March Madness Reminds Us Basketball Can Lead to Foot and Ankle Injuries

Now that the Zags beat Iowa and are in the Sweet Sixteen we can all collective breathe a sigh of relief. Not that we ever doubted they would make it, but you just never know. March Madness can remind us that basketball players get injured all the time. As a Seattle podiatrist I'd like to discuss some of the most common foot and ankle injuries that basketball players suffer. You're even more at risk if you're older and occasionally participate in a pick-up game.

Common foot injuries are ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, and blisters, Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of injury.

Shoes

  • Test your shoes for stability (video)

  • Purchase shoes after every 500 miles of use - worn out shoes cannot provide the same level of stability.

  • Get your feet measured-as adults our feet often get bigger as we age, so in addition to having your kids foot measured you should get your feet measured as well.

  • Buy the right shoe for the activity - high tops have been the shoe of choice for many years in pro leagues, but more recently basketball trainers are advocating a lower cut shoe that strengthens the ankle, forcing the muscle to stabilize the joint. Taping your ankles can also help with stability.

Warm up

  • Weekend warriors are much more likely to get injured because they don't keep their bodies strong and flexible.

  • Be sure to warm up before you start hitting the court. Jogging in place and doing some calf stretches will help.

Strengthen and support your ankles

  • Stand on one foot and rotate your ankle 10 times in one direction and 10 in the other. Switch.

  • Standing toes raises - keep heels on the floor and lift toes 10 times.

  • Improve ankle strength by standing on one foot and then the other for a period of time.

So what if you've followed my recommendations and you still have pain? Call my front office at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

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