Whether you’re in a pick-up game at your local neighborhood park or you are gunning for the national championship in Madison Square Garden, basketball is a challenging, fun and exciting sport at any level.
But no matter where the game is or what level of athlete you are, it pays big dividends to take care of your feet.
With that in mind, the doctors and staff at the Foot and Ankle Institute of Texas in Houston, TX, have some friendly tips to keep you on the court and off crutches.
First, remember that the fundamental motions and activity involved in basketball are running, jumping, stopping, making hard and sudden directional changes. These are all done from a hard playing surface – either a gym floor or outdoor court surface such as concrete. What that means, according to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, is you exert major pressure on feet and ankles. Without proper equipment and preparation, injuries will occur. Two types of injuries are associated with basketball, acute injuries and chronic injuries.
Acute injuries are usually accidental and most often occur during play or activity. Such injuries can include, but are not limited to:
- Ankle sprains
- Torn ligaments
- Achilles Tendon Rupture
- Pulled muscles
- Ankle and Foot Fractures
Chronic injuries occur due to repeated stresses and pressures over time. Such injuries can include but are not limited to
- Stress fractures
- Shin splints
The good news is that you can do a lot to prevent chronic injuries. Careful warm-up and stretching before a game are an important and effective way to condition yourself against chronic injury. Ensuring that you have the proper equipment, such as good fitting shoes is another important and effective step you can take to help prevent chronic injury. Ideally, your basketball shoes should, in fact, be designed for basketball, with strong ankle support and shock absorption capabilities. Basketball shoes should be replaced before the soles become smooth and the uppers began to come apart.
For too many, the tendency seems to be to try to “tough it out” once an injury occurs. This is not a good idea and can lead to more pronounced problems if aggravated or left untreated. In fact, the injured area needs to not only heal, it needs to be strengthened to its pre-injury condition. Otherwise, it is far more likely to be re-injured.
If you have chronic pain or if you suffer an injury during a game that doesn’t seem to resolve itself within a reasonable amount of time, it is a good idea to see a podiatrist.
For more information call 281-531-4100 or visit the Texas Foot and Ankle Institute website at www.Tx-FAI.com.