Posts for tag: Sports Injuries
Give your ankles optimal stability and protection when hitting the basketball court.
When you’re playing a rousing game of basketball it can be hard to think about anything else. With your head in the game you may not even be thinking about whether your feet and ankles are getting the best protection they need to stay strong and to prevent injury; however, with the sudden stops and quick changes in movement your ankles can take quite the beating. To prevent injury to your ankles, here are some ways you can protect them while also enjoying your next game!
Opt for supportive shoes: While no shoe can completely prevent foot injuries from happening, some high top tennis shoes can absorb some of the shock and improve an athlete’s performance while in the game by offering better traction and structural support.
Consider an ankle brace: If you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, a sprain or stress fracture, then it might be time to consider wearing an ankle brace while in the game. These braces consist of soft shells, semirigid material and stirrups that offer superior ankle joint stability and protection, making movement easier.
These braces are also meant to provide relief while promoting better performance. Some studies have even found that those players who wore ankle braces were less likely to deal with injuries than players who didn’t.
Perform proprioceptive exercises: While wearing better shoes and supportive braces can be helpful, it won’t prevent ankle sprains and other injuries. For those who have already suffered from sprains in the past, your lack of balance may be to blame. To improve your muscle, tendon and ligaments’ response to certain movements, exercises such as singleleg balances and inverted hamstring stretches can improve your proprioception.
Don’t overexert yourself: If you’ve already suffered from ankle injuries in the past, you’ll really want to pay close attention to your body. If you notice pain, then stop playing and give yourself some time to rest and recoup. Those who have been injured in the past are often more likely to develop a similar injury in the future. Don’t play the game if something doesn’t feel right.
Of course, even with the most diligent care and attention, accidents can still happen. If you experience any ankle injury while on the court, it’s important not to push yourself. The sooner you rest and get off your ankle the faster you will heal. If you think you’ve injured your ankle, then it’s time to see your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan!
America has carried on a love affair with sports since its inception. Whether you are a professional athlete, play in youth or adult teams or have pickup games with friends, your feet and ankles take a beating while playing sports.
All vigorous sports should be played sensibly and safely. Improper preparation and techniques can lead to injury, especially in the lower extremities. Athletes of all levels should be aware of the various risks and potential sports injuries of playing the game. With the guidance of your podiatrist, you can avoid sports injuries and life on the bench.
Common Sports Injuries
Any sport offers a number of different ways to injure your feet and ankles. For instance, in baseball alone, ankle sprains may occur while running, fielding balls, stepping on or sliding into bases.
Your podiatrist will help to determine the extent of the injury and develop a treatment plan to guide you during the healing process. Failure to fully treat and rehabilitate a sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability and recurrent sprains.
Overuse or excessive training can also put some athletes on the bench with Achilles tendinitis or heel pain. The start and stop of many sports often creates pain and tightness in the calf and aggravation of the Achilles tendon. Regular, gentle and gradual stretching of the calf muscles before and after the game will help minimize the pain and stiffness.
Protect Your Feet: Wear Appropriate Shoes
There seems to be a shoe designed for every sport out there, but there is a method to the varying styles. Sport-specific shoes really can change your game and protect your feet from injury. There is no danger in wearing cleats, but they should be gradually introduced before being worn in the game. A young player needs to get a feel for cleats, which should not be worn off of the field.
While the improved traction of cleats may enhance play, it also leaves your ankles more susceptible to twists and turns. Anyone with pre-existing foot conditions should see a podiatrist before putting on cleats, and never wear hand-me-downs. Spikes, which are made to be lighter and more flexible these days, perform the same function as cleats, but engage with the ground differently. These should also be worn with caution until the feel of how they engage with the turf is understood.
Watch for irritation, blisters or redness while wearing cleats, because they can indicate a biomechanical problem in the legs or feet. Pain is a sure sign of a problem, and should be addressed immediately. If wearing cleats causes you pain, discontinue wearing them for a couple days and visit your foot doctor for further treatment and diagnosis.
When it comes to sports, it is important to protect your feet from injury. Activities such as football, baseball, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse often lead to ankle injuries as a result of play on artificial surfaces, improper footwear or inadequate stretching. Contact your podiatrist if you exhibit any injuries after playing your favorite sport. Your podiatrist can treat you and offer prevention techniques, so you aren't benched for the rest of the season.
From weekend warriors to professional athletes, it is important to take care of your feet to remain fit and active while participating in sports and other recreational activities. With the repeated pounding that runners’ feet receive on paved surfaces, or from the side-to-side motion seen in court sports, there is no question that athletes’ feet and ankles are prime candidates for injuries. It is important to be on the lookout for some of the common problems associated with athletes – from ankle sprains to heel pain. With help from your podiatrist, you can take charge of your feet and avoid the bench.
Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called the plantar fascia, which stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. It is also commonly referred to as heel or arch pain. Over-pronation may be a cause of plantar fasciitis. As the foot rolls inward excessively when walking, it flattens your foot, lengthens the arch, and puts added tension on the plantar fascia. Over time, this repetition causes inflammation of your heel and arch.
Orthotics Provide Comfort and Stability
Your podiatrist offers orthotics to reduce pain and restore proper function to the feet, thus relieving pain. An orthotic device is inserted into the shoe, and is designed to restore and aid the natural foot function. This is achieved by realigning the foot and ankles to their natural position, allowing muscles and joints to move with less stress and tension.
Many people can benefit from orthotics, including people with jobs that require standing or walking for extended periods of time. Common foot ailments, such as corns, calluses, Morton’s neuroma, flat foot, hammertoe and plantar fasciitis can often be improved with the help of a custom-made shoe insert that fits comfortably into the shoe.
Orthotic devices allow the bones, tendons and muscles of the feet and lower legs to function at their highest potential. Orthotics can decrease discomfort and improve function, not only in the foot, but also in other parts of the body so that everyday tasks aren’t painful.
Foot pain is never normal and should not be ignored. Always visit your podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Whether you are active in sports or simply want to relieve pain caused by the stresses of everyday tasks, you can benefit from a custom-made orthotic device.
As an athlete it is important to remain on your feet! With the help of sports podiatry, you can ensure their health.
Anytime a person engages in sports, they are running the risk of suffering an injury to the foot and ankle. Many of the injuries that cause foot ailments and pain are caused by high-impact sports, such as running. Other times foot problems can arise from wearing improper footwear or from inadequate training.
There are a number of foot conditions that an athlete can suffer from, including ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot and blisters. Let’s take a brief look at two of the more serious and most common conditions: plantar fasciitis and ankle sprains. When these conditions occur, your podiatrist is available to provide you with the best treatment available.
Heel Pain Caused By Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot ailments experienced by runners and the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a thick, dense tissue that runs from the ball of the foot along the arch, connecting to the heel. People with flat feet or individuals who overpronate are more susceptible to heel pain because of the increased stress that occurs at the heel.
Many times the pain is worse in the morning when you first get up, but subsides as you move around throughout the day. Treatment will vary depending on each case, but generally rest, ice and stretching can help ease the pain. When conservative treatments aren’t effective and the pain persists, see your podiatrist for recommended treatment, such as orthotics.
Caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones, an ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries experienced by athletes. The severity of a sprain will depend on the extent of the stretching and tearing of ligaments. How severe the tear is will determine how long it takes for your ankle to heal - sometimes up to several months. When a sprain first occurs, there will likely be chronic ankle pain. The ankle will swell, and discoloration may occur.
The RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) procedure should be administered right away for an ankle sprain. Serious ankle sprains, particularly among competitive athletes, may require surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments. If you’re prone to ankle sprains, avoid running on uneven terrain and wear firm, supportive footwear for improved stability. Unfortunately ankle sprains are often recurring. Your podiatrist can help determine the severity of your sprain and the necessary course of treatment, including exercises to strengthen your weak ankle.
Heel pain and ankle sprains can be easily treated, yet many athletes delay proper treatment for fear of discontinuing their favorite sport. Delaying treatment will only make the injury worse, often times leading to a far more serious injury that requires extensive care and treatment. If you frequently participate in sports and other physical activities, it’s important to pay close attention to your feet and ankles as they are placed under tremendous pressure and are at high risk for injury.
Remember to train properly for your specific activity and wear supportive shoes that offer stability for your specific sport. If you are experiencing pain for extended periods of time, take time to rest. Chronic pain likely indicates a serious foot problem and continuing to play your sport will only make matters worse. Talk to your podiatrist about the best ways to prevent and treat common sports-related foot injuries.
Children take to sports like fish to water. Almost as soon as they begin to walk, they are chasing balls, swinging sticks, and running races against siblings, friends, or nobody in particular! Children’s sports used to mean baseball, basketball, or football. Today, however, that has changed significantly. Children are now playing soccer, wrestling, tennis, hockey and lacrosse. The starting age for training in individual sports such as swimming, skating, track, and gymnastics grows younger and younger every year.
Millions of American children participate in team and individual sports, many of them outside of the school system, where advice on conditioning and equipment is not always available. Your podiatrist is available to provide tips for protecting your children while they remain active in sports this season.
What to Watch Out For
Parents should be concerned about their child’s involvement in sports that require a substantial amount of running and turning, or involve contact. Protective taping of the ankles is often necessary to prevent sprains or fractures. Parents should also consider discussing these matters with their family podiatrist if they have children participating in any active sports. Sports-related foot and ankle injuries are on the rise as more children actively participate.
Ensure that your child has the correct shoes for the sport they play. Perhaps even more importantly, make sure those shoes fit! Their feet grow quickly, and shoes that fit last season aren't likely to still fit when next year comes around.
Contact your podiatrist for more information on proper footwear and foot care for your child. Whether they are actively participating in sports, or simply walking to school, it is important to take extra precautions to protect your child’s feet well into adulthood.