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What are the Most Common Types of Foot Injury?

By Patti Kate
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Although foot injuries most often occur in athletes such as long distance runners, the feet also can become injured during the course of normal daily activities. Some injuries are more prevalent under certain situations and under a wide variety of circumstances. That said, the most common injury typically is related to participation in a sport or because of repetitive movement. The most common types include broken bones, sprains and blisters.

Sports injuries or even household accidents can result in a common type of foot injury. These often involve broken bones or sprained ligaments in the foot. A sprain in the foot, such as in the arch, can be mild enough that the person can continue regular activities during the course of treatment, but in other cases, rest will be required.

A broken toe can be debilitating and could keep the individual out of work or unable to participate in some activities for a period of time, and fractures to the foot itself can result in immobility. A stress fracture is a common injury that results from repeated stress over a long period time, such as the repeated impact on the foot during the days or weeks of a distance running program. If a fracture to the foot or toe is severe enough, surgery to repair the damage might be recommended by the physician.

A hairline fracture to a toe is most commonly seen by individuals who perform repetitive motion activities. Although not as common as a fracture caused by trauma, this can be painful and require rest of the injured area. An X-ray can determine whether there is a fracture involved, although symptoms such as swelling and bruising typically are an indicator.

Although generally not considered to be serious, a blister can be a troublesome and common foot injury. Typically caused by friction, the fluid inside a blister needs to be drained and covered by a sterile bandage. Blisters can become infected if not kept clean and free of dirt. Blisters can occur on any areas of the foot, although they commonly occur on the toes.

Another common foot ailment, although not typically considered an injury, is athlete's foot. Most commonly occurring between the toes and causing a burning and itching sensation, this condition is caused by a fungus. Athlete's foot generally is acquired in locations where excess moisture is found, such as inside locker rooms or around swimming pool facilities.

There are medicated over-the-counter remedies available for the foot pain typically caused by athlete's foot, but this condition is easily preventable. Using medicated foot powders when running or walking long distances is recommended. Damp socks should never be worn, and going barefoot in public places is not recommended.

Sustaining a foot injury can be serious or simply a minor annoyance, but in any case, it should be taken care of promptly to ensure that complications don't arise. No matter how seemingly insignificant a foot injury appears to be, proper care can aid in healing and reduce recovery time. Maintaining healthy feet can prevent common injuries from occurring in the first place, and knowing the common ailments that affect the feet can be helpful.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Vincenzo — On Mar 31, 2014

@Melonlity -- good point and don't make the mistake of associating price with quality when it comes to athletic shoes. For example, an old pair of Stan Smith Adidas might be as effective for you on a tennis court as the most expensive tennis shoe on the market.

Do some research and figure out what shoe meets your needs. If it's the most important one on the market, so be it. The point is, you don't necessarily need to spend a fortune to get the pair of athletic shoes you need.

By Melonlity — On Mar 30, 2014

A good way to avoid foot injuries in sports is to make sure you have the appropriate shoes. For example, wearing jogging shoes on a tennis court is a bad idea. Jogging shoes are not designed for the side-to-side movement that tennis shoes are and that can lead to an injury -- if you plant your foot and don't stop because your shoe wasn't designed for that, you can roll an ankle easily and wind up with an injury.

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