The winter sporting season is upon us again and higher training and playing loads are likely to increase the risk of soft tissue, contact and overuse injuries, especially in growing bodies. There are a multitude of ways to lower your risk of injury and it often begins at the feet.
Purchasing correctly fitting and game specific footwear can drastically reduce the risk of toe trauma such as ingrown nails and subungual haematomas. Footwear that is too tight, loose or unsuitable to the movements of the game can result in increased friction, blistering and painful callus build up.
Common injuries that may regularly occur as training loads increase include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and soft tissue strains. In youths, growing pains can become a familiar issue, Sever’s disease can become particularly common when training and playing loads ramp up. Sever’s disease affects the calcaneal apophysis (growth plate), due to excess load at the site, from lack of conditioning or individual biomechanical forces.
In regards to Sever’s disease, increasing range of motion through a thorough stretching regime is vital, however the primary cause is poor biomechanics, therefore supportive footwear or corrective adjustments may be required. ‘No pain – no gain’ does not apply to these conditions, and often load and training must be modified to allow healing to occur.
Prevention is always better than cure, so be sure to undertake a thorough stretching regime that includes both a warm-up and a warm-down stretching program to reduce your risk of injury. Ice and rest of an acute injury will aid rehabilitation and greatly increase return to activity, so be proactive in your post-game rehab if you sustain a trauma in play.
Also be sure to listen to your body, if you’re experiencing pain in the feet, ankles or legs don’t ignore it, there is likely an reasonable solution to your problem.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding your athletic footwear, any new or old aches and pains, the team at The Walking Clinic are only too happy to help.