When it comes to maintaining a long and successful career in sports, health and wellness is everything. An athlete must be able to trust that their bodies can withstand long, physical hours and grueling intensity. Thankfully, sports medicine has improved dramatically in the last several decades. Due to new preventative and diagnostic technologies, it’s easier than ever to optimize injury prevention and injury recovery. Athletes are now able to do more for longer periods of time.
Any athlete can tell you that foot and ankle injuries are, unfortunately, quite common. No matter what sport or activity you’re involved with, accidents can happen at any time. This article will discuss common foot and ankle injuries and how the power of sports medicine can help.
Sports Medicine Near Me: What Sports Medicine Has to Offer
For athletes interested in optimizing their foot and ankle health, it’s important to understand the latest trends in sports medicine. Here is how common foot and ankle injuries are prevented and treated in 2023.
One of the most common injuries in sports, ankle sprains, can vary greatly in severity (grade 1, 2, and 3). An ankle sprain can cause swelling, bruising, mild pain, or severe pain. In many cases, it may be difficult to walk or run for a period of time, depending on the severity. They can be caused by sudden cuts, jumps, or movements that cause increased stress on the ankle ligaments.
While it is impossible to anticipate when an accident or injury may occur, there are certain ways to help prevent an ankle sprain. Stretching and strengthening exercises can keep the muscles around the ankle strong and increase flexibility. Strength and flexibility can lessen the impact of a rolled ankle.
Treatment for an ankle sprain is all about immediate action. The combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation can protect ligaments from further damage and reduce swelling. This should be done within the first 24 hours if possible. Grade 3 sprains may require the ankle to be immobilized to protect it from further damage.
Another common injury for athletes is plantar fasciitis. This condition causes throbbing or stabbing pain in the foot, particularly in the morning, after periods of inactivity, or after physical activity. Plantar fasciitis is often a chronic condition that may occur over time.
Supportive orthotics are a great way to help those who may be susceptible to plantar fasciitis. The key to prevention is to support the heel and put less stress on the plantar fascia. A physical therapist may also recommend night splints to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon while you sleep.
Plantar Fasciitis can be treated with more traditional methods such as rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. Stretching is also highly recommended, particularly with the support of a physical therapist. Regenerative medicine such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP), extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and injections can offer relief.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
For many athletes in the 20th century, a ruptured Achilles tendon was a death sentence to their career. Advancements in medicine have allowed modern athletes to recover and continue their careers. When an Achilles ruptures, the parts that connect the heel bone and the calf are torn.
Regularly stretching the toes toward the shine is a common way to help prevent Achilles injuries. It’s also important to avoid running on hard or slippery surfaces whenever possible. For some sports like basketball, this may be difficult to avoid,
The only proven non-surgical treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture is rest, followed by rehabilitation. Surgery is a common path for most cases, effectively stitching the torn tendon back together. Sometimes, the full recovery process and return to high-impact activities may take a year or more.
Sports Medicine Physician: Contact Diablo Foot & Ankle Today
Are you seeking a sports medicine physician? Someone who will help prevent and treat various lower body injuries? Diablo Foot & Ankle is here for you. Modern sports science allows athletes to do more than ever before. Let’s work together to make sure you have a long career.
Contact Diablo Foot & Ankle today to schedule an appointment!
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.