Sports are an essential aspect of life for many that help keep those that participate fit. It improves your strength, brings meaningful connections between athletes, and even boosts your confidence. But despite having several benefits, you may also face various challenges in your sports activity, including sports injuries.
Injuries are bound to happen in any sports activity. These sports injuries may lead to a lot of pain if you don’t respond to them promptly. One of the injuries that’s prone is foot and ankle sports injuries.
Foot and ankle injuries can happen to the bones, joints, or soft tissues of your ankle or foot when you participate in any physical exercise. These injuries may be a result of a collision with another person or object when you are playing. Therefore, it is important to seek proper medical care to ascertain the injury and correct it.
Should you or your child get hurt on a court or field, in a rink or backyard, or in any other location where sports are played, it is crucial to receive prompt and proper care from a team of doctors you trust, like those at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Central PA.
The Importance of Proper Care
Treatment for sports injuries boils down to the type of injury you have. But for the minor ones like the foot and ankle, you can employ resting, icing, compressing, and elevating (RICE) to reverse the situation.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications can also help treat foot and ankle injuries. These medications can provide relief from pain and swelling, relieving your stress after a sports injury.
Having proper care also helps your body parts, including sprains, strains, ligaments, cartilage, muscles, and tendons, to recover quickly after the injury. Swollen areas and surface injuries such as wounds and ulcers can also recover quickly after your exercise. Proper care also ensures quick recovery of the structure and the function of your injured region.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to seek treatment for your injury as soon as you can; a timely diagnosis not only ensures that you receive proper treatment but also helps to expedite your recovery.
When to See a Podiatrist
When your sports injury is on your foot, ankle, or lower leg, seeing our podiatrists is the best thing to do, as they will diagnose and treat your injury accurately and properly. They will use various treatment methods, including applying a cast or splint, setting a fracture, referring you to a therapy program, or ordering an x-ray.
Our podiatrists will help you eliminate sports injury symptoms, heal what is hurting you and get you back in the game as quickly as possible so that you can get off the bench.
Common Types of Sports-Related Injuries
While not an extensive list, these are the most common types of sports injuries that we see in our office:
The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to the heel bone. This is the largest tendon in your body, making it vulnerable to sports injuries, including running and jumping. When this tendon becomes inflamed, it can lead to Achilles tendinitis, which may leave you with heel pain, stiffness, swelling, and difficulty walking.
Ankle sprains are another sports injury related to overstretching and tearing of ligaments. Ligaments connect your two bones to one another in a joint. Sprains can be mild to severe, so it is important to seek proper care to ensure your ankle injury does not need professional treatment.
Stress fractures are caused by applying excess stress on your foot or ankle. For example, a tarsal navicular stress fracture is a stress fracture that mainly occurs in the navicular bone of the tarsus. Your foot has many different bones in it and many of them can fail under excessive stress placed on it.
Turf toe occurs when the big toe is bent too far. Turf toe leads to spraining of the ligaments in your big toe, which can cause a bigger problem if you fail to care for it immediately. This toe injury is very common when playing on turf or grass, hence the name.
Muscle strain is a common experience in sports injuries. Most of the time, people mistake strains for sprains. A strain is a twist, a pull, or a tear of the muscle, while sprains happen on the ligaments that connect muscle to bone. Athletes playing contact sports can get strains, as well as athletes playing repeated motion in tennis or golf.
Our Preventive Care Recommendations
While not all sports injuries are preventable, here are some things you can do to help lessen the likelihood that you will happen to get one.
Stretching before getting into sporting action helps prevent these sports injuries. This is because stretching helps loosen the tendons and muscles in your body while strengthening your body tissues.
Warming Up and Cooling Down
Warming up helps boost your blood flow and heart rate in order to get muscles ready for exercise. Cooling down after exercise can help your muscles and tendons relax after intense exercise. These involve stretching before and after the exercise. Cooling down also has the added benefit of helping to calm your nerves, letting everything return to normal after intense exercise.
Using custom orthotics can help you avoid all the risks of sports injuries. Putting custom orthotics into shoes designed to fit your sport provides a lot of support and comfort. These shoe inserts are made of high-quality and durable materials, and cutting-edge technology captures every digital scan of your feet.
Your Treatment Options
Depending on the severity of your sports-related injury, your treatment options will vary. Our podiatrists will create a customized treatment plan specific to your individual needs. This plan will help you recover so you can return to the sport(s) you enjoy and the active lifestyle you live. Here are some common treatments involved in helping patients recover.
Rest, ice, compression, and evaluation help your body to recover after any sports injuries that you might have gotten. Resting allows your tendon to begin healing, while icing helps reduce the inflammation. Compression reduces swelling and provides support, while elevation helps keep your leg elevated above your heart level, which also helps to reduce swelling.
Custom orthotics ensure your foot and ankle are okay while in sporting action. These shoe inserts are made of high-quality and durable materials, which keep your feet safe throughout the action. Plus, the cutting-edge technology ensures every detail of your feet is properly scanned. This will help keep the injured foot supported while recovering and help prevent any more injuries in the future.
You cannot rule out physical therapy when it comes to sports. Stretching and strengthening your muscles and tendons can help prevent any injury you may encounter during and after the game. For example, patients with Achilles tendinitis benefit greatly from physical therapy as they can recover quicker.
MLS Laser Therapy
MLS laser therapy is a painless and revolutionary treatment method that involves a robotic laser delivering precise light doses. This light is non-invasive and can penetrate your skin and get to the underlying tissue in your heel area. This is a natural body healing process that aids in promoting tissue repair.
Surgery for Severe Injuries
Sometimes, injuries can be severe, and that calls for surgery. Our podiatrists can recommend surgery if you have tried the above options and the situation is not improving. Surgery may sound scary, but the most important thing is to look for a reputable medical provider who understands the entire procedure.
Contact Our Office for Treatment
If you are experiencing ankle and foot pain, it is important to seek help from professionals who have what it takes to do the job. Not just to get the job done but also to ensure it is done properly. Book an appointment at Foot and Ankle Specialists of PA and get a prompt evaluation and accurate diagnosis. Contact us today to get a personalized foot and ankle injury treatment plan.
For more information about The Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central PA, contact us online or call 717-620-8225. If you are interested in booking an appointment, we would be delighted to meet you and attend to your podiatry needs, whatever they may be.
“All in all, everyone and everything was perfect with me for me. Dr. Lauren, such a wonderful person. My visit with her have been successful and just great. I will recommend her/the practice to others. Look forward to my next visit.”
“The office is really beautiful and clean. Very caring staff and Dr. Clarke took time to explain things to me. The doctor and staff really tried to get to the cause of my feet and ankle pain. They found the problem and the solution. He kept me relaxed even though I was going to get injections for pain and inflammation.
I highly recommend this office. FANTASTIC!!“
“Prompt, attentive, and knowledgeable are the three best adjectives to describe my visit. I can’t wait to start running again, and I know that will be possible from the care I’m receiving from Dr. Leonard.”