What Are the Most Common Injuries?
How to Avoid Injury?
The causes listed above are all contributing factors to the aforementioned overuse injuries. Injuries like Achilles tendinitis are often due to muscle weakness in the lower leg combined with improper foot mechanics. This type of injury for example can be prevented by the implementation of a strength and flexibility routine provided by your podiatrist.
Pascal Dobert, former Olympian in the steeplechase and current strength and flexibility coach for the Oregon Track Club Elite is an advocate of the eccentric heel drop exercise for when runners are looking to prevent Achilles tendinitis.
David McHenry, a physical therapist for the Nike Oregon Project suggests runners who suffer from plantar fasciopathy and plantar fasciitis start a routine of foot strengthening exercises to help prevent and relieve pain from these common overuse injuries. By visiting your doctor, he or she will also be able to analyze what biomechanical imbalances exist within your foot and will be able to construct orthotics that will provide proper support. In short, we are not centipedes so we only get 1 pair of feet so make sure you treat them well.
Are Custom Orthotics Worth It?
If you’ve ever been to a podiatrist because of a running injury, it’s likely that he or she suggested you get a custom shoe insert, or “orthotic,” made to treat or prevent injury. Certainly, there are still some universals when it comes to custom orthotic design. A runner with chronic pain under his first metatarsal head will almost certainly benefit from a shoe insert which will help relieve pressure on this area. And fortunately, the field of podiatry is (slowly) moving away from evaluating every foot relative to a “normal” one and instead focusing on the actual cause of tissue stress.
If your doctor does recommend a custom insert, don’t be afraid to try a high-quality over-the-counter orthotic first (like Super Feet or Power Step insoles), since they aren’t nearly as expensive as a custom orthotic, and at least one study has indicated that they may work just as well as a custom orthotic.
But the issue of comfort remains your best indicator of whether or not an orthotic is going to work for you. If you have a foot or lower leg injury and decide to give an orthotic a shot, it should feel better, not worse, than running without an orthotic. If an orthotic feels wonky while walking or running, it’s unlikely that it will help prevent future injuries.
So if you suffer from foot pain and want to know more about how to prevent injuries, find out more about our Sports podiatry Servcies below.