Men’s feet and ankles take a beating, with jobs that often require long hours standing or walking and leisure activities involving running and jumping. But men tend to ignore foot and ankle problems until pain starts slowing them down. It’s important for men to know that pain is not normal, and most foot and ankle conditions are easier to treat when diagnosed early.
Foot and ankle problems commonly experienced by men:
Ankle Sprain—Participating in sports activities is one way men can get a sprained ankle. But even day-to-day activities, such as walking on an uneven surface or slipping on an icy sidewalk, can produce the painful stretching or tearing of the ankle ligaments. If an old sprain wasn’t completely rehabilitated, the ankle may repeatedly get sprained, resulting in chronic ankle instability.
Hallux Rigidus—While some foot types are more prone to this condition, which is a painful stiffening of the big toe joint, it can also be cause by overuse. Golfers may develop it as a result of the motion of the foot during the follow-through of the swing, and other men may have jobs that increase the stress on the big toe, such as those requiring frequent stooping or squatting.
Common Disorders of the Achilles Tendon—Tendonitis and tendonosis of the Achilles tendon are usually caused by the sudden increase of a repetitive activity. Participation in athletics, especially by those who are less conditioned and participate in athletics only on weekends, puts one at high risk for developing disorders of the Achilles tendon. These problems are also common in men whose work puts stress on their ankles and feet, such as laborers.
Toe and Metatarsal Fractures (broken toes)—Some people say that “the doctor can’t do anything for a broken bone in the foot.” However, this is usually not true. In fact, if a fractured toe or metatarsal bone is not treated correctly, serious complications may develop.
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