Sports podiatry is the area of medicine that helps people to recover from sports-related injuries affecting the feet and ankles. If you suffer from any of the following injuries, seeing a sports podiatrist could help you to get back on your feet and back to training as quickly and safely as possible.
1. Achilles Tendon Injuries
Common among runners, injuries to the Achilles tendon can be difficult to treat. The natural instinct of many people is to stretch the Achilles tendon when it hurts, but you need to be very careful not to do further damage by applying force to a tendon that is already damaged.
A sports podiatrist can show you how to stretch without irritating the tendon further. They can prescribe a schedule of stretching and strengthening exercises that can rehabilitate your tendon and leave it less susceptible to injury in future. They can also let you know when it is safe for you to get back to running without risking setting back your recovery.
2. Shin Splints
Shin splints are a frustration for many runners. Most runners are able to control shin pain by cutting mileage, reducing their speed, or avoiding hills, but the pain often returns when they attempt to step up their training in preparation for a race.
The way to beat shin splints for good is to understand what is causing them. For some runners, the issue is a running gait that involves taking long, bounding steps. For others, the problem is that they run in worn-out shoes that do not provide the right support. Another possible cause is underdeveloped muscles in the shins.
A sports podiatrist can identify the underlying cause of the shin splints. They can then prescribe exercises or orthotics that solve the problem for good, allowing you to train intensely and smash your goals in your next race.
3. Stress Fractures
Stress fractures occur when a repetitive motion, such as running, puts too much strain on a bone over a long period of time. Many runners dismiss stress fractures as minor tendon injuries until they are well-established, at which point, a long period of recovery is necessary to allow the bone to heal.
Sports podiatrists can support athletes during recovery from a stress fracture. They can order X-rays that provide insight into the bone healing process, ensuring that athletes do not return to training until it is safe. They can also prescribe orthotics to support and immobilise the foot to speed up healing.