Marvelous Girl Has Moved!

Does your New Year’s resolution include an exercise plan?

Posted on: January 2, 2010

Are you one of the millions of Americans who will resolve to exercise more in the New Year?  If so, take advice from the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) and take it slowly.  Too much activity too quickly can cause a multitude of foot and ankle problems including stress fractures, ruptured tendons, or plantar fasciitis.

The best way to avoid these foot and ankle injuries is to know your limits and to follow a sensible program when exercising.  Preventative measures include:

  • Select the proper footwear for the specific type of exercise
  • Start out slowly when beginning an exercise program following a layoff period
  • Walk and stretch to warm up gradually before running or walking
  • Focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles in the calf
  • Increase running or walking distance and speed gradually, in increments no greater than 10% per week
  • Avoid unaccustomed strenuous sprinting
  • Take the time to cool down properly after exercise

Keith L. Wapner, MD, clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital and President-Elect of the AOFAS, sees many patients with overuse injuries and he offers the following advice, “Plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and stress fractures are the most common overuse injuries.  These can be avoided by remembering to include a stretching protocol prior to your workout and following the “rule of tens” by not increasing your exercise amount by more than ten percent per week.”

By adhering to these simple measures you may avoid painful overuse ankle injuries and achieve success with your New Year’s resolution.  For more information on overuse injuries as well as resources on foot and ankle care go to the AOFAS website http://www.aofas.org.  The site also features a surgeon referral service that makes it easy for patients to find a local orthopaedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle care.

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