Exercises and Activities After Foot Problem or Injury

Exercises and Activities After Foot Problem or Injury

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Dr Timothy Young discusses how to resume exercise and sports

In some cases it is possible to return to exercise and normal activities fairly soon after an injury or foot/ankle problem. With many acute injuries it is necessary to wait 3–4 weeks or longer, before attempting to return to activity. Depending upon the problem and level of recovery it may be necessary to wait until there is significant progress with the healing and recovery.

Pain is the key. Use pain as your guideline. Sometimes our patients will not know if they are okay with their activity level or exercises until later that day or even the following day. For example let's say you are a "walker" who would do 3-5 miles "preinjury" and you decide to return to your walking. That day you're fine but the next day may be telling, you can tell if you did too much too soon. In this case you know it is too soon to return to activity and you have to give it more time, possibly 1 week or longer. Listen to your body, and let pain help guide you.

Start slowly!  After a foot problem or injury when you are ready to start resuming some activity, always start at a reduced level. For example if you typically walk 3–5 miles then try walking just 1 mile when you first return to activity. Do this for the first week and again use pain as your guideline, if all goes well then add a half mile the next week and continue that pattern.

Consider crosstraining: Aqua jogging and a stationary bike are often ways that you can do exercises without any impact. When using the stationary bike it is often necessary to use your heel and not the front of your foot on the injured side.

Use taping and braces: We have handouts on foot and ankle taping (KT tape).  Taping and braces often allow you to get back to activity sooner than you would otherwise. Often you don't have to tape every day, just on those days were you will be on your foot much more or when you are doing weigh bearing exercises.

If you have any injury or problem that needs attention please come see us.  

Dr. Timothy Young and Dr. Brandon Nelson at Issaquah Foot and Ankle Specialists.