Official Roster of Sports Injuries
Participating in sports has certainly changed over the years. Padding and protective equipment have come a long way, rules have been altered, teams have relocated, but one thing remains the same – where there are sports, there are injuries!
This is especially true when it comes to feet and ankles-- no other part of an athlete’s body endures so much pressure, stress, twisting, and external forces. Even the highest quality athletic shoe can’t always protect you. Luckily, we offer plenty of treatment options, as well as tips to help avoid problems in the first place. Dr. McSpadden and Dr. Sharkey contribute their expertise to the conversation about running and pronation.
There are two main categories of sports injuries: acute and overuse. Below you’ll find some of the most common issues that can put you on the sideline and what can be done to get you back in the game:
Members of the Acute Injury Team
This type of injury is sustained by a sudden and extreme force, like a tackle or collision.
- Ankle Sprain – this occurs when the ligaments that support your ankle are stretched beyond their limits due to sudden twisting or rolling. It can happen by hitting a rut in the field or coming down awkwardly from jumping.
- Fracture – this injury involves a break in the bone. It will need to be immobilized and, if severe and damaging to surrounding tissues, it may also require surgery to realign and heal properly.
- Achilles Tendon Rupture – sudden stress placed upon the Achilles tendon can cause it to tear, or rupture. It is signified by immediate pain along with an inability to bear weight. You may hear a popping sound at the time of the injury.
- Turf Toe – when your big toe is planted, yet your body inertia continues forward, the toe can become overextended or even dislocated, and the ligaments supporting your big toe joint can get overstretched.
Those in the Overuse Injury League
These injuries occur due to persistent pressure and repetitive stress, such as the continual pounding which feet endure when running long distances.
- Tendinitis – often seen in the Achilles tendon of athletes who increase the duration or intensity of their workouts too quickly, or who jump into activity without properly training or warming up. The increased and continuous stress placed upon the tendon causes it to become inflamed and sore.
- Stress Fractures – these are tiny cracks in the bone due to repetitive stress over time.
- Plantar Fasciitis – the most common cause of heel pain, this injury occurs due to stress placed upon the band of tissues that span the arch of your foot (the plantar fascia). Small tears in the band cause Inflammation which irritates the heel and causes pain.
- Shin Splints – irritated and swollen muscles that run along the shin bone, typically a result of over training, especially on hard surfaces.
Winning Lineup of Treatment and Prevention Plans
We will need to thoroughly examine your injury and will likely use diagnostic equipment to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment of course, depends on the severity and location of your injury, but typically begins with P.R.I.C.E. (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Most sports injuries require a period of healing followed by physical therapy and rehabilitation to restore function and prevent future problems. Other preventative measures include:
- Proper gear. This includes shoes that fit well and offer plenty of cushion, support, and toe room. It’s essential to replace footwear as soon as it is necessary and to make sure your shoes are appropriate for the activity.
- Proper form. We can provide a gait analysis to determine if your natural biomechanics are making you more prone to injury. Orthotics can correct these issues and help you avoid future problems.
- Proper preparation. Always warm up your muscles before asking them to perform, and increase your workouts gradually. Try incorporating low-impact activities into your fitness plan, like lifting weights, doing yoga, swimming, or biking.
Sports Injury Champs
There are plenty of injuries that can occur in sports, even beyond those mentioned here. Whether you sustain an overuse injury that simply needs rest or an acute one that requires surgery, the experts at North Austin Foot & Ankle will help you develop a game plan for recovery. Call us in Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX by dialing (512) 593-2949 so you can get off the bench and back into the game, and better yet, stay off the sidelines in the first place!