Sprains, fractures, and tendonitis — an overview
Because the feet carry your entire weight and endure pressure equal to several times your actual weight, they are highly susceptible to injury, particularly when you participate in sports. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, the most common foot and ankle injuries suffered by athletes are sprains and fractures, and the most common overuse injury from athletics is tendonitis. Although anyone can suffer from a sprain, fracture, or tendonitis, basketball players, football players, runners, gymnasts, and dancers are especially prone to these injuries due to the nature of the movements involved in these activities. After athletic injuries, tripping on uneven ground is the next most common causes of foot and ankle sprains and fractures.
The connection between weight and foot health
Day in and day out, your feet carry the entire weight of your body. Your weight places a tremendous amount of stress on your feet. When you carry extra weight, your body must try to find ways to compensate for the extra stress created placed upon it by the excess pounds. It is natural to change your posture and the way you walk (gait) when overweight in order to shift your center of gravity, minimize discomfort, and to try to continue with your normal activities. Unfortunately, these shifts in your posture and gait add even more pressure and strain to the normal stress endured by your ankles and feet. This in turn increases your likelihood of foot and ankle injuries. Excess weight puts you at risk for a number of chronic illnesses that may affect your overall health, but with added negative impacts on your foot health.
Is plantar fasciitis the cause of your heel pain?
You’ve just woken up, turned off your alarm, had that first stretch of the morning, and then swung your legs over the side of the bed to stand up. You take a few steps, but with each one, you have pain in the heel of your foot. It happens morning after morning. What could be causing you pain before you’ve even started your day? The likely culprit is plantar fasciitis, an overuse injury resulting in inflammation of the connective tissue (the fascia) along the sole (the plantar surface) of your foot.
Who is at risk for developing plantar fasciitis?
Although anyone can suffer from plantar fasciitis, those most at risk for developing it are women, anyone overweight, those who have jobs requiring extensive walking or time standing on hard surfaces, or athletes engaged in sports involving stress on the calves, ankles, and feet. Those with excessively flat or excessively high arches are also more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
Interesting foot facts
The human foot is an amazingly complex structure. Feet have a large number of bones in them despite their size. They convey us from one place to another when we walk or run. The health of them is often the first indicator of other problems, particularly for diabetics. The following foot facts will provide you with some information to consider about your own foot health:
Did you know that a full quarter of your bones — 52, to be exact — are in your feet? In each foot, you have 26 bones, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and numerous tendons. Additionally, you have about 125,000 sweat glands in each foot, and you can sweat as much as a half pint per day just through your feet! And, by the time you were 12 years old, your feet were already 90% of their adult size.