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What the Weekend Warrior Needs to Know to Stay Pain Free When Exercising

Never wish or wait for an injury to get better, be smart and proactive so you can exercise happily ever after!
11/19/2014 05:39pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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Long hours, the stress of work and very little time to decompress can result in health issues over time that is why exercise is paramount for most professionals. Trying to balance work, family responsibilities, socializing and exercise is not easy when you only have the weekend available to get everything done. The problem is weekends are usually the only time to recharge your batteries. The "weekend warrior" therefore tries to squeeze it all in and stay pain free while doing it. Whether you are a runner, hiker, tennis player, or gym rat the potential to injure yourself while trying to stay in shape is always looming. Injuries are the result of repetitive overuse over a prolonged period of time. The result of which can cause a breakdown of the soft tissue in your body such as in the muscles, tendons or fascia from head to toe.

One part of your body that takes a tremendous amount of beating during exercise are your feet. With a combined total of 52 bones, 66 joints and more than 200 tendons, muscles and ligaments in your feet, about 25 percent of the bones in your body are located from the ground up. So when your feet hit the ground everything changes and there are a lot of moving parts in play. The most common exercise related foot injuries that I see in my practice are plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and myositis. These are over use driven injuries because of improper lower extremity biomechanics or as we call it abnormal pronation forces in the joints of your foot. This type of joint dysfunction is due the joints in the middle part of your foot have a greater tendency to collapse resulting in the muscles, tendons and fascia to fatigue, get inflamed and ultimately prevent you from exercising.

Solution:
These problems are not life threatening but can be chronic if not treated quickly and effectively. Homecare is first, use ice and non-steroidal ant-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofens to reduce the inflammation and swelling that can occur in the soft tissue. Compression by wrapping the injured area can be very helpful using materials like Coban tape or Kenesio tape, too. If you are open to homeopathy, any product with arnica in it, a natural anti-inflammatory remedy can help reduce the inflammation and swelling. Just apply directly to the injured area.

Since the main mechanism of these foot related injuries are biomechanical due to abnormal foot pronation, purchasing an over the counter arch support can be the first step. The key is to stop the arch of your foot from collapsing. There are many types of arch supports that can be found on line and at stores in your area. Online, type in instant arch supports for athletic footwear or whatever sports activity you participate in. If your problems are not solved by these simple types of solutions then contact a podiatrist in your area who can take X-rays make a diagnosis and probably make a custom made orthotic for you to solve the problem.

Sometimes the injury may require more extensive treatment such as electrical current stimulation or injection therapy is needed. This type of pain management is easily performed by a medical professional.

Never wish or wait for an injury to get better, be smart and proactive so you can exercise happily ever after!

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