Are you a fitness nut? Here’s what you need to know about common foot and ankle concerns
Calling all fitness fanatics! Do you feel exhausted but squeeze in just one more rep? Do you wake up earlier than the rest of your household to train? Do you follow New York weather reports obsessively to see if it’s expected to rain on your big game day? If you answered yes to any of the above questions or experience similar feelings with other activities, listen up. I hate to be the one to bear bad news, but it’s important that you know your feet and ankles are at risk for injury. In fact, with your lifestyle, you are almost guaranteed to experience some kind of temporary injury in your athletic attempts.
Of course, these risks are no reason to stop your current routine… as long as you commit to recognizing any damage and having a complete evaluation to rule out more serious issues.
The following are some examples of common injuries I see among my patients. Be mindful of your body and don’t hesitate to reach out for treatment in our facility. Our number one goal is to give you excellent care so you can be back to your routine as soon as possible.
Remember that story about Achilles and his heel? You’re at risk for an incident like that, too (minus a few dramatic details, of course!) The Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel. This tendon helps the foot point downward and assists with foot movement for walking, running, and jumping. If the tendon becomes stretched too far, it may tear, or rupture. When that happens, the pain is quite sharp and will make it challenging or even impossible to walk at a normal pace. Treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture usually requires surgery, but minimally invasive techniques do the trick in some circumstances.
It can occur when you least expect it: you’re playing on your rec league soccer team, walking to dinner in heels, or trip getting out of bed in the middle of the night. Suddenly, your ankle starts to ache. What happened?! When you explore uneven terrain or otherwise throw your body off-balance, your ankle might slip and become twisted. This might even cause an ankle sprain. Sprains are pretty common, but they can have symptoms that are similar to more serious injuries. That’s why it is important that you speak with a professional to be evaluated before trying to treat yourself at home.
Peroneal tendon tear
Your peroneal tendons are located along the outer edge of the lower leg and are contained in a fibrous tunnel that runs behind the outside of the ankle bone. These tendons provide stability and function to the ankle joint. Tears typically occur when you overuse this part of your body or are in constant movement because of sports like running, baseball, soccer, and gymnastics. Keep an eye out for ankle pain, swelling, popping sensations and tenderness at the outer edge of the ankle, and weakness or instability of the ankle or foot. This may require ankle surgery.