For the majority of athletes and those who play sports, the feet forms the foundation of everything that is done. Whether this means kicking something or running, our feet are critical to our activities and as a result, they are often the first place an injury can occur. There is much that you can do to protect feet however, and in order to make sure of it we need to understand the most common injuries which can occur.
With all of this in mind, here are the most common foot injuries, and how they can be avoided.
Ankle Sprains and Strains
Ankle sprains and strains are very common, and often happen as a result of twisting too much or falling over. A sprain refers to the ankle ligament being torn, and a strain is used to describe the overextension of the muscle tissue, which results in a stretch or a tear. When trying to avoid this kind of injury the key is really to make sure that you are using the right footwear, this is often a reason for such an injury. Another note is that if you are new to a sport, try not to do too much too soon, and focus on building strength in your ankles.
In sports and running we very often see issues with the Achilles tendon, usually when someone is speeding up or slowing down. This tendon runs from the heel bone up to the top of the calf muscle. The risk of causing damage to this tendon is that owing to its size, if it gets ruptured then it will take you off your feet for some time until it recovers, making movement very difficult indeed. Always be sure to warm up properly so that this tendon is nice and supple for when you are doing exercise.
Dislocation and Broken Bones
Each foot is made up of 26 bones, which means that there is a lot down there which can get injured. If you have a fall or a blunt force impact on the feet then you could very easily break a bone, and more often than not they have to be left to heal alone. In the case of breaks to the ankle, this can be protected with a cast which will enable the bones to fuse back together in the right way, making activity possible in the future. Breaks are frustrating and they can require a long road to recovery, even once bones have healed, rehabilitation may be required to get you back to 100%. Businesses like ModPod Sports & Family Podiatry work with individuals for many months, taking small steps to get them back on the track or field.
There are of course no guarantees that you are going to be able to completely avoid injuries, but there are behaviors which can help to reduce the probabilities. As mentioned, proper warm ups and the right footwear and essential to keeping your feet in their best shape. Furthermore stretching after exercise is essential to help the muscles stay strong. And finally don’t overdo it, listen to your body and if you feel any sense of pain or discomfort around the foot, toes or the Achilles, rest up and let your body heal.
Sport is great fun to play, but if you are not careful you could find yourself on the sidelines after an injury.