Playing sport is great for your health, but can be dangerous for your feet. Sports like cricket, baseball, basketball, rugby, soccer and netball - or any sport that involves a lot of running and movement - cause the greatest risk to your feet. The high-impact activity increases the risk of injury as the forces between your feet and the ground are amplified. The main areas of injury are in the foot itself, the ankle and the lower leg.
Let’s look at the major types of foot related sports injuries and what you can do to minimise the risk of encountering them.
Common Sporting Injuries…
Different Kinds Of Injuries
Sporting injuries to do with your feet fall into two categories, overuse and movement. Overuse injuries are caused by repeated pressure on the tendons and joints. Movement injuries, or biometric injuries are caused by how your foot impacts with the ground and incorrect movement patterns.
The two different injury groups tend to overlap. Movement injuries can develop from overuse problems. You might modify the way that you walk or run to compensate for an existing injury. This can lead to further injuries as you end up moving in an unnatural way when you compensate.
he most common injuries related to sports are shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, tibialis posterior tendinopathy, runner’s knee, corns and bunions. Players that run a lot are more prone to thickened nails that can often become ingrown. Running is incredibly intense on your feet, unfortunately this can result in unsightly nails.
One of the most common issues that runners suffer from is over-pronation. Pronation is a natural movement that your foot does when it impacts with the ground. It rolls slightly inward to distribute the impact of the force when your foot comes in contact with the ground. It is your body’s natural shock absorber when standing, walking, or running. If you over or under pronate, then it does not provide the correct amount of impact distribution and can cause injury.
Over-pronation can lead to joint misalignment. This is because your feet are constantly moving in a way that is less efficient and your joints are having to compensate for it. It can also lead to muscle and tendon strain as they have to work harder to support your joints.
Over-pronation can cause common injuries like sprained ankles or torn tendons and ligaments. This is because your foot is rolling too far out before rolling back in again, resulting in unstable support which is difficult for your tendons to reinforce. Things like Achilles tendonitis, posterior tibialis tendinopathy and shin splints can all be attributed to over-pronation. These resulting injuries are likely to be caused by overuse of your feet.
Treatment For Sports Injuries
Many of these injuries can be prevented, or at least minimised with a little bit of research. Podiatrists recommend undergoing screening to discover your posture, then analysis of how the movement of your feet affects your lower limbs. This can indicate if your body is moving as it should, or if you require footwear or other methods to correct any issues.
Painful corns, bunions, or shin splints can all be corrected by wearing the right sports shoes, orthotics, or other in-shoe corrective methods. Topical treatments can remedy skin and nail issues, or minor surgical procedures in more severe cases.
Some injuries will also benefit from sports massage therapy and corrective exercise regimes. The beginning of any recovery path should start with your sports podiatrist. They will be able to screen and analyse your movements and posture to begin developing a recovery plan. If you have any ongoing pain, discomfort or injury, then we recommend that you get in touch with your podiatrist today.