Sports injuries affecting your feet are categorized as acute or repeated trauma injuries. An acute injury involves a sudden impact or force striking the foot that causes some kind of bone and/or tissue damage. Acute foot injuries happen frequently during a collision with another player. Overuse/repeated trauma foot injuries occur when an athlete engages in vigorous and repetitious activities, such as running or jumping, and sprains, strains or tears soft tissues in the foot.
Symptoms of Foot Sports Injuries
Recurring or chronic pain is the first sign you may have a foot injury. Other signs include:
- Swelling that may extend into the ankle
- Stiffness/inability to move foot without pain
- Weakness/feeling like your foot is unable to support you
- Stabbing pains shooting throughout the foot
- Inability to bend toes
- Abnormal shape to the foot (bent to one side, lack of arch where one previously existed)
While a mild strain or sprain should resolve itself within two or three days after applying RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), foot pain that does not diminish should be examined, diagnosed and treated before it worsens. Call Geaux Chiro today to schedule an appointment with our chiropractor if you are suffering foot pain.
Common Types of Athletic Foot Injuries
Stress fractures are very small (hairline) fractures damaging foot bones. Bones connecting the middle of your foot to your toes (metatarsals) frequently suffer stress fractures. Athletes making sudden turns or twists while running as hard as possible facilitate fractures of metatarsals. Involvement in tackles or having feet trampled on by other athletes while running cause stress fractures as well. Symptoms of stress fractures include pain worsening with time and swelling around the stress fracture.
Tendonitis/Peroneal Tendon Tears
Operating as ankle stabilizers and supporters, peroneal tendons are located outside of your ankles. These tendons help control ankle movement and are susceptible to injury when play football, soccer or other weight-bearing sport. Tendonitis of the peroneals may also affect ankles that have suffered previous and frequent sprains. If the foot and ankle are mechanically unsound but a particular musculoskeletal condition has not been detected, peroneal tendonitis is likely to occur, causing swelling of the affected foot and ankle. Athletes often use an ankle brace to alleviate stress on the tendon and to stabilize the ankle. Chiropractic treatment for peroneal tendon tears is much more extensive and promotes proper healing of damaged tendons.
Responsible for straightening and flexing the toes, extensor tendons extend over the top of the foot. Extensor tendonitis is typically caused by overexertion/overuse of your feet, fallen foot arches or muscle tightness in your calves. Athletes neglecting to perform warm-up exercises before playing sports may suffer from tight calf muscles and promote development of extensor tendonitis. Tiny tears in the extensor muscles may produce painful muscle spasms. Extensor tendonitis symptoms include pain, swelling and the inability to lift your toes upwards without experience weakness and pain.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
When the Achilles tendon in your foot is severely stretched, it could rupture (partially or completely tear). Pivoting, suddenly accelerating while running and jumping forcefully are common causes of an Achilles tendon rupture. Signs of an Achilles tendon rupture include calf pain, swelling near your heel, inability to bend your foot downward and hearing a snapping or popping sound at the time the rupture occurred.
Chiropractic Care for Sports Foot Injuries
Active Release Therapy (ART)
ART is a chiropractic treatment applied to soft tissues that have suffered trauma, adhesions and inflammation. Durt ART, your chiropractor manually applies shear, tensile and compressive forces to promote naturally healing of strain and repetitive trauma injuries. When a chiropractor uses ART on affected areas, patients are instructed to move injury sites from shortened to lengthier positions. This causes soft tissues to elongate so that a chiropractor can manipulate muscles ligaments and nerves underneath the contact point.
ART for sports foot injuries increases flexibility and range of motion, reduces the risk of future foot injuries involving a particular tendon, muscle or ligament and facilitates healing by enhancing blood flow to inflamed tissues.
For more serious foot injuries like ruptured tendons or stress fractures, chiropractors recommend active rehabilitation techniques after inflammation and pain have subsided. Geaux Chiropractic offers active rehabilitation based on principles of chiropractic to help alleviate pain, accelerate healing and stabilize your foot. Active rehab includes strengthening and stretching exercises guided by your chiropractor.
Self-treating foot injuries may worsen injuries by masking symptoms of an injury that is not yet healed. Call Geaux Chiro today to schedule an appointment for natural, effective treatment of sports foot injuries.