Treating Sports Injuries
When many people hear the term “sports injury,” they often imagine an uncomfortable scene of a pro football or basketball player rolling around in pain. You don’t need to be pulling big-figure contracts to have one happen to you, though. In fact, those who are active on an amateur level have a significant risk of injury as well.
A sports injury to the foot or ankle often comes about in one of two ways: either there is a sudden, forceful trauma, or an injury develops through overuse. The latter can happen to those who push their bodies too hard too soon, or don’t take the time to properly train or warm up. Patience and technique are vitally important when it comes to preventing an extended stay on the sidelines.
Following are a few examples of sports injuries we tend to see:
Achilles Tendon Problems – The Achilles tendon runs along the back of the ankle and takes a huge amount of force while running and jumping. This tendon can sometimes develop very small tears and become inflamed (tendonitis), or rupture partially or fully. The effect is pain in the back of the heel that ranges from aching to excruciating, depending on the severity.
Ankle Sprains – Among the most common of sports injuries, a sprain is damage to the ligaments that surround the joint. Sprains range in severity, but any that don’t heal properly might cause chronic pain, weakness, and instability in the future. It’s also wise to make sure a bad sprain isn’t actually an ankle fracture.
Turf Toe – Although it has a cute, alliterative name, turf toe is simply a sprain to the joint at the base of the big toe. Its nickname comes from the tendency of people wearing cleats on fields to suffer this injury when their forefoot becomes planted against the ground and the toe bends upward, overextending itself.
Stress Fractures – As opposed to a break that runs fully through a bone, a stress fracture cracks along the surface. This is often the fault of overuse, and continuing to use the affected area without resting and healing can cause the cracks to spread and deepen.
Morton’s Neuroma – When the nerves at the base of the toes become compressed or irritated through overuse, they can thicken and produce numbness or pain. It often feels like you’re walking on a small marble or bunched up portion of your sock.
Treatment for sports injuries varies by type, but resting of the injured area is often a key element to recovery. This comes to the disappointment of many athletes, but it’s ultimately for the best. It’s unwise to continue aggravating injuries before they fully heal, as it’s only a ticket to make things even worse.
Additional forms of treatment may include anti-inflammatory drugs, ice therapy, and the use of custom orthotics to shift excess force away from problem areas. After recovery, the affected area may also need rehabilitation to return it to full active strength.
A sports injury is never something to ignore. If you get hurt during a game, stop immediately, rest and ice the area, and contact us at Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper by calling (812) 481-7200. It’s always better to call a time out now than forfeit the season entirely, and we’ll help you get back in there as quickly and safely as possible.
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