Common sports injuries to the foot

In Conditions, Foot Facts, Services by Alnoor Ladhani, Chiropodist

If you are involved in sports, you have probably suffered from some sports related injuries.  Our last post talked about some simple prevention measures you can take to avoid injuries.  There is a lot to say on the topic of sports injuries, but today we’ll provide a snapshot of some common sports injuries and conditions that you might experience while participating in your favourite activities.

Turf toe

Turf toe is a sprain to the big toe.  It is caused by bending the toe too far back, such as if your toe stays planted on the floor while you fall forward.  If you have turf toe, you will probably see swelling at the joint of your big toe, and your toe will be sore, especially when you bend it.

First aid treatment for turf toe is similar to other sprains.  Immediately after injury, apply a cold pack to the foot.  You should also wrap the foot in a compression bandage for ten minutes at a time.  This will also help to prevent swelling but can also reduce blood flow, which can cause further damage.

A chiropodist/podiatrist will make sure there is no fracture, and can treat turf toe with electrotherapy to help reduce pain and promote healing.

Athletes foot

Athletes foot is a common fungal infection that thrives in damp environments, such as sweaty shoes that don’t breathe well.  Symptoms are itching, burning feet, and a dry, scaly rash or peeling, cracked skin.

You pick up the fungus through contact with someone who has an infection.  Locker rooms and pool decks are places that the fungus can easily be found.  Also, using the same towel, socks, or shoes as an infected person can transfer the fungus.

Treatment usually involves eliminating the conditions that encourage the fungus to grow, along with applying topical medications to kill the existing fungus.

Feet should be kept clean and dry, and you should wear shoes made from breathable materials.  Open shoes also help.  Apply an anti-fungal cream, powder, wash, or spray to your feet as directed on the packaging.  If your infection is severe, doesn’t go away, or comes back, see your chiropodist/podiatrist for treatment and prevention advice and a prescription if necessary.

Common sports injuries include plantar fasciitus, an injury to the plantar fascia.

Plantar Muscles

Plantar fasciitis

There is a band of tissue in your foot that runs from your heel to the front of your feet.  This is called the plantar fascia.  Plantar fasciitis causes pain under your heel which radiates out into your foot.

Activities such as running, jumping, or dancing can encourage plantar fasciitis in athletes who roll their feet in or whose feet flatten too much.  This causes the plantar fascia to stretch and strain.  Tight calf muscles is also a common factor as the tightness encourages the foot to roll in.

Treatment includes rest to allow the foot to heal, various techniques such as foot taping or wearing a night splint, and deep tissue massage.  Treating the symptoms and allowing the foot to heal from an occurrence of plantar fasciitis must be combined with finding and correcting the cause to prevent the injury from reoccurring.  A chiropodist/podiatrist can determine the underlying cause and recommend corrective measures and therapies as well as exercises to strengthen the foot and relax tight muscles.

Taking care of injuries to your feet is important to maintaining a healthy, active, pain-free lifestyle.  If you are experiencing pain from a sports injury or any other condition, Step by Step Professional Family Foot Care is here to help!  Call our office to book an assessment or inquire about the many services we provide.