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5 Great Strategies for Protecting Your Feet and Ankle From Sports Injuries

Did you know that a whopping 30,000 people sprain their ankles daily in the United States? Or that plantar fasciitis sends two million Americans to the doctor each year? These are just two of the more common foot and ankle injuries that tend to favor active people.

Our team here at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle wants you to be active, which is why we offer dedicated sports injury services

While we can expertly treat your sports injury, we also want to help you avoid them. To that end, we’ve pulled together some great strategies for protecting your feet and ankles while you play sports.

1. Ease into a new activity

One of the best moves you can make for your lower limbs is to ease into any new activity. For example, if you want to try pickleball, by all means, get out on the courts for an hour or so, but remember that there will be new stresses on your feet and ankles. So, don’t stay on those courts for hours on end until you acclimate.

This same concept holds true for any change in your activity. Instead of increasing your daily run from three to five miles from one day to the next, try gradually increasing your run by a half mile each day.

The gradual increase or change in activity allows your feet and ankles time to rebalance and strengthen and helps you avoid issues like plantar fasciitis.

2. Stretch those calf muscles

Just as you warm up and stretch large muscle groups like your hamstrings or quads, do the same for your calf muscles. Tight calf muscles can lead to issues like Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and general foot pain.

So, keep your calf muscles loose and long with daily stretches — click on this link for some great calf stretching ideas.

3. Seek help right away for foot and ankle pain

If you’re experiencing foot or ankle pain, we want you to come see us as soon as possible. Small stress fractures can become larger if they’re not identified and treated, and sprained ankles can lead to ongoing problems without early and prompt treatment. In fact, up to 40% of ankle sprains develop chronic symptoms. 

If you’re an athlete, you don’t like being sidelined by major foot and ankle issues, which means seeking help at the first signs of trouble.

4. Provide extra support with orthotics

When you're active, you’re asking more of your feet and ankles, so we suggest scheduling an appointment to have us outfit you with custom orthotics. Not only are these inserts molded to your feet to promote better balance, but we can also add extra support according to your activity levels.

5. Make sure the shoe fits

Lastly, it’s important that you get the proper shoes. For example, you want to play basketball with shoes that provide ankle support and run around in shoes that fit snugly and offer excellent stability.

Our point is that you should spend some time shopping for shoes and ensure they support your feet. Wear them around for a little bit and practice jumping, pivoting, or changing directions to ensure your feet and ankles are fully supported.

A significant part of sports medicine is avoiding injury. We’re happy to sit down with you to review more ways to keep your feet and ankles protected as you play sports.

To get started, contact one of the 13 locations in Tennessee closest to you to schedule an appointment with one of our sports injury specialists.

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