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With inspiration from the new year, thousands of area residents are back in the gym or starting home programs to get fit — many of whom may get injured in their pursuits. To help the local community avoid injury and frustration this new year, fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Jennifer D’Amico of Litchfield Hills Orthopedic Associates has created a short safety guideline system to follow when working on fitness goals. Patients in need of specialized foot and ankle care are encouraged to call (860) 482-8539 to schedule an appointment with Dr. D’Amico at either the practice’s office in Torrington, located at 245 Alvord Park Road, or in Bristol, located at 281 N. Main St.  

“Resolutions are an amazing thing, and getting healthier can help mitigate or even eliminate a substantial number of short-term and long-term physical health problems,” says Dr. D’Amico. “But, it’s fairly easy for an individual to overdo it and get hurt, especially if they haven’t had a very active lifestyle.

“Conditions like plantar fasciitis and injuries like stress fractures and ankle sprains are all potential problems for those who are starting new workout routines, regardless of the goal or activity level,” continues Dr. D’Amico. “That’s why I want to share some guidelines for everyone looking to meet their New Year’s goals.”

When starting a new workout regimen or training for new fitness goals this year, remember G.O.A.L.S., guidelines that will help you avoid sustaining an injury and stick to your resolutions:

  • G. Gear Up: Make sure you wear proper footwear and attire. This way, you can avoid slips, falls, getting too cold, getting overheated or getting tripped up on equipment. 
  • O. Optimize Your Options: Overtraining is a huge problem for active individuals of all levels. Optimize your routine by cross-training or find ways to do a workout at home or in a class with alternate poses or moves that are easier on your body.
  • A. Activate First: Activate your muscles with stretching and warm-ups before a workout. 
  • L. Let Up: Take a break when you need it and take all recommended rest days seriously. Without proper rest, you increase your risk of injury or you may exacerbate an existing problem and risk greater harm. 
  • S. Slow Down: Start off slow. Not only will easing into your new routine help you avoid injury by slowly building up your body for more activity, you will also be less likely to quit because of excessive soreness or fatigue.

"Be sure to listen to your body. If you experience any pain, popping, numbness or similar symptoms during or after a workout, get checked out by a medical professional," says Dr. D’Amico. “Injuries often worsen without proper treatment, and working out with an injury can be extremely dangerous.” 

Dr. D’Amico specializes in the treatment of injuries and conditions of the lower extremity, including arthritis, flatfoot, fracture care, pediatric foot and ankle deformities, trauma and wound care. She received her medical degree from New York College of Podiatric Medicine in New York City and later completed her residency at Scripps Mercy Hospital and Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Diego. Dr. D’Amico completed additional training through a fellowship in limb lengthening and reconstruction at The Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore as well as a surgical trauma fellowship at Inselspital University in Bern, Switzerland. She is also trained in advanced wound care and wound prevention for chronic conditions.

To learn more about acute injuries and overuse conditions related to active pursuits or to schedule an appointment with Dr. D’Amico, please call (860) 482-8539 or request an appointment online.