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Posts for tag: football injuries

Not everyone loves college football, but if you’re from Ohio, it’s a requirement to cheer our teams on and no team keeps us excited about football like the Ohio State Buckeyes. Only two short days from now (Saturday the 2nd) they will face off with Wisconsin in a battle for the Big 10 Championship title. Of course this means we want our players performing at their very best which starts with the health of their feet.

There are 26 bones in each of your feet. These are held together by 33 joints and over 100 ligaments, tendons, and muscles. That’s a grand total of 159+ things to worry about in the foot and ankle alone. Any one (or a number) of these things can be damaged by the repetitive motions found in football. Hundreds of punts each practice is a lot of impact on the same area of the foot. Running plays with long throws to wide receivers means a lot of running that day and a lot of heavy impact on the feet. Not to mention the direct impact a player’s feet could take from a cleat stomping down on it. All of these repetitive motions can lead to stress injuries. If treated properly and give rest, these injuries can heal, but if left untreated, they can lead to permanent disability.

Signs of a Repetitive Stress Injury

These injuries begin gradually with minor aches and pains during activity. This may lead to tingling, numbness, throbbing, tenderness, or weakness in the affected area during or after practice. If left untreated, the severity of the symptoms will increase and the pain will last for longer periods of time. This can cause a chronic condition and take you out of the game permanently.

 

Treatment for a Repetitive Stress Injury

The best treatment for these injuries is rest. Remove the action that is causing the stress and the injury can heal. If you catch this quickly enough, you may only have to rest for a day before you’re back to the playing field, but all too often, players push themselves through the pain and end up with extended recovery times of weeks or even months after ignoring the early warning signs of injury. The specific treatment you receive will depend on the diagnosis at the root of your injury. It could be a muscle, a tendon, a bone, your nerves, or any number of easily damaged spots. Regardless, pain means something is wrong and you need to be evaluated by your podiatrist. It doesn’t matter if you’re the quarterback of the Ohio State Buckeyes or just starting out on the local youth football team, your foot health is important to keep you in the game and pain and injury free.

The College Football National Championship is just 4 days away and as the Clemson Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide duke it out in Tampa, I wonder how many of those fans really know why the game they are watching is called football. After all, there is an average of only 14 times the ball ever contacts the foot in a game.

Have you ever wondered? As many interesting American words began, the origins of the term football lead us back to 19th century England. Colleges during that time played a variety of sports involving inflated balls, running, kicking, carrying, etc. Each school had their own version and it could be difficult to distinguish between the subtle variations. Eventually, (around 1805) the first modern rules of football were officially written down. The umbrella term for these games was deemed football since all the games were played on foot.

The larger schools, Such as Eton College and Rugby College, popularized their versions and turned them into what we know today as Association football (Soccer—to Americans) and Rugby football. Other variations of these games became Australian rules football, Gaelic football, international football, and our definite favorite – Gridiron football (known also as North American football). Each of these is called a football code since each has their own code of rules and regulations for play.

Whether you are heading South for the game or maybe just watching it on TV with your friends, tell someone next to you what you learned and maybe you will impress them with your newfound knowledge.

Happy New Year!

 

        There will be two types of people this upcoming Sunday, those who watch the Super Bowl and those who play in the Super Bowl. Both groups should be majorly concerned about their feet. No matter how much I would love to believe that the Seattle Seahawks or New England Patriots read this blog, I’m not holding my breath, so let’s look at foot pain from the point of our sports spectators.

Football stadiums are designed to hold tens of thousands of people. The University of Phoenix Stadium (where the 2015 Super Bowl will be played) holds 63,400 seats, with the option for expansion of temporary seating to 72,200 seats. Maybe, it’s the small size of the seats or perhaps it’s the hard materials that make the seats uncomfortable, but the majority of people will spend the game standing rather than sitting. Standing for long periods of time, like the average 3 hours and 35 minutes of a professional football game, can cause or aggravate many foot problems.

STANDING

Foot health problems that can arise from standing too long will not simply occur from standing for the length of one football game. However, millions of Americans work on their feet all day and already have foot pain or problems that can be further irritated by more standing. First and foremost, pick the right shoes! It may seem logical to wear flat shoes, but having a heel of about ¼ inch can help support the foot properly. So can the proper arch support. For people with low or flat arches, shoe inserts can “bump up” the arch and provide stability. Arch support reduces weakness and soreness in the legs and feet. Gel, foam, or plastic insoles provide extra cushioning which can make standing for long hours much more comfortable. Anti-fatigue insoles are also available and work by combining the properties of arch-support, extra padding, and moisture management.

Shoe size is a big factor in foot comfort. When picking your shoes for the big game, make sure they have room for expansion. Hours of standing can result in swollen feet. The soles of your shoes should give sold footing and not slip. Thick soles provide extra cushion while walking or standing on hard surfaces. Athletic shoes are a great choice because different pairs are designed to alleviate specific ailments such as fallen arches, high arches, wide feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions, thinning heel pads, and more. Good shoes should also be lightweight and aerated. There is no reason to put up with foot discomfort when so many good shoes options are available.

One easy way to keep your feet from hurting at the big game is to stretch them. Flex and point your feet at regular intervals. Raise, stretch, and curl your toes for five seconds. Bend your leg back at the knee and place your foot on the seat of your chair to stretch your quadriceps. Give your calves a stretch by placing the ball of your foot on the back of the chair in front of you. Keep your heel on the ground and lean into it lightly. Keep blood flowing to the feet and ankles by periodically lifting each foot and writing out the letters of the alphabet with your toe. There are hundreds of stretches you can do mindlessly while putting all your energy into cheering on your team.

SITTING

Most of us are not lucky enough to watch the big game at the stadium so we do so on our televisions (which, let’s face it, is so much better because we get to see the commercials). You may think you have it better than those standing for hours on end at the game, but sitting for three or more hours can also worsen foot problems.

Sitting in one position for too long causes swelling in the feet and ankles. Movement is important. If you sit with your legs crossed, reverse or uncross them every so often. Get up and walk around during the game. I’m not suggesting that you make a visit to the kitchen or buffet table each commercial break. That certainly isn’t the best for your health, but walking around the couch several times will keep your feet healthier. If you can, grab the recliner chair or the footstool and elevate your legs. This reduces swelling.

However you decide to watch the 2015 Super Bowl, make sure that you don’t neglect your feet. Without proper foot care, the players wouldn’t be able to run down the field to make the touchdown. Same goes for you as a spectator. Reaching down to rub those aching feet might mean missing the game changing play. Wear the right shoes, stretch periodically, and elevate and ice your feet when you get home. Doing so will ensure that your feet remain healthy and happy for many Super Bowls to come.