How to Protect Yourself from Fractures

About 6 million Americans suffer a broken bone each year. Broken bones, or fractures, are extremely painful injuries. They can happen as a result of an accident, like a fall or a sports injury, or they can develop with certain health conditions like osteoporosis.

It’s possible to break any bone in your body, and your feet and ankles are uniquely susceptible to this common injury. From stress fractures that develop over time to sudden accidents that break a bone, our team at The Foot & Ankle Specialists is here for you.

Lisa Burson, DPM and Joe Aoun, DPM provide preventive care and treatment for fractures. We know that accidents happen, and there’s no way to completely prevent foot and ankle fractures. But there are lots of ways you can protect yourself from fractures in everyday life.

Choose appropriate footwear

Your shoes are more than just a fashion statement. In fact, their main purpose is protecting your feet and ankles as you move. Whether you’re participating in strenuous exercise or simply walking around the block, choosing the right shoes is one of the best ways to protect foot health.

Wear suitable shoes for your activity to help avoid sprains, strains, and fractures. Hiking boots with ankle protection can protect you from injury if you’re walking on uneven surfaces, while cushioned running shoes can help you avoid stress fractures.

Be sure to replace your shoes as they wear out so that you continue getting the support and cushioning you need.

Watch your step

Hills, rocky terrain, loose gravel, and other uneven surfaces increase your risk of taking an awkward step — no matter your activity. Take care when you’re walking, hiking, and jogging to avoid stepping on uneven surfaces that force your ankles to one side.

You don’t have to be outdoors to suffer a fracture, particularly if you’re an older adult. Watching where you’re going and clearing clutter from the hallways in your home can lower your risk of stumbling, falling, and breaking a bone.

Practice strength training

Strengthening exercises could protect you from foot and ankle fractures. Stretches and targeted exercises build strength and flexibility in your feet and ankles, which may reduce your risk of sprains and breaks when you move.

Strength training exercises can also help prevent osteoporosis. If you already have bone loss associated with osteoporosis, regular exercise can build bone mass and help you avoid fractures later on.

Listen to your body

Acute fractures are often intensely painful, and they can’t be ignored. But stress fractures are quite common, and the symptoms can sneak up on you.

Stress fractures are small cracks in bones. Repetitive high-impact activities, like jumping or running, can cause stress fractures, but they can also form if you suddenly increase your activity level or if you have osteoporosis.

Stress fracture pain may be mild at first, but it’s important to listen to your body. Ignoring the pain could make the stress fracture worse, and it won’t go away on its own.

Taking steps to protect your feet could lower your risk of painful injuries like sprains and fractures. Get personalized tips for keeping your feet safe during your favorite activities with a consultation at The Foot & Ankle Specialists. Contact us online or over the phone for your first appointment.

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