Football is one of the leading causes of sports injuries that come in the door to the Center for Podiatric Medicine here in Schaumburg. Common injuries include ankle sprains, caused by falls where the foot rolls under the leg. Turf toe, or big toe sprains, occur if players fall forward with the toe still flat on the ground. And Lisfranc injuries, named for the joints between your metastarsals and tarsals, can happen due to repeated planting and twisting of your feet.
However, injuries aren't inevitable. Here are some tips for staying safe, and on the gridiron, this season.
Improperly warmed up muscles and joints are more prone to injury. Here are some foot and ankle stretches and exercises to prevent you getting hurt. The sports injury doctors in our Schaumburg offices can provide a more extensive list.
Heel and toe walks: walk on your heels for 60 seconds, then switch to the toes.
Slides: sit with both feet flat on the floor. Slide one foot out, keeping the bottom of the foot in contact with the floor. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 20 times with each foot.
Taps: sit with both your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your heels to the floor, tap the floor with the rest of your feet. Repeat 50 times.
Stretching the plantar: sit down and cross your legs, placing an ankle against the thigh of the opposite leg. Pull on your toes gently, towards your shin, until you feel the stretch in the bottom of your foot. Repeat 10 times for each foot.
Remember to try on shoes before you buy them, while wearing socks, and later in the day so that your feet are a larger size, as they will swell during play. Try to find shoes that have good traction when you're moving forwards, which prevents slips and falls--but also don't stick if you need to turn or cut sideways, preventing twists and sprains.
In addition, different positions may benefit from different types of shoes.
Lineman: you'll want high-cut shoes that give you good ankle support, which will help for all the side-to-side movements you make.
Skill player: look for low-cut, lightweight shoes to give you flexibility and speed.
Versatile player: mid-cut cleats offer a blend of support and flexibility. You may also want detachable studs, so that you can reconfigure or switch them out depending on the situation.
Get medical help if needed!
Despite precautions, injuries can still happen. If you get hurt, come into our Schaumburg office for an evaluation and treatment. A specialist can also let you know when it's safe to play again after recovering from an injury.
If you have any concerns about sports injuries, the foot doctors at the Center for Podiatric Medicine in Schaumburg are ready for you. Don't miss the big game - call (312) 923-1100 today!