Playing sport, going for a run or any other physical activity that you enjoy is healthy for the mind, body and soul. However regular vigorous activity can also increase the risk of foot and ankle injuries with ongoing strain and excessive pressure. If you haven’t taken the time to warm up, stretch out your muscles before and after the activity, or if you’re wearing incorrect footwear, this can lead to acute or chronic foot problems. Even if you’re fit and strong, the feet can only take so much pressure before they start to show signs of stress.
We want you to get active and back into your sports as soon as possible. At Sanders Podiatry, we provide advice and support to prevent sports injuries, and we also treat a number of common sports injuries including the following.
Achilles tendon strain
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone. This tendon is responsible for your foot being able to move up and down. Repetitive strain or overuse causes the tendon to become inflamed and painful.
The injury happens mostly due to excessive pressure and overuse, and we find it’s common in sports people who may have suddenly increased the frequency and duration of their fitness programs. About 11% of all sports injuries are Achilles tendinopathy.
It’s also common in middle aged people who play sports only on the weekends. If exercise is irregular, and the tendon hasn’t been conditioned to high intensity activity, playing a game of tennis or basketball on the weekends can stretch and tear the Achilles tendon.
Plantar Fasciitis is not technically a sports injury, but repetitive strain on the plantar fascia – the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot – can strain or tear this tissue causing inflammation and pain.
Repetitive stress to the arch caused by running, hiking or walking, especially on concrete, wearing ill-fitting shoes without the right support, and calf tightness can also be a contributor to straining this tissue.
Ankle sprains are most common in people who are active and can become a recurring problem if rehabilitation after an ankle sprain isn’t complete.
The ankle has three main ligaments which connect the foot with the lower leg and their role is to keep your ankle stable by preventing too much movement. However, when these ligaments are overstretched or torn due to a sudden movement, they become inflamed and painful. It is essential to rest up and allow complete healing of your ankle, or you may have recurring sprains. The best approach is RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, elevation).
Stress fractures can occur in the foot or ankle. Unlike normal bone fractures, stress fractures are still a break in the bone, but the bone doesn’t move or become displaced. Frequent repetitive and high impact motion in sports places a high load on the foot and ankle, as does a higher than normal level of activity, which can lead to a stress fracture.
You can avoid stress fractures with supportive shoes, reducing activity if you notice any inflammation and regular podiatry treatments.
Sanders Podiatry will help you avoid sports injuries
The feet are a complex web of bones, tendons and ligaments. Having regular podiatry checks if you are an active person is a preventive approach and will keep your feet in good shape, preventing sports injuries. If you do find yourself with strain or an injury, our experienced podiatrists will help you get back on your feet and active again with gentle and effective therapeutic treatments.
Call us at a convenient location near you to make an appointment with one of our podiatry clinics – we have three locations around Adelaide: