Ankle and Foot Injuries – Part II Recognizing Common Foot Injuries

Injuries Around the Ankle Joint

bare feet prints

This is a great CPT Resource and a quick reference guide for group fitness instructors.

Find out what your ankles and feet would say if they could talk in Ankle and Foot Injuries – Part I.

Clients and class participants who complain of ankle or foot injuries are often complaining of one of the four common musculoskeletal injuries below. Familiarize yourself with the information in this basic outline to recognize the common injuries before you get a question. Instructing  clients to research a suspected fitness injury is great homework between training sessions and leads to increased personal trainer-client engagement.

CPT Trainers: Do Not Exceed Your Scope of Practice
You must not cross over into the domains of licensed professionals. Dieticians, physicians, physical therapists, psychologists, and some other healthcare professionals have licenses. Personal fitness trainers do not.

CHRONIC. Overuse.

Runners, dancers, step class fanatics? Classic overuse injury.
Poorly cushioned shoes? excessive hill running? Poor body mechanics injury.
Sudden stopping and starting a lot? Forceful eccentric loading? Athlete’s beware.
Improper lunging? Too much repeater on the step? 
Check your form. Stretch and strengthen the calf muscles.

PLANTAR FASCIITIS. Pain in the plantar fascae, roadway to the heel.
Often times referred to incorrectly as heel spurs, think pain in the plantar fascia, roadway to the heel.
Calcium build up on the heel bone (calcaneus) can result in heel spurs in addition.
Pain in the medial arch of your foot, near your heel, is a great indication of plantar fasciitis.
No arch support in shoes? Exercising in flat, lightweight shoes? You’re asking for it.
Stretch calf and achilles tendon to keep them from pulling on the plantar fascia.

METATARSALGIA. Pain in the pad of your foot.
Generalized pain and/or tenderness in the metatarsals, or the heads of the long bones of the foot.
Pain on the ball of the foot, they’ll tell you. No jumping, please.
Stop excessive or repeated forces on the ball of the foot.
Encourage landing like a kitty, moving like a gazelle.

Trainer Tip: Avoiding injuries is an area in which personal fitness trainers can be particularly helpful. Many clients seeking to improve their fitness will lack the education they need to minimize risk of injury. Your job is to educate and offer helpful strategies.

ACUTE. Sudden Onset.

ANKLE SPRAIN. Running, jumping, sudden turning injury.
Inversion and plantar flexion gone wrong.
Severe sprains often cause chronic instability with a high rate of reoccurrence. 
Once you have a sprained ankle, you’re super prone to future sprained ankles.
Immediate treatment is rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE).

CPT Test Review Question: Do you know the different between acute and chronic injuries?

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