Wear and tear can be more destructive than many people realize. Given time to recover, basic day-to-day wear and tear has very little effect on the feet. However, overuse can contribute to chronic pain that limits mobility and prevents you from participating in your favorite activities. While athletes are particularly prone to the problem because of how they push their bodies to their limits, anyone can overwork their feet and ankles, leading to common overuse injuries.
Compounding Problems Over Time
Overuse develops over time as a result of repetitive trauma or wear and tear. Typically the damage to your feet and ankles starts small. However, your body isn’t given the time it needs to rest up and repair the minor damage. Instead you continue to push your feet and the injury compounds over time, creating a bigger and more painful problem down the line.
This is especially common with athletes, who often “push through the pain” to continue practicing or playing their game. Working people who spend many hours standing or walking have a high risk as well. This problem is also common in young athletes who are still growing, and older people who are becoming active again after a period of inactivity. They are likely to push their feet past what they can handle and develop pain.
Common Overuse Issues
Plenty of foot and ankle injuries can be considered overuse issues. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Heel pain – Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis often develop in overworked feet. Excessive stress on the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon over time can cause stress, thickening, and even tiny tears in the tissue.
- Ankle instability – Fatigued ankles, particularly if they’ve been injured before, are more prone to pain and traumatic injuries like sprains.
- Ball of the foot injuries – From metatarsalgia to sesamoiditis, excessive pressure on the forefoot over a period of time can contribute to inflammation and pain.
- Shin splints – Whether caused by faulty biomechanics or trying too much too quickly, the soft tissues in the shins become fatigued and inflamed when they’re overused.
- Stress fractures – Repeated hard impacts over time can actually crack bones. These are called stress fractures and they can lead to bigger breaks later unless they’re treated.
Catching It Early, Treating It Right
Treating overuse injuries will depend on your unique feet and your individual condition, but most treatments involve similar things: rest and methods to lower swelling and inflammation. The key is to pay attention to your lower limbs and catch the problem early. Pain isn’t something to ignore; it’s a sign something isn’t right. Recognize this and get help for your feet and ankles. Experts like our team at Absolute Foot Care Specialists will use tests to identify your specific overuse problem and the best treatments to target your pain.
Overuse and fatigue can wear your feet down more than you might think. Don’t take foot pain of any kind for granted or assume it will get better on its own. Pay attention to it and catch injuries early so you can care for them before they limit your life. Let our experts at Absolute Foot Care Specialists help you. Contact our Las Vegas offices today for more information or a consultation to get started. Just use our website request forms or call (702) 839-2010.