|Common Foot Injuries|
Common Foot Injuries
Injuries to the foot are a very common occurrence both in the lay and athletic population. Foot injuries range from “turf” toe, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, and fractures. The foot should be protected at all times with shoes that help support our arches and help disperse or cushion our body weight. Walking in shoes that do not support the arch area and are too tight in the toe box can cause injuries to the foot.
“Turf” toe is an inflammation condition of the joint between the 1st toe and foot. “Turf” toe gets its name from sports that are played on artificial turf and occurs when a player jams his toe into the turf causing inflammation in that joint. This joint can also be affected by arthritis. With an arthritic condition, the body will lay down more bone to try to protect itself and we end up with what is called a bunion. As this occurs, we get a greater deviation of the 1st toe into what is called valgus or an inward position.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition of the undersurface of the foot that is very painful. The padding of the foot is strained (torn) by a traumatic injury or overuse injury without support. To help correct this problem, a shoe with a good arch support is needed with the addition of an orthotic insert to help support the structures of the foot, as well as maintaining good flexibility around the foot and ankle areas. This helps take the stress off the underlying tissue to allow it to heal. Also located in the arch area are arch ligaments that attach to the heel bone (calcaneus). This is the site that bone spurs can develop. This condition usually occurs from tightness in the ligament structure of the arch and stress placed upon its attachment. Again, orthotic inserts help relieve the pressure and decrease the pain.
Morton’s neuroma is a large nerve located between the third and forth toes that becomes compressed and irritated. This condition is more common in women than men, possible because women wear confining shoes more often. Flat feet can cause the nerve to become inflamed, as well as high heels and tight toe boxes on shoes. The most common symptom is localized pain between the third and forth toes that increases with weight bearing and lessens when at rest. Treatment for a Morton’s neuroma includes padding and/or taping the area to disperse weight away from the neuroma, and support to the arch or a custom-fitted orthotic will help in managing this condition.
Fractures that occur most commonly in the foot are fractures of the toes or fracture of the base of the 5th metacarpal which is known as a Jone’s fracture. This fracture commonly occurs with a movement that causes ankle sprains and is sometimes overlooked unless an x-ray is taken. Foot injuries are very common and affect many of us in our daily routines. Keeping our feet healthy will help keep our bodies healthy. When you have a foot injury, your activity level will drop affecting your ability to be active.