3 Common Foot/Ankle Injuries

Posted on: 2 May 2019

Your feet play an important role in your body's ability to function, but most people do not place much energy into foot health until they develop an issue. Not only are healthy, functional feet and ankles important for walking, but they are also essential for completing normal tasks, such as standing up and completing basic movements. When an issue does arise with your feet or ankles, your lifestyle may change drastically. Thankfully, healthcare centered around your feet and ankles is available. With this guide, you will learn a few common injuries that can affect your feet and ankles.


Recent reports have shown about 2 million ankle sprains occur each year in the United States. Even though it affects the actual ligaments of the ankle joint, a sprain will affect your ability to move the foot or walk on your foot in an effective, pain-free manner.

The causes of a sprain vary, but most people who sprain their ankle do so while playing sports or exercising because these movements can turn and twist the ankle joint abnormally. It is also possible to sprain your ankle when walking or completing simple tasks around the house.

The sprain occurs when the ligaments connecting the ankle joint and foot are twisted and turned excessively, resulting in severe inflammation, pain, and immobility. In more severe sprains, the ligament may tear.

Resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the foot is usually recommended for easing inflammation and swelling of the ankle sprain. If the ligaments have torn, surgical repair may be necessary.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is another common injury many people face, but many people do not even realize they have this condition. Basically, if you are experiencing a stabbing, dull-like pain in your heel or the arch of your foot, you most likely have plantar fasciitis. This pain usually decreases/improves as you go through the day.

To understand the cause of plantar fasciitis, you need to understand the anatomy of your foot. The plantar fascia is the tissue/ligament that runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel to the toes. If this tissue/ligament is overstretched, it may wear down and even develop small tears. This excess stress is known as plantar fasciitis.

Rest, ice, and even pain relievers are all good options for easing discomfort and swelling due to plantar fasciitis. You may also want to incorporate stretches and exercise into your daily routine to strengthen the plantar fascia, as well.

Heel Spurs

Most cases of heel spurs do not cause any pain. Unfortunately, there are individuals who experience enormous discomfort because the heel spurs are under stress due to contact with shoes or movement.

For example, you may have one of this calcium deposits/bony protrusions growing out of your heel without even realizing it – until you wear a pair of tight-fitting shoes or you are running/walking a great deal. This excess contact/movement can inflame the bone spur of the heel, which will also cause the plantar fascia to become inflamed and irritated.

The causes of heel spurs are difficult to determine because there are so many possibilities. If you have recently strained your foot, you have a higher risk of developing bone spurs in the foot. If you are overweight, have an abnormal gait, or play sports/have hobbies that place a lot of stress on the heel, you may develop a bone spur.

Wearing the right shoes and exercises can ease the pain and decrease the size of the heel spur. In severe cases, surgical removal of the excess bone may be necessary.

Your feet and ankles are important, so they deserve proper understanding and care. If you are experiencing one or more of the above injuries, talk to your podiatrist at a clinic such as Carolina Foot &  Ankle Specialists today.