Sports injuries happen, and your feet and ankles are especially vulnerable. Your feet and ankles are overworked to begin with, and if you play a sport with a lot of running or high levels of foot stress, it adds to your risk of injury. Fortunately, your podiatrist is just the person to see when you’ve experienced a sports injury to your feet or ankles.
Sometimes a sports injury will heal by itself. For mild sports injuries, you can try:
- Elevating and resting the area to take weight and stress off of it
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medication
More severe sports injuries should be seen by your podiatrist. So, when should you see a podiatrist for a sports injury? You should have an examination by a podiatrist if you:
- Experience severe pain or swelling
- Are unable to put weight on the injured area
- Notice differences in your foot or ankle structure
- Heard popping or snapping when you injured yourself
- Feel tingling, numbness, or weakness in your foot or ankle
Sports injuries involving feet and ankles are common, and the most common injuries include:
Plantar fasciitis, which causes pain on your heel and down the side of your foot; runners and joggers often have this injury.
Shin splints, which cause pain running down the front of your leg, next to the tibia; leg stress without proper stretching can cause shin splints.
Dislocated or fractured bones, which cause swelling, bruising, severe pain and loss of function; impact sports like soccer and football can cause this injury.
Tendon or ligament tears or strain, which causes severe pain and instability; leg stress without proper stretching can cause this injury.
Toenail injuries, which causes pressure under your toenail and moderate to severe toe pain; impact sports like soccer, football, and basketball can cause this injury.
When you visit your podiatrist, treatment recommendations may include:
- Orthotics for plantar fasciitis and other conditions
- Prescription anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain
- Assistive devices like casts and crutches to take the weight off of your injury
- Surgical treatment to realign fractured or broken bones
- Physical therapy to help you regain mobility and strength
If you experience a sports injury involving your feet or ankles, don’t wait. See your podiatrist today.