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Overusing Your Feet? A Guide

Whether you walk a lot for exercise or you need to walk for your job, you could put your feet at risk for an overuse injury. Your feet take a lot of punishment, especially when you are on them for long periods. If you ignore the warning signs, then you might need medical intervention and possibly even surgery. Discover what some common types of foot overuse issues are, how to lessen foot problems, and when to see a podiatrist.

What Are Common Overuse Issues?

Your foot contains many bones and several tendons and ligaments that work together to support your weight and movement. When one or more of these structures are injured, you may experience pain and difficulty walking. Discover a small list of overuse injuries common from walking.

Achilles Tendinitis

Your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to the bottom of your feet. It runs down the lower leg and back of your foot. If you do too much walking, then this tendon can get easily irritated. The same is true if you walk on irregular terrain with improper footwear. Tendons can rupture or tear if you don't correct problems early or protect your feet.

Heel Bursitis

Many people know about hip bursitis that occurs when people walk too much. However, heel bursitis is also very common with walkers. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions the joint and tendon. A large bursa sac exists behind the heel and near the Achilles tendon. Like the tendon, overuse can cause this bursa to become irritated. In severe cases, the bursa can rupture and cause severe pain.

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs the length of the bottom of your foot. Its job is to stabilize the foot and arch. When you have a problem with this ligament, you will likely experience heel pain that radiates up the foot. The pain is worse when you first get up in the morning, especially if you walk on hard surfaces.

Morton's Neuroma

Morton's neuroma affects the ball of your foot, mostly around the three smaller toes. It's from tissue getting thick around the nerves in that area. Often, this condition feels like you stepped on a marble and is worse when you wear shoes with a narrow toe box. Women tend to get this condition more often because they tend to wear tight shoes that push on the outside toes.

How Can You Prevent Overuse Issues?

Most people can reduce overuse injuries with proper rest and, in some cases, ice therapy. You can also alternate between walking and other activities that take the pressure off your feet like swimming or cycling.

However, this may not be possible if your job requires you to stand and walk a great deal. One thing you can do if you must walk for work is to choose your footwear carefully. If possible, wear shoes that support and cushion your feet as much as possible. You could also benefit from shoe inserts and orthotics.

When Do You Need Medical Help With Overuse Issues?

If you are in so much pain that you cannot stand or walk, then see a podiatrist. You should also see a podiatrist if you have visible swelling and deformity. Some conditions aren’t repairable with rest and may even need surgical correction. You may also need medical help to correct existing foot problems that could lead to severe issues later on.

If your foot problems aren't alleviated by traditional treatment such as rest, ice, and proper footwear, then see a specialist. When you come to Ankle & Foot Clinic Of Everett, you will get a thorough examination with modern diagnostic equipment. Our doctors treat a variety of foot-related issues so you can literally get back on your feet. Call for an appointment to get started on treatment for your pain.

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