Suffering a sports injury is no fun, and the simplest things can cause one. Comfortable athletic shoes are crucial when playing and exercising, but the wrong pair can cause you more harm than good.
Common sports injury conditions due to ill-fitting shoes
Plantar Fasciitis: The plantar fascia is a thick, stretchy ligament that runs across the bottom of your foot from the heel bone to the toes. Plantar fasciitisis often caused by ill-fitting shoes or by shoes that are old and worn out. It can also be caused by excessive running or building up your running mileage too fast.
Symptoms include pain and tenderness in the sole of the foot, mostly under the heel bone when standing, walking or running. A sharp, stabbing pain often occurs upon getting out of bed in the morning or after sitting.
To prevent plantar fasciitis:
- Wear appropriate shoes for running and for your other daily activities. Each shoe should have good arch support.
- Purchase your running shoes at a store that specializes in running equipment. The staff at this store will measure your foot, making it much easier to find shoes that fit properly.
- Give yourself lots of time to warm up and stretch before you run, especially your feet and calf muscles.
Shin splints: Medically, shin splints are called medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). This is an inflammatory condition that affects the front of the tibia, one of two bones that comprise the lower leg. Symptoms of MTSS include pain that travels down the front of the lower leg, dizziness, anxiety, fatigue, a noticeable rash, moderate swelling in the lower leg, pain along the inner part of the lower leg, and numbness due to swollen muscles pinching nerves.
To prevent MTSS:
- Purchase shoes that fit properly and have good support. The insoles should be shock absorbent.
- Avoid hard surfaces, uneven terrain and slopes when running.
- Build up slowly. Don't run a marathon within the first month. You'll get the best results if you build up over time.
Bunions: These bony protuberances, located at the base of the big toe, cause it to point inwards. It's a painful condition that is common in women, and is almost always due to unsuitable footwear that is too tight. If you're walking or running, your feet can actually swell an extra size or even two. To prevent this painful problem, your athletic shoes should be roomy enough to accommodate your feet should they swell.
If any of these problems last longer than two weeks, consult your localAtlanta physician.