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Can foot-related sports injuries be prevented?

Aaron Nelson , NASM Elite Trainer
Sports Medicine Specialist

Foot related sports injuries can be prevented by addressing any mechanic issues or dysfunction that may be occurring in the foot and ankle, knee and hip complex. This may include addressing arthokinematics(joint issues), overly tight muscles and weak muscles. Stretching tight muscles such as the peroneal complex and strengthening weak muscle such as the posterior tibialis is important. Addressing any joint issues such as poor movement/glide of the talus may also be important. Wearing proper footwear for a particular sport is also important. An example may be to not wear running shoes for basketball. Sometimes, taping may also be necessary to provide support until joint or muscular issues are addressed. Unfortunately, not all injuries can be prevented due to "bad luck", extreme overload or direct blows(being kicked or stepped on).

If you play sports or exercise, it's unlikely that you'll go your entire life without some kind of foot-related sports injury. Accidents happen: you jump up and land on your foot wrong, or all that training for the marathon will lead to some overuse-related injury. There are some ways to lessen your likelihood of having a foot-related sports injury, however. Warming up and stretching are two important tools to help prevent foot related sports injuries. Likewise, proper equipment and proper use are also crucial. For example, runners should have good running shoes that aren't too old or worn and that provide proper support. You also shouldn't attempt to run 10 miles on your first day of exercising in six months. You may not be able to stop every foot-related sports injury from happening, but you should be able to prevent a lot of them.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.