Winter is finally here and with it plenty of snow, ice, freezing rain, and bone-chilling temperatures. These conditions can make for dangerous situations and put a lot of stress on your feet. Let’s look at some of the most common injuries suffered during winter and what you can do to prevent them.
Ankle injuries are extremely common during the winter months. One big culprit is the ice. A sprain occurs when the ligaments surrounding the bone tear from excessive force or stress. Bruising, pain, or redness can all be symptomatic of an ankle injury. If left untreated, chronic ankle instability and the need for surgery may be necessary. To prevent an ankle injury, make sure you have footwear with proper support. Shoes and boots with thick rubber soles are recommended to grip the ground and prevent slipping. If you do suffer a sprain, follow the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. An ankle brace is also a good idea.
Frostbite can occur anytime the outdoor temperature gets to zero and the skin is exposed. This is different than simply cold feet which may be due to poor circulation or other conditions. Minor frostbite can heal, however more severe cases may lead to permanent damage. The best way to prevent frostbite is to minimize the time you spend outdoors in freezing temperatures. If you do go outside, make sure you bundle up. Try to wear thick wool socks. Sometimes two pairs are necessary.
Stress fractures in the foot are tiny, hairline breaks that can occur in the bones of the foot. Often they are caused by overtraining or overuse. Signs of a stress fracture include pain, swelling, redness, and bruising around the area. If left untreated it can lead to a complete break. At that point, surgery may be necessary. To prevent a stress fracture, try not to overdo things. Take frequent breaks and make sure you have footwear with proper support. If you have any issues with foot health and mobility, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information and answers to your questions, and to schedule an appointment, contact us at (973) 917-3785.