The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are almost here, and we are ready to cheer on Team USA to the gold, from our couches in Kansas City! Watching all of these extreme sports on the television may get you thinking that you would like to begin extreme athletic activities of your own. Keep in mind, however, that these activities can lead to aching feet and an increased risk of foot and ankle injuries! Common foot and ankle injuries include plantar fasciitis (heel or arch pain), ankle sprains and stress fractures.
Plantar fasciitis is a common sports injury, and it has affected major athletes such as Olympic and NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant, past Kansas City Royals baseball player Scott Podsednik, and 2014 Olympic cross country skier Liz Stephen. It can also happen when becoming or staying active at any level; professional athlete or weekend warrior. Plantar Fasciitis can occur with any foot type; whether it’s a high or low arch and often happens when one does not have the proper support with shoe gear and orthotics, which could lead to instability and excessive strain on the feet.
Plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, is usually first treated conservatively with rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, over-the-counter arch supports, stretching, and supportive shoe gear. But very often, it requires more aggressive treatment such as physical therapy, cortisone injections, night splints, cryo-anesthesia, and custom orthotics. At the first signs of heel or arch pain, see our podiatrists at Kansas City Foot and Ankle in order to get you back in the game.
Other common injuries seen in people who are very active are sprained ankles and stress fractures. After an ankle injury, it is important to find out if the ankle ligaments are stretched, partially torn, completely torn, or if there is an underlying fracture. It’s also important that you don’t ignore your pain because a stress fracture, if not treated properly, can progress and lead to longer disability and more time off your feet and away from your favorite activities.
So a few last injury prevention tips: stretch before and after activities, wear supportive shoes and arch support, and remember, just because you can walk on it doesn’t mean its ok! The lower extremities are very important to athletes. Come see Dr. Mark Green and Dr. Stephanie Jameson at Kansas City Foot and Ankle. We are ready to help you get back on your feet and stay active! And don’t forget to cheer on Team USA!