With the summertime upon us, as well as the 2012 Olympics, it is a time to remind athletes that with intense play comes an increase in injuries to the foot and ankle. These injuries can range from plantar fasciitis and Lisfranc injuries to sprains and stress fractures. These types of injuries have plagued Olympic athletes for years, including Jason Burnett, Jon Horton, and McKayla Maroney.
Plantar fasciitis is thought to be one of the most common foot injuries for athletes, because athletes are constantly putting too much strain on their feet when training. Those who suffer from plantar fasciitis have worse pain in the morning or after they have been sitting for a period of time. The pain may decrease once the individual is walking because the fascia starts stretching out. At this time, plantar fasciitis is treated through rest, physical therapy, medications, orthotics, and stretching. Plantar fasciitis is related to painful bone heel spurs.
Another type of injury athletes must be wary of is a Lisfranc injury, which impacts the band of tissue that joins the bones leading to the toes and the bones in the arch, causing pain in the mid-foot. This injury is common among runners, horseback riders, football players, and other contact-sport athletes.
Both plantar fasciitis and Lisfranc injuries can become chronic and often take a long time to heal. Lisfranc injuries cannot always be treated through rest and may require surgery to stabilize the joints in the foot.
To protect against these injuries the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons recommends athletes:
- Wear supportive shoes
- Stretch after warming up and after intense activity
- Remember to use rest, ice, compression, and elevation if an injury does occur
If you or a loved one is suffering from a foot or ankle injury in Pennsylvania, call Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates for an appointment. Call the office in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644.