Your feet and ankles are important assets. Just think about what you do with them: run, walk, jump, dance, skate, play ball, skip, hop and just stand still. Plus, if you're an athlete--either professional or amateur--an injury to your lower extremities definitely changes the game. Your foot doctors in Houston, examine, treat and help prevent sports injuries. Dr. David Blumfield and his professional partners at Podiatry Associates of Houston will support your feet and ankles, and if you're hurt, they have the diagnostic and treatment expertise to get you moving again.
Why injuries happen
Trauma and overuse cause most sports injuries to the feet and ankles. In other words, when something contacts your foot hard or when you keep moving and your toe gets caught in something such as grass or artificial turf, your lower extremity breaks, tears, or swells. Repetitive motions such as bouncing on the balls of the feet put undue wear and tear on joints and connective tissue, and they may cause sore skin blisters. Additionally, injuries may be acute, happening suddenly, or chronic, a continuing problem with painful and debilitating flare-ups.
The American Podiatric Medical Association urges all adults to get routine exams by a foot doctor. The reason? Feet have more than 30 joints and over 100 tendons and ligaments, all of which may be strained or injured by sports and even routine activities of daily living.
As such, allow your doctor at Podiatry Associates of Houston to get to know your feet and their medical needs. Is your gait proper? Do you have a condition such as diabetes which can compromise your circulation and nerve function? Are there past injuries? What are first aid strategies for injured feet and ankles?
Common injuries and prevention
At Podiatry of Houston, Dr. Blumfield and his professional staff see a variety of sports injuries, including:
- Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of connective tissue between the heel and toes
- Heel spurs, small bony projections often associated with plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis, swelling of the tendon which stretches from the calf muscles to the heel
- Ankle sprains
- Turf toe
- Shin splints
- Stress fractures
Research shows that many of these problems may be prevented with common sense strategies such as the following:
- Routine stretching and warming up before athletic activity (simply standing with your toes on a step and lowering your heels helps avoid plantar fasciitis)
- Conditioning exercises (if you wish to be a competitive tennis player, build up your calves, ankles, feet and cardiovascular capacity by training for several weeks in advance)
- Wear proper shoes to avoid abrasions and roll injuries
- Use custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, to cushion and align your feet
Also, if injury occurs, remember RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression (with an elastic bandage) and Elevation.
Stay in the game
You can if you take care of your feet. For more information on avoiding sports injuries, contact Podiatry Associates of Houston. There are four convenient locations: Chimney Rock, Memorial City, Katy and Willowbrook.