Many sports are hard on the feet because of repetitive movements, high impact, constricting or unsupportive footwear, or increased risk of trauma due to the nature of the sport. Ankle injuries are the most common type of sports injury in youth and adults. Understanding the particular risks of a sport can help prevent pain and injury, and wearing the appropriate shoe gear for the sport is imperative.
A million runners develop heel pain or plantar fasciitis every year, according to Running Research News and ankle sprains are one of the most common joint injuries runners experience. Rolling over a rock, an unstable landing off a curb, or small irregularities in a road or path can cause stress or tears to an ankle ligament. Most are mild, but some sprains require immobilization or aggressive rehabilitation. Due to the repetitive impact, runners are also subject to stress fractures. Chronic, repetitive microtrauma can gradually stress the bone until it breaks.
Wearing shoes that are overdue to be replaced, or increasing speed or distance too quickly can increase the risk of stress fractures. Barefoot runners and those that wear minimalist shoes will have higher forces on the foot bones, especially if they have not yet adapted a forefoot-strike running gait.
Engaging in outdoor sports adds uneven terrains, challenging weather conditions and unique forces upon the joints of the foot and ankle. The right rock climbing shoe is key to safety as well as advancing your skills. For skiing and snowboarding, choosing the boot and bindings depends on your style and skill level. Hikers and snowshoers need stability and protection from elements.
Plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, sesamoiditis, and sprains are common to athletes involved in Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira, Krav Maga, Mixed Martial Arts or Kickboxing. Appropriate training helps prevent these injuries and includes using good technique, a sufficient warm-up, stretching, supporting the limbs with core strength, and avoiding advanced skills until the athlete is ready.
What do football, baseball, basketball, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and rugby have in common? Athletes that participate in these sports are subject to foot and ankle trauma. Inadequate stretching, irregular surfaces or inappropriate shoes make these sports riskier. When proper rehabilitation can mean missing out on a season, it’s essential to play safely and smartly.
High Energy Exercise
High-impact exercises, such as Zumba or step aerobics, can exert forces up to six times that of gravity on the bones and joints of the foot. Proper shoes are crucial to absorbing some impact and stabilizing the foot during cutting motions and abrupt stops and starts. Exercise trends such as Crossfit or interval training include high intensity bursts, and when a new participants in these activities tend to overdo it. Be sure to have proper training and listen to your body in order to prevent overuse injuries, such as pulled muscles and strained joints.
For more information about other sports and your feet:
- Running and Foot Pain
- Don't Let Your Kids Play Through Foot Pain
Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment if you or your kid sustains a foot or ankle injury, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.
Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.