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Don't Let Sports Injuries Ruin Your Game






     To avoid sports-related injuries, athletes should practice careful training and conditioning. This includes wearing the most appropriate footwear that offers your feet the best support and stability. Unless you are looking to bring your season to a halt quickly, foot pain should never be taken lightly. As soon as a problem arises, make an appointment with your podiatrist in Tampa, FL for a careful evaluation and recommended treatment. Among some of the most common sports-related foot and ankle injuries and complaints are stress fractures, ankle sprains and heel pain.

Protect Yourself from Heel Pain

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot ailments experienced by runners and the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a thick, dense tissue that runs from the ball of the foot along the arch, connecting to the heel. People with flat feet or individuals who over pronate are more susceptible to heel pain because of the increased stress that occurs at the heel.

Many times the pain is worse in the morning when you first wake up, but subsides as you move around throughout the day. Treatment will vary depending on each case, but generally rest, ice and stretching can help ease the pain. When conservative treatments aren't effective and the pain persists, see your Tampa podiatrist for recommended treatment, such as anti-inflammatory medications, stretching techniques and orthotics.

Ankle Sprains Need Attention, Too

Caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, an ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries seen during sports. The severity of a sprain will depend on the extent of stretching and tearing of ligaments. And how severe the tear is will determine how long it takes for your ankle to heal- sometimes several months. When a sprain first occurs there will likely be chronic ankle pain. The ankle will swell and possible discoloration may occur.

The RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) procedure should be administered right away for an ankle sprain. Serious ankle sprains, particularly among competitive athletes, may require surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments. If you're prone to ankle sprains, avoid running on uneven terrain and wear firm, supportive footwear for improved stability. Your Tampa podiatrist can help determine the severity of your sprain and the necessary course of treatment, including exercises to strengthen the weak ankle. Ankle sprains are often recurring which means if you want to stay at the top of your top performance, you will need to practice preventative care to avoid future ankle problems.

Be Careful with Stress Fractures

Stress fractures often occur as a result of overtraining and repeated stress on a hard surface over a period of time. Most stress fractures occur in the bones in the front of the foot that attach to the toes-the metatarsal bones. The best treatment for a stress fracture is rest. This means taking an extended time out-about six to eight weeks-from your routine sport to allow the bone to fully heal. Failing to provide an adequate amount of time for the fracture to repair itself could result in more persistent fractures and other serious foot, leg and ankle problems in the future. It is often difficult to differentiate between a sprained ankle and a stress fracture, so an x-ray by your Tampa, FL podiatrist is typically necessary.

While foot injuries are prevalent in athletes, the good news is that heel pain, ankle sprains and stress fractures can be easily avoided with extra care and prevention techniques. Athletes should pay close attention to their feet and ankles as they are placed under high amounts of pressure. Remember to warm up properly, wear shoes that offer adequate support and maintain good muscle strength and flexibility with proper stretching and training.

Always start a new exercise program slowly and progress gradually. Most importantly, when you experience foot pain remember to rest and see your Tampa podiatrist immediately if foot and ankle symptoms persist.




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Established in 2001, Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists is a group practice of podiatric physicians. These Tampa podiatrists offer a wide range of conservative and surgical treatment options, including foot pain, foot and ankle surgery, and heel pain in Tampa, among others.


Posted on 2013-08-01, By: *

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