Whether you’re a seasoned runner or your just getting started—doctors say foot and ankle pain can strike at any time. “A lot of people when they move down to Florida, they start doing sports that they’ve never done before, and unfortunately, as an adult our bodies do not adjust as fast, and what happens is people jump into it rather quickly, and they get injuries,” said Dr. Chelsea Viola, a podiatric surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Health.
The most common foot and ankle injuries are ligament sprains and tendon strains—injuries that can be caused by over use or inappropriate footwear. “When it comes to something like tennis or pickleball, we tend to see a lot of ankle injuries in which case we do recommend proper tennis shoes. Those are made to stabilize the ankle a bit more,” she said.
For ligament sprains and tendon strains, she recommends the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, elevation. This can help decrease swelling and pain.
“If it still hurts after a week come to see me. Now, if you are swollen and bruised, do not wait. Come in. That’s either a tendon rupture or a broken bone,” said Dr. Viola.
If the pain persists, an exam can help determine where the pain is and what’s causing it. “Sometimes knee pain is from foot pain, not all the time, but sometimes it is. You can have an imbalance in your foot or the way that your foot is shaped that actually puts pressure on certain parts of your knees. Sometimes we can actually help the knee pain with certain types of different shoe gear,” Dr. Viola said.
Making it important to listen to your body and research the best footwear for your sport. All can lower your risk for a foot or ankle injury.