In almost all sports we see a movement that results in an increased amount of force and pressure on the foot, ankle, and lower leg. If you are not careful such movements can result in a wide variety of injuries to this area. There tend to be three possible causes of lower leg injuries in sports that we see as podiatrists:
- Overuse injuries caused by repetitive stress on tendons and joints, often as a result of poor training techniques.
- Biomechanical injuries caused by your movement techniques. Biomechanical issues are often seen in running, walking, jumping, etc. and can make overuse injuries worse.
- Trauma related injuries, such as a lateral ankle sprain.
We all know how important playing sport is for both physical and mental health. At TFC Podiatry our Podiatrists all have experience in sports, such as AFL, basketball, running, cycling and cricket. We understand the importance of sport in lifestyle and know how keen you are to get back out there following an injury.
Risk factors for lower leg injuries in sports
- Reduced efficiency in foot mechanics. Having an overly pronated or overly supinated foot posture in gait may add extra stress to certain tissues in the foot and ankle, resulting in a higher chance of injury.
- Inadequate footwear for your specific sport may increase the chances of injury, particularly if your footwear does not suit your foot posture, activity type, weight and foot size. This is common in football boots, basketball shoes, running shoes and cycling shoes.
- Poor training patterns and excessive training overload greatly increases the chance of developing overload injuries, particularly in tendons within the leg.
- Having a previous history of injury may put you at a higher risk of reinjury due to an increase in scar tissue present.
- Poor conditioning prior to the start of a season could put you at an increase of injury due to having to play ‘catchup’ on your fitness.
How can a podiatrist help?
A podiatrist is trained in identifying multiple sports-related injuries and getting you back on the right pathway to achieve your sporting goals. Podiatric treatment may include:
- Conducting a thorough biomechanical assessment and gait analysis to identify any biomechanical abnormalities that may be contributing to your injury and developing adequate intervention when necessary. Potential interventions to adjust foot biomechanics may include strapping/padding, prescribing foot orthoses and strengthening specific muscle groups.
- Managing existing injuries which may involve developing a personalised rehabilitation program and correcting training techniques paired with soft tissue therapy. Soft tissue therapy may include dry needling shockwave therapy and massage.
- Providing footwear education tailored to your specific foot posture and sport.
- Fitting you for custom foot orthoses when required in order to reduce muscle, tendon and ligament strain as well as make your foot biomechanics run as efficiently as possible.
If you would like to get back to your sport as soon as possible and think you may benefit from a podiatry appointment feel free to book in with us online or call 8375 2062 (Point Cook) or 9191 0117 (Yarraville).