With beautiful parks, hundreds of miles of interesting roads and trails, countless formal and informal athletic clubs and dance organizations, 12 major professional sports teams (including MLS and WNBA)—even the world’s top rated roller derby league!—there’s no shortage of opportunities for athletes and sports fans throughout the metropolitan area.
While we want you to live a healthy lifestyle, all that activity can unfortunately lead to injuries and other problems with your feet and ankles. At Massapequa Podiatry Associates, Dr. Corey Fox and his staff provide patients with the highest level of treatment and care for a wide range of injuries and problems.
Sports Injuries of the Ankle
The complex and relatively unprotected ankle joint often proves to be the weakest point of your lower limbs as far as injuries are concerned. As a result, ankle sprains are the most common athletic injury, while full blown fractures are also prevalent.
You should never underestimate a sprain: it’s always wise to get a professional evaluation and treatment, for two really important reasons. First, a severe sprain may be masking a more severe injury underneath—you’d be surprised how often people stumble into our office with a sprain that “just won’t heal” are shocked when we tell them they have a severe break. Second, frequent sprains (or even just one or two that don’t heal properly) can permanently weaken the supporting tendons and ligaments, leading to chronic issues with ankle stability.
Aching Achilles Tendons
Achilles tendon injuries can either be the result of repetitive stresses (such as going too hard at impact sports without adequately preparing your body for activity or giving yourself enough rest time between sessions) or a sudden, painful injury. They’re most common among middle-aged men—a time in life when the fibers of the tendon weaken and lose flexibility before you’re entirely ready to slow down—although they can happen to anyone.
A strained, inflamed tendon from repetitive stresses is called Achilles tendinitis or tendinopathy, and it’s usually treatable through conservative means; if the tendon ruptures partially or entirely, surgery may be recommended (although in some cases it may be dealt with non-invasively—there are pros and cons to each approach).
Talking Tiny Cracks—Stress Fractures
Not every broken bone is the result of a traumatic episode. Sometimes the repetitive stresses of high-impact sports eventually lead to tiny cracks in bone called stress fractures. This generally happens when fatigue in the soft tissues of your feet lose the ability to absorb shocks properly, transferring more of that pressure to the bones. Although stress fractures usually don’t require surgery, you’ll need a professional to coach you through conservative therapies and make sure you rest long enough for the bones to fully heal.
Other Common Sports Injuries We Treat
Our sports injury care doesn’t stop there! Some other problems we frequently address include:
- Black toenails: Blood pooling under the nail, often from running in shoes that are too tight.
- Shin splints: An overuse injury, common among runners, caused by painful inflammation of tissues on the inside of the shin.
- Turf toe: A ligament sprain located at the base of the big toe, usually from an overextension injury.
- Heel, arch, and forefoot pain: Sports participation may contribute to or aggravate painful conditions of the heels, arches, or forefoot, particularly those with pre-existing foot deformities or structural issues such as overpronation or flat feet. Specific conditions may include plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, and others.
If your feet, ankles, or lower limbs are aching as a result of athletic participation, it’s important not to simply push through the pain—or worse, give up athletic endeavors entirely! Be proactive and seek professional care; in many cases conservative treatment options (plus a little bit of rest) can help you overcome your discomfort, prevent future problems, and get back on the court, field, or trail as quickly as possible.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fox, please fill out our online contact form or give us a call at 516-541-9000.