It’s autumn once again. And time for enjoying some rousing games of football. Whether you’re a high school, college, pro, or recreational player, football can be rough on your body, especially your feet and ankles. The tackles, falls, and quick movements on your feet can cause a variety of injuries. Therefore, it’s important to take preventative action before an injury takes you out of the game.
Common Football Foot Injuries
Athletes tend to play their hardest on the field, and they may ignore the warning signs that can lead to foot and ankle injuries. But playing on an injured foot or ankle can worsen the condition, leading to a delay in the healing process. Some common foot and ankle conditions that athletes should watch for include:
The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. Normally, the plantar fascia works to maintain the arch of your foot when walking or running. However, if your foot moves incorrectly, the plantar fascia can become irritated, causing pain and inflammation. You can also develop plantar fasciitis if your football cleats don’t have enough padding.
Treatment involves resting your foot. Additionally, icing your heel, stretching, night splints, and custom foot orthotics, like the ezWalker® Performance Insole, may be prescribed by your doctor.
Turf toe is the painful hyperextension of the big toe or the tearing of the capsule that surrounds the joint at the base of the big toe. It’s a common injury when playing on hard surfaces such as artificial turf, hence its name. But it can also occur on natural surfaces, like grass, when a player jams their toe on the ground during running or jumping.
Treatment involves the “RICE” regimen – which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. The toe is taped and motion is limited by using graphite toe plates. Turf toe can be debilitating and may take up to a month for recovery.
Sprains are stretched or torn ligaments; while strains are stretched or torn muscles and tendons. These types of injuries are caused by hard sprinting and the quick turning movements of your feet during practices or games, as well as the impact to your body when your foot is in a set position during a tackle. Severe sprains can cause significant swelling and bruising.
Treatment involves the RICE regimen. If improvement is not seen in three days, you should see your doctor. You may require a cast or immobilization and a rehabilitation program.
Achilles tendinitis is the painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which runs from the ankle to the heel. It is caused by all the running, pounding, and tackling that takes place during the game. Over time, the fibers in the tendon can tear and stretch causing pain and swelling. If it’s left untreated, the tendon can rupture.
Treatment of Achilles tendinitis includes resting and protecting the foot, applying ice packs, and taking anti-inflammatory medications, like Ibuprofen. If the symptoms persist, then you may need cortisone injections to reduce inflammation.
Stay in the Game with Proper Prevention
In order to prevent these common football injuries, you should always stretch and warm up your muscles prior to every practice and game.
Also, you should wear the appropriate cleats for your position to reduce your risk of injury. Low cleats are light and provide maneuverability for quarterbacks. However, they also provide minimal support to your foot and ankle. Mid-top cleats provide support while allowing you to move quickly from side to side, so these cleats are often worn by wide receivers and running backs. High-top cleats are heavier shoes that provide the most support, but they also reduce your ability for quick movement. These shoes are mainly worn by linemen. Regardless of the type of cleats you wear, you should always make sure they fit properly and are comfortable.
Another solution to these and other foot conditions is to wear a custom orthotic, like the ezWalker® Performance Insole. These insoles are designed to comfortably keep your feet in a proper biomechanical position, providing you with the greatest support and shock absorbency possible. During practices and games, the balls of your feet, your arches, and your ankles endure abnormal weight and pressure from running on uneven surfaces, stopping suddenly, and making quick changes in direction. The ezWalker® redistributes this weight and pressure evenly across your entire foot. It reduces foot pain and helps to prevent injuries of the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.
The ezWalker® insole is ultra thin and ¾ in length, so it easily transfers from your everyday shoes to your cleats – saving you time and money. So, you’ll have custom comfort on and off the field. Order your ezWalker® insoles today.
The ezWalker® by WalkEz is a touchdown in foot pain relief. So, remember … when your feet feel good, your game is good.