People everywhere in the world participate in sports for many different reasons. Some enjoy the thrill of competition while others do it to enjoy time with friends or even develop new friendships on a rec league team. There are also those who view sports as a good way to stay active and keep in shape. These are all great reasons to participate in sports, but it’s important to also understand that, no matter the reason you choose to be physically active, there will always be a certain risk of sustaining sports injuries, especially for your feet and ankles.
Common Foot and Ankle Sports Injuries
There are many different injuries that can be experienced during sports and other physical activities, but some of the more common ones include:
- Achilles Tendinitis – Your Achilles tendon plays an essential role in allowing your foot to move up and down, which is clearly needed to allow you to run and jump. Many individuals develop Achilles tendinitis when the tendon is overused or suddenly endures strain from intense activity. This injury is common for both “weekend warriors” and runners who increase intensity or duration without gradually ramping up the levels first.
- Ankle Fractures - The bones forming your ankle—the tibia, fibula, and talus—can become fractured from excessive twisting or rotating of the joint, rolling an ankle, falling, or tripping. Many sports have opportunities for any of these actions to happen, so it is important to be aware of symptoms like swelling, bruising, severe pain, and tenderness to the touch.
- Ankle Sprains - Besides being one of the most common sports injuries, ankle sprains are one of the most common lower limb injuries period. It is certainly easy enough to twist an ankle beyond its intended range on a basketball court or football field, but this can also happen when misjudging a curb while crossing the street or a step on staircase. When you sprain an ankle, the injury needs to heal completely before you resume physical activities. This will reduce the odds of recurrence and long-term ankle instability.
- Heel Pain - There are many injuries and conditions that can cause heel pain, but the most common for adults is plantar fasciitis. For teens, a condition known as Sever’s disease (calcaneal apophysis) is the leading source of heel pain. In both cases, physical activity exasperates the pain. Rest, ice, and stretches are often quite helpful for treating symptoms of both plantar fasciitis and Sever’s disease.
- Lisfranc Injury - The Lisfranc joint complex is located in the midfoot, where the metatarsal bones connect to the bones in the hindfoot. There are various injuries that can occur in the joint complex, including dislocation, fractures, and sprains. The most commonly-experienced symptoms of Lisfranc injuries are swollen, bruised feet and pain.
- Stress Fractures – Bones in the feet can sustain different kinds of breaks, including stress fractures. These cracks in the bone are overuse injuries and develop over time, instead of being the result of a single, traumatic incident. Stress fractures are also more likely to occur when overworked muscles are unable to endure the amount of physical forces they normally can. The stress loads are then passed along to the bones, which respond in time with tiny, painful cracks in the surface of the tissue.
- Turf Toe - Often heard during baseball, football, and soccer seasons, turf toe is an injury that happens when the big toe extends backwards excessively. A common scenario for this happening is a toe planted in the ground, and the rest of the foot moving forward with tremendous force. Despite the common association with ball sports, this injury is also likely to happen for dancers and ballerinas (who place their bodyweight on the front of their feet) as well.
Professional Foot and Ankle Sports Injury Treatment
No matter which foot and ankle sports injuries you sustain, we are ready to help. We will start by carefully evaluating the injury and diagnosing the problem. Once we have an accurate diagnosis, we will create an effective treatment plan for you.
Contact Dr. Joseph LaCava at Central Arkansas Foot Care to receive the expert care you need. Call our Hot Springs, AR office at (501) 321-4844, our Arkadelphia office at (870) 245-3003, or use our online form to contact us today.