Monday, 29 June 2015

Are You a Sportsperson? 7 Steps for You to Prevent Ankle and Foot Injuries

If you are a sportsperson, perhaps foot and ankle injuries are your career-long companions. This could be more so if you are into body contact sports like baseball and football, or involved in high-intensity sports like tennis, marathons etc. However, with a little precaution on your part, you can keep these ‘companions’ far away from you. You can enjoy your favorite sports to the fullest without worrying about getting hurt or being tethered to your bed for months, after an injury. 

Here are seven steps, when followed, will help you prevent ankle and foot injuries.
  1. Warm up before your start: It's important to do a number of warm up exercises before you start any sports activity. For instance, you can do toe spread, calf stretch, seated arch stretch or calf drops to warm up your muscles. Even a slow jog for 2-3 minutes can serve the purpose.
  2. Get your muscles ready for the sport: You should gradually increase the amount of time you spend for each activity to build muscle mobility and strength rather than doing it all at one go. You can consider indulging in different activities for cross training to condition your muscles.
  3. Choose appropriate shoes suitable for your foot type: Apart from wearing good quality footwear, you should also be careful while choosing shoes for your use. For instance, if your feet have low arches, you should opt for shoes that provide support both at the front and under the arch of your feet.
  4. Replace your shoes at regular intervals: To keep your feet healthy, it's important to change your shoes at regular intervals. You should observe carefully when the heels wear down or the tread wears out; that’s the time to get your footwear replaced. It’s ideal to change your shoes every six months. In case you are an avid runner, you may have to replace your athletic shoes even before that.
  5. Take proper care while running uphill: Running uphill is one of the greatest workouts for all athletes. But you should acclimatize your body to this strenuous workout gradually, to avoid foot and ankle injuries. You should be equally careful while running downhill too; not being cautious may give rise to serious injuries.
  6. Don't run or step on bumpy surfaces: While running on uneven surfaces, you need to be very careful; you may stumble upon roots, holes, tree stumps or other obstacles. If you are bedeviled by cramps or other problems of your lower legs, foot doctors advise running on a soft surface instead.
  7. Listen to your body: While playing a sport, you should never ignore what your body tells you. In case you are experiencing ankle or foot pain during a specific activity, podiatrists advise you to avoid that particular activity. If needed, you can modify the activity to a certain extent and do it on a moderate level until the pain has subsided or is under control.
Apart from following these seven steps, you should follow some additional preventive measures. For instance, you should walk on your toe and heels alternatively. Also, you should not forget practicing cooling down exercises once your sports session ends. This would let your body relax gradually and shift to a resting or near-resting state.

Did you find these ideas useful? Leave a comment. Tell us what you would like to read further.

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