Warmer weather and sports injuries go hand-in-hand. Why?
Well, as summer approaches, many of us are eager to get back to our favorite sports activities. Soccer, track and field, baseball – this is the best time of year to be active and get in shape while having fun. And that’s awesome!
We encourage all our patients to keep playing the sports they love. Staying active is a great way to improve overall health and lower potential risks of developing a wide range of diseases. It’s important that you take some precautions while you’re out there sweating for the win.
During this time of year, the rate of sports injuries increases quite a bit; and this is especially true when it comes to the feet and ankles. They are prime candidates for trauma, which comes as no surprise since we primarily rely on those lower limbs whenever we are physically active. From the repeated impact your feet receive on hard surfaces to the twisting motion of your ankles as you dribble through the court, your feet work hard to allow you to play your best.
Causes of Sports Injuries
Although many injuries are caused by constant force impact, foot and ankle problems can also develop due to wearing ill-fitting shoes. Oftentimes, painful injuries are a result of a combination of both repeated contact with surfaces and improper footwear.
Now, some of these injuries may be minor (e.g. blisters), while others can result in more serious and detrimental outcomes (e.g. fractures). The one common thread among the many possible sports injuries you can experience, however, is that they should never be ignored. If you feel pain, you should address the situation immediately.
The good news is we offer a variety of advanced treatment methods aimed to get athletes and weekend warriors alike back in the game as quickly and as safely as possible. And this starts by providing you with important information on common foot and ankle sports injuries, and how to prevent these from sidelining you in the first place.
Most Common Sports Injuries
There are many painful conditions that can affect your feet and ankles while participating in sports and other activities. You may develop an ingrown toenail from playing basketball, or you may suffer a bone fracture from playing football. The possibilities are many.
But some of the most common sports related injuries we treat at our office include:
- Ankle sprains can happen whenever the foot twists or rotates suddenly and at an awkward angle, causing the connective tissues that hold the joint together to stretch beyond their mean.
This type of injury can range from moderate to severe. But, no matter the degree of pain and damage, you should seek medical treatment right away whenever you suspect you have suffered from an ankle sprain. Without proper care, the tissues will continue to be strained and may even heal incorrectly, leading to chronic conditions.
- Shin splints typically develop in runners and dancers, or in athletes who have recently intensified or changed training routines, causing the muscles, tendons and bone tissue to become overworked. The general symptom is pain along the side of the shin bone, especially after participating in physical activities.
Pain in the shins is never normal! And, when left untreated, shin splints can become a bigger problem in the future.
- Plantar fasciitis causes inflammation and pain in the tissue that connects the heel to the toes. Pain is usually experienced in the bottom of the heel when first rising out of bed, or when first standing after sitting for long periods, or after participating in an activity.
Although initially the pain may be bearable, it can gradually become worse. In fact, most heel pain conditions will get worse the longer they are left untreated. So, if your heels are giving you grief, don't wait to come visit our office for the professional care you need.
- Stress fractures are typically caused by overuse – after repetitive jumping and running motions, tiny cracks in the bone begin to develop and may grow over time if left untreated.
As an overuse injury, pain is usually gradual – becoming worse when performing activities and decreasing after rest. But just because the pain “eventually goes away,” you shouldn’t dismiss it as normal or not a big deal. Instead, come visit our office right away.
Symptoms and severity may differ between types of sports injuries, but there is always one constant – the importance of prompt medical diagnosis and treatment for optimal recovery. So, if you ever suspect you have suffered an injury – sports-related or not – your best course of action if to come visit the Foot Specialists of Long Island.
Preventing Sports Injuries
No matter what sports activity you plan on participating in this summer, you should handle your body with care. This means slowly conditioning your feet and ankles to endure the tremendous amount of force impact they will have to sustain as you dribble down the court or race toward the finish line.
Here are some things you should do to better prepare your feet and ankles for the job:
- Never push through pain.
- Gradually increase activity levels.
- Protect and support your feet with proper footwear.
- Warm up and stretch before and after starting activities.
- Strengthen and condition your feet and ankles weeks (at least) before starting a new sport.
Now that you are armed with all this helpful information, we certainly hope that you are able to keep your feet and ankles healthy and safe during this sports season. But if you ever experience a foot or ankle injury, you can count on our team of experts to get you back on your feet as quickly and as safely as possible.
Find Expert Sports Injury Care at Foot Specialists of Long Island
When you come visit our office, we will perform a thorough evaluation of your feet and ankles in order to properly diagnose your condition and provide the most effective treatment available for your specific case. Maybe all you need is a good pair of orthotics, or maybe a more advanced treatment method, like laser therapy, is best to eradicate your condition. No matter your situation, we are here to help!
To schedule an appointment, call us at (516) 804-9038. You may also take advantage of our request form online and one of our staff members will reach out to you.