For athletes, foot and ankle injuries are relatively common.
Increased competition and athletes pushing themselves to the limit are thought to be behind the increasing number of sports-related foot and ankle injuries today. In fact, according to studies by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), twenty-five percent of athletic injuries were foot and ankle-related.
Here are some common foot injuries that athletes are especially at risk for.
A stress fracture is an injury that occurs from overuse. When muscles are overused and overtired they lose their ability to absorb shock and stress. Eventually, this overload can cause tiny fractures, also known as stress fractures, in the bones. To help prevent stress fractures, avoid increasing the intensity of an activity too quickly –and wear shoes with proper support.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot injuries among runners. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation and micro-tearing of the plantar fascia. The strain of running or jumping –in a repetitive fashion can cause plantar fasciitis. To help prevent this condition, be sure to stretch before and after a run and wear proper footwear.
Tendonitis is a tendon injury that’s caused by overuse. Tendons are the flexible bands of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones. Overuse of the muscles can result in stretching of the tendon causing pain and inflammation. If you are experiencing pain in your Achilles tendon region, don’t push through it –instead, let your injury rest.
Sprains, especially ankle sprains, are especially common among athletes. While a sprain isn’t a break –this gives little comfort to athletes who are forced to rest until the sprain has healed. An ankle sprain can be caused by tripping, landing on your foot wrong, or overextending the joint.
While injuries can’t always be prevented, being aware of common injuries can help you to avoid some injuries that are caused by overuse. Stretching before and after sports, wearing proper footwear, and resting at the first sign of pain can often help to prevent injuries, or stop minor injuries from becoming worse.