Australians love their sport, both on and off the field. It’s estimated that 58% of adults and 69% of children participated in sport-related activities, with football the most popular club-based sport in Australia for adults and children combined.
Your feet get a battering at the best of times, but if you play a sport, they'll likely be calling out for a visit to the podiatrist.
Running, jumping and pounding subjects your feet to forces of up to fifteen times your bodyweight. A quarter of all your bones are located in your feet to support this weight, so it’s no wonder that high impact sports can result in foot injuries aplenty.
Foot pain from sport – why visit your podiatrist?
Because your feet are made for load bearing, any musculoskeletal injuries in this region can be complicated to manage effectively.
Podiatrists know how load and force impact your lower legs, and they understand how to get you back on your feet fast.
Your foot doctor will design a customised management plan to help you get back on the field as soon as possible while minimising any risk of future injury.
But how do you know when it’s time to see the podiatrist? Here’s our guide to foot pain from sports injuries that require professional intervention:
- You’ve got a painful big toe. You might be suffering from sesamoiditis – inflammation of the two small bones beneath the big toe joint. Commonly the result of jumping, lunging and pushing heavy weights, you'll generally feel worse after any physical activity. Get it seen to by a podiatrist promptly – you can experience long term damage if the sesamoids are fractured and are compromising normal blood flow.
- It hurts to walk in the morning. Plantar Fasciitis (essentially an inflammation of the plantar fascia or the tissue that joins your heel to your toes) is the result of overuse, poorly fitted footwear and/or muscle imbalances and misalignment. You'll feel it in the foot arch first, and it's worse when you wake up – those first few steps after you get out of bed can be incredibly painful. Plantar Fasciitis is a common injury for runners and jumpers. Rehabilitation is slow and will require a mixture of taping, ice-ing and exercises from your podiatrist.
- The top of your foot has swelled. If it’s painful to walk and you’ve got visible swelling, you could have a stress fracture. This is when tiny hairline fractures occur in your foot bones due to repetitive activities or an increase in training intensity – usually seen in one of the five metatarsals. If you have osteoporosis, you’re doubly at risk. You’ll need to see your podiatrist to check how long you’ll need to rest, but the good news is these will generally heal given time.
- Your toenail goes black. Playing sport with ill-fitting shoes can put such pressure on your big toe that it bleeds under the nail. This is usually a sign your shoes are too small or too big (that is, your foot keeps moving forward during activity). Podiatrists commonly see this problem in runners, hikers, skiers or tennis players and it can be somewhat painful – see your foot doctor to relieve the pressure under the nail and allow it to heal more quickly.
Recently we have had a lot of customers coming to visit us at our Armadale podiatry clinic for sports related injuries, which prompted us to upload this post to inform our customers that . Our team at the Armadale clinic have extensive experince in working with athletes to get them back on track. We cater to all kinds of sports and treat the root cause of your issue. If you have had a recent injury and something 'still isnt right' get in touch with us to discuss how we can help.