Foot and Ankle Injury Prevention Tips

Injuries to the feet and ankles are prevalent in sports, particularly running, tennis, and soccer. However, by adopting simple precautions, athletes can reduce their chance of injury.

Warm up before participating in any sport.

Warm up the muscles by lightly stretching or jogging for two to three minutes. Don't use a "bouncing action" to force the stretch.

Prepare your muscles for the sport.

To enhance muscle strength and mobility, the amount of time spent on the exercise should be gradually increased over a period of weeks. Cross training, or engaging in many activities, can aid in muscular development.

Choose athletic shoes based on your foot type.

People with pronated feet or low arches should wear shoes that give support in both the front and under the arch. The heel and heel counter (the back of the shoe) must be extremely stable. Shoes with more cushion and a softer platform are recommended for those with stiffer feet or high arches. Wear athletic footwear. Cross training shoes are often a decent choice; nevertheless, it is better to utilize sport-specific footwear.

When the tread on athletic shoes wears out or the heels wear down, replace them.

People who run on a regular basis should replace their shoes every six months, or more frequently if they are an active runner.

Avoid stepping or jogging on uneven surfaces

Be cautious when driving over rough terrain or hills with loose gravel. When trail jogging, you will encounter holes, tree stumps, and roots. If you suffer lower leg pain, a dirt road is softer than asphalt, which is softer than concrete. If possible, choose a good surface. If you're racing, however, make sure to train on the surface you'll be running on.

Avoid running too many hills.

Running uphill is a fantastic workout, but make sure to build up gradually to avoid injury. Jogging downhill too quickly can often result in more injuries than running uphill!

Prevent recurring injuries

Athletes who have previously had ankle injuries may benefit from utilizing a brace or tape to prevent recurrent ankle injuries.

Pay attention to your body

If you feel foot and ankle pain while participating in a sport, halt or alter your activity until the pain diminishes. In addition, if you have been wounded, you should rest and exercise before returning to the sport to avoid reoccurring problems.

Injuries from running and tennis

Ankle sprains, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis are common running and tennis ailments. Ankle sprains, which are caused by landing on an uneven surface and turning the foot awkwardly, are most commonly caused by a partial or total tear of any of the ligaments responsible for supporting and stabilizing the ankle joint.

Overuse causes injury to the Achilles tendon, which connects the back of the calf muscle to the heel bone. The injury is usually an acute inflammation or a partial tear. If the tendon is weak, it can rupture if the force is applied correctly.

Inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tough tissue that runs from the heel to the toes and maintains the arch of the foot, is also frequent, resulting in heel or arch discomfort.

Runners can also hurt the tendons and ligaments on the outside and inside of their ankles. Stress fractures of the foot bones can also happen. In running, a single event might not be enough to break the foot, but over time, the bone can weaken or break if it is exposed to abnormal forces or stress over and over again. Stress fractures account for 5–15% of all running injuries. 49 percent of the injuries happened in people who ran 25 to 44 miles per week.

Injuries in Soccer

In soccer, foot and ankle injuries are usually caused by trauma, like a direct hit to the lower leg. This is different from tennis and running, where foot and ankle injuries are usually caused by overuse. Because soccer is a contact sport, colliding with another player is common, accounting for 30% of all soccer injuries.

Ankle injuries in soccer account for 20 to 30 percent of all injuries, with ankle sprains being the most prevalent. Turf toe, a sprain caused by stubbing the toe while running or wrongly placing one's cleats, can also occur in soccer players.

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