Although the Rio Olympics are officially over, there is no doubt that people are still feeling the overwhelming inspiration, pride, and courage that the Olympic athletes brought to people all over the world. Behind the happiness, joy, and positive experiences that comes from making it to the Olympics lie many years of hardship, training, and injuries.
The most common foot and ankle injuries that afflict Olympic athletes are:
Sprains result when the ligaments around the ankle joint are overstretched or injured as a result of excessive force. They can cause pain, bruising, and swelling.
The most common tendinitis affects the Achilles tendon, the large tendon connecting the calf muscles and heel bone. When the Achilles is overused, inflammation and injury can occur to cause pain and even calcification.
Although severe fractures like French gymnast Samid Ait Said’s can occur, they can also result from prolonged stress on the bones. Cracks or severe bruising in the bone are common in sports with repetitive motions.
You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to experience these injuries so follow these tips to maintain healthy, strong feet and ankles:
- Have proper athletic shoes that offer the support you need based on each sport you participate in.
- Use custom orthotics to support your feet and compensate for any abnormal foot mechanics.
- Perform stretching and strengthening exercises to promote balance, flexibility, and strength in your ankles and feet.
- Prepare yourself by gradually increasing the intensity of activities.
- See a podiatrist if you notice any pain or discomfort.
Whether you are training to be in future Olympics or participate in sports just for fun, it is important to consult with a podiatrist to treat and minimize injuries. At Your Next Step, you have a team of podiatrists, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, who are dedicated to improving your foot health. Sports injuries, bunions, hammertoes, nail fungus, and arthritis are just some of the conditions they treat. Contact us to schedule an appointment at our locations in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown!