Overuse Injuries of the Foot
Overuse injuries of the foot is defined as a general term for injuries that occur in the foot after too much activity and use of the muscles has occurred. Overuse injuries of the foot vary from person to person, simply because there can be hundreds of biomechanical faults of the foot, and each one can be related to the development of different injuries. Cause The cause of overuse injuries is too much walking, marching, running, or jumping that aggravate a pre-existing structural abnormality in the foot, ankle, leg, hip or back. All parts of the body are related and when activity increases, any areas that suffer from an abnormality – or an old non-healed injury – are subject to stresses that lead to injuries of the foot. For example, overpronation or oversupination of the foot can predispose the foot muscles to stretch or contract more than they normally should. These are conditions where the foot rolls to the inside or the outside during walking. As the foot rolls, the body weight is now compressing on the muscles in ways that should not occur. When the muscles tire, they become susceptible to injury. Other structural abnormalities of the foot that can lead to overuse injuries include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Morton’s toe, Morton’s neuroma, sesamoiditis, and bunions, but this list is not all-inclusive. Treatment and Prevention Treatment of overuse injuries involves: 1. Cessation or decrease in activity of the foot such as in running 2. Providing healing nutrients for the feet to heal themselves 3. Correcting the abnormality that led to the development of the issue in the first place Shoes that adequately support the foot are the first place to start. If the feet suffer from faulty biomechanics, adding orthotic arch supports, heel pads, heel lifts and / or cushioning insoles is important. Old shoes no longer support the foot and should be replaced. Runners believe that the average life of a shoe is 250 miles; after that, the shoe can’t absorb the compressive forces of the body enough to provide support.