Nearly 25% of sports injuries affect the foot and ankle, reports the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. If you’re experiencing foot pain from playing sports, Michael Maskill, DPM, and his experienced team at Kalamazoo Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. At their offices in Portage and Three Rivers, Michigan, they offer comprehensive evaluations and treatments to get you back on your feet. Call Kalamazoo Foot and Ankle Specialists today or book an appointment online to learn more.
Foot and ankle injuries are common among those who play sports that require you to run and jump. Sports like soccer, long-distance running, football, and dancing are high-impact exercises that put pressure on the feet and ankles. Repeated overuse can put a strain on the tendons, ligaments, and small bones in your feet.
Common sports injuries that affect the feet and ankles include:
The Achilles tendon, the longest tendon in the body, connects the heel to the calf and plays a central role in the way you walk and run. The most common cause of Achilles tendinitis is overuse. This can lead to heel pain and inflammation.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your toes to your heel. Activities like running put strain on the plantar fascia, causing pain and inflammation in the heel and arch of your foot.
A ligament injury in the foot is called a foot sprain. These ligament injuries can be mild with microscopic tears, moderate and partially torn, or severe with completely ruptured ligaments. A foot sprain typically causes swelling, pain, and reduced mobility.
Stress fractures in the foot are particularly common in those who play basketball, gymnastics, and tennis, and who dance. They can happen anywhere in the foot or ankle, but they’re most common in the second and third toes.
Diagnosing a sports injury in the foot and ankle requires a comprehensive evaluation, during which Dr. Maskill examines your gait (the way you walk) and your posture. He will ask to see you walk to determine if the mechanics of your foot make it more likely that you’ll suffer specific sports injuries. For further testing, or to confirm a diagnosis, he can order imaging tests.
Dr. Maskill offers several sports medicine treatments depending on the type of injury you’ve suffered.
He could recommend splinting, bracing, or casting while your injury heals. To treat existing injuries and to prevent new ones, custom-fitted orthotics are shoe inserts that support and cushion your feet. Physical therapy can strengthen the muscles in your feet and ankles to relieve pressure on your tendons, ligaments, and small bones.
If you’ve suffered an injury while exercising or playing sports, call Kalamazoo Foot and Ankle Specialists today or book an appointment online to learn more.