Athletes of all ages and sizes know and understand the value of trying to avoid injuries when playing sports. Most of the time these injuries affect the athlete when least expected. Many sports are hard on the feet because of quick repetitive movements, constricting footwear, and/or increased exposure to injury or trauma.
Many sports injuries can be treated with conservative therapy such as strappings, splints, casts, CAM boots, protective shoe wear, over the counter medications, injections and physical therapy. Other injuries that may be more serious that can be evaluated by a podiatrist with the aid of x-rays, MRI, CT scan, may need surgery depending on the severity of the injury.
Here is a list of the some of the most commonly seen foot and ankle sport injuries encountered; Nail Trauma, Digital (toe) Fractures and dislocations, Digital Deformities such as hammertoes and bunions, hallux limitus/rigidus which is very common, especially among basketball players, first metatarsal-phalangeal joint sprain (MTPJ) (“big toe”) or “turf toe”; which is a hyperextension injury mostly found from athletes playing sports on astroturf fields, sesamoiditis, neuroma which is very common in dancers, and stress injuries.
Metatarsal stress fractures from repetitive micro-trauma from overuse, worn-out shoes, incorrect surface or increased weight, metatarsalgia, Fifth Metatarsal Shaft Fracture: AKA “Dancers Fracture”, Navicular Stress Fractures from vaulting or basketball, midfoot sprains, calcaneal Stress Fractures, Plantar Fascitis, and Nerve Impingement Syndromes.
There are several bone stress injuries which are commonly encountered. Most involve overuse and repetitive micro-trauma in the presence of certain biomechanical conditions. With any suspected stress injury, bone density must be considered. The factors which affect bone density are genetics, weight, diet (calcium), exercise and hormones (women).
Soft Tissue Injuries
Not all sports injuries are broken bones. Many times when athletes or people who par take in athletic activities, pain and swelling can happen from soft tissue structures, not bone, being injured. Some very common soft tissue injuries are achilles tendonosis, paratenonitis, achilles tendon rupture which is most common in basketball, volleyball and tennis, gastrocnemius strain or “tennis leg”, posterior tibial tendonitis, and tibial periostitis (fasciitis) or commonly known as “shin splints” which is probably the most common cause of exercise-induced leg pain.
These types of injuries can be found in all or any kind of athletic activity as well as martial arts and kick boxing which has seen many people with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, and ankle sprains. In Aerobics sports activity it is very important to wear proper shoes to stay injury-free. Shoes should provide sufficient cushioning and shock absorption to compensate for pressure on the foot many times greater than found in walking. They must also have good medial-lateral stability. Team sprorts such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse often lead to ankle injuries as a result of play on artificial surfaces, improper footwear, and/or inadequate stretching.
If you have recently engaged in any sporting activity and are experiencing pain you should seek the opinion of a professional, Dr. Theall. Stop playing and until you can come to our office, treat yourself with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Once you come to Gentle Touch Foot Care, Dr. Theall will be able to provide you with the proper treatment and evaluation of the foot pain you are experiencing. Feel free to come or call Dr. Theall’s office, Gentle Touch Foot Care for a full comprehensive and thorough evaluation to discuss your foot health.
For more information, contact our East Orange office at 973-673-FOOT (3668).