Ankle sprains, twists, and strains
Ankle sprains and strains are two completely different physical injuries to the body’s bones, muscles, and tissue. Both ankle sprains and strains are considered musculoskeletal disorders. These injuries or disorders can affect muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage and their supporting structures. Ankle sprains are extremely common with approximately 35,000 people suffering from injury daily. Over 4,000,000 Americans seek clinical evaluation for their ankle sprains annually and over 1,000,000 million people suffer from ankle fractures.
Ankle strains are also common in contact sports and activities and can occur due to a physical blow, a fall and other acute trauma caused by external factors. Excessive stretching of your muscles can also damage blood vessels. These injuries are most common in the upper and lower extremities of the human body, as with the ankle. Symptoms of a strain may include pain, muscle spasm, loss of strength, and limited range of motion.
The grade of the strain will ultimately dictate treatment, as well as the patient’s ability to bear weight on the ankle. Those patients who cannot bear weight should seek medical attention and may be prescribed a more aggressive therapy program such as a removable walking boot until they can comfortably bear weight again.
Plantar fasciitis is considered the most common form of foot pain with approximately 3,000,000 new cases each year in the United States. Approximately 10% will suffer from plantar fasciitis at some point during their lifetime and 70% of those that incur this disorder suffer unilaterally or on one foot.
Fasciitis is common among athletes, runners, dancers, people who are on their feet a lot, soldiers and people between the ages of 40 to 60. The incidence of occurrence effects both men and women equally.
Individuals that have one or more of the following conditions are at higher risk and may even suffer from repeated bouts of plantar fasciitis; people with pronating or pigeoning feet (feet rolling inward when walking), high arches or flat feet, people who are overweight, women who are pregnant and those wearing shoes with inadequate support. A recent change in footwear, shoes that do not fit correctly or are heavily worn can also increase the risk of injuring the plantar fascia.
Heel Pain & Spurs
Heel pain is widely considered the most common foot disease. With 59,000,000 Americans experiencing heel pain each year and 55% suffering from this condition at some point in their lifetime. The heel bone is designed to be the first contact the foot has with the ground. With each step, the heel bone is subjected to the pulling of the attached ligaments of the plantar fascia and the tendons of the Achilles. Both of which result in inflammation and subsequent pain. Walking adds up to 1.5 times your body weight on your feet and the average person logs approximately 1,000 miles per year.
The greatest incidence of heel pain is seen in middle-aged men and women. Those who participate in regular exercise and sporting activities, are obese, on their feet a lot or wear improper footwear or high heels also may experience an increase in occurrence.
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Ligament, Tendon & Joint Mechanics
Ligaments provide the body with stability, connecting 1 bone to another. They consist of soft-tissue and hold hard, dense bones together, forcing them to be resistant to stress factors. Ligaments are composed of fibroblast cells which consist of collagen fibers mixed with some elastic fibers. Like many other structures of the body, a ligament’s ability to heal when injured is widely dependent on its blood supply. Ligaments of the knee, like the MCL or medial collateral ligament, can heal without surgery on its own with proper conservative treatment. This includes rest, cold therapy, supports, bracing and therapeutic exercise.
The most commonly injured ligament, however, is contained within the ankle, called the talofibular ligament. The talofibular ligament can be torn during a simple ankle sprain and symptoms of a tear will be significant.
A tendon is a structure that attaches a muscle to a bone. While similar in design to a ligament, it is built to withstand pulling and tensile stress factors
A bunion is a painful bony bump that develops on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint. Bunions are often referred to as hallux valgus. Bunions develop slowly. Pressure on the big toe joint causes the big toe to lean toward the second toe.
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