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Foot and ankle injuries are common among people who participate in sports. Several factors contribute to this. They include failing to stretch or warm up properly, not wearing the proper type of shoe and not taping or providing other types of support for the ankle or foot. The most common foot and ankle injuries suffered by people involved in sports are plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains and Achilles tendon damage or ruptures. If not treated properly, they can lead to permanent disability.
Treating these injuries is relatively simple if they are identified and addressed early. Many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains associated with injury as just soreness or tired muscles. Their first response is usually to try to work through it. This can lead to serious problems. Many minor injuries are made far more serious when athletes continue to put strain and pressure on them. That attitude can change a mild strain into a serious strain and a minor tear into a rupture. Athletes should have unusual aches and pains evaluated by a skilled medical professional.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful injury. It is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue running from the heel to the base of the toes. If left untreated, it can lead to a degenerative disease called plantar fasciosis. There are several effective treatments for this ailment. Doctors often prescribe rest, massages, stretching, night splints, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroids or surgery, usually in that order. The most effective treatment for plantar fasciitis is orthotics, which offers foot support. Surgery is occasionally used as a last resort, but it comes with the risk of nerve damage and infection and often does not stop the pain.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Running, jumping and walking all impact this tendon. Two common injuries to the Achilles tendon are tendonitis and a rupture of the tendon. Tendonitis is inflammation in the tendon often caused by an increase in the amount of stress placed on it. Non-surgical treatments include rest, ice or anti-inflammatory medication. A rupture (tear) of the Achilles tendon can be treated by placing the lower leg in a cast for several weeks or with surgery. Many physicians feel surgery is the better option because it lowers the risk of re-ruptures. Both methods require 4 to 6 months of rehabilitation.
Ankle sprains are the most common sports related foot and ankle injury. A sprain occurs when the ligament holding the ankle bones and joint stretches beyond its normal range. It can be treated non-surgically with a combination of rest, ice wrapped around the joint for 30 minutes immediately after injury, compression by a bandage and elevating the ankle above the heart for 48 hours. This combination is referred to as RICE. Severe ankle sprains in which the ligaments are torn may require reconstructive surgery followed by rehabilitation.
Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.
Pickleball is one of the most popular sports people are playing now because it is slower and has a lower intensity compared to other sports. However, despite it seeming to be an easier form of exercise, injuries to all parts of the body can still be sustained. Ailments from pickleball related to the feet are commonly associated with the Achilles tendon and ankles. An Achilles strain involves the tendon in the back of the ankle that connects the calf to the heel. This can happen from the sudden stop-and-go actions in pickleball and can be accompanied by a sharp, snapping feeling. Ankle sprains are injuries to the ligaments on the side of the ankle and are typically caused by missteps or faulty landings. Wearing well-fitting and supportive footwear, warming up before playing pickleball, doing stretching and strengthening exercises regularly, and using ankle braces can help. If you get injured during pickleball or get another sports injury, it is important to rest. If pain persists or worsens, see a podiatrist as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan so you can return to pain-free play.
Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:
Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.
It is never normal for a child to experience pain in his or her feet. Foot pain that lasts more than a few days and limits a child’s ability to walk should be examined by a podiatrist. Many adult foot ailments originate in childhood and may be present at birth. Common foot issues that are experienced by children are pediatric flat foot, Sever’s disease, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts.
A child’s foot grows rapidly during the first year, allowing it to reach almost half of their adult foot size. Consequently, foot specialists consider the first year to be the most crucial point in the foot development process. There are ways you can help ensure that your child’s foot develops properly. One way is to carefully look at your baby’s feet. If you notice any deformities, you should immediately seek professional care. You should also loosely cover your child’s foot, since tight coverings may prevent movement and inhibit normal development. Another tip is to change the baby’s positioning throughout the day. If your baby lies down in one spot for too long, it may put an excess amount of strain on the feet and legs.
It is best that you try not to force a child to start walking. Children will begin to walk when they are both physically and emotionally capable to do so. You should also avoid comparing your child’s walking progress with other children because the age range for independent walking may range. When your child’s feet begin to develop, you may need to change both their shoe and sock size every few months to allow room for their feet to grow.
Kids are sometimes prone to splinters, cuts, and severe injuries because they tend to walk around barefoot. This also makes them more susceptible to developing plantar warts which is a condition caused by a virus that invades the sole of the foot through breaks in the skin. These ailments can be avoided by making sure your child wears shoes in unsanitary environments. You should also wash any minor cuts or scrapes on your child’s feet. It is a myth that exposure to fresh air will heal injuries; fresh air will only expose your child’s cuts to germs.
As a parent, you should ensure that your child’s feet are developing properly and are being properly maintained. Consequently, it is important that you perform routine inspections on his or her feet to detect any injuries or deformities in their early stages. Early detection and treatment will help to ensure that your child does not develop any serious foot conditions.
As a parent or guardian, you may wonder if your young child’s stance or gait is normal as they learn how to stand and walk. As your child grows, most issues will work themselves out, but there are some things you should monitor. When babies are born, they do not have arches, which is known as having flat feet. Typically, by the time a child is 6 years old, their arch is developed and visible when they stand. Around the age of 4, many children will have a small gap between their ankles when standing with their knees together (knock knees) which should go away by the age of 6 or 7 when their legs straighten out fully. If the gap is between both their knees and ankles, this is known as bow legs. This condition is commonly present in children less than 18 months old. Some young children walk on their tiptoes (tiptoe walking) until approximately 3 years of age, and thereafter will usually adopt the normal heel-to-toe walking pattern. Feet that turn in (in-toeing) or turn out (out-toeing) will usually start pointing straight by themselves when the child is roughly 8 years old. Regular check-ups with a podiatrist will help ensure that your child’s feet are developing normally. Also, if the issues mentioned here do not go away on their own, or you have any concerns about your child’s foot or ankle health, have your child examined by a podiatrist right away.
Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Keeping Children's Feet Healthy
Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...
Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.
Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.
Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.
As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’.
As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.
Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.
Be watchful for any pain or injury.
Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.
Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.
Overtraining and overusing the feet are the main causes of common running injuries. A number of these common injuries are caused by overrunning. Runner’s knee is a condition that is characterized by the back of the kneecap beginning to wear away and cause pain in the knee. This frequently occurs due to either a decrease in strength in the quadriceps muscles or ill-fitting shoes that are lacking in proper support for the inside of the forefoot. Strengthening exercises focusing on the quad muscle and sports orthotics are the usual treatments for those suffering from runner’s knee. Prevention of the condition lies in a focus on hip strengthening and quad-strengthening to keep the kneecap aligned. To help learn the best exercise to heal runner’s knee, one can also undergo physical therapy.
One common injury, called iliotibial band syndrome, is often caused by overtraining. This condition occurs when the iliotibial band gets irritated, creating pain and discomfort in the outside knee area. Plantar fasciitis, another common running injury, also occurs as a result of inflammation and irritation. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation and irritation of the bone in the foot. A large amount of pain is often experienced due to plantar fasciitis. The condition can be caused by a high arch, improper footwear, tight muscles, or flat feet. It can best be avoided by stretching and wearing appropriate footwear that supports the foot.
Another common injury for runners is stress fractures. These injuries occur due to running style, overtraining, or a lack of calcium. Stress fractures most often occur in several locations in runners, including the inner bone of the leg, the thighbone, the bone at the base of the spine and the bones of the toes. Stress fractures are best prevented by wearing proper footwear and by running on flat and hard surfaces; this will absorb some of the shock created during running.
Aside from overtraining, other causes of common running injuries include ill-fitting footwear, a lack of flexibility and strength, and irregular biomechanics. The best way to avoid running injuries is to prevent them from even occurring. Both iliotibial band syndrome and stress fractures are preventable. The first step that should be taken to prevent running injuries is to only wear footwear that fits properly and that is appropriate for whatever activity you are doing. Running shoes are the only protective gear available to runners that can safeguard them from sustaining injuries. Choosing the right pair of shoes is therefore extremely important. While running shoes are an important factor, it is also important to consider other facets of your running routine such as training schedules, flexibility, and strengthening. These elements should be considered and altered according to your running needs to best maximize your run and minimize the possibility of injury. Careful stretching before and after a run should also be considered to help prevent running injuries. Stretching muscles enables greater flexibility and a lesser chance of sustaining injury.
Many people who enjoy running can experience a small amount of normal discomfort. This may be from strengthening the heart and leg muscles. Additionally, there are people who have persistent pain, and this is something that requires immediate attention. An improper running form or increasing distance and intensity too soon could result in injury. A common foot injury that affects the heel is known as plantar fasciitis, and this can cause difficulty in walking. There are simple methods that can help prevent running injuries. These methods consist of wearing shoes that fit correctly, in addition to avoiding running on uneven surfaces. Many runners can experience a stress fracture which is a hairline fracture. This type of injury is often ignored and can lead to severe pain and discomfort. This condition may be prevented by properly warming up and cooling down before running. An ankle sprain generally requires running to be stopped temporarily so an effective healing process can take place. If you would like more information about how to prevent running injuries, please confer with a podiatrist.
All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.
How to Prevent Running Injuries
There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.
More Tips for Preventing Injury
Orthotics are shoe inserts that are meant to correct an irregular walking gait or provide cushioning to the feet. Orthotics come in a variety of different models and sizes, including over-the-counter and customizable variants. Customizable orthotics can be shaped and contoured to fit inside a specific shoe and are typically prescribed through a podiatrist who specializes in customized footwear and orthotics design and management.
Orthotics are beneficial because they can help prevent injuries from occurring and provide cushioning to keep pain levels down to a minimum. They also allow for the correct positioning of the feet. Orthotics can act as shock absorbers to help remove pressure from the foot and ankle. Therefore, orthotics can make bodily movements, such as walking and running, become more comfortable as well as help prevent the development of certain foot conditions.
Orthotics alleviate pain and make the foot more comfortable by slightly altering the angle at which the foot strikes the ground surface, therefore controlling the movement of the foot and ankle. Orthotics come in different variants and can be made of various materials. To determine what type of orthotic is most suited to your feet and your needs, it is best to consult your podiatrist. He or she will be able to recommend a type of orthotic that can help improve your foot function or prescribe a custom orthotic to best fit your feet.
Custom orthotics are shoe or heel inserts prescribed by a doctor to help with various foot problems. Orthotics are used to correct foot deformities, help feet or ankles function better, and reduce risk of injury. Podiatrists can recommend custom orthotics as part of treatment plans for patients suffering from arthritis, bunions, flat feet or high arches, hammertoes, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. The type of material used for the orthotic determines how stiff it is. Rigid orthotics are usually made of a hard plastic or carbon fiber and provide more stability and support but may be less comfortable than softer orthotics. Softer orthotics are more flexible because they bend with your feet. Each type is appropriate for different foot conditions. Rigid orthotics are good for those who have plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. This type of orthotic takes more time to adjust to but over time becomes more comfortable. Soft orthotics are usually made of EVA (a more rubber-like material) and fit more closely against the foot than rigid orthotics. They are used for those who have heel pain as they mold to hurt areas and cushion sore spots. Soft orthotics are good for those who participate in high impact sports where the feet move quickly. Consulting with a podiatrist takes the decision of which type of orthotic is best for you out of your hands as they are experts in diagnosing foot problems and offering treatment options that fit your unique needs.
If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.
Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.
If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.
If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.