Even the best athletes in the world are not injury-proof. Anyone can suddenly have an injury that can potentially hurt their careers. Then again, injury prevention is not only for the professional athlete, but for anyone who is into sports. Be it soccer, basketball or running; you have to take the necessary measures to prevent foot pain, ankle pain and toe injury.
Don’t forget to warm up
Stretch your muscles lightly or jog slowly for a couple of minutes to warm up your muscles. Warming up is an important aspect of injury prevention as it prepares your muscles for the strenuous activity ahead.
Prepare your muscles for the sport. Gradually increase the time you spend on a certain activity over a few weeks. This helps improve movement and muscle strength. It also helps to do some cross training and participate in different activities.
Use the right shoes
Choosing the appropriate shoes depending on your foot type prevents toe injury, foot injury, and various foot problems. People with pronate feet or those with low arches will do well with arch support shoes. The heel of the shoe should be stable to prevent heel pain. There has to be adequate heel support to avoid injury. If your foot is stiff or has a high arch, go for softer shoes that provide more cushion. Pick a shoes that is specifically made for your sport.
Know when to get new shoes
Runners need to replace their shoes every six months and even more often if you run frequently. Avoid uneven surfaces. Running on uneven surfaces can lead to foot pain and ankle pain. Holes and roots are common when trail running, so try to be careful. Choose a good surface for your running activities. However, if you are planning to race, train on the same surface you’ll be running on. Avoid recurrent injuries. If you have experienced an ankle injury in the past, you may benefit from using an ankle brace to prevent another injury. Listen to what your body has to say. If you experience foot pain or ankle pain while engaging in a sport, stop for a while and wait for the pain to subside. Furthermore, if you’ve been injured, you need to undergo rehabilitation and train again before you to return to your sport.
Common Running Injuries
Runners usually experience ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, and tendonitis. Landing on an uneven surface can cause the foot to turn in an awkward position, leading to an ankle sprain. This is why an ankle brace is beneficial as it provides ankle support and stabilizes the joint. It is also common for runners to have plantar fasciitis where the plantar fascia, or the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot, becomes inflamed. Runners with plantar fasciitis experience heel pain or arch pain.
Treatment depends on the severity and the type of injury. Minor injuries can be treated with rest and application of ice packs. Compression and elevation are also required. If the injury is moderate to severe, a brace or cast may be required.
It is important to seek medical advice as soon as you detect a foot, ankle, or toe injury. Any swelling or limping should not be ignored. With appropriate and prompt treatment and rehabilitation, you should be able to recovery quickly. And once you have regained your strength, learn to make use of heel protectors and toe protectors to prevent injuries in the future. Proper foot care and heel care will go a long way in ensuring that you get to enjoy the sport for a long time without hurting your feet and ankle.