So many of the conditions that we treat at Central Jersey Ankle and Foot Care Specialists result from overuse. Many times a patient’s occupation, exercise routine or choice of leisure activity, if it involves extended periods of standing, walking or running, can lead to medical disorders of the toes, foot and ankle. A partial list of conditions that are caused or aggravated by overuse include:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel Spurs
- Turf Toe
- Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain
- Shin Splints
What Can be Done?
The first step in alleviating pain and discomfort from an overuse condition is accurately diagnosing the problem. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Christopher J. Mullin, DPM and Jessica A. Addeo, DPM will take time talking to you about your lifestyle and activities as well getting details about any symptoms you are experiencing, their intensity and how long you’ve had them. A detailed medical history will also be important because the tendency toward certain disorders can be hereditary. A thorough physical examination of your feet and ankles will be conducted and necessary imaging studies and other tests ordered to give the foot doctor a complete picture and enable him or her to correctly diagnose your condition. Although the treatment for each condition and each patient will be individualized and different, common ways of treating problems caused by overuse include:
- Rest—in many cases, this can be the single biggest factor in recovery
- Footwear modifications—a foot doctor can make recommendations for proper shoes to suit the activities you are doing based on the areas of foot that are receiving the greatest impact or pressure
- Custom orthotics—in some cases, a defect in the mechanics of the foot or an abnormality in structure can be compensated for by an orthotic deviceinserted in the shoe that corrects the position of the foot and thereby eliminates pain or discomfort
- Changing activities—if possible, the podiatrist may suggest that you try alternating activities that are high impact on your feet with those that are lower. For example, you might consider swapping one or two of your weekly runs with a swim session.