The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

An Athlete’s Guide to Preventing 3 of the Most Common Foot Injuries

Posted by on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

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Athletes’ feet take a beating. Foot pain and injury can slow down a performer, regardless of the sport, and lead to significant issues in the knees, back, hips, shoulders, and neck as well. The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City tackles everything from inflamed tendons, broken toes, and ingrown nails to blisters, bunions, and foot fungus. We recommend seeing a professional for the best possible care. Nevertheless, here are a few general guidelines for the treatment of 3 common foot injuries we see often in athletes.

foot injuries
An athlete’s foot can take a real beating. Find out when to call a podiatrist or sports medicine doctor. Image Source: Flickr CC User, redjar

Turf Toe

What is it? A sprained ligament at the big toe joint.

What does it feel like? Pain is worst at the bottom of the big toe, and it is hard to extend the toe fully or walk. There is usually swelling, too.

What can I do? RICE — Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are the first-line treatments for turf toe. Immobilizing the toe can promote quicker healing. Sports medicine doctors can help you diagnose, estimate healing time, and advise when you may resume sports participation.

How do I prevent it? We can prescribe custom orthotic insoles for your shoes that lower your risk of developing a future injury by changing how your foot falls when standing, running, and walking.

Blister(s)

What is it? A small swollen area filled with fluid, caused by friction.

What does it feel like? The area feels inflamed and raw.

What can I do? Take it easy for a day or two after you get a gnarly blister. Most small blisters drain on their own, but large, unsightly blisters may need to be drained by a podiatrist. It is important that you see a doctor to prevent infection in those instances. Blisters that are red around the edges, painful, or oozing require professional medical attention.

How do I prevent it? Reducing friction will prevent blister formation. Keep your feet dry by wearing waterproof shoes, changing your socks regularly, and using foot powder. Put a Band-Aid over the injury as it heals. You can wear double layer socks or place petroleum jelly between the toes. A podiatrist can help you determine if you’re wearing the correct size or style of shoe for your feet.

Athlete’s Foot

What is it? A fungal infection often picked up in locker rooms and public showers.

What does it feel like? It’s itchy, inflamed, and burns–especially in between the toes and along the soles of the feet.

What can I do? Keep your feet clean and dry. Apply over-the-counter antifungal cream from your local pharmacy two to three times a day for a couple weeks, as directed. Tea tree oil is a promising natural remedy that may work for mild cases. A sports medicine doctor can help you diagnose the condition, identify the source of infection, and treat secondary infections that may result from the open, raw skin. Come see us if you experience a sudden increase in pain, pus, severe swelling, a fever of 100.4 or higher, red streaking, or blisters.

How do I prevent it? It is important to keep your feet clean and dry to discourage fungal colony growth. Use antifungal powder in your shoes daily. Always wear sandals in public areas. Soak the feet in Epsom Salt. Buy new shoes.

New York City Sports Medicine Doctors

Book your appointment with The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine online. Our team of board-certified podiatrists, podiatric surgeons, sports medicine doctors, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and office staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and compassionate. We understand you want to get back to the game as quickly as possible, so we offer you the most progressive treatments for foot injuries to help you reach your goals for healing, without missing a beat.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.