How To Get Past Four Leading Overuse Fitness Foot Injuries

How To Get Past Four Leading Overuse Fitness Foot Injuries
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(Last Updated On: February 9, 2018)

How To Get Past Four Leading Overuse Fitness Foot Injuries

When beginning a fitness program, many people do not have precisely the right equipment, reasoning that it just doesn’t matter that much. Moreover, in their abundance, many beginners push themselves a little too hard. That combination often sets the stage for some foot injuries because foot and leg muscles are only not used to the higher activity level.

These injuries are incredibly standard, so if you are suffering, don’t let them depress or upset you. In fact, foot injuries are the second leading fitness injury among active individuals. Most foot injuries are excruciating but not very severe if appropriately treated – check out this quick guide:



Turf Toe

Although commonly associated with athletes who play on artificial surfaces, ligament sprains in the big toe area are almost as common among martial arts participants. However, “karate toe” or “taekwondo toe” doesn’t quite have the same ring. By design, shoes grip the surface even after people lift their feet, to provide stability during walking or exercising. Sometimes, this action results in a ligament sprain. People who wear poorly-fitting shoes are at a higher risk for turf toe.

Like most ligament, tendon, or other muscle injuries, turf toe usually responds well to the RICE protocol, which is:

  • Rest the injured area as much as possible,
  • Apply ice three or four times a day for about fifteen or twenty minutes at a time,
  • Use an Ace bandage, KT tape, or a specially designed brace for compression, and
  • Keep the area elevated.

Turf toe is almost always an overuse injury and typically goes away after about three weeks. Do not resume regular activity until the injured foot looks, feels, and acts just like the non-injured one, or you risk aggravating the condition and maybe tearing a ligament.

When beginning a fitness program, many people do not have precisely the right equipment, reasoning that it just doesn’t matter that much. Moreover, in their abundance, many beginners push themselves a little too hard. That combination often sets the stage for some foot injuries because foot and leg muscles are only not used to the higher activity level.

Stress Fracture

Repetitive activity, or a sudden uptick in business, cause these hairline fractures that usually occur in the heel bone. While the pain is similar to muscle injuries, there’s usually no swelling. Moreover, the discomfort intensifies with activity and lessens with rest. Older individuals who already have some bone loss are at a higher risk.

Usually, stress fractures heal on their own after about three or four weeks. While the RICE method won’t accelerate healing of a bone injury, it will probably decrease pain. If the damage isn’t significantly better in about two weeks, a doctor may prescribe a cast or a brace.

Black Toe

A subungual hematoma is basically turf toe among runners. It’s a classic overuse injury brought on by ill-fitting shoes. If the big toe repeatedly hits the inside of the shoe, even at an extremely low level of force, blood eventually collects under the nail, causing extreme pain and tenderness. Furthermore, as the name implies, this injury also looks very unsightly. Other than the wrong footwear, there are almost no risk factors.

If the pain becomes unbearable, and there’s a good chance what will happen, a doctor can drain the toe. In some cases, if the nail separates from the toe, the doctor may remove the nail. That’s actually a good thing because it will probably grow back healthier and stronger.

Good shoes substantially eliminate the risk of the black toe. Tell the salesperson that you either are worried about this injury or that you sustained it before and aren’t keen on a repeat performance.

Plantar Fasciitis

Inflammation of plantar fascia tissue (the bottom of the foot) is perhaps the most painful of all foot injuries, which is saying a lot. The discomfort is usually the worst first thing in the morning. Plantar fasciitis is an injury that results from overuse, but it usually has nothing to do with the foot. Although that’s where the pain presents itself, the issue begins typically with tight calf muscles.

Regularly stretching these muscles, along with the Achilles tendon, prevents typically plantar fasciitis. To recover from this injury, use the RICE method to dull the pain and a specially-designed brace to stabilize and immobilize the area.

Foot injuries are common among fitness beginners, but they are often preventable, and they never have to slow you down substantially.

by Joe Fleming

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