Caring for Sports Injuries
When you’re someone who loves to stay active and keep moving, anything that gets in your way can turn into a major frustration—even more if that obstacle is a sports injury.
The feet and ankles are extremely common areas for sports injuries to occur, due to how much we demand from them in so many activities. However, it is also vitally important that injuries to this area heal properly if you wish to avoid increased risk of continued problems and chronic pain in the future.
We understand how frustrating it can be to have foot and ankle problems interfere with your activity goals (we’ve had firsthand experience, in fact!). When it comes to sports injuries, our goal is to keep our patients as active as safely possible during their recovery, while not risking further damage or complications.
Types of Sports Injuries
Anyone from basketball players to hikers to golfers can injure themselves—whether they are out pursuing new personal bests or just enjoying playing on the weekends.
The most common types of sports injuries of the foot and ankle are acute injuries and overuse injuries.
Acute Injuries. These are the injuries that result from a sudden impact or forceful twisting injury. Ankle sprains and foot fractures fall into this category.
Overuse Injuries. These types of injuries occur when the body is pushed too hard, too quickly—beyond what it is currently conditioned to endure. They can occur via a sudden burst of energy (e.g., sudden movement from a resting state, without warming up) or from repetitive impacts over time (e.g., constant running without providing enough periods for rest and recovery). Stress fractures and plantar fasciitis are common types of overuse injuries.
How Sports Injuries Are Treated
The best treatment for a sports injury includes treating the injury as well as addressing the underlying causes for the injury, to prevent recurrence.
Treatment recommendations will be made depending on the condition and other circumstances, such as age, level of physical fitness, and other contributing factors.
Potential treatments may include (but are not limited to):
- Medications for pain relief and reduction of inflammation. These might be oral or topical medications or corticosteroid injections.
- Ice therapy for initial treatment, potentially followed by heat or contrast therapy.
- Stretches, exercises or physical therapy designed for reducing pain and conditioning the supporting tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.) of injured areas.
- PRP (platelet-rich plasma), amniotic, or stem cell treatments to accelerate tissue repair and overall recovery.
- The use of custom orthotics to redistribute weight from injured or overstressed areas.
In almost every case, rest will be highly recommended. Your body must have time to heal itself, and extra exertion only risks further injury.
That is not to say you will be forced to sit on the couch the entire time, however. We will work with you to arrange a plan that keeps you active with low-impact alternatives (such as cycling, swimming or other appropriate exercise) and gradual rehabilitation to get you back to full strength.
Get Back in the Game
If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain during or after physical activities, you risk further injury or damage to tissues. Any consistent pain is a sign of a problem that needs to be addressed. The sooner you do so, the quicker you can get back to the activities you enjoy. You don’t have to suffer with foot or ankle pain!
Call our Scottsdale office at (480) 629-5903 to schedule an appointment with us. If you prefer to contact us electronically instead, simply fill out our online contact form below and a member of our staff will respond to you during office hours.