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6 Things Athletes Should Know About Good Foot and Ankle Care

All eyes are on Tokyo for the next several weeks as the best athletes in the world compete at the Olympic games. There’s no doubt about it – bodies take a beating during this elite competition. But the bodies of us “regular people” are also open to injury when we exercise. Whenever you jog, go for a walk, shoot baskets, play tennis, or go cycling, there are measures you should take to protect your feet and ankles.

  1. Get the right shoes. Sport-specific shoes exist for a good reason. Each sport puts a different kind of stress on your feet, and each type of shoe design counteracts that stress. For example, the support and padding of running shoes don’t protect your feet from the constant jumping and pivoting of basketball.
  2. Replace athletic shoes promptly. Soles lose their tread. Padding wears down. Good shock absorption goes out the window, and your feet begin to ache. For maximum foot and ankle protection, examine and replace your shoes regularly.
  3. Wear clean, dry socks made of moisture-wicking materials. Change your socks if they get extra sweaty to avoid fungal infections.
  4. Know when to cut back. When you listen to your body and rest when you need to, you can avoid overuse injuries like stress fractures and plantar fasciitis. Take a break from any activity that causes you pain. Use RICE therapy at home or call Clifton Foot & Ankle Center for prompt treatment.
  5. Practice good hygiene. Wash your feet with soap every day, dry them thoroughly, and apply moisturizer to keep the skin supple.
  6. Consider getting an entire foot and ankle exam to prevent injuries. Our board-certified podiatrist, Kenneth R. Wilhelm, is well-qualified to diagnose and treat any biomechanical abnormalities, gait problems, and pronation issues before they can cause foot or ankle pain.

Most athletes will never make it onto an Olympic podium. But they can still care for their feet as if they were an elite competitor. Bring all your foot and ankle concerns to our Fairfax County podiatry office. Call (703) 996-3000 for an appointment in Centreville, Virginia, or contact us online.

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