As athletes involve in sports require continuous jumping, running, and walking, they are typically at higher risk of foot injuries. A study has shown that 25% of athletic injuries are related to foot and ankle injuries. Sports like running, football, basketball, badminton, and baseball require repetitive feet movements, contributing to foot injuries. As well as this, foot injuries may also result from traumatic conditions, including road accidents and direct falling on an outstretched foot.
Professional trainers and healthcare providers suggest some preventive measures, helping reduce the chances of foot injuries during sports and other daily activities. This article will discuss the commonly occurring foot injuries and their possible treatments and preventive measures.
1. Athletes’ Foot
Athletes’ foot is a fungal infection of the skin, commonly found between toes. This infection can spread when left untreated and lead to itching, pain, and discomfort. Damp socks & shoes and humid or warm environments favour the organism’s growth. As athletes require to wear shoes and socks for a longer time, the fungus infection is common, leading to athletes’ foot.
How to treat athletes’ foot
You can control the fungus infection or treat the athletes’ foot in the following ways:
- Keep your feet clean and dry. After washing and drying your feet, you need to apply the antifungal products. You can use gel, cream, lotion, powder, spray, or anything that suits your skin.
- Avoid scratching or rashing. It is advisable to soothe your itchy feet by soaking them in cool water.
- Wear light-weighted and well-ventilated shoes and change your socks regularly.
How to prevent athletes’ foot
The following are the most effective preventive measures to avoid athletes’ foot:
- Avoid using tight shoes and closed shoes
- Avoid wearing socks that are hard to dry
- Avoid using socks that do not suit your skin
- Avoid taking a public shower, footbath, and using swimming pool
Bunions are considered the abnormalities of the feet that cause a bump to develop on the large toe joint. There are several reasons behind the bunion formation. It may be inherited foot type, and deformities may present at the time of birth. As well as this, foot stress and some foot injuries may also contribute to the development of the bunion.
How to treat bunions
You can treat bunion formation with non-surgical and surgical treatments, depending upon your situation:
Non-surgical treatments may include
- Change your footwear and wear roomy and comfortable shoes with plenty of space.
- Wearing over-the-counter nonmedicated bunion pads or cushions will help you reduce bunion formation.
- Medications including acetaminophen and ibuprofen are suggested to treat bunion formation.
- Experts also suggest applying ice massage to help manage bunion formation.
How to prevent bunions
Experts suggest the following preventive measures to avoid bunion formation:
- Keep an eye on the shape of your feet as they develop over time, especially if bunion runs as a family problem.
- Strengthening exercises keep the feet strengthened. As well as this, experts suggest learning to pick up the small objects with your toes, helping keep bunions correct.
- You need to properly fitted shoes and don’t pinch or cramp your toes.
- Women should avoid wearing shoes with pointed toes and high heels
3. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the leading causes of heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia (thick tissue band) that connects the heel bone to the toe becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis usually results in stabbing pain, especially in the morning. Plantar fasciitis usually occurs in overweight people and involves running or walking. However, the causes of plantar fasciitis are poorly understood.
How to treat plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can be treated by medications, wearing foot supports, physical therapy, and surgical treatments. The treatment process directly depends upon your situation.
- Medications: Pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium help relieve pain and swelling.
- Therapies: Physical therapy helps stretch plantar fascia and Achilles tendons, helping strengthen lower leg muscles. Physical therapists also suggest applying athletic tapping, helping support the bottom of your feet.
- Plantar Fascistic Foot Support: Plantar fasciitis foot supports help relieve heel pain, swelling, and discomfort. As well as this, foot supports or sleeves also provide compressions to the injured areas, helping speed up the recovery process.
- Surgical treatments: Surgical treatments for plantar fasciitis may include steroidal injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, ultrasonic tissue repair, and open surgery.
How to prevent plantar fasciitis
Healthcare professionals and professional trainers suggest the following preventive measures, helping avoid plantar fasciitis:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Choose supportive shoes
- Avoid wearing worn-out athletic shoes
- Apply regular ice massage
- Stretch your arches
4. Heel Spur
A heel spur is a growing bone which is pushed out below your back-heel bone inside the foot. It happens when foot ligaments are overstressed. Other foot or heel injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, may also contribute to the heel spur. A heel spur may result in a dull ache or sharp pain. You may feel the heat radiating from the affected areas. As well as this, you may also feel inflammation and swelling at the front of the heel.
How to treat a heel spur
Once it happens, a heel spur is a permanent condition. However, healthcare professionals suggest some treatment plans to relieve pain and other discomforts:
- When you feel pain, provide your heel with proper rest by avoiding walking and running
- Apply ice packs at the bottom of your feet, helping ease pain and discomfort
- Healthcare professionals also suggest taking anti-inflammatory medicines
- Wear supportive footwear or shoe inserts that help protect your plantar fascia and support your arches by cushioning the bottom of your feet
How to prevent heel spur
You need to adopt the following preventive measures to avoid the chances of heel spur:
- Wear well-fitted shoes with shock-absorbent soles
- For each physical activity, choose appropriate shoes accordingly
- Warm-up your body and perform stretching exercises before every athletic activity
5. Foot Stress Fracture
Foot stress fracture is tiny crack in the foot bones, especially weight-bearing bones. A foot stress fracture is caused by overuse, repetitive force, long distances, and repeatedly jumping up and down. Pain, swelling, and tenderness are the common symptoms associated with foot stress fractures.
How to treat a foot stress fracture
You can treat stress fracture through conservative measures and surgical treatments:
Conservative measures: Conservative measures may include rest, ice massage, compression bandages and elevating the injured area. These conservative measures may take several months to ensure healing.
Surgical treatments: In some cases, surgery is required to ensure complete healing. For example, stress fractures in areas with poor blood supply may require surgery.
How to prevent a foot stress fracture
You can avoid the risk of foot stress fracture by following the given tips:
- Make changes slowly during running or other exercises
- Use proper footwear
- Get proper nutrition
- Wear foot supports when necessary
The discussed foot injuries are common in sports and other occupations that require repetitive motions of the feet. The given treatment ideas will help you recover from foot problems quickly. As well as this, the given preventive measures will help you avoid the risk of foot injuries during athletic performances and other occupations. One of the best tips to prevent foot injuries is to wear foot supports. At 360 relief, you can find a variety of foot supports. It is advisable to ask your trainers or healthcare advisors to choose the best product according to your needs.