There are literally dozens of different types of injuries that can affect athletes of all levels, from professionals to students to amateur athletes. Some injuries can be caused by direct impacts when the athlete comes in contact with a hard surface or object, while others are caused by indirect contact or twisting or torquing motions that place excessive force on bones and connective tissues. Still, others can be caused by repetitive movements during training or competition. While some injuries like sprains can be caused by an array of sports, other injuries are more likely to occur with specific sports due to the unique stresses those sports place on the feet and ankles. For instance, impact sports like martial arts and kickboxing are commonly associated with injuries like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and sesamoiditis, as well as ankle sprains. Team sports are often associated with injuries to the ankles and toes, and even aerobics can cause injuries as a result of repeated impact with the hard floor. Many foot and ankle related sports injuries can be prevented by stretching and warming up prior to an activity. Warming up and stretching increase circulation to the feet and ankles while also “loosening up” ligaments and other soft and connective tissues to improve flexibility and control. Proper footwear selection is also critical.
Turf toe is an injury to the big toe joint that occurs when the joint is overextended, tearing or injuring the soft tissues that support the toe. Turf toe causes symptoms like tenderness and swelling in the toe joint, often accompanied by sharp pain when pushing off on the foot. Treatment includes ice, rest and compression along with medication to reduce inflammation and painful symptoms. Although symptoms often aren’t severe enough to prevent athletic participation, delaying treatment can result in permanent deformity and debility in the joint.
The treatment of sports injuries depends on the type of injury, the athlete’s activity level and health, and other factors. Ice, compression bandages, rest, physical therapy, laser treatments, orthotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications all can play a role. In some cases, surgery may be required. Prompt care is essential for any type of sports injury, not only to provide symptom relief, but also to prevent the injury from becoming worse. Without proper care, athletes may suffer a permanent disability that can interfere with overall mobility.
Our Pain Laser at NOVA Foot and Ankle in Herndon and Springfield, Virginia is FDA cleared to emit energy in the visible and infrared spectrum, to provide topical heating for the purpose of elevating tissue temperature for the temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain or stiffness, minor arthritis pain, or muscle spasm, the temporary increase in local blood circulation, or the temporary relaxation of muscle.