Are you a sports enthusiast--runner, tennis player or martial arts expert? If you are, you must protect your feet and ankles from sports injuries. At Podiatry Associates of Houston, our team of four podiatrists can show you how to keep your lower extremities healthy, functional and pain-free. Stay in the game with podiatric care from the experts.
Common sports injuries
One-quarter of sports injuries involve the lower extremities--that is, your feet and ankles. Running, jumping, bouncing and twisting make people more prone to:
- Ankle sprains, painful stretching of the ligaments, particularly on the outer aspect of the ankle
- Shin splints, painful tearing and overstretching of the muscles along the tibia
- Achilles tendinitis, stress on or even rupture of the tendon between the heel and calf muscle
- Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue in the arch of the foot
- Stress fractures in the feet
- Tinea pedis, or Athlete's foot
- Metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot)
- Ingrown toenails
- Bunions, acquired deformities, or bumps, at the base of the big toes
At the first sign of discomfort or deformity (such as a noticeable bump, redness or swelling), call your foot doctor at Podiatry Associates of Houston. Sports injuries cannot be ignored as they can progress, limiting not only your athletic activities but your daily function as well.
Protecting yourself from sports injuries
Keeping your feet and ankles healthy and mobile really is a matter of common sense. The team at Podiatry Associates of Houston recommend the following practices to avoid sports injuries:
- Warm-up and stretch before you go for a run, play tennis or engage in your favorite exercise class.
- Keep in good physical condition, including maintaining a healthy weight.
- Wear proper, quality footwear that fits and gives your feet adequate support.
- If you experience pain, stop whatever you are doing. Pain is never normal.
- If you have an acute injury, such as a suspected ankle sprain, rest, apply ice, put on an elastic bandage, and elevate the limb. This first-aid is called the RICE protocol.
- Make sure you have the proper equipment for your sport, keep it in good condition and wear it!
- See your foot doctor about custom-made shoe inserts, or orthotics. Semi-rigid orthotics correct gait imbalances which put undue stress on your feet and ankles, leading to acute or repetitive motion injuries.
Happy, healthy feet
Podiatric health and function definitely impact your mobility and overall well-being. So, be wise when you play sports or exercise, and stay injury-free. If you have questions or concerns about your active feet, please contact Podiatry Associates of Houston for an appointment. We'll be glad to check them out.
We have five Houston area offices to serve you: in Chimney Rock, phone (281) 845-2039. In Memorial City, reach us at (281) 369-4396. For the Katy office, call (281) 694-4224. In Willowbrook, phone (832) 548-9893. For the Woodlands location, call (281) 849-9891.