Caring For Your Active Feet

The foot is a pivotal component in the way we move our bodies, particularly in the area of sports. While some foot injuries happen purely by chance and are going to be unavoidable, there are those that can be prevented just by ensuring you’re using both the proper techniques and the proper gear. Here are some of the more common actions you can take to avoid injuries:

Conditioning: One of the most important ways to ensure you don’t experience any foot-related injuries is to be in the right condition for what you’re attempting to do. For example, if you’re not a frequent runner but you sign up for a challenging race, you’re running an exceptionally high risk of incurring an injury. Don’t push yourself beyond your capabilities. If you want to try something challenging, condition yourself over the course of weeks and months to build up muscle and control. Cross-training is very effective as you’re putting yourself through different ranges of movements and exertion.

Warm-Up: It’s imperative that you warm up before you engage in any type of athletic activity. Doing a slow jog or light stretches for two to four minutes before you begin will make your muscles more pliable, and will give them a fuller range of motion.

Don’t Ignore Injuries, Past or Current: If you’ve got weak ankles or knees, it’s important to wear a brace, particularly if you’ve been instructed to do so by a healthcare professional. Ignoring that advice, and continuing as you normally would can compound the problem – putting unnecessary force on the weak joints and contributing to long-term wear. Weak ankles and knees can also impact your feet, altering the way you walk, and put pressure on your heels and soles. Once you develop pain or soreness in your feet, you’ll find you can’t do much until the discomfort subsides so it’s important to address any issues that can affect our feet negatively. Always be aware of what your body is telling you—if something hurts and it shouldn’t, it’s time to determine the cause.

Use the Right Gear: One of the most important ways to prevent foot-related injuries is to use the proper gear. Shoes, skates, and ski boots should always fit you properly. Obviously, what determines a good fit varies depending on the type of footwear and the sport it’s meant for, which is why it’s important to consult a professional in order to help you find the best fit. It doesn’t stop there, however. You also need to wear the right kind of sock to give you the support and comfort you need.

Athletic Socks: These socks are engineered to provide you with the most ideal fit along with other key advantages. Specifically, they are designed to keep your feet dry and comfortable, as well as offer you enhanced support where you need it most. If you’re a hockey player for example, hockey socks give you additional heel support, whereas good ski socks come with tibial pads to prevent shin banging. If you wear the right sock for the job, you’re greatly decreasing your risk of foot injury

Orthotics Can Be Helpful: If an individual has some type of foot abnormality, deformity, muscle imbalance, bone spur or tight musculature, custom orthotics can make an enormous difference in preventing injury and contributing to performance.  Orthotics would be one component of the treatment plan to correct the problem or help alleviate some of the muscle imbalance that is causing some biomechanical deviation.  (As an example, an athlete may either be a supinator or a pronator – classifications which simply describe how the athlete’s foot is aligned.  If the arch of the foot is collapsing, meaning the arch is fallen to the floor, then the athlete is categorized as a pronator.

Knowing if the athlete is a pronator or a supinator allows him/her to purchase footwear that will support the deformity and minimize the negative impact muscle imbalances can create on the player, leading to less time away from playing due to injury.

If the athlete is a pronator, the tendons in the inside of the shin (notably tibialis posterior) can be put under stretch for long periods of time and the tendons on the outside of the lower leg have to work overtime and become irritated.  A properly fitted orthotic will correct the problem and both sets of tendons will be rested, resulting in less pain and the ability to continue to play).

Read More Articles:
  • arthritis-joint-pain

    Joint Pain

    Over 4.5 million Canadians have arthritis and in the coming years, this number will continue to grow. It is quite common for arthritis to be present in the hips, knees, ankles or feet. It can arise with age, from normal wear and tear on the joint. However, it can also arise as the result of infection, poor genetics, a prior injury, surgery, or in association with a disease process, such as psoriasis. Obesity and lifestyle choices can also lead to arthritis, especially in the hips, legs and feet....

  • How to find the right shoe size

    Contrary to popular belief, our shoe size continues to change as we age! Weight gain or loss, pregnancy and the effects of aging are all common causes for changes in the length and width of our feet. If you haven’t measured your feet in the last 12 months, you may be included in the nearly 1/3 of men and ½ of women wearing the wrong shoe size....

  • 3 Tips For Finding A Good Custom Orthotics Expert or Foot Specialist

    Having trouble finding a good Custom Orthotics Expert or Foot Specialist? Have you ever had orthotics that didn't seem to work, or even worse, made your issues worse? Watch our video to learn 3 tips to finding a good provider. ...

  • (Video) Why Do My Heels Hurt In The Morning?

    VIDEO: If you find that your heels hurt in the morning, it is likely due to a condition called Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced "PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus"). It is the most common foot pain condition and we see it everyday in BioPed Footcare's 75+ locations across Canada! ...

  • Foot Pain Stretching – Relieve Your Foot Pain

    The symptoms described above are the result of a condition called “Plantar Fasciitis”. The following foot pain stretching techniques are very effective at relieving pain caused by this condition:...

  • Bunions – Relieve The Pain

    Most bunion pain sufferers don't actually know the wide array of solutions that exist to help relive their foot pain. As a result, most bunion pain sufferers simply try and live with it. We are here to change that and provide relief to those suffering from this type of pain....

  • Plantar Fasciitis Foot, Heel & Arch Pain

    Plantar Fasciitis is the most common type of Heel Pain? If you wake up from bed in the morning and experience a shooting heel pain when your feet hit the floor, you could be suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. ...

  • Do You Work On Your Feet All Day?

    Standing all day, whether work or at play, can do a real number on your feet, legs, and back! Each year in Canada, thousands of work-related foot injuries are reported and an increasing number of sick days are taken because of leg and foot problems....