ATHLETE’S FEET | HEALTH ON THE RUN
From the repeated pounding that runners’ feet receive on paved surfaces to the side-to-side motion seen in court sports, there’s no question that athletes’ feet and ankles are prime candidates for injuries. Whether you participate in sports regularly or are just a “weekend warrior,” be on the lookout for some of these common problems:
ANKLE SPRAINS – These are one of the most common sports injuries. Prompt evaluation and treatment by a foot and ankle surgeon is important… sometimes that “sprain” is actually an ankle fracture and treatment for these two conditions are very different. And don’t skimp on rehab! An ankle that has not been properly healed and strengthened is more likely to suffer repeated sprains, leading to chronic ankle instability.
ACHILLES TENDON DISORDERS – Athletes are at high risk for developing disorders of the Achilles tendon. Achilles Tendinitis an inflammation of the tendon that runs down the back of the lower leg, can progress into a degeneration of the tendon (Achilles tendonosis). A sudden increase of a repetitive activity, leading to micro-injury of the tendon fibers, can cause these conditions.
HEEL PAIN – This condition is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, although it may also be due to other causes including stress fractures. Although faulty foot structure is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis, it can also result from wearing shoes that are worn out or not designed for the sport in which you’re participating. Keeping the Achilles tendon stretched can help get rid of this pain, but continued pain should be checked out to rule out a fracture or other cause.
ATHLETE’S FOOT -- In North America, 1 in 10 people have athlete's foot. Men tend to be affected more than women, adults more than children. Athlete's foot is caused by a fungal infection. The fungi that infect human feet live on the skin, specifically on skin proteins called keratin. In about 50% of people with athlete's foot, the condition recurs because the fungus spores survive in skin cracks between the toes.
Foot health for the athlete requires prompt attention to such conditions and a quick visit to the Podiatrist for remedial action.