Whether you participate in sports as a hobby or a career, there is always the possibility that you could hurt your foot, ankle or lower limb when playing. Sports podiatrists specialise in the treatment of injuries sustained on the foot, ankle and lower limb. Because all sportspeople are potential candidates for sports podiatric treatment, it is important that you be aware of the various treatment options available. Here are a few common ones you should learn about.
Orthotics are basically arch supports specially made to restore balance, alleviate pain, provide support and help distribute weight more uniformly underfoot. There are two basic types of orthotics: prefabricated orthotics and custom orthotics. Prefabricated orthotics work well for most people and come at a lower cost compared to custom orthotics. These mass-produced orthotics can be recommended by a podiatrist, but purchased from various outlets, ranging from retail shoe stores to sports merchandise shops to pharmacies and even online. Both prefabricated and custom orthotics perform the same function except that the latter is considered to be more effective.
Here, sports podiatrists perform a combination of movement training and physical exercises, focusing on the injured area to help restore the patient's foot, ankle or lower limbs back to normal functioning. One of the most common techniques used in physical therapy is massage therapy, where the podiatrist applies gentle pressure on the injured part to relieve pain and reduce muscle tensions. It may take time before the results of this sort of treatment can be seen, so it pays to be patient and to trust in the capabilities of your podiatrist.
Sometimes, podiatric treatment simply involves recommending the right shoes for the injured sportsperson. This is especially so when foot and foot-related problems arise because the sportsperson failed to wear the right shoes for their particular sports. For those complaining of mild foot pain because they used the wrong shoes when participating in a certain sporting activity, for example, the podiatrist may recommend the right footwear for them. Do not assume it is okay to use your rugby boots to play soccer, or vice versa – put on sports-specific footwear before taking part in any sport.
Before deciding on the best podiatric treatment for your problem, your podiatrist will first assess and analyse your needs. If you stick to the podiatrist's instructions when you are undergoing treatment, chances are high you will be back to your sporty self before you know it!Share
26 January 2017
My son has always been an eager athletics competitor. He loves to run and jump, and especially loves to be the winner. He has been getting a lot of foot pain recently, and I wasn't sure if it was due to growing pains or if he'd been exercising too much. Luckily we found a great pediatric podiatrist who has been able to help him treat the pain and get some new foot inserts and shoes so that he doesn't keep having issues. This blog is all about podiatry for children and should be great for other parents with active kids.