Sports Injuries Lineup

The best sports and physical activities are those that challenge the body and spirit in a healthy way. Whether the rival is another player, another team, or simply your own personal records, the goal to perform at your best is a worthy one. It’s not always glory out there, though. Sometimes we can become overzealous and push our bodies too far, or we simply have an accident that causes trauma to our foot or ankle. When sports injuries happen, you can rely on us to help you get back in playing form.

The Wide World of Sports Injuries

A variety of injuries fall beneath the umbrella of sports-related injuries, but they tend to stem from a few certain causes. The force from a fall or hard hit is likely the most common cause, but others are a bit more gradual. Many injuries happen when we push our bodies too hard, too quickly, not giving our muscles, tendons, and bones enough opportunity to adjust to the demands of the activity. Those who only play on weekends and decide to give it their all can suffer in this manner. Using the wrong equipment, such as improper shoes, or the wrong technique can also be a culprit.

Here are a few of the injuries we tend to see from athletes:

Plantar Fasciitis – One of the most common causes of heel pain, this inflammation of the band of tissue beneath the foot can be traced to abnormalities in foot structure or wearing non-supportive shoes.

Achilles Tendon Problems – This important tendon that runs down the back of the lower leg can become inflamed or tear. Athletes tend to be at a higher risk of Achilles injuries, especially if their activities are repetitive.

Ankle Sprains – A common injury on the fields, a sprain should still receive the attention of a foot and ankle specialist. Sprains that do not heal correctly result in damaged ligaments, increasing the risk of the ankle becoming unstable and more sprains happening in the future.

Fractures – Fractures come in two general forms: the “full break” of a bone in the foot or ankle, or stress fractures, small cracks that can appear on the surface of the bone. The latter is common in runners, gymnasts, and dancers, and will only grow worse over time without treatment.

Morton’s Neuroma – When a nerve in the ball of the foot is consistently compressed and irritated, the nerve tissue will thicken, resulting in a neuroma. Pain will often come on gradually, and may wax and wane based on activity.

A Game Plan for Treatment

Sports injury treatment largely depends on the type and severity of injury sustained, but most cases will involve resting from or a reduction in the activity that caused it. For milder conditions, rest and immobilization may often be enough, along with some medication to decrease pain and inflammation. Crutches, a boot, or a cast may be needed in some cases, and the length of time they must be used can vary. In severe cases, surgery might have to be considered to repair ligaments, tendons, or bones.

The best defense against suffering a sports-related injury is to practice sound technique and listen to your body. When starting out in an activity, begin slowly and gradually build yourself up to the level at which you wish to be. Use the right equipment and learn how to perform the motions correctly. Also, if something starts to hurt, stop! “Pushing through” is only going to increase the risk of further damage and future problems.

If you need sports injury treatment or would like more expert advice on what you can do to prevent sports injuries in the first place, contact Dr. Gregg Neibauer and the staff of Alpine Foot & Ankle Clinic. We are happy to help athletes of all types be their best without sacrificing comfort or mobility in the future. Call (406) 721-4007 to schedule an appointment at our Missoula office.

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