Foot and ankle pain is common in athletes and very potential in other active individuals with high levels of lower body movement, such as runners and hikers. Many foot and ankle injuries occur from a strain or sprain in the area, commonly occurring from ankle twists or rolls. More severe injuries, such as broken bones or damaged joints and ligaments, can keep athletes out of their sports for weeks and even months, depending on the severity of the injury.
Most ankle and foot pain is simply due to sprains and strains from twists or rolls in the ankle or foot. When someone rolls or sprains their ankle, the action typically hyperextends or overextends the ligaments in the area, causing them to overstretch and sometimes even tear. This can be pretty uncomfortable, but if proper rehabilitation methods are applied, such as the R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), the recovery process can be significantly reduced and improved, getting you back on your feet faster.
While several sports allow great potential for these types of injuries due to high levels of strain and heavy contact (such as football, soccer, rugby), even sports and other activities such as running or hiking can promote the possibility for an ankle injury without the heavy athletic stress and contact. Many runners have ankle and foot problems simply due to chronic issues such as overuse. While hyperextension can still be expected, the amount of wear and tear on the joints and ligaments in the ankle and foot can become painful over time simply from overuse.
Whether the ankle and foot pain comes from a traumatic or chronic injury over time, it can always be helped and reduced. Whether it's an injury severe in nature, requiring an invasive surgical procedure, or it's an ankle sprain from tripping and rolling it on a recent hike, it can be corrected and usually healed with products like ice wraps in a matter of time.
If possible, stay off the foot or ankle by sitting in a chair with the leg propped up. The elevation is most important immediately following an injury of this nature because blood rushes to the area, which causes rapid swelling. For long-term benefits, use an ice wrap made for the ankle and apply cold compression for 15-20 minute intervals (15-20 minutes on the injury and then 15-20 minutes off). We make excellent ankle ice wrap products that stay cold for an extended time, allowing more 15-20 minute icing sessions on the ankle without returning to the freezer and waiting for it to refreeze. This can significantly benefit ankle and foot injuries as mobility is reduced by having to stay off the injured area.
The easiest way to roll an ankle and hyperextend the ligaments in the joint is by not having the support necessary to help hold the foot in place during strenuous activity. Work boots, hiking boots, and other tailored footwear such as running shoes, tennis shoes, and cleats are used for lower body stability and significantly reduce the risk of foot and ankle injury. In construction or production careers, it is essential to have tough work boots which can withstand heavy blows and support the foot and ankle throughout the day. Runners have shoes specifically designed for the mobility and support they need with the continuous movement of the legs and ankles during running and other exercises. Many runners' shoes help prevent foot and ankle injuries by providing the support needed while allowing the mobility and flexibility of runners' lower body motions. Hikers have boots specifically for traction and comfort while walking over rugged terrain.