It’s time for March Madness, and we at Feet First Foot Care Specialists know that many of our Middlesex County patients and their children like to play basketball as well as watch. That’s why we want to share some information about basketball injuries. Basketball is exciting to watch due to its non-stop action—running, jumping, and quick changes of direction. All these same elements, however, can put a strain on several areas of your lower extremities.
Pounding up and down the court takes a toll on your heels. The repetitive impact can cause pain and swelling. It can also cause inflammation of the plantar fascia—a long band of tissue that connects your toes and heel bone. It results in heel pain and a condition called plantar fasciitis. For young players, ages 8-15, another condition may also develop. Known as Sever’s disease, it is an inflammation of the not fully formed growth plate at the back of the heel. Even if the heel pain is intermittent, it’s important to get it checked by our podiatrist, Dr. Adam Mucinskas, so it can be treated before it gets worse.
Landing wrong after a jump shot and rolling your ankle or a sudden change in direction that throws you off balance can cause an ankle sprain. The ligaments that surround your ankle get overstretched in a sprain and they can also tear or rupture. Signs of a sprain are pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty bearing weight on the injured foot. PRICE: Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are the first line of treatment until the podiatrist can evaluate the severity of the ankle injury.
A fracture at the base of the fifth metatarsal, known as a Jones Fracture, is a common basketball injury. Running and jumping create high impact pressure on the forefoot, which can also lead to stress fractures and overuse injuries in the ball of your foot areas such as sesamoiditis and metatarsalgia.
Potential injuries shouldn’t deter you from playing basketball, but being aware of vulnerable areas can help you protect them with proper footwear and techniques. If you experience any pain from basketball or another sport, don’t delay seeking treatment. Contact our Cromwell office for an appointment by calling: (860) 632-5499.