Common Foot Injuries for Athletes Featured Image

Common Foot Injuries for Athletes

It’s normal for feet to feel a little sore after a long workout or a challenging training session. But when is it just a little soreness, and when is it something more? Get the basics on the most common foot injuries for athletes, and when you need the expertise of a skilled podiatrist.

Plantar Fasciitis

If you feel stabbing pain on the bottom of your heel, especially first thing in the morning, you may have plantar fasciitis. This common condition is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that supports your arch and connects your heel bone to your toes. It happens in people of all ages, but is very common in runners.

This condition can often be treated successfully with rest, ice, and using pain medication as directed. The best way to avoid this condition is to stretch properly before and after workouts, and always wear the right shoes for your activity. Replace shoes at the first signs of wear and purchase shoes with proper support for your arch.

Achilles Tendinitis

Athletes use their Achilles tendon frequently. It connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, and is important for walking, running, and jumping. When this tendon gets overused, usually from a very long, hard workout, tiny tears can develop, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling along the back of the heel. This is known as Achilles tendinitis. The pain may feel worse during activity.

Achilles tendinitis is usually treated with non-surgical methods first, such as rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and a shoe insert to help avoid further strain on the tendon. If these measures don’t provide relief, or your pain is severe, see your podiatrist.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are very small fractures, or breaks, in a bone. They don’t usually occur as a result of a major event like a fall or accident. Instead, they usually develop after repetitive force, such as long distance running or repetitive jumping. Your bones absorb much of the impact each time you land, and this can lead to small cracks over time.

Many people don’t realize they have a stress fracture until they see their podiatrist for symptoms such as swelling, pain, or tenderness in a particular area that gets worse over time. If an x-ray shows a stress fracture, you’ll be advised to rest and ice the area as needed, and to slowly resume activity after the bone has healed.

Muscle Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains can be very painful, affecting the ankle and other muscles and tendons in the foot. They range from minor to severe, depending on whether the muscle or tendon was simply overstretched or whether it was torn.

Minor strains can be treated at home with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. If you notice swelling, bruising, or severe pain, a podiatrist should evaluate the injury. Using a strained muscle can delay healing and cause further damage.
Keeping Feet Healthy

Not all sports injuries can be avoided. But, with proper stretching before and after workouts, supportive shoes, and being smart about training, you can minimize the risk of getting sidelined.

Don’t ignore foot pain

No matter what kind of sports and exercise you enjoy, you need your feet to be healthy so you can be at your best. If your feet hurt, don’t try to tough it out. Contact the office of Dr. Jeffery LaMour so you can get foot problems treated and get back to your favorite fitness activities! For more FREE valuable Health, Wellness, & Fitness Articles check out our blog:


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