Foot and Ankle Pain should not be ignored

Foot and ankle pain is a common issue that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. While many people are tempted to ignore pain, addressing the problem as soon as possible is crucial. This blog will discuss why you should not ignore foot and ankle pain.

How many Americans suffer from foot and ankle problems? 

“From plantar fasciitis to heel spurs, nearly 77% of those surveyed had or are dealing with foot problems and disorders.”— 

Many of us have experienced foot and ankle pain. Our first thought is to ignore the pain. It started a slight twinge, and we quickly convinced ourselves that the pain would be gone when we woke up tomorrow.

woman rubbing painful foot and ankle

But foot and ankle pain is often a sign of a severe condition. A condition that is on the edge of impacting our daily life. Here are the reasons why you should not ignore the pain:

  • Foot pain can impact your daily life.
    Foot and ankle pain can significantly impact your ability to carry out your daily activities. If your job requires you to stand or walk for long periods, foot and ankle pain can make it challenging to complete your work. Similarly, if you enjoy sports or exercise, foot and ankle pain can prevent you from participating in these activities.

  • The pain can be a sign of a serious condition.
    In some cases, ankle and foot pain can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. For example, pain in the ankle can be a sign of arthritis, gout, or a fracture. Pain in the foot can be a sign of plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, or a stress fracture. Ignoring foot and ankle pain can lead to further damage and complications.

  • Ignoring pain can lead to other issues.
    Ignoring foot and ankle pain can lead to other issues, such as balance problems, falls, and chronic pain. When you are in pain, you may alter the way you walk or stand, which can lead to other issues. For example, if you favor one foot over the other, you may develop muscle imbalances, leading to further pain and complications.

The Pain is a Warning Sign

  • The pain is a health warning sign.

  • Pain can be a warning sign that something is wrong. Ignoring the ache, burning or sharp shooting pain can lead to further complications and may make the underlying issue more challenging to treat. If you are experiencing pain, listening to your body and seeking medical attention is essential.

  • Chronic Pain can impact your mental health.
    Chronic pain can have a significant impact on your mental health. If you are experiencing chronic pain, you may feel frustrated, anxious, and depressed. You can improve your mental health and overall well-being by seeking treatment for your pain.

    • “People living with chronic pain are at heightened risk for mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Chronic pain can affect sleep, increase stress levels and contribute to depression. An estimated 35% to 45% of people with chronic pain experience depression.”—

  • Foot and ankle pain can be a symptom of a systemic issue.
    In some cases, foot and ankle pain can be a symptom of a systemic issue such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease. If you are experiencing other symptoms such as numbness or tingling, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is essential.

Ankle and Foot Injuries Can Be Prevented or Treated

  • Foot and ankle distress can be treated.
    Many people believe that foot and ankle pain is a normal part of life and that nothing will alleviate the pain. However, this is not true. Various treatment options are available including physical therapy, medication, and surgery. You can alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life by seeking treatment.

  • If you act, you can prevent or stop the pain.
    In some cases, foot and ankle soreness can be prevented. For example, wearing comfortable and supportive shoes can reduce your risk of developing foot and ankle pain. Stretching before and after exercise can also help prevent pain and injury.

Find Help at The Therapy Network

Lower body pain must not be ignored. It can impact your daily life, be a sign of a serious condition or systemic problem, and can affect your mental health. Foot pain can be treated and prevented; therefore, it is important to never ignore your pain. Addressing ambulatory pain as soon as possible can improve your quality of life and prevent further complications.

The Therapy Network has six locations throughout the Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake with appointments available today. In Virginia, you do not need a doctor's referral to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist. After reviewing the eight reasons, you should not ignore foot and ankle pain, consider scheduling an appointment today.

Marathon Training - Part 4, Peak Phase

Time to run fast! Repetition and interval training! We discussed the BASE and BUILD phases of our running program utilizing endurance periodization. Next, let’s talk about is PEAK phase. Here, we increase the intensity of running, defined by adding interval or repetition training. Hill training can fall into either category. With an increased workload, adding rest breaks to the run is essential. This peak phase of running should finish one to three weeks before the race. Peak training is completed at an above-threshold rate. The heart rate variability (HRV) should be between 90-99% (ZONE 4-5) or “hard!”. PEAK training improves speed and maximizes aerobic power and running economy. Aerobic capacity is defined as how much blood (carrying oxygen) can be delivered to the muscles and how well that oxygen can be converted into energy. Otherwise known as VO2 Max.

We can reach our goals in the peak phase by incorporating interval and repetition training.

Interval runs: intervals should be HARD running for 1-5 minutes (max of 5 minutes), and the speed should be about the max speed you could race at for 10-12 minutes. If you’re more comfortable picking a distance versus time, start with 800 meters and progress to 1200 meters. Rest in between and repeat. Rests should be no longer than the time you spent running. Interval training targets aerobic power.

Repetition training: short duration than intervals (never more than 2 minutes) at even higher speeds. The speed should be comparable to your current max one-mile time. The rest should be longer – about two to three times the time spent running. Again, if you’d rather distance versus time, start with 200 meters and progress to 400 meters. Elite runners can progress to 600 or 800 meters. Repetition training targets improving the speed and economy of running. Typically, interval training is perceived as “harder” than repetition training. Look for my next post to discuss what tapering for races looks like and the goal of rests.

People walking on beach

As summer weather approaches Virginia's tidewater region, we think of the area's iconic beaches. From a sunrise walk along the water to building sandcastles with family or even surf fishing, there is a good chance that your plans will include sand.  However, that all changes when a walk on the beach is painful.