From weekend warrior to competitive athlete, an active body undergoes a lot of wear and tear through constant running and jumping. You need strong legs to participate in activities, but your feet do much of the work. When you’re suffering from ankle or foot pain, podiatric care is essential.

Here are the four most common foot injuries:

Plantar Fasciitis
Heel pain, as it’s better known. This occurs when you wear shoes that don’t provide enough support when walking, running, and jumping. Along with heel pain, you may also experience arch tenderness and foot pain when you rise in the morning. This indicates you’ve inflamed and torn the fascia on the sole of your foot or feet. Your podiatrist will discuss treatment options.

This happens when your ligaments and bones are used to support the foot when you walk instead of the muscles that support the arch. This causes bones to shift and bunions to form. If you see a bump or feel foot pain on the inside of your big toe, you may have a bunion.

Stress Fractures
If you feel tenderness in your long foot bone or the top of your foot is swollen, the diagnosis may be a stress fracture. Overtraining causes this common foot injury in athletes. A podiatrist will take repeated X-rays over a three to four-week period to see if calluses have started to form along the stress fracture. If calluses aren’t visible, your podiatrist can also perform an MRI to assess the damage.

Turf Toe
If you feel any pain or tenderness in your big toe joint, this could be turf toe. It’s caused by repetitive hyperextension of the big toe. To make sure the toe isn’t fractured, your podiatrist will perform X-rays. Once a fracture is ruled out, your foot doctor will determine the best way to provide support and restrict movement. A properly fitted pair of firmer-soled shoes and insoles will also provide added support.

A DPM (Doctor of Podiatric medicine) is specifically trained to help you prevent and treat these ailments; not just for athletes, but for anyone suffering from these four most common foot injuries.