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Posts for tag: sports injuries

If you see blood pooling underneath a toenail or fingernail that is accompanied by intense pain, you can have immediate relief from a podiatrist. This is called a subungual hematoma–subungual meaning “under” and hematoma meaning “blood.” When blood builds up between the nail plate and nail bed, it creates a painful and unsightly injury.

READ MORE: Finger and Toe Discoloration

Subungual hematomas can be caused in a few different ways. You might accidentally hit your nail or drop something on it. It could be the result of sudden contact in sports or the crushing of a nail when you slam your fingers in a door. This is also a common injury for runners and athletes who wear tight shoes that don’t leave enough room for the toes.

Due to the pressure caused by the buildup of blood, intense and throbbing pain are the most common symptoms of a subungual hematoma. This will always be accompanied by red or black discoloration visible under the nail plate. Subungual hematomas can also occur in conjunction with other injuries such as fractures, cuts, and bruising of the finger itself. Even without pain, if the discoloration covers more than 50% of the nail, seek medical assistance from your podiatrist.

READ MORE: Types of Broken Bones

Immediate relief of your pain is available with a single office visit. Your podiatrist will perform decompression, also known as trephination, to drain the blood and begin healing. After numbing the affected area, your doctor may use a cautery device to painlessly burn through the nail or the nail may be perforated by a large-gauge needle. Both methods will allow blood to drain, relieving pressure and pain. In severe cases with significant bleeding or injury to the nail plate, your podiatrist may choose to remove the nail to check for lacerations on the nail bed.

Podiatrists can treat injuries to the nails of the hands and the feet. If you have a subungual hematoma, call the Foot and Ankle Wellness Center today to get immediate relief for your pain!

Cycling is a great way to keep in shape while minimizing the impact on your feet and ankles, but that doesn’t mean there are no risks for your feet. All the energy you push through your legs is transferred directly into the bike through the bottoms of your feet. Arch pain, heel pain, and toe pain are all common complaints of cyclists. Luckily, just a few simple steps can help you avoid pain and injury and keep you going for miles to come.

Better Footwear

It should come as no surprise that your cycling shoes will affect your foot health. Shoes too tight or pointed in the toes can lead to issues such as bunions or hammertoes. There should be at least 1” of room between your toes and the front of the shoe. Just like all shoes, cycling shoes need to have arch support to avoid issues like plantar fasciitis. Sweat-wicking socks are strongly advised as sweaty feet can lead to fungal growth and athlete’s foot.

READ MORE: What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Seat Fitting

Your bike seat is at the proper height when your leg extends 80-90% of the way on the downward stroke of your pedal cycle. Knees should be directly under the hips in this extended position. Having your bicycle seat too low can put added pressure on the bottom of the foot and throw off the alignment of your hips and back. Improper seat height is usually felt in the knees, but pain can transfer downward to include calf pain and Achilles tightness. Seats that are too high put all the work on the toes to push the pedal down and back, straining the plantar fascia and leading to arch and heel pain.

Fitting Pedals

There are many types of pedals and each works for a different style of riding and cycling shoe. Your pedals should be fitted to the size of your shoe and position of the cleats. Small pedals can mean increased strain on a single part of the foot, exacerbating conditions such as Morton’s Neuroma. Wider or longer pedals will increase the surface area that your foot contacts, distributing pressure evenly.

READ MORE: Neuromas

Fitting Cleats

Cycling cleats should fit snug in the heel and wide around the forefoot. The cleat should place the ball of your foot (metatarsal arch) directly over the center of the pedal. Older-style clip-in pedals with toe cages are less adjustable and tend to place more of the forefoot over the pedal. Without proper alignment, your toes will end up doing all the pushing, putting extra strain on your plantar fascia.

Proper Pedaling

While riding a bike is easy, riding it properly is another story. Using the correct part of the foot during each push will help alleviate and prevent issues. Your forefoot (just behind the toes) should provide the majority of the energy for each push. There should be an angle of 20 degrees between your heel and the pedal, except during the forward part of your stroke when the angle decreases to less than 10 degrees. For leisure cycling, there should be even force used throughout the pedaling cycle. For competition racing, over 96% of your energy is expended on the downstroke.

READ MORE: Choosing The Right Shoes

Avoiding cycling injuries is easy when you maintain proper seat positioning, have the correct pedal and shoe size, and keep your pedaling stroke strong and even. If you have pain in your hips, knees, ankles, heels, or arches after a long ride (or especially after a short one!) come visit the FAAWC. We can help correct underlying conditions and suggest ways to protect your feet for miles to come.

Tennis is an incredibly popular sport in the United States with almost 18 million recreational and professional players. With new technology and advances, the ball is flying faster than ever before which means we have to be going faster to keep up. This puts additional strain and pressure on our already taxed feet which can leave us open to many types of tennis injuries.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are the most common tennis injury and can take a player out of the game for weeks or months at a time. Rapid changes in direction and jumping are two highest risk factors for ankle sprains and tennis has both. Ankle sprains happen when the ligaments of the ankle (most often the interior ligaments) are stretched or even torn due to unnatural movement of the ankle. Some players will wear an ankle brace on a weak ankle as a precaution. This is especially important if you have had prior ankle sprains as you have a higher reinjury risk.

Subungual Hematomas

You would recognize this injury as a pool of blood beneath your big toenail. The constant direction changes in tennis cause your feet to slide around inside your shoes. This can put undue pressure on the front of the toes and cause bruising beneath the nail. Your podiatrist can release the pressure and drain the blood in a single office visit. After bandaging, you can get back on the court, but if the nail needs to be removed, you might be out for a week or more.

Muscle Cramps

These occur mostly in the calf and foot. Cramps are caused by loss of blood flow due to dehydration. Staying hydrated, wearing appropriate sweat-wicking clothing, and stretching before exercise can all help avoid muscle cramps. If you cramp during a match, you must rest completely until you have rehydrated and stretched. If you don’t, you could lead yourself down a path to chronic injury.

Muscle Strains

Straining of the calf muscle is a common occurrence in tennis and can take a player out for weeks. Everyone has a dominant leg and usually it is just a bit stronger than the other. You may also have imbalanced muscle groups (such as your thighs being stronger than your calves) which can lead to injury. If you land on the wrong foot or use your weaker leg to push off for a move, you could cause micro-tears in the muscle. Over time, this can cause chronic issues. Rest and physical therapy are the best ways to overcome muscle strains.

READ MORE: Strain or Sprain?

Plantar Fasciitis

We talk about plantar fasciitis a lot because it is one of the most common causes of foot and heel pain. The plantar fascia, a band of tissue across the bottom of the foot, is used in every walking and running movement. When it is stretched or torn, it can cause intense pain. Wearing the right shoes with custom orthotics and stretching are great ways to avoid plantar fasciitis. If you experience heel pain, start with RICE and keep resting for longer than you normally would (a few weeks rather than a few days). If the issue does not resolve, you may need injections, tapings, casts, or even surgery. Resting now can avoid a longer recovery time later.

Achilles Tendonitis

Tendonitis can be acute, caused by a sudden increase in exercise, or it can be chronic, a prolonged injury that flares up over time. Either way, it isn’t something you want to deal with. Keep your Achilles and calf muscle loose with daily stretching and strengthening exercises. Limited mobility of the ankle and tightness when you point your toes are signs that your Achilles tendon is stiff and could be susceptible to injury. Wearing a heel lift, especially when you are off the court, can help relieve strain on the Achilles.

READ MORE: Achilles Tendon Ruptures

Heel Bruise

This injury is more common amongst older tennis players because their heel pads (the fatty cushioning under your heel) have worn down over time and there is no longer enough cushioning between your heel and the ground. This injury is easy to treat with rest, ice, and extra padding in your tennis shoes. Talk to your podiatrist about gel heel cups to soften the impact. You’ll also want to see your podiatrist to rule out heel fractures which can present with bruising.

 

Although there are a lot of potential risks in tennis, many of them are easy to avoid when you stretch, wear the proper shoes, and exercise caution with your running and jumping. If you are experiencing a tennis-related foot or ankle injury, come see the FAAWC. We have more experience at keeping athletes on the court and can help put you back in the game, not benched on the sidelines. Don’t give up the sport you love because of a simple injury. Come see us today.

 

 

 

 

Golf has often been called a good walk ruined, but golf involves so much more than walking. The demands of golf on your feet are like no other sport. During most activities, your feet are either moving forward in a steady gait or side-to-side with quick cuts and sudden direction changes. A golf swing is a unique blend of passive and active motions that both strain and twist the feet, causing a variety of problems.

Shin Splints

Shin splints occur when the stress of walking or running slowly tears muscle away from the bone. It is a painful condition that is all too often ignored. Shin splints can be brought on by starting with too much exercise too fast, changing from flat to hilly terrains, exercising without stretching, and playing in worn out or unsupportive shoes. Because bones, muscles, and ligaments are involved in this injury, it is important not to “play through the pain.” Give yourself a rest, use RICE at home, and if your shin splints return, come see a podiatrist immediately.

READ MORE: Don't Let Shin Splints Halt Your Exercise

Plantar Fasciitis

Characterized by heel and arch pain, plantar fasciitis is a condition affecting the band of tissue across the bottom of your foot that connects your toes to your heel and supports your arch. In other words, it’s important. Repeated stress on the plantar fascia may result in small ligament tears. Most people will experience this pain first thing in the morning as they are getting out of bed. Your podiatrist can create a custom plan with you that involves tapings, arch supports, stretches, and strengthening exercises.

READ MORE: What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and connects your heel to your calf muscle. It needs a certain degree of flexibility for an effective and proper golf swing. Repeating the same swing over and over again with a tight Achilles tendon can lead to damage and pain. Overuse injuries are the most common foot and ankle injuries in golf. Be sure to stretch before each game and wear supportive shoes.

Neuromas

If it feels like there’s a pebble constantly underfoot, you most likely have a Morton’s neuroma. This is caused by a thickening of the tissue around a nerve, usually between the third and fourth toes. Golfers may experience tingling, pain, or numbness in this area which can throw off balance and concentration. Wearing tight footwear that leaves little toe room can contribute to a neuroma.

READ MORE: Neuromas

Hallux Rigidus

Your balance can be thrown off significantly if you suffer from hallux rigidus, a stiffening of the big toe. At first, this may be minor, but as the condition worsens, you will experience pain, loss of balance, and even difficulty walking. After all, the big toe takes about 40% of the weight load when you walk and is the last part to push off from the ground. Non-surgical solutions are available if this condition is caught early. Wear properly fitting shoes and get to the podiatrist at the first sign of a stiff big toe.

Foot and ankle injuries in golf are more common than you know. Golfers who don’t stretch, don’t wear proper footwear, and don’t have a proper golf swing, could be putting themselves at risk of any number of foot ailments. Get training from a professional to ensure your golf swing isn’t damaging your feet.

Your child has been complaining about their heels hurting after [insert your child’s activity here] and you don’t know what’s really wrong. Pain relievers and rest seem to make it better, but activity flares it up again. This could be Sever’s Disease.

The name may sound ominous, but it’s a very treatable condition that occurs in children ages 8-15. With proper care and treatment, there will be no future side effectsIf your child is complaining of heel pain, particularly while running, walking, or jumping, they could be experiencing Sever’s.

READ MORE: Kids and Flat Feet

Feet do not stop growing until after you reach 14-16 years old. Until this time, the calcaneus (heel bone) is still forming. As bones develop, cartilage at the end of the heel transforms into bone cells until the heel is completely grown. For active children, this can present a problem since the end of the heel is still soft and prone to damage.

READ MORE: Do you Know What RICE is?

The best immediate answer to heel pain. Use of anti-inflammatory medications can help also, but it’s important to see a podiatrist. If the pain is severe or reoccurring, your child may need a foot cast for protection. In most cases, rest, stretching, avoiding running on hard surfaces, and other preventative measures can relieve symptoms and prevent them from returning. Most kids will resume normal activity within two weeks to two months.

If your child has been complaining of heel pain during or after activity, come see your podiatrist today. There’s no reason to live with pain.