If your New Year’s resolutions include becoming more physically active, there are certain foot conditions you should be on guard against. At Paul S. DeMarco, we see many injuries that occur when patients fail to warm up properly or try to start up a new sport too quickly. Here are a few of the more common ones:
Achilles Tendon Injuries—This long tendon that runs down the back of your lower leg is the strongest tendon in the body and also the most frequently injured. A sudden increase in activity, such as increasing speed or distance in your running program too rapidly, sprinting, or running hills or stairs can cause an inflammation or even a tear to the tendon. Signs of an injury to this area are soreness in the back of the leg and stiffness or tenderness, especially first thing in the morning.
Stress Fractures—Excessive pounding or pressure on metatarsals, toe bones or other bones of the forefoot can result in a small, hairline crack in the surface of the bone. Characterized by pain at the site, swelling and tenderness, a stress fracture may not prevent you from walking or continuing with your activities. They will get worse, however, if not treated.
Heel Pain/Plantar Fasciitis—If you have overly high arches or flat feet and are participating in activities that put strain on the heel such as running or dance you may start to develop pain in your plantar fascia, the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot connecting your toes to your heel.
Neuromas—Frequently basketball, tennis, running or other activities that involve pressure to the ball of the foot will cause a neuroma or swelling of one of the nerves that run between the metatarsals and up to the toes. In addition to pain, you may experience numbness or tingling in the forefoot.
In most cases, these and other conditions brought on by physical activity will worsen if left untreated and can even become seriously disabling. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in connection with a sport or exercise routine, make an appointment in our Somers Point office to see our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco by calling (609) 927-4894. In addition to diagnosing and treating any medical conditions affecting your feet or ankles, the foot doctor can advise you on proper footwear, warm ups and other tips that will make your workout more effective and protect your podiatric health.