Many sports are hard on the feet because of quick repetitive movements, constricting footwear, and/or increased exposure to injury or trauma. Soccer, Football, and Lacrosse can be especially hard on the feet! Injuries to the foot and ankle can occur from running and side-to-side cutting, sliding or tackling, and from striking the ball or another player with the foot. Players should be aware of the following risks:
- Ankle sprains and tendon injuries
- Ankle or toe fractures can sideline athletes and sometimes require surgery
- Contusions and bone bruises may also result from high impact, such as in slide tackling
- Overuse and excessive training can lead to heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis), Achilles tendonitis, calcaneal apophysitis,and stress fractures
The repetitive jumping and side-to-side movements required in Volleyball also increase the risk of injuries to the foot and ankle. Volleyball players should be aware of the following:
- Inversion ankle sprains are a common injury in this sport. Ankle sprains should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon to determine the extent of the injury, including possible tendon injuries and fractures. Failure to fully treat and rehabilitate a sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability and recurrent sprains
- Overuse and excessive training can lead to heel pain (plantar fasciitis), Achilles tendonitis, stress fractures, and calcaneal apophysitis and capsulitis/synovitis in children and adolescents
Even though participation in sports can lead to injuries, there are things you can do to help minimize the risk and complications of injuries.
- Have a Podiatrist treat ankle injuries right away. Getting treatment early on can help prevent long term injuries from happening and they can start to recover faster.
- Have old injuries like ankle sprains checked out before the season starts. Having a check-up can ensure that the injury is healed correctly or if they need extra support to prevent the injury from reoccuring.
- Get new shoes at the beginning of the season. Old shoes can lack the ankle and foot support needed while playing sports and can cause instability.
- Wear the right shoes for each sport you are playing. Specific sports require special gear that works the best for the activities they are involved in.
- Check playing fields for potential problems. Many injuries are caused by running or jumping on uneven surfaces. Walk the field and look for holes, divots, or dips that could cause issues. Alert the officials if you find any concerns.
- Don’t forget to stretch and warm-up before playing. Stretching out the calf or jogging lightly before playing can reduce the risk of ankle injuries.
Sports are a fun way to keep your children active and healthy. By following these tips, you can help your children prevent injuries to keep them playing the game! If you have any questions or concerns about a foot or ankle issue you are experiencing, contact Dr. Kylin Kovac at Idaho Foot and Ankle Center. They provide foot and ankle care for the whole family and can help get you back to the activities you love.
Some content provided by The ACFAS.