Whether you’re a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or an active health enthusiast, your feet are likely being heavily used, which makes them prone to injury.
Here are the top five most common injuries that such individuals develop in their feet, and what the podiatrists at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care recommend to prevent them.
Why Do Athletes and Active People Injure Their Feet?
Sports and athletics place excessive stress on foot structures. Running, jumping, pivoting, turning, and other strenuous movements pound and twist the feet and ankles, sometimes suddenly. These can lead to injuries and overuse more often than in individuals who live sedentary lifestyles.
As a result of foot injuries, pain, swelling, limited mobility, and deformity can develop and impact your active lifestyle and participation ability in your favorite activities.
Five Common Sports Injuries on Athletes’ Feet
Here are five frequently occurring sports injuries in the feet.
1. Achilles Tendonitis
Inflammation and minor tearing of the heel cord between the calf muscle and heel are typical symptoms of Achilles tendonitis. Your calf, ankle, and foot may ache, and a popping sound, indicating a possible tendon rupture, may occur with this type of tendonitis.
2. Plantar Fasciitis
Improper gait mechanics, overtraining, lack of arch support, and more can contribute to the painful inflammatory condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the connective tissue that stretches from the toes to the calcaneus bone, or heel. A common symptom of this condition is severe heel pain and stiffness in the foot. Overtraining, a sudden uptick in training, and being overweight contribute to this injury, as can footwear with poor support.
3. Stress Fractures
This repetitive motion injury occurs due to undue stress and strain placed on the bones of the foot. Detectable on X-ray examination, stress fractures are hairline cracks with no displacement of bone ends.
Runners and athletes that play sports involving a lot of time on their feet who escalate their training schedules too rapidly, as in when beginning training or when preparing for longer races, often suffer stress fractures.
Podiatrists and sports medicine specialists recommend no more than a 10 percent increase in mileage weekly to avoid overuse and strain on the lower extremities.
4. Heel Spurs
Running, jumping barefoot, or wearing poorly supportive footwear can lead to heel spurs. Bony, calcified growths on the front part of the calcaneus, or heel bone, bone spurs can hurt even when you simply walk and can prevent participation in your favorite activities, such as running and basketball. Well-fitting shoes and arch supports, such as customized orthotics, prevent and help treat heel spurs.
5. Ankle Sprains
Varying in severity from mild to severe, an ankle sprain involves a tearing of the connective tissues in the ankle. Typically, ankle sprains occur suddenly with a hard, twisting motion, as when a runner rolls their ankle or missteps off a curb. However, overtraining can be a culprit, too.
Stretching and warming up before a run or a game can help you avoid ankle sprains – as well as the other sports injuries mentioned in this blog.
Foot and Ankle Injuries Care in Southwest Ohio
At Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care in southwest Ohio, our highly experienced podiatrists understand the enthusiasm and drive athletes have for their sports. That’s why our experts not only treat injuries and conditions but also help athletes improve their performance to their best ability. We provide excellent patient education, gait analysis, custom orthotics, and more to help our active patients get the most out of their training without provoking injury.
If you are experiencing foot and ankle discomfort related to sports, or want to know more about how best to train and prevent future problems, come see us. We have 18 conveniently located podiatric clinics to serve you. Call us today to arrange a consultation. Or, fill out our appointment request form online.