Perhaps you were dribbling down the court towards the hoop, or maybe you were swinging for a home run when suddenly you felt that pain in your ankle or your foot.
Here at our Illinois office, we know that getting hurt – especially when playing the sport you love – can come with consequences. On top of having to deal with pain and discomfort, you are now faced with the prospect of sitting at home waiting for your injury to heal so that you can finally get back in the game.
The truth is that as painful as foot and ankle injuries can be, having to spend a long time recovering on the sidelines is almost as bad.
But although you’re used to being active and are passionate about the game and supporting your team, the constant impacts, twists, turns, and landings that your feet experience while you charge towards your goal can easily lead to injury. That is why if you are planning on running on tracks or dominating the soccer field, taking care of your feet and ankles should be one of your top priorities.
So don’t wait until you compromise your feet and ankles before finally giving them the attention they need. Even better, we are here to provide you with great information to help you prevent sports injuries.
And, if you already have sustained an injury, then no worries – we also have valued knowledge for you, as well. In fact, today’s advanced orthopedic technology has made recovery time shorter and treatment more effective – now you can get back in the game more quickly and safely than ever.
How to Prevent Sports Injuries?
The weather is finally getting warmer, and you probably are eager to get back out on the court after a cold winter. However, it is important that you keep in mind that although getting back into shape is great, you should never begin intense exercise right away. Always remember to pace yourself and work up to the desired intensity.
That said, even when easing yourself into a workout routine, sports injuries – especially to your feet and ankles – can still happen. And, as it is true with most other injuries, the answer here is to prevent, prevent, prevent.
Start by conditioning your muscles and always warm up before beginning any intense physical activity. And you should always listen to your body – if it hurts, stop whatever activity you are engaged in immediately. Once the pain subsides, you can then condition yourself once more to the intensity level desired.
You should also wear appropriate footwear which is supportive and aligns with your physical needs – this is actually a vital part of preventing sports injuries. So, when purchasing your kicks, keep in mind the specific obstacles you may face within your sport of choice.
Of course, the reality is that whenever we are active, sports injuries will always be a possibility. Therefore, becoming familiar with their symptoms and how to address them is vital for a speedy and complete recovery – which brings us to our next point.
What are Some Common Sports Injuries?
We certainly hope that as you take preventative measures to avoid sports, you will steer clear from any painful conditions. It is important to keep in mind that some sports injuries can develop gradually rather than coming about after trauma – in which case the injury is usually pretty obvious.
Because of this, you should know what symptoms you should stay on the lookout for – even mild pains can very well indicate that there is something wrong.
Below are some of the most common foot and ankle sports injuries and their symptoms:
- Ankle Sprains. These happen whenever your foot/toe twists or rotates suddenly and at an awkward angle, causing the connective tissues which hold the joint together to stretch beyond their range of motion.
The usual symptoms are: sharp, sudden pain followed by weakness, trouble bearing weight or moving your ankle around, swelling and bruising.
- Shin Splints. This common injury typically develops in runners and dancers, or in athletes who have recently intensified or changed training routines – doing so overworks the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue in the lower legs.
The usual symptoms are: tenderness, soreness, or pain along the inner side of the shinbone. You may also experience swelling of the lower leg.
- Stress Fractures. These are injuries typically caused by overuse – after repetitive jumping and running motions (“high-impact” activities), tiny cracks in the bone can begin to develop and may grow over time if left untreated.
The usual symptoms are: pain that has a gradual onset and worsens when performing activities, but decreases after rest. You may also experience some swelling in the area.
- Achilles tendinitis. This injury usually develops due to overuse of the tendon connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone – increasing the intensity and duration of activities can be the culprit.
The usual symptoms are: pain in the back of the lower part of the leg (particularly around the bottom of the calf muscle) or above the heel after running or doing sports. You may also experience tenderness and stiffness – especially in the morning.
- Plantar Fasciitis. This condition will develop whenever the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to your toes becomes inflamed.
The usual symptoms are: stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel – especially after completing exercises, standing from sitting after long periods.
Now, you may be wondering what to do if any of these common conditions become a reality in your life. Well, let’s get to the bottom of it.
How to Treat Sports Injuries?
Whenever these types of injuries occur, immediately stop what you are doing, remove your shoes, elevate your legs, and apply ice to the injured area. Doing so can both reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
And, as soon as you are able, you should contact our office to schedule an appointment so that we can diagnose your specific condition and provide appropriate treatment.
While you wait to come in for your visit, you should avoid putting weight on your foot and ankle, as well as, use the steps listed below:
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen should do the trick.
- Avoid high-impact movements. Instead, opt for low-impact sports like swimming or biking.
- Use a wrap or brace. This will help both compress and stabilize an injured joint.
- Do some stretching. Before any activity, perform some foot and leg flexing and stretches.
- Adjust your shoes. Supplement your appropriate footwear with orthotics to help raise the heel and support the arch of your foot.
- Rest your feet. Remember, the problem will not improve if you continue to strain the tissues in your feet.
- Ice the area. As noted above, this will help reduce any potential swelling and to relieve pain.
The methods used to address different injuries largely depend on the severity of pain and the extent of the damage associated with said injury.
When you come visit us, we will thoroughly examine your lower feet and ankles, using in-house, state-of-the-art diagnostic services – this will help us create a treatment regimen that best suits your specific condition.
Let Us Help You Today!
If you do develop pain and discomfort in your feet or ankles, come see Dr. Anthony Spitz at our Illinois office. Our team will provide you with the most effective sports injury care available so that you can get back in the game as quickly and as safely as possible.
To schedule an appointment, simply call us at (847) 465-9311 and one of our staff members will be glad to assist you! You can also take advantage of our handy online request form for scheduling your appointment.
505 N. Wolf Rd
Wheeling, IL 60090
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Tue: 10am - 5pm
Thu: 10am - 5pm
Fri: 10am - 4pm
Sat: 10am - 3pm