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What Are These Fall Foot Injuries?

They may have interesting names and bizarre symptoms, but these foot issues are no laughing matter!

The fall is filled with lots of fun activities. But whether you're participating in races & walks; playing football, soccer, or field hockey out on the turf or grass; or hiking & climbing up local hillsides to take in the foliage from above, your feet may be feeling a little worse for wear. Foot-Joy explains what some of these aches and pains might be about...

  • Is It Achilles Tendonitis? If you're feeling a mild ache in the back of your leg or above the heel, along with tenderness or stiffness, and it is only relieved when you start moving around, it's possible that you have this overuse injury of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles is a band of tissue that runs down the back of your lower leg to the heel bone and connects your calf muscles to your foot. It is very typical for runners to experience this type of strain, as well as so-called "weekend warriors" (think: adult soccer leagues, flag football, pickleball tournaments, etc.) as the Achilles tendon weakens with age.

  • Is It Metatarsalgia? If you're feeling a sharp, aching, or burning pain in the ball of your foot, Metatarsalgia could be the culprit.This condition is an irritation of the tissues and muscles surrounding any of the five long bones (a.k.a., the metatarsals) in the foot. Typically caused by excessive contact with the ground from activities like running or jumping, but may also be the result of wearing shoes that are either too tight or too loose.

  • Is It Morton's Neuroma? If you're feeling a random burning sensation in the ball of your foot or like you're standing with a pebble in your shoe, Morton's Neuroma could be the reason. This condition affects the ball of the foot, typically between the third and fourth toes or the second and third toes, and occurs when the tissue around a nerve that leads to one of the toes thickens from irritation or compression. Wearing shoes that are too tight or with insufficient padding can be the cause.

  • Is It Plantar Fasciitis? If you're feeling arch pain, heel pain, tightness in the foot, or a stabbing sensation on the bottom of the feet, you could be dealing with Plantar Fasciitis. This condition is an inflammation of the tissues, called plantar fascia, that connect your heel bone to your toes, and typically occurs due to excessive force or stress on that area. Risk factors for Plantar Fasciitis include certain types of exercise, like running, as well as age and weight, poor foot mechanics, and simply being on your feet all day due to your work or lifestyle.

  • Is It Sesamoiditis (a.k.a. Turf Toe)? If you're experiencing warmth, swelling, and pain, and seeing some redness on the bottom of the foot underneath the big toe, it may be because of Turf Toe. While this condition is often associated with gridiron athletes, it can affect any active person (I know this from personal experience). Sometimes the symptoms develop slowly, while other times they come on with a sudden forceful motion that might be accompanied by a popping feeling. The cause of this condition is usually strain, overwork, or repeated trauma to the sesamoids, which play a critical role in the pushing-off motion of your big toe.

For many of these conditions, the solution can be relatively easy, from rest to getting the right fitting shoe. In addition, you will want to have a plan for making sure that your injury isn't a recurring one. Seeing a certified reflexology practitioner for regular relaxing and rejuvenating sessions may be a very valuable addition to your foot health wellness plan. At Foot-Joy our goal is to help you stay active not just in the fall, but all year round!

PLEASE NOTE: Foot-Joy Reflexology is not a medical professional and does not provide medical advice or diagnosis. It is critical to consult your physician if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or have any other health concerns. Minor issues can turn into major ones if not given appropriate care and attention.

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