is very common in normal daily activities – sports or otherwise. Although painful, it usually doesn’t cause any long-term problems, if treated properly.
However, if untreated, it can produce longer lasting problems, such as decreased strength, balance, flexibility and increased risk of re-injury. For the first 24 to 48 hours your ankle will probably swell and might even show some bruising. Minimize this by using the RICE formula – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Depending on the severity of the injury you may require physical treatments to restore joint range of motion, strength and joint stability.
See The Podiatrist if you have any problems.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

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Foot Pain Arch – Everything You Need To Know

It is a fact that we misuse our feet every day. We rarely notice their importance until we develop pain or complications. The complications that are related to the feet are due to prolonged standing and waking. Cramming them into shoes that do not properly fit is a major issue associated with foot pain.

It is a fact that most of the pains we experience on our feet are due to overworking of the hind limbs. The movement of feet is controlled by a group of four muscles. These muscles are not only active when we are walking but even when we are standing still. Just like any other muscle except the heart muscles, they often become fatigued. After getting fatigued, they become unable to properly support the feet thus resulting in discomfort. As a result of prolonged standing, blood circulation might be more towards the feet thus increasing the chances of feet swelling.

The term arch pain is generally used to point at the symptoms which occur under the foot’s arch. If you are suffering from foot pain arch, you will probably experience excess inflammation of tissues that are within the mid foot area. You might be wondering what really this foot arch is. Yes, the foot arch is a result of the connection between the heel bone and the toes through a tight band tissue.

The band of tissue is particularly important in the event of transferring body weight from the heel onto the toes. In situations where the arch tissues become too inflamed and irritated, even simple movements can be very painful.

Plantar fasciitis is the major cause of foot pain. It refers to the inflammation of the tissues which help connect the heel to the toes. Some of the most pronounced symptoms of this condition are morning pains on the joints. Even when you walk long distances, you tend to experience much pains.

The pain is usually worse in the mornings when you first get out of bed and is mainly as a result of the contraction of the plantar fascia during sleep. When you wake up in the morning, the tissues in the fascia are still tight and thus much prone to irritations resulting from touch. With prolonged standing and activity the affected area becomes painful and inflamed.

The treatment of this condition is accomplished through the use of stretches and inserts placed inside the shoes that you wear. In case you are suffering from a painful arch, it might be important to avoid the whole high-heel business. Flat or moderately heeled shoes would really work well for you.

The most ideal way to cure the pain is prevention of the condition. Through wearing appropriate shoes, involving yourself in strengthening workouts, and stretching among others are most ideal in protecting yourself against any cases of discomfort. The relief techniques for foot arch pain are abbreviated as RICE i.e., Rest, Ice, compression, and elevation.

Resting the affected area allows the tissues to recover as well as preventing any much strain to the arch muscles. Icing helps to reduce the chances of swelling after a tedious activity. On the other hand, compression helps to avert any chances of swelling while also ensuring that the affected area is stabilized. Lastly, the aspect of elevation can control the swelling even further.

The arch, which is the mid-foot is used for shifting weight to the heels. Therefore in the event that this strap is infected it becomes almost impossible to carry on the daily tasks. The plantar is the major culprit when it comes to the pain of the arch. Why this? This is because the plantar and fascia is the muscle which helps the arch perform its function properly. It is what links the arch to the knee and hence the toes. No matter the degree of pains, the main cause of arch pains is as a result of prolonged activity such as walking or standing.

Please see The Podiatrist if you are experiencing any problems. This information is merely a guide and should not replace expert attention.

Did you know that June 1 was National Running Day?

Whether you take a leisurely jog or sprint to the finish line in a marathon, running is great exercise. In fact, running is one of the easiest and most popular sports among non-professional athletes.

Running offers many benefits, including improved cardiovascular and respiratory function, weight loss, reduced cholesterol and increased muscle and bone strength, as well as a healthier mental outlook. But with any sport or activity comes the risk of injury.

Runners of all levels are at risk for significant injuries to their hips, knees, legs, ankles and feet. One of the best ways to prevent injury is to avoid injury. By taking simple precautions and watching for signs of potential problems, individuals can prevent or minimize many injuries.

The majority of injuries are caused by excess — running too far, too fast or too often. In addition to strains and sprains, blisters and cramps, some of the more common injuries include:

· Hip and thigh injuries — Bursitis, stress fractures, and hamstring pulls or tears are typically caused by inflammation and strain from overexertion or
improper running techniques.

· Knee injuries — Patello-femoral syndrome, more commonly called “runner’s knee” is characterized by a dull ache or sharp pain under or around the  kneecap and is often accompanied by a grinding sensation when the knee is bent then straightened. Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome can also produce inflammation and pain in and around the knee.

· Leg injuries — Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome is a cumulative but painful condition resulting from too much force being placed on
the shinbone (tibia) and surrounding tissues.

· Ankle injuries – Sprains vary in severity but typically result in pain, swelling and bruising. Achilles tendonitis is a painful inflammation in the back of the ankle, which if left untreated, can lead to a ruptured tendon.

· Foot injuries — Plantar fasciitis, which can cause sharp pain or a dull ache in the bottom of the foot near the heel or in the arch, is typically caused by poor foot structure, inadequate running shoes or a sudden increase in the distance run. Improper shoes and downhill running can also cause painful Runner’s toe.

The good news is that these injuries are treatable, but more importantly can be prevented or minimized by following some basic training guidelines and  running techniques.

Some tips to help you

Invest in a good pair of running shoes. Running in worn out shoes is a prime cause of many injuries. Make sure to replace them when you’ve logged about 600 kms.
Stretch regularly before and after you run to avoid tightening of muscles. Be sure to include stretches for the hips, thigh, hamstring, calf and ankle, as well as the back.

Perform warm up exercises such as light jogging or sprinting prior to engaging in a full run.

Include cross training in your overall exercise regimen to help strengthen a wide range of muscles. Consider activities such as weight-training, swimming,
calisthenics or those exercises that use muscles in slightly different ways.

Avoid overtraining – and overexertion. Doing too much, too soon and too quickly can lead to injuries. A good approach for beginners may be to start with a
run/walk technique, alternating thirty seconds of running with thirty seconds of walking for about twenty to thirty minutes, three times a week. Gradually,
increase the length of running segments while keeping them at a manageable pace.

· Stay hydrated especially in warmer weather. Drink at least 1 ½ cups of water 10-15 minutes before running and every 20 minutes during.
· Run on smooth, even and softer surfaces whenever possible. For example, asphalt roads are a better choice than concrete sidewalks.

· Watch for the warning signs of injury. If you begin to experience pain or swelling, stop running and seek medical attention. Depending on the type and extent of injury, treatment may include RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation; taking anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin or ibuprofen); and taking time off from running.

– Seek professional advice from a Podiatrist if you are injured or have any concerns