Sports-related foot injuries are common, and your feet and ankles can certainly take a beating.
Achilles Tendinitis: Achilles tendinitis occurs because of overuse and degeneration over time, which is often the case with sports. It affects the biggest tendon in the body, the Achilles tendon.
Plantar Fasciitis: This occurs when the plantar fascia, the band of tissues that supports your arch, absorbs too much stress. Tissues are strained from activities such as running and, when the tissues become inflamed, it can cause pain at the bottom of the heel. This is becoming an increasingly common condition and almost two million people are treated for it each year. Most people can recover without surgery, and with rest, ice, and physical therapy they can resume normal activity. Any exercises that can stretch the calves and feet are also recommended to reduce pain.
Stress Fractures: Those who participate in basketball, tennis, dance, gymnastics, and running are more likely to develop stress fractures in the foot and ankle because of the amount of stress that is placed on those areas of the body. Improper equipment and lack of technique or conditioning can also disrupt the foot mechanics and cause the stress fracture. When the impact is repeated, the bone and muscle can’t absorb the stress and a stress fracture can occur. It can happen anywhere in the foot or ankle.
Neuroma: This condition involves a pinched nerve in the foot and the symptom that people experience is pain between the toes while walking. There isn’t an exact cause, but those who overuse or stress the feet have been known to develop this condition. Other contributing factors include feet with high arches or flat feet, shoe style, and trauma. Any of these factors can cause inflammation, which can lead to a neuroma. Non-surgical treatment is often used for this condition.
Heel Spur: Athletes who have very flat feet or higher arches are more prone to heel spurs, which occur when a calcium deposit creates a bony protrusion on the heel bone. Other factors include running on hard surfaces, walking with stress on the heel, and improper footwear. Treatment is usually done non-surgically with physical therapy and orthotics.