Athletes depend on their bodies to perform.  And more specifically they depend on their feet.  Sometimes, though, the feet are so overworked they can’t always stay at their healthiest.  Our feet absorb the shock of walking, running, squatting, jumping, etc.!  They also provide the rigid surface from which we push off again and again.  The high stress placed on the feet when an athlete is performing  can cause imbalances in the muscles of the leg, disrupting the tibia and fibula.  When the leg is affected, it stems into the feet, which ultimately results in pain and poor mobility for the athlete. 

Athletes experience various disabling foot conditions, some more severe than others.  Some problems can be treated at home, others require professional help.  At James C. Ricketti, DPM practice, many athletes come in seeking help for various foot issues.  Some common problems that athletes experience are: 

  • Bunions… bunions are seen a lot on older people, yet many athletes suffer from them, because they “push off” from their big toe instead of the ball of the foot, aka “over-pronating.”  Symptoms include pain and tenderness on the big toe, which is exacerbated by footwear that is narrow or pointy at the toe box.  It’s a good idea to wear shoes that have roomy toe areas, use ice and rest to decrease inflammation, and use orthotics.  If you have bunions that continue to plague you, you may want to consider surgery.
  • Turf toe… turf toe occurs from hyperextension of the big toe.  It usually happens to athletes that wear very light, flexible shoes, and who do movements that require forced hyperextension of the big toe which are repeated vigorously.  Symptoms include pain and tenderness at the big toe joint, which sometimes can be symptomatic of a stress fracture.  It’s a good idea to have an x-ray if the condition doesn’t improve.
  • Stress fractures…usually happen from overtraining and/or poor diet.  They are usually seen in the second and third toes.  The symptoms include moderate swelling on the top of the foot, pain when doing any load bearing activity, and tenderness over the middle of the foot.  They are usually managed with ice, avoiding weight-bearing activities, and casting, in severe cases.
  • Plantar Fasciitis…is inflammation and micro-tearing of the plantar fascia.  It happens from over-pronating, and presents itself in the form of pain in the morning, and tenderness along the heel and arch of the foot.  It is important to wear good shoes, and be smart in your training if you suffer from this.  

No matter what your foot issue is, help is simply a phone call away.  Dr. Ricketti and Dr. Skokan are here to help when you are slowed down by a foot problem. The team of podiatric specialists  will take good care of you at their convenient http://www.jcrdpm.com/locations.html">Hamilton, NJ location, and get you up and running before you know it!

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