Injuries are quite common in athletes. This is because of the physical demands that each sport requires. And one of the most abused parts in any sport is the feet. It is constantly exposed to stress from explosive movements such as jumping, running or quickly changing directions. The foot is one of the most robust structures in the body but it too has its limits. And when it is stretched beyond its limits, foot and ankle injuries can occur.
Pain and swelling are the first indication of a possible injury. Although most of the pain felt could be due to a strained muscle, lingering pain could be a sign of a serious foot and ankle injury. When this happens, consult a podiatrist. Dr. Paul Klein is a podiatrist who specializes in helping athletes suffering from foot and ankle injuries.
Foot and ankle injuries commonly seen in athletes include:
- Ankle sprains. This is may be the result of landing on an uneven surface which results to the foot turning in a bad position. This can result to a partial or complete tear of the ligaments responsible for stabilizing and supporting your ankle joint.
- Achilles tendon injury. Coined as Achilles tendonitis, this injury to the Achilles tendon. It is often the result of over usage of the tendon. Usually an acute inflammation, the tendon may become ruptured especially if it is already weak.
- Plantar fascitiis. This is a condition wherein the tissue that connects the heel to the toes becomes inflamed. Once there is plantar fasciitis, you may feel pain in your heel or in your arch.
- Stress fractures. A stress fracture is most common in runners. This is an injury to the tendons and ligaments which are located on the inside and outside of your ankle. This can cause stress in your foot bones. Though a stress fracture does not happen in one event, repetitive stress on the bone may cause it to break. As a matter of fact, 5-15% on all running-related injuries are dedicated to stress fractures and 49% of all injuries are usually seen on those people who ran a range of 25 to 44 miles a week.
- Turf toe. An athlete can also suffer from a turf toe which is best described as a sprain of the main joint on your big toe. It is painful and will result to limited joint movement in your big toe.
- A sport that has relatively high amount of foot and ankle injuries is soccer. Soccer injuries are usually the result of collisions when one player strikes another with a forceful impact. Since soccer can also be an example of a contact sport, a player usually gets a direct blow to his lower leg. This accounts for 20-30% ankle injuries in all of the recorded soccer injuries.