Preventing Sports Injuries to the Feet

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The importance of exercise and leading an active lifestyle is strongly emphasized by many healthcare providers. It is essential to maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle and bone density, improves cardiovascular health, and overall well-being. However, that does not mean the advice to be active comes without warning. Participating in sports is a great way to achieve exercise goals, but it’s important to know how to play and exercise safely.

At PerfectFeetCare Podiatry Centers, we want to encourage you to eat well and exercise often, following these tips to prevent sports-related injuries to the feet. After all, what good is exercise if it only causes you injury and pain?

·Stretch and warm up, especially before high intensity sports. Stiff or tight muscles should be warmed up and stretched to prevent injury. It loosens you up to prevent pulled muscles. Also, cooling down slowly prevents sudden cramping.

·Fine-tune your balance, endurance, flexibility, and strength. This will make you more agile and help to prevent chronic issues that may develop. When you’re not directly practicing a particular sport, you’ll want to do some conditioning to increase balance, endurance, flexibility, and strength to parts of your body that are actively engaged during the sport you play. Practice proper form to prevent chronic injury.

·Wear the proper footwear, especially if there are specific shoes for the sport. For instance, football cleats give you traction and support in the ankles for all the lateral movements you perform. For sports with jumping or running involved, find shoes that have shock absorption. Make sure shoes are not too worn down or small for your feet as this can cause blisters and other injuries.

·Tape or use a brace to prevent re-injury, especially of the ankles. If you have injured your ankle before, wrapping it or bracing it can prevent injury and remind you to be mindful of your previous injury.

·Use orthotics if you need extra support. Depending on your foot shape and any issues you may have, arch supports or heel cups may be necessary to prevent overuse issues like stress fractures or plantar fasciitis.

·Be aware of your environment. Exercises that involve running on rocky or uneven surfaces are more likely to cause injury. Running on dirt or grass is lower-impact on your joints than asphalt or concrete, but be mindful of rocks or stones that may be hiding beneath the surface.

·Try to be consistent with your sports or workout activity, rather than only being a weekend warrior. If you have a team sport only on weekends, condition for it during the week.

Have an injury or concerned about playing sports with a previous injury? Make an appointment with us at our Miami (305-225-4277) or Hialeah (305-246-7437) offices. Our podiatrists, Dr. Juliette Perez and Dr. Katherine Machado will assess your feet and ankles and recommend precautions for your specific needs.