Specialized Sports Medicine Podiatrist
You may need a Podiatrist Sports Injury Doctor if you engage in or play any type of sports that involve your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Podiatrists are people who specialize in all types of ankle and foot care. They help athletes with prevention and treating sports-related injuries including fractures and ankle sprains. They also work with other specialists to be able to develop plans and intervention to improve the alignment of the foot, the leg and the spine like orthotics and physical therapy.
Preferred Foot & Ankle Specialists
Team sports include football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, lacrosse and field hockey. These sports often result to ankle injuries especially if the players are not using the right type of footwear and if they have not done adequate stretching exercises prior to the game.
Some players may also encounter big toe joint injuries or turf toe injuries. Such injuries are caused by the hyperextension of the toes. This movement damages the soft tissues surrounding the toes and causes tenderness, pain and swelling of the area. This can also cause the patient to develop black or blue discoloration of the affected area and inability to bear his own weight. If left untreated, it can progress and lead to a serious problem. Therefore, turf toe injuries should be seen and evaluated immediately by a sports podiatrist.
Dancing, aerobics, running, jogging, skiing, skateboarding, cheer-leading, and jumping sports
People who engage in such sporting activities often experience ankle sprains. A sprain refers to the injury on the ligaments that support a particular joint. It happens when the foot rolls inward or outward accidentally while running or doing an extreme activity. It is common among runners. To confirm a sprained ankle, the health care provider will assess the condition of the injured ankle through physical examination then order for a laboratory exam like X-ray, MRI or CT Scan to identify the extent of the injury.
Kickboxing and martial arts
These sports often result to foot and ankle injuries because the players are pivoting and elevating their feet from time to time. The different types of foot problems they may encounter include Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and ankle sprain. If the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevation) does not help in improving the injury, it will be best to consult a podiatrist who specializes in sports injuries.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
How Does a Podiatrist Sports Injury Doctor Diagnose a Foot or Ankle Problem?
To be able to make a diagnosis, the Podiatrist Sports Injury Doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination and interview of the patient. The data gathered during the assessment as well as the history will then be used for the clinical evaluation and for the identification of the appropriate laboratory examination for the problem site. The podiatrist will recommend the treatment options based on the injury. Treatment options may include strapping, taping and physical therapy.
The skills and knowledge of your podiatrist are essential when it comes to diagnosing your foot and ankle problems. The diagnosis will be the basis of the appropriate treatment for the injuries. For some cases, podiatrists may recommend patients to temporarily rest from their sports but others may require permanent cessation of the activity.
For the patient’s part, it is important to remember that healing is not just an overnight process. Every injury needs time to heal. During the recovery period, the best thing an individual can do is to patiently wait and participate with the doctor.
How Does a Podiatrist Choose the Appropriate Treatment for the Injury?
Again, the treatment and prevention measures will depend on the patient’s foot problem or illness. The immediate care used for most injuries is the RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. For other serious injuries, the treatment will depend on the underlying cause and the patient’s needs. Some cases may require minor or major operations. After giving the appropriate treatment, the podiatrist will discuss with the patient the specific therapy recommended to help the patient to recover quickly. In choosing the therapy, the specialist will consider the patient’s current physical condition and goals.
What are Custom Orthotics?
Custom orthotics are shoe inserts designed based on the shape, size and problem of the patient’s foot. They may be recommended by the podiatrist, based on the patient’s case. They help in correcting foot problems and alleviating pain caused by the injury. The use of an orthotic device is not advisable without the health care provider’s recommendation as it may cause more problems when it provides the wrong kind of support for the affected area of your foot.
Who Can Benefit from a Sports Podiatrist’s Care?
Beginners, elite and professional athletes can both benefit from the treatment and care provided by sports podiatrists. These specialists also work with all ages including the young children. They can recommend the proper warm-up exercises and the best footwear based on the activities of a patient. Such things can help in speeding up the recovery and preventing injuries in the future.
Foot and ankle problems can occur at all ages and all levels. Even the professional players experience them, too. Sports podiatrists have all the knowledge and skills in treating different injuries and ailments caused by sports and other recreational activities. They play an important role in helping an individual get back into his normal routine on the soonest time possible. They do not just treat and care for the injuries on the lower extremities, but they also help in educating patients on how to minimize their risk of getting foot and ankle injuries during their activities.
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