How do foot related sports injuries affect the body?

Foot related sports injuries affect the body by causing pain to the feet, but can also spread pain, stress, and injury to other parts of the body as well. For example, runners may develop excessive pronation, which occurs when their foot arch flattens to the ground. The feet then cause problems with the knee as a result. In other cases, in an attempt to protect the injured foot, extra weight and stress may be put on the opposite leg, which can cause pain, injury, and other problems.

Brian Yee
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
I pay particular attention to foot injuries and how it relates to the rest of the mechanics of the body. Even by looking at the callouses on your feet you can begin to make an assessment why the patient is having pain or dysfunction somewhere higher in the body. For example, in runners/sprinters that have an excess of callousing at the ball of the foot tells you that a majority of the weightbearing forces are at the front of the foot. Like pressing on a gas pedal, the calf musculature will have a tendency to contract more. Although in a majority of sports this may be good as it may let the athlete to be quick to accelerate, over time - especially with longer distance running - it can create a poor muscle imbalance where the gluteus maximus and medius are not being properly utilized for an efficient and powerful running stride. The gluteus maximus should be one of the largest muscles in your body. For athletes it is designed to give you stability and power. If the foot is placing too much force at the ball of the foot without adequate hip strength, an injury can occur at the foot due to excessive load as it compensates for what the hip should be doing.
Nadia F. Levy, DPM
Podiatric Medicine

Foot-related sports injuries change the way you walk which can then put stress on different parts of your body.  Your body has a certain balance it has developed over the years, a certain way that it functions when you walk and play sports.  Your entire balance can get thrown off by an injury and this can cause hip, knee and back problems.  

Best advice: tackle foot problems aggressively early on so they have less time to affect other body parts and impact your performance in more than one way.

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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.