Participating in sports is a great way to stay physically and mentally fit, strong, and energized. As many sports are designed to challenge your body, missing out on proper warmups and other preparations may increase your risk of developing foot and ankle injuries that keep you out of the action for weeks or longer.
At Hansen Foot & Ankle in Mill Creek, Washington, Nathan Hansen, DPM, understands the risk for sports injuries that athletes face, because he’s an endurance athlete himself. Dr. Hansen provides comprehensive care for all types of foot and ankle injuries that you may experience while playing sports.
In this blog, he explains some of the common foot and ankle injuries and how you can help protect these areas of your body.
Participating in sports can put a lot of pressure on your feet and ankles. If you aren’t careful when running, jumping, pivoting, or stopping, you may sustain a number of injuries, such as the following ones:
It’s estimated that 28,000 people sprain an ankle every day in the United States, both on and off the field. Sprained ankles can range in severity from mild to severe enough to require surgery.
If you’re involved in sports like basketball or soccer, where jumping and pivoting are required, you may have a higher risk for spraining your ankle. To protect your feet and ankles, be sure to wear shoes that provide adequate ankle support. Also, make sure to warm up before playing, and engage in training exercises that can strengthen the muscles that support your ankle joints.
Stress fractures are tiny cracks in your bones that develop over time due to repetitive movements or prolonged pressure on the bones. You’re more likely to develop stress fractures if you run on hard surfaces or if you push yourself too hard and too fast during training or play.
To prevent stress fractures, we suggest that you evaluate your choice of footwear for your sport to ensure it offers the proper support. You also need to listen to your body and prioritize rest at the first signs of ankle or foot discomfort.
If you experience unexplained pain in your feet or ankles, it’s a good idea to have us check it out right away. Even very small fractures can quickly grow larger and more painful.
Turf toe describes a hyperextension, or sprain, of the big toe joint. It got its name from football players who hurt their toes on artificial turf. If you engage in any sport that requires you to sprint or push off from your toes, you run the risk of developing turf toe.
It can be difficult to prevent getting turf toe, but you may be able to reduce your risks of developing it by choosing supportive shoes, getting custom orthotics, or taping or bracing your big toes. If you do receive this injury, we recommend that you rest as much as possible and schedule an evaluation at Hansen Foot & Ankle to ensure that your toe heals fully before you get back into the game.
To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for turf toe or other foot and ankle injuries, call 425-365-0319 or book an appointment online with Hansen Foot & Ankle today.