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.