Texas Foot Doctor's Blog
Posts for category: Sports
If you're a runner, it goes without saying that your feet take the brunt of the punishment. In fact, for runners the feet are more vulnerable to injury than any other part of the body. Luckily, both long-distance runners and casual joggers can improve their performance by paying extra attention to their feet and taking steps to prevent common foot problems. Poor fitting footwear is often the source of many foot problems caused by running. A visit to our practice can help you determine the best shoes for your foot structure.
A Runner's Roadblock
While many running-related foot injuries can result from a fall or twisted ankle, most running injuries are caused by overuse, meaning the majority of runners experience foot and ankle pain because they do too much for too long. Runners should be aware of the signs of foot problems that can slow them down if not treated promptly. Common foot and ankle injuries experienced by runners include:
Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis and other calf-related injuries are prevalent in runners. Poor training, overuse and improper footwear are the three most common reasons for this condition. A sudden increase in distance or pace can strain the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, causing small tears within these structures that result in pain and inflammation. Appropriate shoes and training are the most important steps to preventing Achilles tendonitis. Conservative treatment includes rest, ice, stretching and sometimes orthotics or physical therapy.
Heel Pain: Runners develop heel pain more than any other foot-related injury. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, the result of placing excessive stress on the ligament in the bottom of the foot. Rest, stretching and support are the best ways to ease the pain and inflammation. Reduce your mileage and avoid hill and speed workouts. Stretch before and after you run, and ice your heel after each workout. Special splints and shoe inserts from our practice may also provide support and relief for your heel pain.
Stress Fractures: Stress fractures are small cracks in the surface of a bone. Runners generally notice gradual muscle soreness, stiffness and pain on the affected bone, most often in the lower leg or the foot. Early diagnosis is critical, as a small fracture can spread and eventually become a complete fracture of the bone. Stress fractures are typically caused by increasing training more quickly than the body's ability to build up and strengthen the bone.
If you have symptoms of a stress fracture, you should stop running immediately and see a podiatrist. This injury can keep a runner off the track for several weeks, and is not an injury that you can run through. Depending on the severity of the stress fracture, a cast may be necessary.
If you experience chronic foot pain from running, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Leaving foot injuries untreated could result in more serious conditions, ultimately keeping you from your best performance. Keep in mind that these are not the only foot ailments caused by running, and when at-home foot care isn't effective, you'll need to be evaluated by a podiatrist. As in most cases, prevention is the best medicine. Good footwear, proper training and recognizing a problem before it becomes serious are your keys to staying on the road and avoiding foot injuries.
Your feet are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments and a vast network of tendons, nerves and blood vessels. Each of these parts works in harmony, enabling you to walk, run and jump normally and without pain.
But before jumping into a rigorous workout or fitness program that involves running, you may want to give your feet some extra attention, starting with a trip to your Southlake, Hurst, Fort Worthkeller & Flower Mound, TX podiatrist. A professional podiatrist can properly examine your feet, detect potential problems, and provide tips for injury-free training and shoe selection.
Beginning runners are not the only ones who should see a podiatrist. Frequent runners should also pay their podiatrist a visit from time to time to check for any stress on the lower extremities brought on by repetitive force.
Common injuries experienced by runners include plantar fasciitis, heel spurts, Achilles tendon and stress fractures.
Helpful Tips for Preventing Injury
In addition to visiting Academy Foot and Ankle, you can also prevent injuries that commonly occur during training and running by stretching properly, choosing appropriate footwear and paying attention to pain or signs of an injury.
To prevent injury to your lower extremities, it’s important to stretch carefully before beginning any workout regimen. When muscles are properly warmed up and stretched, the risk for injury is greatly reduced. Appropriate stretches include stretching of the hamstring and wall push-ups.
- Choose Proper Footwear
The type of shoe you should wear also plays an important role in your ability to run without pain and with optimal performance. The shoe that your foot requires will depend on your foot structure and function, your body type, and the type of running or workout regimen. Your podiatrist may also prescribe an orthotic, or shoe insert, to alleviate any foot pain or anomalies.
- Be Mindful of Injuries
Even with proper footwear and stretching, not all foot problems can be prevented. Whenever you experience pain, stop whatever workout you are doing and rest. As pain subsides, gradually increase exercise with caution. When pain persists, visit Academy Foot and Ankle for a proper evaluation.
New joggers and seasoned runners alike should take the necessary steps to avoid injury to the lower limbs. Consult with your Southlake, Hurst, Fort Worthkeller & Flower Mound, TX podiatrist before start any new workout, and always seek professional care when pain or injury occurs.
Turf toe is a sprain of the joint just below the big toe, also known as the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. Although it’s a condition most commonly associated with dancers, soccer players, wrestlers, gymnasts and football players, you don’t have to be an athlete to get it.
This foot injury is particularly common among athletes who play on artificial turf, hence the name “turf” toe. When athletes play sports on turf or other hard surfaces, the foot can stick to the ground, resulting in jamming of the big toe joint. Typically with turf toe the injury is sudden, but it can also occur after sustaining multiple injuries, such as pushing off repeatedly when running or jumping.
Symptoms of turf toe range from mild to severe, and may gradually worsen with continued movement. The most common symptoms of turf toe include:
- Swelling and pain at the joint of the big toe
- Pain and tenderness when bending the toe
- Stiffness and limited movement of the big toe joint
If your symptoms are indicative of turf toe, then you may be able to relieve the pain and swelling with the following self-treatment.
- Ice the injury
- Apply a compression bandage
- Rest and temporarily discontinue any physical activity
- Wear a brace to protect the toe and to limit bending
For more severe cases of turf toe, visit Academy Foot & Ankle Specialists for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. A Southlake podiatrist can easily diagnose turf toe through an evaluation that includes range of motion and joint stability tests.
Professional treatment may include exercises to strengthen the toe, modified footwear or splinting. With proper treatment you can eliminate pain resulting from turf toe and regain your full range of motion in order to return to your favorite sport or activity.
Did you know more than 2.6 million children between the ages of 5 and 19 years of age were brought to emergency rooms in the United States due to sports-related injuries? While some of these injuries were probably minor ones that could be treated with simple Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE), other injuries required professional care at Academy Foot & Ankle Specialists
Here are SEVEN of the most common injuries that a child might suffer while playing a sport:
Growth Plate Fractures
Because the growth plates at the end of a child's long bones are the last portion to harden, they are susceptible to fractures. It is very important that parents take a child to Academy Foot & Ankle Specialists if there is the possibility that their child may have suffered this type of fracture. Children who either do not receive treatment or get insufficient treatment for growth plate fractures may end up with a crooked or uneven limb.
A variety of factors, including participation in a sport that require repetitive motion, poor footwear, or a sudden increase in a child's level of activity can result in painful stress fractures.
Sprains or Strains
Sprains refer to ligaments that have been torn or stretched, while strains refer to muscles that have suffered these types of injuries. Ankles and wrists are the most common body parts to be sprained.
Sports, such as football and basketball, that involve a lot of turning and twisting can be hard on young knees. According to Science Daily, tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus, which are located in the knees, have increased dramatically in children in recent years.
Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD)
Children who complain of anterior knee pain while running, kneeling or jumping may have OSD. This condition most commonly affects children who participate in sports such as soccer, basketball and volleyball.
Osteochondritis Dissecans (OD)
This problem is caused when a piece of cartilage and a thin layer of bone break loose and then gets caught between moving joints. In children, OD is most commonly seen in the knees and ankles.
Severs Disease/Pediatric Heel Pain
This is a painful heel condition that commonly affects children. Severs Disease is caused by inflammation of the growth plate in a child's heel, and it typically occurs during the growth spurt that occurs during early puberty.
Additional information can be found at www.texasfootdoctor.org or by contacting us at 817-424-3668(Foot)
Following an ankle injury, such as a sprain or in more serious cases, ankle surgery, you will inevitably lose some strength and range of motion after being immobilized for an extended period of time. A weak ankle can hinder normal mobility and eventually lead to another injury.
Your ankle or leg may feel stiff, especially if treatment required wearing a cast or a walking boot. Stiffness and instability are common symptoms following an ankle injury that will need to be addressed in order to get you back to your normal range of motion and activity level.
Your Southlake podiatrist may recommend post-injury physical therapy or home exercises that will help you strengthen weak muscles surrounding the ankle joint and restore mobility to lower your risk of re-injury. These series of stretches and exercises include range of motion exercises for the injured ankle and stretching exercises for the calf muscles.
Range of motion exercises help loosen stiff ankles while helping you regain any motion that was lost during the healing process. It’s also important to keep your muscles flexible by stretching, especially prior to any workout or physical activity to decrease the risk of re-injury. As with all exercises, progress slowly and discontinue if painful.
The shoes you wear will also play an important role in protecting your injured ankle and restoring your mobility. Supportive shoes will provide more comfort, better balance and help stabilize the weak ankle to prevent re-injury.
Proper care and rehabilitation following an ankle injury is critical to ensure your ankle fully heals. Always consult Academy Foot & Ankle Specialists if ankle pain or stiffness persists or worsens, and before starting any new exercise program.