For some people, playing sports is a way of staying fit, having fun, and being social. For other people, participating in sports is a way of life. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, though, you need to take care of your feet to be able to participate in the sports you love. Any game or athletic activity like running or hiking can put incredible strain on your lower limbs and potentially lead to sports injuries.
Injuries Can Happen to Anyone
Sports injuries are any type of painful problem that arise as a result of participation in an athletic activity. Typically these injuries can be divided into two categories: overuse and trauma-induced.
Overuse – The feet have been overworked and can no longer handle the strain. Repetitive motions and hard impacts, or simply changing or adding to your routine when your body is not prepared, can be enough to create a problem. Painful damage develops as a result. Usually the discomfort increases over time as the injury worsens.
Trauma – This is an accident that you generally cannot prevent. It happens suddenly and creates immediate pain and damage to your lower limbs. You often lose mobility or strength in the effected limb that makes it difficult or impossible to continue in your sport until you’ve healed.
In either case, no matter how you problem developed, you need treatment to take care it. Typically the injury gets much worse if you fail to treat it, potentially leading to long-term or permanent complications.
Painful Problems to Watch
There are many different sports injuries. Here are just a few of the more common ones that affect the lower limbs:
- Achilles Tendon Problems – This can include both inflammation and a tear of your body’s biggest tendon.
- Ankle Sprains – Rolling and twisting your ankle can damage the supporting ligaments.
- Blisters – Friction on the skin creates these painful sores.
- Fractures – A sudden impact can crack bones and put you out of sports for a long time.
- Metatarsalgia – Repetitive pounding can inflame your forefoot and make it difficult to push off the ground.
- Plantar Fasciitis – The most common cause of heel pain, this is a persistent injury.
- Shin Splints – Overuse can cause burning shins that make running very difficult.
- Stress Fractures – Repeated hard impacts can create small but painful cracks in your bones.
- Turf Toe – This is actually a painful sprain to your big toe.
What to Expect from Sports Injury Care
Typically taking care of sports injuries involves several stages of foot care: diagnosis, treatment, rehab, and returning to your activities. Sanjay Gandhi, DPM and our staff at A Step Up Podiatry, LLC will carefully examine your lower limbs to identify your exact injury and what may have caused it. Then we can work on a treatment plan for you.
Across the board you’ll need to take a break from hard impact activities and limit the stress on your lower limbs. Depending on the problem, you might have to immobilize your lower limbs for a little while. You’ll need to take steps to minimize any swelling and inflammation, such as icing your foot or wrapping it in a compression bandage. Once the initial damage has mostly healed, you’ll probably need some kind of therapy or rehab to restore range of motion, flexibility, strength, and conditioning for your sports.
Sports injuries shouldn’t get in the way of your activities. With the right foot care, they certainly don’t have to keep you sidelined forever. Invest in both your health and your sport! When you feel pain, take care of it instead of waiting for it to get worse. Contact our team of experts at A Step Up Podiatry, LLC in Manalapan Township, NJ for an appointment today. Use our online request form or call us at (732) 446-7136.