Savvy sports teams study their opponents and come up with plans to counter them. You see this when coaches and players review tapes of past games, evaluating how their opponents played and looking for openings. This approach to improving performance can apply to more than just beating the other team—especially since the other team isn’t the only opponent on the field. Sports injuries like sprains, bruises, and breaks should also be studied and countered. These basic injuries are far from the only “opponent” your feet face in athletics, too. Other common sports injuries can be just as effective at taking you out of the game.
Any sort of accident or overuse issue that you develop while playing sports can be classified as a sports injury. Some, of course, are more common than others, like blisters and rolled ankles. Here are just a few of the painful conditions athletes of all ages and at every level are at risk for and should be aware of:
- Achilles tendon problems – Overuse and strain can lead to painful inflammation and thickening of the Achilles tendon. Enough traumatic force can tear it, or even snap it entirely, too.
- Heel pain – This can involve many different underlying conditions, but strain from repetitive hard impacts on the ground can be quite detrimental to your heels. Plantar fasciitis, heel bursitis, and more can all develop out of sports.
- Metatarsalgia – Pressure on the forefoot from running, jumping, and pushing off the ground can lead to discomfort there. Sesamoiditis, Morton’s neuroma, and a few other problems are normal kinds of metatarsalgia.
- Stress fractures – Repetitive pressure damages bones, too, sometimes causing thin but painful cracks in the hard tissue.
- Turf toe – Accidents can jam the big toe backward, spraining it and treating turf toe. This makes pushing off the ground very difficult.
Any of these conditions can easily develop during sports, where you put your lower limbs under incredible stress. The key to keeping your feet healthy and avoiding the injury list is recognizing that any foot pain in sports is not normal. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Our team at Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists will help you identify and take care of common sports injuries right away. Make an appointment at our Ladera Ranch office online, or by calling us at (949) 364-9255.