Athletes train relentlessly day in and day out. This may cause extreme fatigue especially in their legs and their feet. The training sessions involve regular physical therapy sessions to help them prevent any dangerous injury and equip their body with the capability to achieve peak performance on the field and tracks. The foot and ankle work in synchronization to provide support and mobility. Every type of athlete is at risk of either sustaining a foot or ankle injury or developing an ongoing chronic condition. Let us learn about the various symptoms, risks, and treatments out there for foot and ankle related sports injuries.
Types of injuries
Identification of the root causes of such injuries is extremely necessary for the assignment of the correct treatment plan. All the physicians and physical therapists have suggested that waiting too long for seeking help may just make it difficult for the athlete to attain their goals as the injuries get harder to treat with time and leave chronic pain. Some of the common injuries include tendonitis of the foot or the ankle, fractures, foot strains, plantar fasciitis, turf toe, Achilles rupture, and heel fracture.
Some of these may require surgeries for treatment whereas the others can be solved by physical therapy that focuses on the conditioning of the foot and ankle. Foot and ankle therapy and custom orthotics after the surgery are also recommended by the surgeons for complete recovery from the underlying conditions. Here’s how foot and ankle therapy helps in treating the injuries in any athlete or physically active person.
Overcome repetitive sprains
The sprays in the ankles can be painful and debilitating, which can under the athlete’s training or an individual’s daily routine by quite a stretch. It is well known that repetitive ankle sprains are a common occurrence in athletes where they are prone to sprain the same ankles more than once. Such problems are common amongst the athletes and sportspersons as they require frequent and quick changes in the directions and jumping or sprinting more often.
The ligaments that are affected in the sprain get stretched out or torn. These can inhibit the sensory signals and the healing can be conducted by retraining the brain through physical therapy. Techniques such as soft tissue mobilization and aquatic therapy can enhance the inherent capability of proprioception. Along with these a little help from dry needling therapy and orthopedic therapy go a long way to prevent the recurrent sprains and divert complete attention to the training.
Treat overuse injuries with manual therapy
When too much stress is placed on a certain joint or tissue, it can cause overuse injuries that occur by “overdoing “ an activity or repeating the same activity over and over. A stress fracture which stands for a hairline crack in a bone is a classic example of such injuries. Some others may include retrocalcaneal bursitis, tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.
These can be cured with the aid of physical therapy wherein the experts analyze the conditions and design a specific treatment plan filled with therapeutic exercises and manual therapy that strengthens the muscle and bone and helps regain the flexibility in the foot and ankle. Certain first aid measures include wearing a cast, brace, or splint to reduce the inflammation and heal the bones. Some doctors may suggest a special shoe or orthotic device to provide adequate support to the injured foot.
Finally, eliminate the pain in the heels
Various kinds of pain can occur on the bottom of the heel, in the arch of the foot, or in the back of the heel. The pain can be severe and chronic and can cause extreme discomfort while putting weight on the heel. Plantar fasciitis is one such condition where the inflammation of the thick muscles of the heel is observed and it is constant while performing any activity throughout the day. People involved in sports such as baseball, basketball, hockey, or gold are more likely to experience this injury or problem.
In children between the age of eight and fourteen have a developing heel bone and can be easily susceptible to overuse to equip their body with adequate therapeutic exercises to make the feet and ankles stronger, flexible, and less prone to injuries.