Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Athletes Plagued By Foot Injurys During Fall Sports Seasons

(Health & Fitness), With the 2008-09 football season still in its
fledgling stages, story lines for many teams in the spotlight have
evolved from the typical 'who to watch' to 'who's gone down now?' Chris
'Beanie' Wells
, starting running back for the Ohio State University
, continues to recuperate from a right toe injury suffered
almost two weeks ago. National Football League (NFL) running back
LaDainian Tomlinson, star of the San Diego Chargers, also limped from
his team's opening game with a foot injury recently - which he quickly
brushed off as 'turf toe.' But how many athletes in fall sports, like
football, take these types of injuries too lightly?

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), both professional and amateur athletes
are at an extremely high risk for injuring their lower limbs during
play. Whether performing hairpin turns on artificial turf or taking
part in a powerful, high-speed collision with other players, foot and
ankle injury risks for athletes run rampant - and participating in a
favorite sport should always involve playing it safe.

"Stress fractures of the foot, ankle sprains and ligament injuries
are all, unfortunately, quite common in popular fall sports such as
football," said Dr. David Davidson, APMA member and podiatric medical
consultant for the Buffalo Bills of the NFL. "From maintaining proper
conditioning to wearing sport-specific footwear, athletes can function
at peak performance much more often when constantly maintaining high
levels of footcare safety."

The most common acute injuries in fall sports
as well as treatments and preventative tips recommended by the APMA:

• Sprains - Hard sprinting often leads to stretched or torn ligaments,
also known as sprains. Severe sprains may also cause ankle swelling,
much like a fracture.

Treatment - Sprains that don't show improvement in three days should be
seen by a podiatric physician immediately. Possible casting,
immobilization and a rehabilitation regimen may all be prescribed.

Tips to Avoid Them - Take part in proper warm-up exercises before and
after home workouts, practice and games. Spend five to 10 minutes
stretching, holding and relaxing muscles.

• Fractures - Fractures occur when a bone has been broken.

Treatment - Casting, and sometimes even surgery performed by a
podiatric surgeon, is required to properly immobilize fractures and set
breaks. Ten to 12 weeks are usually required for rehabilitation.

Tips to Avoid Them - Look for sport-specific footwear that contains
extra padding in cleated shoes, which helps to prevent stress fractures
- incomplete fractures in bones are typically caused by overuse.

• Turf Toe - Named for the playing field on which it is common, turf
toe is a painful hyperextension of the big toe joint. While competing
on artificial turf is the leading cause of this condition, it can also
occur on natural surfaces such as grass.

Treatment - Turf toe treatment usually includes the 'RICE' regimen, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Tips to Avoid It - Wearing a stiffer shoe can prevent aggravating this
injury further. Customized foot orthotics may also be worn during play
to protect against turf toe.

No comments: