Gymnastics is one of the most demanding of sporting endeavors that requires discipline, dedication, and strenuous preparation in order to be ready for competition. Foot deformities and injuries occur in young gymnasts quite frequently, with thousands of podiatrist visits documented each year. Many of these injuries are due to accidents, however, a much larger number of them can be prevented with some proactive measures.
Gymnasts are particularly likely to suffer these injuries:
- Acute and stress-related bone fractures—Sudden pressure can cause a bone to crack or completely break. Another type of fracture caused by repetitive motion is the stress fracture. These occur over time and frequently affect the metatarsal bones in the toes and be difficult to treat.
- Sprained ankles—A rolling of the ankle is a frequent occurrence in gymnastic training and competition, and the result can be that the ligaments and tendons are stressed excessively causing severe pain, swelling and bruising.
- Muscle trauma—Overly stressed ligaments and tendons can cause a variety of complications, including muscle strain, which is a major cause of trouble with gymnasts.
How to prevent these types of injuries:
- Safety measures—Specially designed footwear, safety harnesses, and custom orthotic shoe inserts and padding devices may be used to prevent and treat injuries.
- Warm-ups—Stretching and warming up is crucial to preventing injury and should always be done before training and competitions.
- Regular check-ups—Have regular examinations with your podiatrist to catch problems before they worsen.
While common gymnastic injuries can often be avoided with proper care and diligence, seek the care of your podiatrist when foot injuries and deformities do occur. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.