There are several important pillars for maintaining a healthy body, including eating a nutritionally-sound diet, keeping hydrated, and getting plenty of sleep every night. Another key pillar is staying physically active. There are many ways to be active, which also means there is the possibility of getting hurt. One of the practice areas in which Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida excels is caring for sports-related injuries.
We want you to lead a healthy lifestyle, while taking the right steps to be safe while doing so. If sports injuries do occur, we are here to provide the care you need.
Common Sports Injuries
The lower limbs provide a solid foundation and enable movement of your body. During normal daily activity, you take about 5,000 steps (give or take) in an average day. With every step you take, you place one and one-half times your body’s weight on the foot taking the step, showing that your feet endure a tremendous force load.
When you add high-impact activities (running, jumping) to the equation, it shouldn’t be surprising that a variety of sports injuries occur that need the attention of a podiatrist.
Some of the more common sports-related conditions include:
- Plantar fasciitis. In this injury, the plantar fascia—a connective tissue that bridges the heel and forefoot along the bottom of the foot—becomes tight or even torn due to excessive forces. The body begins repairing the fascia during periods of rest (especially overnight sleep), but the next steps taken will reopen the tears, which is intensely painful. This injury is the most common source of heel pain for adults.
- Achilles tendinitis. The Achilles tendon is strong—the strongest tendon in the body—but it is still subject to injury, including the overuse injury referred to as Achilles tendinitis. When the Achilles tendon is not stressed (inactive), but then is called to action where it faces excessive forces, it can become inflamed and cause pain.
- Turf toe. Sport fans recognize this term and don’t want to hear it associated with their favorite teams players, but you might not know what is actually entailed. Essentially, turf toe is a sprain in the big toe’s main joint (the metatarsophalangeal joint).
- Sever’s disease. This condition isn’t necessarily caused by sports activities, nor is it technically a “disease,” but athletic activity can definitely aggravate it. Sever’s is the most common cause of heel pain for adolescents and basically develops in response to the heel bone reaching physical maturity before the Achilles tendon. It does not cause long-term issues and treatment is centered on managing symptoms.
Sports Injury Treatment and Prevention
When injury does strike, Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida is ready to provide effective treatment and get you back in the game safely and in the shortest amount of time possible.
You may be pleased to know that the majority of foot and ankle injuries sustained during athletic participation or while exercising are treated successfully without the need for surgery. There are times when a surgical procedure may be needed, but conservative options can be quite effective when treating sports-related symptoms.
- RICE – Rest, ice, compression, and elevation can be the best first response to a sports-related condition. RICE gives the body time to heal, reduces pain, and relieves inflammation.
- Medications – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often used. Our podiatrists will provide specific recommendations and dosages to keep you (or your loved one) safe.
- Orthotic devices – These are customized to work with your feet and either control motion or provide additional cushioning and support. Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida can recommend both over-the-counter as well as custom orthotic options.
We are able to treat your sports-related conditions, but we are also here to help you avoid an issue in the first place. Some preventative measures you should practice before any type of physical activity include wearing the proper footwear for the activity and being careful to warm up and stretch both before and after athletic or workout activities.
Sports Injury Treatment at Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida
Our hope is that you will be safe while exercising or playing your favorite sport, but know that our team of qualified podiatrists and staff will provide the effective care you need if a foot or ankle injury strikes. Give us a call at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (for Lake County) to make an appointment or request an appointment online for any of our Central Florida locations (Altamonte Springs, Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Tavares, and Orlando).