Toe, Foot, and Ankle Injuries
Toe, Foot, and Ankle Injuries
The following tips may prevent toe, foot,
or ankle injuries.
Toe, foot, and ankle tips
- Avoid problems by wearing good footwear. Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
- Do not walk barefoot in areas such as streets and parks where
you have an increased risk of stepping on an object.
- Use a rubber
mat to stand on if your work requires you to stand on hard surfaces. This will
help to reduce stress on your feet.
- Buy new running shoes often.
Experts recommend getting new athletic shoes every 3 months or after 500 miles
of wear. Overworn shoes may not absorb shock well or provide traction or
- Reduce your risk of reinjury by wrapping your foot or
ankle or wearing a supportive brace during activities or exercises where injury
is a risk.
- Prevent blisters caused by poorly fitting shoes or
exercises for heel pain and tightness. This is especially important for athletes
before they participate in sports. It is also helpful for people who are not
involved with sports.
- To help prevent foot injuries and problems:
- Wear good athletic shoes, such as shoes
with cushioned soles (especially heels) and good arch support. Physical
therapists, orthopedists, podiatrists, and sports medicine health professionals
can advise you.
- Buy new shoes every few months, because padding
wears out. Also buy new shoes if the tread or heels wear down. The expense is
worth preventing ongoing (chronic) foot or ankle problems.
reasonable in your training:
- Stretch your foot, ankle, and leg
muscles before and after exercise.
- Avoid rapidly increasing the
number of miles you run, running or training uphill, and running on hard
surfaces, such as concrete.
- Avoid excessive sprinting (short, rapid
bursts of running).
- Never cut
calluses and corns with a razor or a
- Avoid foot problems or injuries,
especially if you have
General prevention tips
- Use a step stool. Do not stand on chairs or
other unsteady objects.
- Wear protective gear during sports or
recreational activities, such as roller-skating or soccer to prevent injuries for you or your child. Supportive splints
may reduce your risk of injury.
- Maintain a reasonable weight for
- Stretch before and after physical exercise, sports, or
recreational activities to warm up your muscles.
- Walk regularly to
improve circulation, increase flexibility, reduce fatigue, and encourage bone
and muscle development.
- Use the correct techniques (movements) or
positions during activities so that you do not strain your
- Avoid overusing your foot and ankle with repeated
movements that can injure your
bursa or tendon. In daily routines or hobbies, examine
activities in which you make repeated movements.
- If you feel that
certain activities at your workplace are causing pain or soreness from overuse,
talk to your human resources department for information on alternative ways of
doing your job or to discuss equipment modifications or other job
Keep your bones strong
- Eat a nutritious diet with enough
vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium.
Calcium is found in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; dark
green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli; and other
- Exercise and stay active. It is best to do weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, or lifting weights, for 2½ hours a week. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. In addition to weight-bearing exercise, experts recommend that you do resistance exercises at least 2 days a week. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that is right for you. Begin slowly, especially if you have not been active. For
more information, see the topic Fitness.
- Do not drink more than 2
alcoholic drinks a day if you are a man, or 1 alcoholic drink a day if you are
a woman. People who drink more than this may be at higher risk for weakening
bones (osteoporosis). Alcohol use also increases your risk of
falling and breaking a bone.
- Do not smoke or use other tobacco
products. Smoking puts you at a much higher risk for developing osteoporosis.
It also interferes with blood supply and healing. For more information, see the
Injuries such as bruises, burns,
fractures, cuts, or punctures may be a sign of
abuse. Suspect possible abuse when an injury cannot be
explained or does not match the explanation, repeated injuries occur, or the
explanations for the cause of the injury change. You may be able to prevent
further abuse by reporting it and seeking help.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
October 4, 2012
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