Athletes With Track and Field Injuries Don’t Have to Watch From the Sidelines—Let Our Magic Valley Podiatrists Help

Track and field combines jumping, running, and throwing in a competitive setting. While often thrilling endeavors, these activities are also frequently the cause of foot and ankle injuries. At Canyon Foot + Ankle, we encourage you to learn more about track and field injuries—especially how to prevent them—and why you’ll soon be back on your feet with proper treatment. 

Sports Injuries Among Track and Field Athletes Person clutching ankle while on a running track

Year after year, the podiatrists in our Magic Valley, Idaho offices see many of the same injuries among track and field athletes. Generally, they’re either acute conditions, which is a sudden medical issue, or chronic conditions, typically caused by overuse that worsen over time, especially without effective care. 

Here are some of the most common track and field foot injuries. 

  • Plantar fasciitis. Running and jumping place a lot of stress on the soles of your feet, often causing inflammation in the thick band of tissue, the plantar fascia tendon, that connects your heel bone to your toes.
  • Foot and ankle fractures. Each foot has 26 bones, which is approximately a quarter of all the bones in your body. Repetitive movement increases the risk of stress fractures, as does traumatic events like landing wrong and colliding with objects or people.
  • Achilles tendon problems. As the thickest tendon in the body, the Achilles is responsible for essential ankle flexion, extension, and stability. Overuse and stress due to track and field sports cause damage such as inflammation, degeneration, and ruptures. 
  • Sprains. Ligaments are vital to maintain joint stability, and overstretching them is a common sports injury. However, symptoms of sprains include discomfort, swelling, and joint weakness, which compromises athletic ability over time. 
  • Bursitis. Overuse and repetitive movement leads to inflammation of the bursa, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles around a joint.

In some cases, wear and tear from overuse injuries can set the stage for acute injuries.

Preventative Measures to Help Curb Sports Injuries

Many of the track and field athletes we see at our Burley and Twin Falls offices are dedicated to their endeavors, so we always want to offer them numerous effective strategies for preventing sports injuries. Hopefully, as you review this list, you’ll learn a few new ones to add to your care regimen.  

  • Schedule periodic podiatry checkups. Your feet are a vital asset to your performance, and partnering with a podiatrist for preventative care is an investment in your wellbeing. It’s also a good idea to meet with a foot health specialist before training to identify and address problems like flat feet, tight calves, or wounds that aren’t healing properly.
  • Choose the right footwear. Running and cross-training shoes all serve different purposes and support your feet in various ways. Heavy trainers usually replace athletic shoes every three to six months. 
  • Warm-up well. Always stretch or go for a short jog to get muscles loosened up before engaging in more intense exercise. Our foot and ankle care professionals at Canyon Foot + Ankle can recommend foot stretches and conditioning based on your specific activities and goals.
  • Slowly increase difficulty. Don't go too fast when increasing the amount of time or the intensity of a workout. Any more than a 10 percent increase per week greatly increases your chance of injuries.
  • Take care on uneven surfaces. Trips and falls are a common cause of injuries, especially when you’re training off the track and on other surfaces such as streets and sidewalks. 
  • Prioritize rest. Ensure that you schedule recovery days between training sessions and build in short breaks during your routine. Cross-training also allows you to stay conditioned without putting as much stress on your feet and ankles.
  • Listen to your body. Pain can be your body’s way of warning you that you’re pushing it too hard. Even if you’re only stepping up your workout by ten percent per week, that might be too much.

If you have a history of foot and ankle injuries, be aware that you could be at increased risk of experiencing the same problems in the future. Talk to your podiatrist about how a brace or custom orthotics might help avoid recurring issues. 

Canyon Foot + Ankle Offers Targeted Treatment Options for Track and Field Injuries 

Even if you do your best to avoid them, sometimes sports injuries still happen. Turn to our medical team at Canyon Foot + Ankle for a thorough examination and a customized plan featuring different sports injury treatment options such as: 

  • R.I.C.E.—rest, icing, compression, and elevation
  • Physical therapy
  • Medication
  • Biologics
  • MLS Laser Therapy
  • Custom orthotics
  • Surgery
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