What are foot related sports injuries?

Foot related sports injuries happen when the foot is hurt as a result of sports or exercise. If you break your toe while playing basketball, for example, you have a foot related sports injury. Sports injuries are relatively common because your body is more active while playing sports. There are four basic types of foot related sports injuries: those that occur from overuse, trauma, fractures and dislocations, and sprains and strains. Overuse is a frequent cause of foot related sports injuries as athletes can over-train and stress their bodies. Trauma-related injuries are common in contact sports, such as a football tackle. Fractures and dislocations are injuries to the bones and joints while sprains and strains are injuries to the ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

Brian Yee
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Any foot injury that is due to a repetitive or traumatic sports activity. The foot has three main areas: the rear foot, midfoot, and forefoot. Depending on where the weightbearing load is placed and especially in sport - where the load is more excessive - injuries can occur at that weightbearing location. This can include fractures, stress fractures, neuromas, bunions, plantar fascitis sprains, muscle strains, or bone spurs. 

Foot injury in athletics is very common and depending on the sport, the frequency can increase. The most prevalent foot injuries seen in sports include:
  • Turf Toe – Turf Toe or sprain of the 1st MTP joint is a sprain to the ligamentous capsule surrounding big toe. The most common cause of Turf toe is hyperextension, which occurs when toeing off, for example, when exploding to sprint.
  • Metatarsal Stress Fractures – this injury is often caused by repetitive motion, pounding, and poor foot mechanics and occurs when small stress reactions develop in the long bones across the top of the foot.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – this injury is characterized by irritation to the thick ligamentous connective tissue that runs from the calcaneus to the base of the toes. This strong and tight tissue contributes to maintain the arch of the foot and is often caused by improper foot mechanics.
  • Arch Sprain - This is an injury sustained to the ligaments which support the arch of the foot.There are many different factors that can cause arch pain but most common etiologies are; overuse, structural imbalance, or direct trauma to the foot.
Development of proper foot and lower body mechanics can significantly reduce prevelance of these injuries.

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