Sports Medicine and Injuries

Whether you are a professional athlete or you simply play in a local league or even just for fun, your feet and ankles can take quite the beating while you are participating in sports. Regardless of your athletic ability, it is important to be aware of the various risks and potential sports injuries while playing the game.

What are Common Sports Injuries?

Ankle sprains are the most common injuries that occur in sports. Whether you are playing football, basketball, hockey or even baseball, your ankles are prone to the most injuries. If an ankle sprain does occur, your foot doctor will help to determine the extent of the injury, which might include possible peroneal tendon fractures. If a sprain is determined to be the injury, your podiatrist will develop a treatment plan in order to properly heal your ankle. 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 baseball often creates pain and tightness in the calf and aggravation of the Achilles tendon. Regular stretching of the calf muscles gently and gradually before and after the game will help minimize the pain and stiffness.

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. Let’s use baseball as an example. For children under the age of 10, sneakers are appropriate for baseball, although they might want to wear cleats. 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. Any child with pre-existing foot conditions should see a podiatrist before putting on cleats and never put them in 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.

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, and/or inadequate stretching.

Contact your foot doctor if you exhibit any injuries from any other sport.  Your podiatrist can properly treat and offer prevention techniques so that you don’t sit on the bench for the season.