Many different foot issues fall under the “foot injuries” umbrella.
From sprains and broken bones that leave you bedridden to overuse injuries that make your days more painful, it would take a full day to discuss every foot injury in detail!
That’s why we’re aiming to give this article a positive spin by switching the focus to treatment and how a chiropodist can help you. But first, it’s important to discern between the two types of injuries and how the type you have will determine your approach to treatment.
Today’s blog will discuss the following:
- What are some common foot injuries?
- Examples of overuse injuries
- Examples of acute injuries
- How do chiropodists treat and prevent foot injuries?
What Are Some Common Foot Injuries?
When discussing foot injury treatment, it’s important to distinguish the cause of the injury and whether or not sudden, acute pain is present.
Some injuries cause everyday pain flair-ups that can be a real nuisance but aren’t enough to make you feel like you must go to the hospital. These are “overuse” injuries because they stem from straining your muscles and joints and withstanding repetitive, mild trauma.
These injuries arise when we exert intense physical activity too quickly without proper stretching, exercising and footwear. However, you don’t have to be an athlete to succumb to an overuse injury; you can also develop one due to wearing ill-fitting, unsupportive shoes while working on your feet all day.
On the other hand, some injuries are sudden and result from a fall or misstep. They can also result from the blunt impact of an object falling on your foot. These are often more debilitating in the days that follow the injury.
Examples of Overuse / “Everyday” Foot Injuries
- Achilles Tendonitis: Occurs due to Achilles tendon inflammation (connects your heel and calf along the back of the foot).
- Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot (plantar fascia). Often caused by overuse, poor footwear choices and repeated walking on hard surfaces.
- Morton’s Neuroma: Results from the irritation and thickening of the tissues surrounding the nerves that lead to your toes. Patients notice pain in the ball of the foot.
- Shin splints: Pain along the shin bone caused by overworking muscles, tendons and bone tissues, commonly found in athletes and dancers.
- Heel spurs: A calcium deposit that causes a bony protrusion underneath the heel bone. They may be painless or cause sporadic heel pain.
- Capsulitis (big toe or second toe): Joint inflammation in the area where the toe’s base meets the foot’s ball.
- Stress Fractures: Tiny cracks in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot due to overuse and playing sports with excessive jumping and running.
Examples of Sudden (Acute) Foot Injuries
- Ankle sprains
- Broken bones in the foot due to blunt force trauma
- Puncture wounds
- Ruptured tendons
How Do Chiropodists Treat and Prevent Foot Injuries?
Overuse / Everyday Injuries Treatment and Prevention
Chiropodists are known for successfully treating and preventing overuse injuries. They pride themselves on giving patients the tools to manage pain and improve their quality of life. Some of the most effective services include:
- Custom orthotic fittings
- Recommending exercises and stretches
- Shockwave therapy
- Footwear modification guidance
- Periodic foot assessments
Custom Orthotic Fittings
These inserts fit into virtually all of your footwear, help stabilize your feet and ankles, and take the stress off the weight-bearing areas of the feet. They are one of the most multi-purposeful medical devices for foot injury recovery and can aid almost every foot condition. The goal is to use your foot as the blueprint to create the perfect pair of orthotics that keep your foot in the ideal position for healing and pain management.
Recommending Exercises and Stretches for Target Muscles, Tendons, Ligaments and Joints
Feet First Clinic’s Pinterest Board has several options for stretches that help with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, ankle strengthening, and much more. These routines are also tools you can use to strengthen your foot, protecting you from a future overuse or sudden injury. These stretches and exercises also fit nicely into your foot care regimen!
This modern and non-invasive therapy treats soft tissue injuries like Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma and muscle strain. After thorough preparation, a chiropodist uses an applicator to deliver energy pulses to the affected areas. It is a quick, pain-free treatment lasting only 5-20 minutes.
Footwear Modification Guidance
Chiropodists have a keen sense of what shoes to recommend depending on individual needs. A shoe fitting at a foot clinic keeps you from developing an overuse injury and can help in the rehabilitation phase of a more severe injury.
Periodic Foot Assessments
A foot assessment is like a full body physical that focuses solely on your feet. Likewise, you will need updates on how your overuse or acute injury is recovering and if your progress is continuing along nicely. For those without glaring foot issues, a foot assessment is recommended once per year. If you have a healing injury, you should see your chiropodist for an assessment every six months or less, depending on your situation.
Sudden Foot Injuries Treatment and Prevention
Now let’s get into the more debilitating foot injuries.
First and foremost, you shouldn’t immediately see your chiropodist after experiencing a blunt form trauma injury, sudden ankle sprain or any other type of acutely painful accident. On the day you sustain such an injury (and the immediate days that follow), you may have to get MRIs or X-ray images in addition to crutches or a physical exam from a physician. You should then practice the R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method from home while you take it easy and avoid walking.
However, chiropodists can help immensely with injury recovery after the acute pain phase passes. Chiropody treatment for ankle injuries like sprains or broken bones in the foot typically occurs during rehabilitation or when the patient has begun healing and needs to regain control of their motion via therapeutic intervention.
To learn what treatment methods are available, you can simply revert to our list for overuse injuries. You can also use the preventative measures we’ve already mentioned, but we have a few additional tips worth noting:
- Reduce your chances of ankle sprains by focusing on stretches that improve ankle flexibility and strength.
- Watch your step when walking and playing sports to avoid breaking a bone or sustaining a sprain.
- Wear shoes that offer extra ankle support to avoid sprains.
- To prevent accidents at home, wear shoes or orthopaedic slippers indoors and take your time walking while tired or impaired for any reason.