Foot injuries: More common than you think
Playing sports can be a lot of fun and keep you healthy. However, they can also put strain on your feet and ankles. It’s not uncommon to experience sprains, aches, bruising, and fractures if you’re a keen sports player.
While most of these foot injuries are relatively minor, they still need to be treated properly in order to ensure a quick and full recovery. From tendonitis to metatarsalgia, read on to learn about some of the most common foot injuries to look out for when playing sports.
Which sports pose the most risk?
Foot injuries are a common occurrence in many sports, but some activities carry a greater risk than others. High-impact sports like running and basketball tend to put the most stress on feet, making them more susceptible to injury. Sports that require quick starts and stops, such as football and tennis, can also lead to foot injuries.
However, even low-impact activities can be dangerous for feet if the proper precautions are not taken. For example, dancers are at risk of foot injuries if they do not wear the proper shoes or warm up properly before rehearsal.
What injuries can different sports cause?
As a high-impact sport that involves a lot of running and kicking, football can cause an array of foot injuries, including foot stress fractures and sprains. Lateral ligament injury can occur when the ligaments that support the foot are stretched beyond their limits.
Plantar Fasciitis is also common. This condition is caused by repetitive stress on the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. Running and jumping puts footballers at risk of this injury.
To prevent lateral ligament injury and Plantar Fasciitis when playing football, make sure you wear proper footwear and stretch properly before a game.
As running puts repeated pressure on the balls of the feet, you may experience metatarsalgia – particularly if you run long distances or have high arches. Metatarsalgia is characterised by pain and inflammation in the metatarsal bones in the balls of your feet. You may notice swelling or tingling in your toes and may find it difficult to walk.
To reduce your risk of metatarsalgia, make sure you wear supportive footwear and try to avoid running on hard surfaces. If you suspect you have metatarsalgia, book an appointment with a podiatrist, and try to rest your feet.
Have you noticed any pain or stiffness in your Achilles tendon? This large tendon, which runs down the back of the leg and inserts into the heel bone, can be susceptible to Achilles tendonitis if exposed to repetitive stress. As tennis involves running, jumping, and turning quickly, it may put you at risk of this condition.
Typically, to treat Achilles tendonitis, you’ll just need to rest your ankle, apply ice, and try stretching exercises. However, in severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged Achilles tendon.
Whether you enjoy ballet, street dance, ballroom or salsa, dancing tends to put a lot of stress on the lower legs and feet. As a result, you may be prone to foot and ankle sprains. Symptoms of a sprained foot include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking.
If you’ve sprained a foot or ankle, follow the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), and seek medical attention if you have any concerns.