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By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
March 21, 2018
Category: sports injuries

How’s your bracket doing this March Madness? Have your winning teams inspired you to hit the court and shoot some hoops? Basketball is a great way to keep your body active and healthy, but without taking the proper precautionary steps, it can also be a dangerous sport! Repeated running and jumping on a court can put a lot of stress on your feet and ankles, causing great injury and putting you on the sideline for weeks.

Here are some common sports injuries associated with basketball and how to avoid them:

  • Ankle Sprains

Ankle Sprains are quite common in basketball. A sprain happens when your foot rolls or bends unnaturally and stretches or even tears one or more ligament. You’ll know your ankle is sprained if it’s very painful to walk on and if there’s swelling or bruising.

Treatment: Ankle sprains need a lot of rest, plus ice to reduce the swelling. Bandages may also be used to hold the ankle in place while it heals. A serious injury might require surgery.

Prevention: Stretching is a must before the big game. Making sure your body is limber and ready to go is necessary. Well-fitting shoes made for basketball are also good for prevention.

  • Plantar Fasciitis

The repeated stress from landing on your feet can cause stress on your heels, often leading to injuries like plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis, or heel spurs, occurs when the plantar fascia, the ligament connecting your heel to the front of the foot, becomes inflamed. This inflammation is accompanied by pain when you walk.

Treatment: Plantar fasciitis is often treated conservatively with rest, ice, stretching, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medication (please talk to your physician before taking medication). In recurring, persistent cases, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT) is used for treatment.

Prevention: Calf stretches before hitting the court can be helpful for preventing plantar fasciitis. Orthotic inserts can also cushion the blow of hard jumps.

  • Achilles tendonitis

Your Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body and can withstand forces of over 1,000 pounds. It is also one of the most vulnerable to rupturing. Achilles tendonitis occurs in professional and casual athletes from overuse and inflammation of the tendon. Achilles tendonitis comes with pain after exercise, mild swelling, tenderness about an inch above the Achilles, or sluggishness in your leg.

Treatment: Constrictive bandages are used to limit motion of the tendon. Rest and low impact exercises, such as swimming, are encouraged. Orthotics can also help ease the pain quite a bit.

Prevention: You might be noticing a trend here, but stretching is a necessity to prevent Achilles tendonitis. Also, knowing your limits and knowing when to take a rest are both important.

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