How to Prevent Foot Injuries in Sports
The human foot is a complicated arrangement of twenty-six
bones, held in alignment and able to move by way of ligaments, joints, tendons,
function of the foot is to support us when we are standing, and to absorb the
shock transmitted when we walk, run or jump. Bearing in mind the loads and
stresses our feet are subjected to, it is not surprising that they can get
injured, particularly when playing sports that involve speed, jumping, fast
turns, and quick stops.
to the feet can be chronic, caused by overuse, extended stress, and repetitive
motion, or acute, when there is a sudden trauma. Nearly all overuse injuries
are due to an abnormal way the foot lands on the ground.
Perhaps the most important thing to do to try
to avoid a foot injury is to wear shoes properly fitted to your individual foot
and gait, and appropriate to your particular sport. Find a specialist athletic
shoe store with knowledgeable staff. Be prepared to replace your shoes every
300-500 miles if you are a runner, or whenever the tread is worn out or the
heels are worn down. Worn out shoes donít provide adequate support, donít
absorb shock, and donít provide traction, so place you at an increased risk of
wearing a semi-rigid ankle brace while
playing sports such as soccer or basketball, especially if you have been
Warm up, stretch, play, and
muscle fibers are less likely to tear. Stretching before playing a sport
improves the ability of muscles to contract and extend, reducing the risk of
damage to the fibers. Stretching after play helps prevent the muscles tightening
up and becoming more liable to tear. If you are stiff from a previous sports
session, go especially carefully, warm up properly, stretch well, and donít
stretches to incorporate into your regular routine are calf stretches, calf drops,
and heel cord stretches.
Listen to your body
aching or pain is a sign that you are injured. Your body is telling you to stop
and allow yourself time to heal. Donít play through any pain, no matter how
minor, as doing so will only make your injury worse and possibly set up a
chronic condition that in the long run might limit your participation in
try to do too much, too soon, too fast. Build up your playing or training time
gradually, especially if you are starting a new sport, and avoid any sudden
leaps in mileage or intensity. Aim for a maximum weekly increase of 3 percent
to 5 percent. If you increase your playing, increase your resting time. Give
your body adequate time to recover.
Get in shape
to strengthen core, hip, and leg muscles will help prevent all injuries, not
just to the foot. Taking a day a week off from your regular sports program and
doing a different sport instead is beneficial, as is alternating a hard workout
with an easier one.
and practicing the proper technique for your sport will reduce the risk of
injury. Take care not to play above your ability level, and if youíve had to
take some time off from playing, donít expect to immediately return to your
previous level of activity. Build up gradually.
Whatís under your feet?
surface is less likely to cause injuries to your feet than a hard or uneven surface.
Check for any obstructions or hazards as landing badly on
or debris could land you with an injury