Moving is good. So when sports injuries to the feet and ankle threaten your comfort and mobility, they should always be addressed swiftly and properly to ensure you can get back to moving well again.
We provide comprehensive sports injury care for patients at all athletic levels, from conditioned pros to weekend warriors. It’s important that everyone receives the best treatment for a fast, thorough recovery that reduces risk of additional problems in the future.
How Sports Injuries Happen
Many types of sports injuries can occur to the feet and ankles, but they can generally be divided into two broad categories:
- Acute injuries. These tend to be the ankle sprains, fractures, and other injuries caused by a sudden impact or force.
- Overuse injuries. These injuries occur when the body is forced to endure more intense stresses than it is currently capable of withstanding. This can happen in a short frame of time (e.g. suddenly going all out when your body isn’t prepared for it) or can develop over a longer period of repetitive impacts (e.g. injuries developed as a result of long-distance running).
Sports injuries can be suddenly and severely painful, but they can also be a chronic pain you feel when getting out of bed or during/after a workout. Conditions we frequently see and treat include:
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Ankle Sprains
- Fractures (including stress fractures)
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Muscle Strains
Regardless of whatever condition may be causing you trouble, it is very important to not try to ignore it and push through your routines anyway. Failing to provide yourself the care your body needs can lead to an injury potentially healing improperly. That, in turn, can increase your chances of chronic pain, instability, and reinjury.
Treating Foot and Ankle Sports Injuries
Good sports injury treatment starts with you. When you feel pain – especially if it’s sudden – stop what you’re doing immediately and begin RICE therapy as soon as possible.
RICE therapy involves:
- Rest. Take weight off the affected foot or ankle.
- Ice. Apply an ice pack or other source of cold for 10-20 minutes, 3 or more times per day. Never apply a source of cold directly to the skin – always wrap it in a thin towel first.
- Compression. If you are comfortable doing so, wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage, making sure it is not too tight. (This can be skipped if you are not confident in wrapping your foot or ankle.)
- Elevation. Keep the injured area at or above the level of your heart whenever you sit or lie down.
Taking these steps for the first 48 hours after an acute injury can significantly reduce pain and swelling, and it can be helpful for many overuse injuries as well.
But if your symptoms don’t improve significantly within a day or two, or you’ve already been experiencing them for some time, please don’t hesitate to give us a call and come in for an evaluation.
Yuko Miyazaki, DPM is a specialist in foot and ankle structure and biomechanics. After a full examination and learning more about how your symptoms are affecting your life, a course of treatment can be recommended to get you back to action as quickly and as safely as possible – and help prevent other injuries from sidelining you in the future.
The vast majority of sports injuries can be effectively treated using conservative methods. Surgery is rarely needed, but we will always discuss all options with you and answer every question you may have before you make any decision on how to move forward with your care.
Don’t Wait on Getting the Sports Injury Care You Need
Let’s keep you moving – happily and healthily! Schedule an appointment at our Berkeley office by calling (510) 647-3744. You can also request an appointment using our online scheduler.