Common Exercise Injuries


With the New Year frequently comes resolutions to start exercising. And, oftentimes, new fitness programs lead to injuries if the proper precautions are not taken. At NY Foot Health, we want to let you know about some common podiatric injuries that exercise can bring about and how to avoid them.

Achilles Tendonitis - your Achilles tendon, which runs down the back of your leg from your calf to your heel, is the strongest tendon in your body and also the most frequently injured. Extreme pain and swelling of the tendon are the characteristic symptoms of Achilles tendonitis. It is most often caused by overuse, such as when you accelerate the intensity or duration of your workout too quickly. In some cases, biomechanical defects, such as flat feet, can also put a strain on the Achilles tendon. Your podiatrist may prescribe an orthotic device to help correct the problem. Taking time to warm up and stretch before and after exercise and not doing too much too soon can help you prevent Achilles problems.

Heel Pain - heel pain can have several different causes. Repetitive pounding of the heel, such as when you run, or coming down too hard on your heel can result in a bone bruise. Insufficient arch support can inflame the ligament on the bottom of your foot—the plantar fascia—which can cause heel pain. One of the best ways to head off heel pain is by your choice of shoes. Make sure you choose a pair of shoes that are designed for the fitness activity you are doing, have good cushioning in the heel and that fit properly. If you have chronic foot problems, such as heel spurs or flat feet, ask your podiatrist to recommend shoes designs and accommodations that will help make exercise more comfortable. Need to find a podiatrist in your area? Use our online directory.

Sprains and Strains - when ligaments or muscles are overstretched, a sprain or strain can occur. These often happen to patients who have been inactive for a long period of time and then start up a new exercise program. Take your time and don’t neglect to stretch and warm up properly before your workout. If you are exercising outdoors, choose an area where the surface is level and free of rocks or other items that could cause an ankle twisting accident.

If you have questions about other common foot and ankle injuries, contact us or subscribe to our free e-newsletter.