After spending all winter cooped indoors, it makes sense that many people want to get outside. Spring and summer sports are popular among kids, teens, and adults. They also come with the risk of foot injuries. While foot problems can happen at any time, the changing of the seasons is an added risk factor. Switching to outdoor sports introduces other changes. These risk factors should not be overlooked. You and your children may be eager to return to the field, but taking the necessary precautions is important.
Our team of experienced podiatrists can help prepare you and your feet for the upcoming seasons. We can assess your foot health and suggest preventative measures. And, if you experience foot problems or injuries, we can offer various treatment options to get you back in the game.
Spring and Summer Sports Prone to Foot Injuries
Every sport has some risk of injury, and every player is different. But foot injuries and problems can be especially common with certain spring and summer sports. This should not deter you from physical activity, as sports are great for both physical and mental health. Rather, this should serve as a reminder to take steps to reduce the risk of injury. The following is a brief overview of some of the summer sports and the stress they can cause your feet and ankles:
- Baseball and softball can exert stress on your feet on ankles. You must quickly run down a fly ball. Fielding a ground ball may need quick lateral movements. Someone could tweak an ankle sliding into home base. Pitchers and catchers are also prone to foot and ankle injuries.
- Tennis requires a lot of quick, darting movements with rapid stops. Running to chase down a cross-court shot or jumping to catch an overhead lob can result in injury. Rolling your ankle is a common injury in tennis.
- Pickleball, badminton, and other racket sports have some risk factors similar to tennis. Players need to move quickly with many sudden starts and stops.
- Soccer and football require running in all directions, plus tackling and fancy footwork. Playing on artificial turf can result in more injuries than playing on natural grass fields. Choosing the right cleats can make a major difference.
- Track and field events challenge athletes with a variety of actions. Running injuries are common. Hurting an ankle during high jump, long jump, and similar events can happen too.
These are just a few examples of spring and summer sports that may result in foot injuries. Players can get hurt in other sports, such as lacrosse, basketball, and volleyball. Even lower-impact sports like cycling and golf may result in injury. Other factors like flat feet can further increase the risk of sports injury. Cross-training with different activities can help build resilience across different muscle groups.
Possible Foot Problems That Could Develop
As you head back onto the field or court, it’s important to be mindful of potential foot problems. Concerned parents can look for signs of foot and ankle injuries in their children. Some common foot injuries among sports players include the following:
- Ankle sprains occur when the ligament is stretched or torn. Pain, swelling, and bruising are common symptoms of a sprained ankle.
- Muscle strains happen when the muscle is overextended. It can stretch or tear from repetitive action or sudden changes in direction.
- Achilles tendon injuries include inflammation, tears, and ruptures. Players can also experience heel bursitis, an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs between the heel bone and Achilles tendon.
- Stress fractures are cracks in the bones in your feet. The bone isn’t broken all the way through but is split.
- Broken bones are when one or more bones are completely broken through. For instance, players may break their tiny toe bones with a traumatic sports injury.
- Turf toe is the hyperextension of the ligament beneath your big toe. This relates to the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint which allows you to move your big toe up and down.
- Foot pain can come about for any number of reasons. The soles and arches of the feet can hurt from repeated impacts on the playing surface.
- Plantar fasciitis is a form of heel pain. The plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue along the bottom of the foot, gets inflamed. Patients experience stabbing pain in the bottom of their feet near the heel.
- Shin splints refer to pain along the shin bone. The medical term is tibial stress syndrome. This can be common among runners.
- Joint injuries come in many forms. Joints in the feet can become inflamed or dislocated from playing sports.
Among children, overuse injuries are generally more common than traumatic injuries. It’s important to give the body time to recover. Adult athletes can experience both types of injuries.
What to Do if You or Your Child Gets Hurt
Spring and summer sports can be all fun and games until someone gets hurt. If you or your child suffers one of these sports injuries, call Shenandoah Podiatry to book an appointment. We can assess the injury and discuss treatment options. With foot and ankle injuries, four steps that can help are Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
When you visit the experienced podiatric team at Shenandoah Podiatry, we can discuss how to prevent and treat pediatric sports injuries. Proper footwear goes a long way. Parents should also look for changes in a child’s form while playing. They may favor using one foot over the other. They may be hesitant to put too much weight on one leg. Ask your child if anything hurts and be open to what they have to say. Let them rest if they need it. Early detection is incredibly valuable.