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The Top 7 Injuries from Walking

Did you know that walking one mile a day burns 100 calories? This means that you can lose up ten pounds a year by walking alone, without even changing your eating habits. Walking for exercise has a surplus of benefits including weight loss, working as an antidepressant, and preventative measures for health issues (such as heart disease and diabetes). However, just like any form of exercise, injury can occur in avid walkers. That’s why it’s important to understand potential injuries you could face from walking, treatments for these injuries, and preventive measures to take.

1. Plantar Fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

It’s one of the most common causes of heel pain in the foot. The plantar fascia is the connective band of tissues that run from your heel bone to your toes, supporting the arch of your foot. Learn more about Plantar Fasciitis here.

How do avid walkers get Plantar Fasciitis?

It’s the plantar fascia job to absorb shock and support the arch of one’s foot. When the tension becomes overbearing, the tissue inflames and irritates the fascia causing a painful sensation in the heel. Plantar fasciitis is prevalent among walkers because the repetitive activity causes continued stress to be placed on the heel and related tissues. The condition is most common among women ages 40 and 60. You are also more likely to experience plantar fasciitis if you do exercises or activities with repetitive foot motion like  running, jogging, walking, dancing, etc.

Can I treat plantar fasciitis and still continue to walk?

Plantar fasciitis has a variety of braces that work well for treatment, especially for walkers. Most braces offered for plantar fasciitis are for nighttime use, because it is easiest to stretch the plantar fascia at night while you are not moving. Stretching the plantar fascia improves the strength and flexibility of the foot so it will be less painful to walk the next day. You can use either a rigid night splint or a soft stretching sock like this one.  Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis shouldn’t stop during the day, which is why BraceAbility also offers daytime braces. Our daytime brace provides mild support to the plantar fascia and can be worn all day inside of a shoe, making it a good option for long walks.

2.  Lower Back Pain

What is the lower back pain i’m experiencing?

Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of things, from your purse being too heavy to the intensity of your workouts. Throughout your life you will most likely experience some form of lower back issues. If you’re a walker feeling lower back issues it was most likely an injury that occurred before and is being brought to the surface by the consistent and repetitive movements of walking. Symptoms of lower back pain come in all different shapes and sizes depending on the cause. Often people feel a dull ache while others feel a severe stabbing sensation. If you are walking and experiencing some lower back pain a brace is a great option for treatment. If the pain you’re feeling lasts more than three months you should consult with a doctor.

What are treatments for lower back pain?

Fortunately, wearing a brace for your lower back is a great way to relieve pain. Braces are a great option for walkers because they provide compression which diminishes pain while you perform activities.  BraceAbility has a variety of different lower back braces dedicated to treating different individuals. For avid walkers a sport back brace like this one works well because it offers a wide range of motion and are easy to wear. There are many causes of lower back pain but any kind of back support will help to alleviate pain, like this back brace made specifically for women.

3.  Hip and Joint Inflammation (Bursitis)

What is Hip Bursitis?

Bursae are small sacs located throughout the body, including your knees, shoulders,hips, and elbows. They contain fluid and are located between bones and tissue. Issues come when the bursae are inflamed which happens often in the hip area.

How do avid walkers get Hip Bursitis?

The main symptoms of hip bursitis is pain that exists from the point of the hip extending down the thigh area. The pain may change over time, often starting sharp and then becoming an ache. Hip Bursitis is most common within middle aged women and is caused by uphill walking, stair climbing, running, and bicycling. Hip Bursitis is an overuse injury from repetitive movement making avid walkers more likely to experience it.

What are treatments for Hip Bursitis?

Applying ice to the affected area is one of the most common and successful treatments of Hip Bursitis. Icing your hip after a walk or any kind of exercise will help to control the inflammation and promote blood flow. BraceAbility has streamlined the process of icing your hip with a cold therapy ice wrap


4. Runner’s Knee

What is runner’s knee?

Runner’s Knee refers to a patellofemoral pain syndrome where the back of the knee comes in contact with the thigh, causing inside knee pain. Read more about runner’s knee here.

How do I get runner’s knee from walking?

Repeated bending or stress cause the kneecap joint to become irritated causing runner’s knee. Although the name implies it’s prominent effect on runners, any exercise with repetitive movement can trigger the issue, including walking.

What are the treatments of Runner’s Knee?

A patellofemoral knee brace helps the kneecap track properly, playing an important role in treatment of runner’s knee. You can use any knee brace with a patella stabilizer to offer dynamic support to the kneecap. Braces like this one keep the kneecap centered within its groove for smooth movement to avoid contact with the thigh.

5.  Shin Splints

What are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are pain felt on the front and inner part of your lower leg. Shin splints are a common overuse injury among athletes. They happen when people drastically increase their workouts or exercise on pavement. Walkers may experience shin splints when stress is placed on connective tissue and joints by walking on hard surfaces. Any exercise with repetitive movement can cause enough stress on the area to create shin splints.

What are the treatments for Shin Splints?

Shin sleeves increase circulation in the shin which lowers the pain of shin splints. Shin braces like the compression brace from BraceAbility lessen the strain on tissues helping to heal the affected area. These sleeves can be worn during a workout making them a good fit for someone who walks frequently and suffers from shin splints. An important part of treating shin splints is soothing the tissues in your calf. Because neoprene retains heat, our neoprene shin sleeve does this by providing soothing warmth and compression to your calf.

6. Achilles Tendinitis

What is Achilles Tendinitis?

The achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, connecting your calf muscles to your heel bone. Achilles tendinitis is pain felt in the back of the heel. Read more about achilles tendinitis here.

How does walking cause achilles tendinitis?

The achilles tendon is used when you walk, run, and jump. Achilles tendinitis occurs when repetitive or extremely intense strain is placed on the tendon. Any extreme change in your workout or long repetitive movement can trigger achilles tendinitis, including walking. With age the likelihood of having achilles tendinitis increases because the tendon weakens.

What are the treatments for Achilles Tendinitis?

An important component of healing achilles tendinitis is to keep the joint mobile and flexible. Massages are recommended in this process so finding an ankle support that can consistently do this, like this ankle sleeve with a silicone massage pad, will ensure a faster recovery. Stimulating the soft tissues around the heel and ankle and portions of the tendon is vital in the recovery of achilles tendinitis. Along with keeping the joint mobile it’s important to stretch the achilles tendon to prevent it from contracting. You can stretch the tendon with a night time splint which will avoid the discomfort of stretching your tendon during the day. Providing protection for your achilles tendon will help to avoid injury, especially if you regularly participate in intense repetitive activity. You can do this by wearing a supportive ankle brace during any rigorous activity, including walking and running.


7. Bunions

What are Bunions?

A bunion is a bony hump that forms at bottom of your big toe. They form when the big toe moves towards the other toes, causing the base to push outward on the metatarsal bone. Because of the location where bunions occur much of your body weight while walking is resting on it, making them extremely painful.

What causes bunions?

Bunions can be caused by a variety of things, including genetics, wearing ill fitted shoes, and foot injuries. Wearing the incorrect shoes while walking or standing for long periods of time will worsen or create bunions.  Unfortunately, once you have bunions they can become extremely painful and make walking difficult.

What are treatments for bunions?

Wearing a soft bunion splint will assist in the treatment of bunions as it holds the toe in proper alignment with the foot. This bunion wrap is helpful for both daytime and nighttime use. The soft pad allows for the wrap to be worn inside shoes providing for treatment during all hours of the day, even while on a long walk.