When you’re an athlete, it’s practically a rule that you will sustain an injury at some point. Whether it occurs due to overuse like training for a marathon, or from a sudden impact like a blindsided tackle, a sports injury can keep you from enjoying the activity you love. Recognizing a problem and knowing what to do about it are the first steps toward getting you back in the game. Here are some of the most common sports injuries we see at Gulf South Foot & Ankle.
Hobbling Heel Pain
For the vast majority of all painful lower limb problems, noninvasive, conservative treatments are best. Painful heels can be caused by a number of reasons but at the top of the list is plantar fasciitis. This occurs when the thick band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that spans the bottom of your foot from heel to toe becomes stressed due to overuse. Tiny tears in the ligament can result in inflammation and pain beneath the heel, especially after a period of rest.
Let’s face it, athletes’ ankles take a beating. All that twisting and turning and jumping can stretch ligaments beyond their limits, resulting in an ankle sprain. Damage ranges from mild to severe, and you can expect pain and swelling and possibly difficulty walking.
An ankle fracture, on the other hand, involves a break in the bone and is signified by immediate pain, swelling, discoloration and difficulty bearing weight.
Your Achilles tendon is tough, but with enough strain and stress, it can become irritated, inflamed, and tender. Achilles tendonitis is characterized by a gradual stiffness and pain. Without treatment the tendon will continue to get worse, and possibly even rupture.
Toes are prone to all kinds of sports injuries: blisters, black toenails, ingrown nails, toenail fungus. Turf toe is a common problem that inflicts all athletes, not just those who play on artificial turf as the name suggests. This typically occurs when the toe is hyperextended, resulting in a sprain as well as pain in the joint.
Take a Time Out!
With these and other injuries, including shin splints and stress fractures, the first thing you need to do is rest. For most athletes that is a four letter word, but if you take some time off now it will mean less time off in the long run—trust us. In the majority of cases, sports injuries that go ignored and without treatment will only get worse and take longer to heal. As soon as you experience signs of trouble, contact the expert team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle. We will help you determine the best course of action to get you off the sideline and back in the game as soon as possible.
A Game Plan for Prevention
While you can’t avoid every injury, there are some things you can do to at least try. First, make sure your shoes fit well and are appropriate for your sport. Then, always warm up prior to working out and don’t increase the intensity of your training too quickly. It’s a good idea to cross train too. Incorporating low impact activities like swimming, biking, and yoga can cut down on the stress you put on your feet.
Blow the whistle on sports injuries! Our specialists are pros at getting you back on your feet and feeling strong.