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Avoiding Foot and Ankle Injuries

Our feet and ankles are the foundation of our bodies and real workhorses: each day we walk an average of 7,500 steps. Over a lifetime these really add up and can total more than 100,000 miles – four times around the world!

It’s easy to see that preventing harm to our feet and ankles is very important. Although some injuries are unavoidable, you can reduce your risk. Here’s how:

  • Add balance-improving exercises to your routine. Practice standing on one foot while brushing your teeth.
  • Keep joints flexible with regular stretching. Target foot, ankle, heel and calf areas.
  • Wear comfortable and sturdy, supportive shoes. Look for generous cushioning and arch support.
  • Avoid walking barefoot.
  • Never cut corns or calluses with scissors, nail clippers or a knife.

Be Smart about Exercising to Prevent Foot and Ankle Injuries

A sports injury can leave you on the sidelines. Follow these tips to minimize the chance of injuring yourself:

  • Choose the right sports footwear for your chosen sport and foot type.
  • Begin an exercise program slowly and gradually increase activity duration to condition your muscles.
  • Run on dirt or cushioned tracks rather than an uneven or gravelly surface; avoid asphalt and concrete.
  • Warm up and do some gentle stretches before you exercise.
  • Listen to your body: ease up on the intensity or stop your activity if feet or ankles become painful.

Many athletes use custom-fitted orthotics to help improve foot function and shock absorption while decreasing the chance of injuries.

Prevent Falls

Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM urges you to do all you can to prevent falls that can cause serious injuries:

  • Remove loose throw rugs from your home.
  • Add adequate lighting and handrails to both indoor and outdoor staircases.
  • Keep rooms free of clutter especially on the floors.

Consult a Professional for Foot Pain Relief

Despite your good intentions and precautions, you may still sustain a foot injury. Treat mild injuries with the R.I.C.E. method:

  • Rest the painful area and take a break from your activities.
  • Ice your foot periodically to reduce swelling. Apply an ice pack at least 3 times a day for 10-20 minutes each time.
  • Compress or wrap the area firmly with an elastic bandage. Don’t put bandage on too tightly.
  • Elevate the leg with the painful area on pillows as often as you can. Try to position your foot above your heart.

With a more serious injury, home treatment will not be enough. If you develop tingling in your foot or any signs of infection, or if pain is severe, come in to our office right away for a professional diagnosis and treatment.

Contact Us for any Serious Foot Injury

Don’t suffer with pain from an injury. Call Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist in Chicago for an examination. You can reach us at 773-561-8100 for an appointment or contact us via the website.