How to Prevent Foot Injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are at least 60,000 foot injuries every year that are severe enough to keep people from working, with the majority caused by heavy objects. Of course, foot injuries can occur both on and off the job, with many related to activities like running or hiking, such as an ankle sprain which can cause talus foot pain due to the foot rolling outward while the ankle rolls inward, injuring ligaments.
While doing things like keeping walkways clear and floors dry at work can help prevent foot injuries in the workplace, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent them while taking part in sports, including these.
Wear Shoes For Your Foot Type
Wearing the right shoes for your foot type can lower the risk of injuries. For example, if you have high arches or stiffer feet, you'll need a pair with more cushion, or you can use high-quality insoles from trusted companies, such as Protalus. Those who have low arches need more support under the arch and at the front of the shoe, with a stable heel. Rather than relying on the size of the shoe, trust your own comfort level as shoe sizes can vary between manufacturers. They should be comfortable right away - don't think you can "break them in."
Replace Your Shoes Regularly
If you're an avid runner it's particularly important to replace your shoes regularly. Keep an eye on the heels - the sides typically start wearing out with time and when they become angled, it can lead to pain in your legs or back. Running shoes lose the capacity to absorb shock every 350 to 500 miles or so - and, if you've had them for over a year, they can change with exposure to heat and/or humidity.
Strengthen Your Feet
Strengthening the muscles of your feet can prevent an injury, and toe curling is one of the most effective for their intrinsic, or small muscles, which are often overlooked. It's so easy you can do it while sitting at your desk. Raise the heels and then curl your toes so that just the tips are touching the floor (you can do this one foot at a time if you prefer). Hold this pose for five seconds; repeat 10 times.
Calf drops are great for strengthening the tendons near the heel and the calf muscles. To perform them, stand on a step with your feet at the edge and then push up using both of them to raise your calves. Lift one leg off the step and then lower your other leg so that your heel is now below the step. Take 10 seconds to lower it and then return to the starting position, repeating 10 times on each foot.
Always Listen To Your Body
It's important to listen to what your body is telling you. If you're running or taking part in any other sport and experience ankle or foot pain, modify or stop the activity until the pain subsides. If you suffer an injury, be sure that you allow yourself time to recover before returning to the sport to prevent a recurring injury.