How to Avoid Overuse Injuries
Not every injury happens in an instant. Many painful foot conditions are produced slowly over time through thousands of small impacts. This is opposed to a single traumatic incident like a car accident or bad stumble. Heel pain, inflamed tendons, and even hairline cracks in bone (stress fractures) can develop this way, causing a lot of pain and keeping you from sports, hobbies, or work.
If you suffer from chronic pain and discomfort in your heels, arches, the ball of your foot, or elsewhere in your lower limbs but can’t think of a specific incident that would have caused it, chances are good you have some kind of overuse injury. Fortunately, with a little planning, these can frequently be avoided.
Top Tips for Avoiding Overuse Injuries
- Choose the right shoes and supports. Footwear that doesn’t support your arches or cushion your heels properly will cause the bones and connective tissues to wear down faster. Go for roomy, comfy shoes that make sense for the activity they’ll be used for. If you still have problems, we can help you select an insert or fit you for custom orthotics.
- Ease into new activities slowly and steadily. Even if you’re already in good shape, don’t assume you can suddenly change your sport or exercise routine and go all out from the start. Your feet need time to adjust to new activities. Listen to your body, start slower than you think you need to, and increase your intensity gradually. Go for no more than 10 to 15 percent per week. Training too hard, especially when coming off a previous injury, is a common source of overuse injuries.
- Don’t be sport-exclusive. We know you may really love to run, play basketball, or dance. But when you’re always using your body the same way every time, it can lead to overuse injury. Instead, balance your activities with exercises that work different muscle groups and don’t place as much high-impact stress on the feet. Go for a bike ride, swim, or hit the weights instead of going for another long run.
- Make appropriate accommodations at work. Sometimes your overuse injury isn’t from a particular sport or hobby, but from working on your feet all day. Since getting a different job isn’t usually a feasible or desirable option, look toward some accommodations you can make to relieve the stress. This might include being more mindful of spacing out your breaks, alternating standing and sitting as much as possible, taking time to stretch, or getting a padded mat for your workstation.
Get Back on Track with Kansas Foot Center
If chronic pain in your feet or ankles is a constant companion, crimping your style and keeping you from the lifestyle you want to live, make an appointment with the experts at the Kansas Foot Center. We help people just like you treat and prevent overuse injuries and other foot problems so you can enjoy work, sports, family time, and other activities. We even offer advanced treatment options for tough pain, including laser therapy and shockwave therapy. Give us a call today at (866) 222-5177.