For Patients

Sports Medicine FAQ

How do I know if I have torn my Achilles tendon?

Achilles tendon injuries are common in the “weekend warrior.” Injury is often described as feeling like someone kicked you in the back of the ankle. There is an inability to go up on your toes, this a simple test to diagnose a complete rupture, but often partial tears have occurred and evaluation by a podiatrist and possible MRI evaluation may be required. Early treatment is required to prevent long-term disability.

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Can I run on a stress fracture?

Stress fractures are still a broken bone. You should not run for at least four weeks after being diagnosed with a stress fracture. It can take up to 8 weeks to heal and the more stress on the area, the longer it takes to heal. Relative rest like riding a bike or swimming would be recommended as a substitute activity for running.

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My feet go numb when exercising. Is this normal?

This can be normal from repetitive stress. If your toes go numb, but then are normal when you stop I wouldn’t recommend you worry about it. If you have continued pain or numbness after getting off a piece of exercise equipment or exercising, evaluation and treatment is recommended.

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What is the most common foot problem?

The most reported foot ailments among Americans are heel pain, blisters and ingrown toenails. Heel pain occurred in 43% of Americans polled who had experienced foot pain within the last year.

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I like to run for exercise. How often should I replace my running shoes?

The rule of thumb is every 350 - 550 miles. Heavier runners should plan to replace their shoes closer to the 350 mile mark while lighter runners can stretch their mileage to the 550 mile range. If you run around 25 miles per week, you should replace your shoes every 3-4 months. The average person needs to change their shoes every 6 months.

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How do I know if I need orthotics?

Between 70 and 85% of people have biomechanical imperfections, yet not all of the people require orthotics. Orthotics are typically prescribed to:

1. Reduce pain.

2. Provide support.

3. Prevent/slow the development of foot deformity.

4. Provide better positioning of the foot, knees and hips.

5. Improve the overall biomechanical function of the body.

If a runner gets a series of nagging injuries one after another, they are probably caused by a biomechanical flaw and can be corrected by orthotics. Runners who suffer from chronic knee pain, arch pain or fatigue, heel spurs, hip and lower back pain, and certain types of muscular fatigue very often benefit from orthotics.

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