One of America’s all time favorite summer sports is baseball. Professional, little league and adult leagues are in full swing and that means at Foot & Ankle Specialists, PC we’ll be seeing an increase in certain injuries and conditions that are connected to the sport. Here are some of the more common concerns:
Achilles tendonitis—Baseball is a sport of fast starts and fast stops. This type of motion can lead to tightness and discomfort in the Achilles tendon. For not so young players who jump into the sport after a winter off and no spring training, Achilles tendon injuries are frequent because the player puts a sudden and excessive amount of strain on the tendon. Taking the time to stretch properly before and after the game can help avoid tendon problems.
Heel disorders—Plantar fasciitis and heel spur syndrome are two conditions associated with baseball because of the constant pounding on the heel. Catchers are particularly susceptible as their position puts a strain on the plantar fascia ligament and can result in arch pain as well. Orthotic shoe inserts may be able to decrease pain from these conditions.
Fractures and sprains—Sliding into base makes for many an exciting play and also many fractures and sprains to ankles, feet and toes. Quick take offs and pivots to catch a ball or throw someone out can also cause overextension of ligaments resulting in a sprain. Recognize the signs of a sprain: swelling, bruising and pain, and seek immediate attention from a foot doctor. Don’t skip the follow up physical therapy designed to strengthen surrounding muscles and prevent future sprains. Treatment for a fracture will most definitely include rest and some form of immobilization.
Shin splints—this inflammation to the tendon and muscle that attaches to the shin is known by its telltale pain in the sides of the lower leg. Applying ice packs or cold compresses to the affected area will help reduce the pain and inflammation. Regular stretching and exercises designed to strengthen shin muscles will help prevent shin splints when you play.
If baseball is your sport, a visit to our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Scott E. Hughes, Dr. Greg P. Vogt, Dr. Christine I. Tumele, and Dr. Matthew W.E. Lewin can help keep you in the batter’s box by offering suggestions to prevent these and other sports injuries related to the sport. If you are already experiencing discomfort or you sustain an injury, make an appointment to be seen at our Monroe or Lambertville office as soon as possible by calling 734-241-0200 or 734-856-8900. Waiting will most likely make the condition worse and may result in you sitting out the rest of the season.