Every season has its own sports. Football, basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, running, cycling, and others keep competitive people on their feet and moving. The intense training required to be able to play or compete well is good for the body, but the hard impacts and intense forces exerted on the feet can cause painful problems. Overuse and traumatic sports injuries are fairly common, and both can restrict you to the sidelines for a while.
The Strain of the Game
Sports and feet are connected; when your feet are compromised and unable to perform their job adequately, your game suffers. The activities themselves, however, can be the cause of those weakening injuries. Repetitive motions and hard impacts wear down your body and can lead to painful problems like tendonitis, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, pinched nerves, and sesamoiditis. You’re left with unstable, weakened lower limbs. Typically, using the affected area of your foot increases your discomfort, while resting decreases it. Overuse injuries also tend to get worse the longer they go untreated and risk becoming chronic conditions.
Traumatic sports injuries are the result of an accident. The damage is sudden, unpredictable, and immediate—and so is the pain. Fractures, sprains, tendon or ligament ruptures, cuts and scrapes, and some deep bruises fit into this category. Depending on how severe the damage is, you may not be able to walk or use your lower limbs correctly after the injury happens. You need prompt medical care to prevent additional complications.
Restoring Your Feet
Correctly treating sports injuries in your feet is important. The right kind of care allows the damage to heal and then rebuilds your foot and ankle strength afterwards. That way you’re able to return to your activities without a high risk for re-injury. No matter how you developed your foot pain, Dr. Victoria Melhuish will examine your lower limbs thoroughly and use diagnostic tests and images to identify the exact structures affected by your condition. Then our expert staff will help you plan your treatment and rehabilitation.
Whether it’s an overuse problem or a traumatic one, your foot will need to rest while your tissues repair themselves. This will require a little time off from your sport—and possibly an extended break if your injury is severe. You may or may not need to have your affected foot immobilized to reduce the strain on it. You will need to relieve any inflammation or swelling. This typically means icing, elevating, and possibly compressing the area with a bandage. Our staff may recommend anti-inflammatory medications to help as well. Once Dr. Victoria Melhuish agrees that your foot has healed enough to return to your sport, you can slowly work your way back into your activities. You may still need rehabilitation with physical therapy to regain flexibility and strength.
Of course, the best way to deal with a sports injury is to prevent it altogether. Properly conditioning your feet to handle the strain of your game, along with healthy warm-ups and cool-downs before and after exercising, can make a significant difference in preventing overuse problems. If you do develop pain, don’t wait until you’re sidelined for the season to seek help. Contact Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City and Gardnerville for more information or an appointment. Call 888-608-8406 or fill out our online contact form to request more information or an appointment.