Preventing Foot and Ankle Trauma
An ounce of prevention … yeah, yeah, you’ve heard this one before. Worth a pound of cure, right? It’s a cheesy cliché, we know. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Being proactive about your foot care and taking the right steps to prevent an injury is a lot better (and easier, and cheaper) in the long run than having to treat an active injury.
Of course, you can’t always prevent an injury with 100% certainty. Accidents happen. But you can do a lot to make them more or less likely. Here are a few suggestions:
- Don’t skimp on equipment. Step number one is finding the right pair of shoes to fit your feet and fit your activity. A runner needs very different features from his or her shoe than a football or basketball player need from theirs. Bad or insufficient shoes will only tire out your feet faster, and may not provide the support, stability, or protection for ankles you need.
- Balance your activities. Cross-training is healthier for your body than repeating the same activities over and over. You work different muscles groups and give your feet a chance to rest and recover after a hard day. For example, instead of going for a long run every day, run a few days per week and spend the rest of the time riding a bicycle, going for a swim, hitting the weights, or even doing some yoga. You want a healthy mix of both high impact and low impact exercises.
- Go slow, at least at first. Drastically changing up your activity routine, or suddenly ramping up the intensity of your workouts, is a recipe for disaster. Listen to your body, start at a pace you know you can sustain, and build slowly from there.
- Protect your feet. For starters, don’t go barefoot in public places (streets, parks, beaches, etc.) where you have increased odds of banging your toes or stepping on a sharp object. For other activities, choose the appropriate level of protect you need—from ordinary closed-toed shoes to steel-toed work boots as necessary.
- Maintain good personal fitness. One pound of body weight translates to several pounds of downward force from a stride or landing.
- Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Strong, flexible, healthy bones and soft tissues resist injuries and trauma.
Develop these and other healthy habits, and you have an excellent chance of avoiding unnecessary foot trauma and keeping healthy, injury-free feet for the foreseeable future. That said, if you do get hurt, the Dallas Podiatry Works team can help you, just like we’ve helped countless others get back on their feet after a foot trauma. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 972.566.7474 today.