Playing sports is one of the most common causes of foot injuries. During sports such as basketball, football and tennis, your feet do a lot of moving, jumping and landing. All of this weight, pressure and rapid activity puts a strain on the dozens of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments of your feet. If you experience a sports injury in your foot and ankle, a podiatrist can make the diagnosis and treat your injury so that you can return to activities as quickly as possible.
Metatarsal Stress Fractures
If you push off hard when running or jumping, you could get a metatarsal stress fracture. This sports injury is most common in the second through fourth toes. Dancers, gymnasts and football players are also prone to this injury. You will have pain in the front top area of your foot that worsens with activity. A podiatrist can provide you with braces, splints and other treatments to help your fracture heal.
Turf toe is a deep bruise at the base of the big toe. If you play soccer, football or baseball, you have an increased risk of this injury. The bruise happens as a result of jamming your toe into the artificial or natural turf, causing it to bend unnaturally backward. Your podiatrist can make recommendations for footwear to prevent this injury. Podiatrists also offer care such as taping and braces to help your toe heal and reduce the risk of a future fracture.
Tendinitis is a common overuse injury for many sports players. Repetitive movements, sudden starts and stops and instability of your ankle could cause one of your tendons to become inflamed. Achilles tendinitis and peroneal tendinitis are two of the most common types of tendinitis that happen in the foot. Your podiatrist can show you exercises to strengthen your tendons after the injury has healed. If a tendon ruptures, the podiatrist may perform surgery to correct it.
Sprains and Strains
Ankle sprains and strains of the great toe are also common sports injuries. Activities such as basketball that force your feet to start and stop suddenly may cause these injuries. Playing sports for several hours without taking a break can also cause a sprain or strain of your soft tissue. The podiatrist can diagnose these injuries with an exam. Treatments for a sprain or strain in your foot and ankle include ice and resting the foot.