Most Common Foot Injuries for Athletes

Being an athlete, there are many injuries you might encounter throughout your career regardless of the sport. From extended periods of running to short bursts of acceleration accompanied by quick cutting, foot and ankle injuries for athletes can take many forms. It is always best to be prepared and know what the most common foot injuries for athletes are and how to prevent them.

Plantar Fasciitis

This common heel pain is arguably the one most fitness running athletes will experience. In your daily life, there is a great deal of pressure exerted on the heel which you then add in the running and physical activity on top of it. This begins to do a number on your plantar fascia, the strand of tissue that connects your toes to your heel bone. Everyday tasks like walking in the Scottsdale summer and just standing can become very painful let alone trying to run and cut. It is very common in basketball players due to the extended periods of both running and change of direction on hard, flat surfaces.

There are a few factors that can help advance plantar fasciitis.

Being Overweight

High arches or flat feet

Wearing restrictive, non-fitting footwear like high heels

The best treatment for plantar fasciitis is to rest your feet. This condition is very similar to Achilles tendinitis in that it is more of an injury of being overworked and not as much accident related. So the more you can stay off your feet, and even more so your heels, the better.

Ankle Sprains

When it comes to foot injuries and also ankle injuries, ankle sprains are considered very likely to occur due to natural activity and sporting conditions. The Arizona heat doesn’t always help. From rolling your ankle after stepping on a defender’s foot in basketball to feeling a sharp pain in your foot while trying to change direction in a soccer match, ankle sprains are bound to happen. Luckily, they are also considered one of the more moderate injuries making them fairly straightforward to treat.

In most cases, an ankle sprain is the result of your foot rolling inward during physical activity which causes the ankle to push outward. There is a high probability that you have suffered from an ankle sprain at some point in your life-time being that they are one of the most common foot injuries for athletes as well. It is important to know how to prevent this from happening and understanding the symptoms. In more serious cases, eversion sprains push the foot outward, which can cause serious foot and leg injuries.

The 3 steps for treating a sprained ankle are as follows:

  1. Rest and Protection – This will help reduce the ankle inflammation and swelling while helping with the pain.
  2. Stretching exercises – Stretching assists in restoring the range of motion of your ankle.
  3. Gradual Activity – Be sure to slowly return to your sport or physical activity by gradually increasing the intensity of your activities and be conscious of the time spent as well.

Listen to your body. You will know when you are over pushing yourself so understand your pain threshold and adjust accordingly. Resting and stretching are great rehabilitation methods to keep in mind. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!

Achilles Tendinitis

The largest tendon in the human body is actually the Achilles tendon which is located in the ankle. Achilles tendinitis is a very common sports injury that occurs when this tendon becomes inflamed and it becomes quite difficult to walk on. This pain and discomfort can be explained as a sharp pain in the heel and ankle.

Foot doctors commonly see this injury in both runners and athletes that do a lot of running in their sport, like soccer. Even hiking through the Scottsdale mountains can cause this ailment. It can be thought of as more of an overuse injury as opposed to an immediate accident. Over the course of physical activity and repeated impact, the tendon naturally breaks down which can create tiny tears in the tendon. It is also common to feel severe pain and much inflammation.

As opposed to surgery, it is recommended to treat Achilles tendinitis with physical therapy. These rehabilitative therapy sessions focus on stretching exercises to heal the tendon along with strength and stabilization training. Although, if these sessions don’t reduce the pain and swelling, surgery may be the next step. In other cases like an Achilles tendon rupture, these particular and more severe injuries have their own specialized guidelines for how to recover from them.

Better Understand Foot and Ankle Injuries For Athletes

Whether you’ve experienced an injury running, participating in sports, or just stumbling on something walking through your local Scottsdale community park, it’s always a smart idea to know who to talk to. Foot and ankle specialists can provide knowledge to help prevent one of these injuries from occurring and also offer the proper physical therapy treatment plan to ensure a speedy recovery. Don’t wait until your injury symptoms get worse so get in touch with Arizona Institute of Motion today!