Sports injuries commonly occur when playing sports or exercising. Some injuries happen accidentally while others injuries result from poor training or improper gear (e.g. shoes). Poor conditioning can also be a culprit leading to sports injuries. I'm sure we all know someone that hasn't been active for years but still think they can out run you in a 100 meter sprint. Not warming up or stretching enough before you play or exercise can also lead to injuries. The most common sports injuries in the foot and ankle are listed below. Click on the headings for more details.
Ankle sprains are the most common sports injury. When you twist your ankle and it starts to swell, is hard to put your weight down or even bruising, you're the proud owner of an ankle sprain. Most ankle sprains occur with sports that involve jumping and quick side-to-side movements like basketball, volleyball, badminton, tennis and soccer. It can also happen if you miss the last step of your stairs when your in a rush. Ankle sprains result is damage to your ligaments ranging from a mild stretch to a complete tear. The ligaments on the outside of your ankles are pretty weak, and are the easiest to tear. You so need to consider that in some more severe injuries, that a fracture of the tibia, fibula or talus bones may be causing your pain. Getting an x-ray in severe injuries will be helpful to find out.
Your Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in your body. It's found at the back of your lower leg and connects your calf muscles to the back of your heel bone. The Achilles tendon can get inflamed allowing the tendon to get weaker the longer this inflammation lasts. Overuse of your Achilles tendon makes it less flexible and micro tears may occur. Overuse injuries happen gradually over time or immediately from a single traumatic event. Achilles tendonitis is the term used to describe an inflamed Achilles tendon. Blood supply to your Achilles tendon poor, so healing occurs slowly and any injury should not be left untreated. Injuries of the Achilles tendon may take longer to recover from. More severe injuries may require surgical repair of the tendon.
Shin splints are a common exercise-related problem. The term "shin splints" refers to pain along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia). Shin splints typically develop after physical activity. They are often associated with running. Any vigorous sports activity can bring on shin splints, especially if you are just starting a fitness program. Simple measures can relieve the pain of shin splints. Rest, ice, and stretching often help. Taking care not to overdo your exercise routine will help prevent shin splints from coming back.
Plantar fasciitis ("PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus") is an inflammation of your plantar fascia from excessive stress and force applied at the heel bone. The plantar fascia is a band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom surface of your foot, attaching at the bottom of the heel bone and extending to the ball of your feet. Poor biomechanics and an abnormal walking pattern can predispose your feet to develop plantar fasciitis.