For some people, playing sports is a way of staying fit, having fun, and being social. For other people, participating in sports is a way of life. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, you need to take care of your feet to be able to participate in the sports you love. Any game or athletic activity from running to hiking can put incredible strain on your lower limbs and potentially lead to sports injuries.
Injuries Can Happen to Anyone
Sports injuries are any type of painful problems that arise as a result of participation in an athletic activity. Typically, these injuries can be divided into two categories: overuse and trauma-induced.
Overuse – The feet have been overworked and can no longer handle the strain. Repetitive motions and hard impacts, or simply changing or adding to your routine when your body is not prepared, can be enough to create a problem. Painful damage develops as a result. Usually the discomfort increases over time as the injury worsens.
Trauma – This is an accident that you generally cannot prevent. It happens suddenly and creates immediate pain and damage to your lower limbs. You often lose mobility or strength in the affected limb that makes it difficult or impossible to continue in your sport until you’ve healed.
No matter how your problem developed, you need treatment to take care of it. In most cases, the injury worsens if it goes untreated, potentially leading to long-term or permanent complications.
Painful Problems to Watch
There are many different sports injuries. Here are just a few of the more common ones that affect the lower limbs:
- Achilles Tendon Problems – This includes both inflammation and a tear of the body’s largest tendon.
- Ankle Sprains – Rolling and twisting an ankle can damage the supporting ligaments.
- Blisters – Friction on skin creates these painful sores.
- Fractures – A sudden impact can crack bone tissue, but so too can lesser impacts that add up over time.
- Metatarsalgia – Repetitive pounding can cause inflammation in the forefoot and make it difficult to push off the ground.
- Plantar Fasciitis – The most common cause of heel pain, this is a persistent injury.
- Shin Splints – Overuse can lead to burning shins that make running very difficult.
- Stress Fractures – Repeated hard impacts can create small but painful cracks in your bones.
- Turf Toe – This refers to a painful sprain in your big toe.
Sports Injury Treatment
Typically taking care of your injury involves several stages of foot care: diagnosis, treatment, rehab, and returning to your activities. Dr. Thomas D. Truong and our staff at The Kansas Foot Center will carefully examine your lower limbs to identify your exact injury and what may have caused it. Then we will develop an effective treatment plan for you.
Across the board, you will need to take a break from high-impact activities and limit the stress on your lower limbs. Depending on the injury, you might need to immobilize your lower limbs for at least a little while. You will need to take steps to minimize any swelling and inflammation, such as icing your foot or wrapping it in a compression bandage. Once the initial damage has mostly healed, you may need some kind of therapy or rehab to restore range of motion, flexibility, strength, and conditioning for your sports.
Sports injuries shouldn’t keep you from being active in the future. With the right foot care, they certainly do not have to keep you sidelined forever. Invest in both your health and your sport! When you feel pain, take care of it instead of allowing it to become worse. Contact our team of experts at The Kansas Foot Center for an appointment at any of our Wichita, Emporia, or Newton, Kansas offices. Use our online request form or call us at (866) 222-5177.