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3 common Foot and Ankle injuries During Spring Time

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a flat band of tissue that attaches to your heel and extends the bottom of your foot to the toes.  Plantar fasciitis pain usually presents as pain on the bottom of the foot after rest which may improve with walking.  Early fasciitis resolves after a couple minutes of walking while later stages can present as pain all day.  It most often occurs with people with high or flat arches, excessive activity, obesity, and overuse to name a few.

What are Some Plantar Fasciitis Treatments?

Early stage plantar fasciitis can usually be remedied without visiting a doctor such as Kalmar Family Podiatry.  Plantar fasciitis exercises and icing can be key to success.  Stretching the achilles tendon, hamstring and plantar fascia specifically can help reduce pain.  I recommend performing at least one achilles stretch and a plantar fascia stretch before getting out of bed to reduce the first step in the morning pain.  The most effective plantar fascia stretch is performed by bending the toes back (up) with the same hand as the problem foot and at the same time using the thumb of the other hand to massage the fascia. Other plantar fasciitis treatments can be performed with rolling a frozen water bottle for 20-30 minutes, supporting the midfoot with a strapping or orthotics, and NSAIDS like motrin or advil if tolerated.  

What is Achilles tendonitis?

The achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body.  This tendon attaches multiple muscles to the calcaneus including the gastroc, soleus, and plantaris.  The action of this muscle is to cause plantar flexion at the foot and bending at the knee.  The most common cause of Achilles tendon injuries is overuse, weight, improper footwear, and foot type. Patient typically have pain at the insertion of the achilles on the back of the heel to a point 6-8 cm above that called the watershed area.  Pain can be after rest, but most commonly increased with use.  Hearing or feeling a pop or having a divot in the achilles can be a sign of a complete tear.  In that case you should immediately see a podiatrist like Kalmar Family Podiatry for an evaluation. 

What are Achilles Tendonitis treatments?

Treatments for achilles tendonitis should start with R.I.C.E.  This stands for rest, Ice, compression and elevation.  Icing should be performed 20-30 minutes for the first 48 hours.  After the first 48 hours The use of non steroidal anti-inflammatories can help to limit the pain and inflammation one gets from Achilles tendonitis.  Achilles tendon exercises also help to chronically lengthen the tendon to relieve stress.  If the pain remains longer then a day or increases then you may need to seek professional help.    

What are Ankle Sprains?

There are many different type of ankle sprains.  ALthough the most common is the lateral ankle sprain which occurs on the outside of your ankle.  A sprain refers to a ligament injury, and a ligament attaches one bone to another.  Ankle sprains can vary in severity, and with the increase in severity comes longer healing time.

What are Ankle Sprain Treatments?

Like a lot of other soft tissue injuries it is very important to perform the RICE protocol outlined above with an emphasis on rest.  If you attempt to return to activity too soon you risk re-injuring your ankle and needing more time to recover.  Immobilization of the ankle is important.  There are many ankle brace products on the market with increasing support.  Although the typical air cast is not recommended many other braces online and in stores area good first line.  Many severe ankle sprains also come with fracturing of the ankle.  In these cases its important to seek immediate care. 

All 3 of these common injuries can be minimized as you start your spring work out back up.  We recommend easing into a workout routine slowly.  Start slow increasing by about 10% a week until you reach your goal.  It's important to stretch after a light warm up and again after exercise, and ice any soreness out. 

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