Sports injuries have been around since the first day someone started throwing and catching a football, taking a basketball to the hoop, and running to first base after connecting with a baseball. As a matter of fact, sports injuries are a common part of any sport, regardless if someone is playing professional, high school, or playing in a local pick-up game in the neighborhood.

Foot, ankle, and knee injuries top the list in sports. Since sports are more competitive than ever, people are pushing their bodies to become faster, stronger, and overall more athletic. There are over 70,000 foot and ankle injuries in the United States each year in football alone.

What Happens to the Foot and Ankle in Most Sports Injuries?

Most foot and ankle injuries start at the ligaments, bones, joints, or tendons. It takes a podiatrist or other doctor to diagnose foot and ankle injuries and the longer a patient waits to get a diagnosis, the worse the problem can be in the future.

Ankle sprains top the list of foot and ankle injuries. Other common sports injuries are heel spurs, shin splints, and rupture of the Achilles tendon.

Sports injuries to the joint and bones can lead to pain and stiffness, arthritis and in some instances, deformity. Damaging a ligament can cause weakness and instability, and sports injuries to the tendon can decrease the foot and ankle’s function, and cause it to be weak, too.

Sports Injuries Prevention

Here are some ways to help prevent sports injuries to the foot and ankle:

  • Proper Shoes – You need to use the right shoes for the right sports that you are participating in. In addition, consider the types of surface that you will be practicing on, and that your shoes fit properly.
  • Stretching – Stretching helps prevent many injuries to the feet and ankle. In particular, Achilles tendon problems can be resolved by stretching before you begin your workout.
  • Moderation – You need to consider what shape you are in before you try and strenuous workouts. Take your time and build up your fitness and endurance. This will prevent many injuries.

Sports Injuries Treatment

There are many different kinds of treatment for sports injuries, and the types of treatment will depend on your specific injury. You should talk to a podiatrist to determine the most appropriate form of treatment.

However, you can always apply First Aid to a foot and ankle injury. Such First Aid treatments include:

  • Ice – Ice always helps reduce swelling and pain. It’s best when you apply it within the first 48 hours of your injury. Ice the area for at least two or three times a day for 15-20 minutes each session.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – You can use anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen to help reduce swelling and stop the pain.
  • Rest and Elevation – If you stay off of your foot or ankle injury, it will help it heal faster, and it will lessen the chances that you will injure it further. When you are sitting or lying down, you should always elevate your foot so that it is higher than your heart to reduce pain and help circulation.
  • Surgery – If your podiatrist suggests that you have a surgery, then you should get it taken care of as soon as possible. There are many types of surgery, so you should weigh your options.

Sports injuries are a part of participating in physical activity. Everyone hurts themselves at one time in their lives while playing sports. The trick is to try and prevent injuries as much as you can, and treat them properly when you do injury yourself. For questions or treatments, contact InMotion Foot and Ankle Specialists today.