Spring is here, and many people are participating in outdoor sports in the warmer weather. Any intense physical activity raises risks of injuries, and these injures often occur in the feet. Fortunately, these injuries are also frequently preventable. Here is a look at how you can prepare for the outdoor sports season and minimize your risk of sports foot injuries.
Get a Sports Physical
An annual physical exam is worthwhile for everyone, but athletes in particular may benefit from a physical tailored to their needs. During a sports physical, a doctor will look at not only systemic health but also the condition of the muscles and joints. This is especially important for people who are planning to participate in sports for the first time. Abnormalities of foot structure and gait may be revealed, allowing for preventive options to be pursued before patients suffer sports injuries of the foot.
Stretching is one of the most important things you can do for sports injury prevention. Although recommended stretches vary among sports, all stretches help by warming up the joints, muscles and connective tissues for vigorous activity. For example, stretches used by runners may focus on the muscles of the legs as well as the knees, ankles and foot arches among other injury-prone areas. To maximize effectiveness and avoid injury, it is important to stretch slowly and gradually without forcing the muscles.
Wear Properly Fitting Shoes
The wrong shoes for the activity or the individual can contribute to sports foot injuries. Athletic shoes are often designed to support the foot during the motions common to specific sports. Basketball shoes, for instance, frequently include ankle support for jumps and other maneuvers. Meanwhile, cross trainers are designed to be used in multiple sports. Athletes should choose shoes with adequate arch support, cushioning and toe room for a lower risk of injuries.
Address Pre-Existing Injuries With a Podiatrist
When it comes to the feet and ankles, podiatrists are experts at sports injury prevention and treatment. For athletes who have suffered or are currently suffering from injuries in these areas, the recommendations and treatment provided by a podiatrist can be invaluable for staying comfortable and active. In addition to offering acute treatments, up to and including surgery, podiatrists can provide custom-made orthotics for support as well as medications to treat inflammation and other injury symptoms.
Preventive steps are worthwhile for anyone taking part in sports this spring. With help from a podiatrist, athletes who have pre-existing sports injuries of the foot can limit their risk of future problems. Podiatrists at Manhattan Footcare offer a full range of preventive and reparative options for athletes in all sports. For athletes who want their feet to look better, Manhattan Footcare also provides many types of cosmetic surgery. Contact us today to learn about our services for athletes and our cosmetic options for improving the appearance of feet.