The feet and ankle are composed of a complicated network of bones, joints and muscles and tendons and ligaments. They provide balance and support to the body and keep it mobile. The constant pressure on the bones or soft tissues often causes trauma to the feet and ankle and results in pain and inflammation.
Foot and ankle trauma can happen to anybody, even to someone who is fit and keeps themselves in shape. Some of the common causes for foot trauma include the following:
Some common symptoms of foot trauma include:
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the bone in the heel. This can suffer damage with overuse, causing pain and inflammation. It can also rupture because of sudden trauma, especially during high impact sports.
The ankle joint and bones are held together with ligaments and they prevent the feet from moving too far on either side. If the ligament is stretched beyond a point, it can cause a sprain. Sprains may be minor enough to be treated at home with rest but if they happen often, they could weaken the ankle.
Stress fractures occur when pressure is applied on the weak points of the foot. They are common in people who have osteoporosis, and in the elderly who may have weaker and more brittle bones. Athletes who over exercise and train for sports that involve a lot of running like athletics, basketball, football, etc., are found to be more prone to stress fractures of the foot.
An ankle fracture is usually due to some kind of traumatic injury or impact. The symptoms of mild ankle fracture are very similar to the symptoms of a severe ankle condition and as a result people do not consult a doctor immediately. But it is a serious injury and therefore, it is better to get it assessed either way, at once.
Plantar fasciitis affects the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. When it gets inflamed, it can cause heel pain. It can affect anyone but is more common in people who overuse the tendon, like runners and dancers.
Sometimes, foot trauma may be mild and can be treated with rest, OTC medication and RICE treatment. But if it doesn’t get better in a day or if the symptoms worsen, it is better to see a podiatrist and get professional help.