Athletes at all levels are at risk of developing injuries that require the attention of foot and ankle doctors. When you train, your focus is on improving your fitness and performance. Intensive sessions and competitive environments can lead to strains and even some more severe injuries that can be diagnosed by a podiatrist Boynton Beach.
Pain and inflammation are two of the most common indicators that suggest you’ve suffered an injury, but it’s important to know when you need rest, or when you should schedule an appointment at a local clinic.
Take the time to understand common sports injuries, the symptoms they present, and how you will know when it’s time to seek treatment.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It stretches from the bottom of your foot to the lower end of your calf muscle. This tendon is highly active when running, pivoting, jumping, and stopping/starting.
Achilles tendonitis is a common condition suffered by people engaged in sports and intense physical activity.
You may have developed this condition if you are suffering:
- Pain and swelling at the back of the heel.
- A limited range of motion when moving your foot.
- Heat around the heel.
- General tenderness from the bottom of your calf to the bottom of your heel.
Minor tendonitis can be treated with rest, elevation, anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy that
strengthens and reconditions the tendon.
In more severe cases, an Achilles tendon rupture can occur. With this injury, the tendon completely disconnects between the calf and heel. You will lose motion in your foot and suffer immediate and unbearable pain. Surgery will usually be required to reattach the tendon, which will be followed by rehabilitation before you can get back to regular training.
If you have severe heel pain, a loss of mobility, or a loss of function in your foot or heel, it’s time to visit a podiatrist Boynton Beach. Achilles tendon injuries should not be ignored, as delaying treatment can reduce the likelihood of a full recovery.
Athletes are susceptible to developing stress fractures in the weight-bearing bones of the foot and lower leg. These fractures are the result of overuse and are common for people who engage in sports or activities that involve running and jumping.
Identifying symptoms is relatively easy, because they will be particularly hard to ignore. If you’ve suffered a minor fracture, you will feel:
- Pain and weakness around a localized area of the foot or ankle.
- Pain when exercising that doesn’t subside after rest.
- Mild swelling.
- Redness and tenderness around the foot or ankle.
A foot and ankle doctor Boynton Beach can diagnose a stress fracture with physical examination and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). An MRI creates detailed images of bones and tissues, allowing a podiatrist to pinpoint the location of the fracture.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, and they don’t subside with anti-inflammatory drugs and rest, it’s time to visit a podiatrist. Stress fractures can worsen over time and decrease your performance. Without treatment, the symptoms and underlying problem can become progressively worse, potentially leading to long term damage that is difficult to recover from.
Bracing, a splint, or a cast may be used to immobilize the foot and ankle and allow for healing. Physical therapy may be needed, with most healthy athletes able to begin weight bearing on the affected foot two weeks after the fracture develops. Weight on the foot helps to promote healing, but full activity may not be possible for several weeks.
Each case is unique, depending on the severity of the injury. Your foot and ankle doctor Boynton Beach will develop an effective treatment and recovery plan that gets you back to competition strength.
Occasional heel pain is common, but if you are suffering ongoing pain, it could indicate plantar fasciitis. This condition develops when the tissue at the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. It can develop over time and is usually the result of a sudden and intense ramp-up in running or walking activity. It can also develop if you often train without properly fitted footwear.
You’ll know it’s time to visit your foot and ankle doctor Boynton Beach if:
- You experience pain when placing weight on your heel.
- The pain is constant, even when you’re not moving.
- You have been experiencing pain for over a week, and anti-inflammatory painkillers aren’t working.
Treatment can vary depending on the extent of the injury. In some cases, immediate pain relief administered by a doctor, and follow-up physical therapy and rest could be enough to allow the foot to heal. In others, surgery may be required. Surgery involves severing a section of the plantar fascia ligament to relieve tension and pain.
Visit a Local Podiatrist Boynton Beach for Sports Injury Diagnosis and Treatment
If physical activity is a major component of your lifestyle or even your career, you will want the best possible treatment and recovery.
The Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center is your local podiatrist Boynton Beach. Dr. Jason Gold is a foot and ankle specialist with an extensive history in sports medicine. He’s helped countless active people and athletes in South Florida to overcome their injuries and get back to the activities they love.
Don’t wait for symptoms to progress. Contact the Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center today to schedule your appointment.