March Madness and Sports Injuries
That time of year is coming up again! March Madness is right around the corner and it is finally time to put on your favorite team’s jersey and gather your friends around the living room – don’t forget the chips and salsa, because with the warmer weather comes the “madness.”
Many of us will be glued to our television sets watching the NCAA tournament beginning on Tuesday. Even casual fans will be part of the excitement – the upsets, the classic moments and the buzzer-beaters. Isn’t this a great time to learn a little more about sports injuries?
Perhaps, sometime – or many times – during this electrifying month you will find yourself involved in a friendly, yet fiercely competitive basketball match against your friend(s). Or, maybe – knock on wood – your favorite player will suffer an injury which consequentially keeps him from continuing in the tournament.
Whatever the case may be, we have some valuable information which will undoubtedly help you either show your friends who is the boss, or expertly fill out your bracket. Even if basketball isn’t necessarily your sport of choice, physical injuries are still very much a possibility. So, let’s get to dunking… safely!
What is a Sports Injury and How Does it Happen?
Finally, the weather is getting warmer – athletes and basketball enthusiasts alike are eager to get back out in the court after the cold winter we have experienced this year. However, it is important to keep in mind that although getting back into shape is essential, you should never begin intense exercise right away. Remember to take it slow and work up to the desired intensity.
That being said, despite easing yourself into a workout routine, sports injuries – especially to your feet and ankles – can still happen no matter how fit your body may be. As a matter of fact, 42% of all basketball injuries happen to those lower extremities of the legs. That comes as no surprise taking into consideration all the running and jumping which usually happens during a basketball game.
These injuries can be categorized in three ways:
- This type of injury is normally a consequence of a single traumatic incident like ankle sprains or dislocations.
- These injuries tend to be subtle in nature and normally occur over time like Achilles tendinitis. This makes them more challenging to be diagnosed and treated.
- These injuries tend to last a long period of time – 3 months or more.
Now, you may be wondering: what are some of the risk factors? Well, trauma usually occurs when:
- Players are being trained improperly and are using unsafe techniques.
- Players are provided with incorrect equipment.
- Players already suffer from anatomical or biochemical issues.
- And, of course, the dreadful and already mentioned traumatic/unnatural events.
The best thing to do in order to prevent any type of injury is to first condition your muscles and always warm up before beginning any intense physical activity. You should also listen to your body – if it hurts, STOP. Once the pain subsides, you can then condition yourself once more to the intensity level desired.
It is also worth mentioning that wearing appropriate footwear which is supportive and aligns with your physical needs is vital when preventing sports injuries. When purchasing proper shoes, keep in mind the specific obstacles you may face within your sport of choice.
Of course, even when we take all precautionary measures available, sports injury is still very much a reality whenever our bodies are active. You should become familiar with its symptoms as well as how to best approach these painful situations when, and if, they ever arise.
Common Foot and Ankle Sports Injuries
Hopefully, as you use preventative steps to avoid sports injuries, you will be able to steer-clear of them. If that is not the case, then here are some helpful tips on how to handle the situation if you experience foot or ankle sports injuries:
- The ligaments in your feet and ankles are only intended to move so far. So, if a sudden impact causes them to extend beyond their normal range of motion, overstretching or tearing may happen.
- Stress fractures. These are usually categorized as an injury caused by overuse. After repetitive jumping and running motions, leaving tiny cracks in the bone which may grow over time if left untreated.
- Turf toe. In short, turf toe happens when you sprain your big toe.
- Achilles Tendinitis. Our Achilles tendon is usually powerful enough to sustain quite a bit of stress and tension. However, whenever it is overused, it may become irritated and eventually start to break down.
Whenever these types of injuries occur, immediately stop what you are doing, remove your shoes, elevate your legs and apply ice to the injured area. This will help with any swelling that may take place. If the injury seems to be mild, you are most likely able to treat it at home using lots of ice and rest. However, it is best to see a medical professional if your condition doesn’t improve within the next 48 hours.
Still in Pain?
No worries! We at Family Foot & Ankle of Jasper are here to help you. If you have suffered an injury which just doesn’t seem to be healing right, or you just need more information on how to prevent sports injuries, come visit our office located at 695 W. 2nd Street, Suite C, Jasper, IN 47546.
You can also easily make an appointment by calling (812) 481-7200 or schedule a podiatry consultation online.