• Don’t Let These Common Basketball Foot Problems Ruin Your Game

    by Dr. LaMour
    on Nov 4th, 2014

Almost every move made while playing basketball relies on the feet. From running up and down the court to landing a free throw shot, the feet are the foundation of any basketball player’s game. Without the right equipment and training, existing foot problems can be exacerbated and new ones can arise. Foot problems and injuries have even ended some famous players’ careers.

Some of the more common basketball-related foot problems include:

Flat Feet

Many professional athletes, especially basketball players, have low or fallen arches, otherwise known as flat feet. Players with flat feet tend to roll their ankles inward when walking and running. Over time, this can result in a slight misalignment in the legs, which will inevitably lead to pain in the heels, knees and even the lower back. To correct the condition, many pro basketball players use custom-made insoles called orthotics in their athletic shoes.  Orthotics are measured and designed by a podiatrist, and when worn inside athletic or walking shoes, they help restore natural foot function.

Stress Fractures

Most foot and ankle fractures are the result of sudden or forceful impact. But stress fractures occur from overuse of the weight-bearing bones of the foot. During an average basketball game, tremendous pressure is exerted on the foot from the constant pounding on a hard basketball court or concrete surface. Over time, tiny cracks in the bone can develop. These stress fractures, also called fatigue fractures, can be disastrous for basketball players if not recognized and treated early, however X-rays may not reveal much since the bones aren’t completely broken. A bone scan or an MRI is usually required to diagnose stress fractures. Once diagnosed, a player will have to immobilize the affected area for a period of time, then perform rehabilitation exercises to restore flexibility before getting back on the court.

Ankle Injury

Crossovers aren’t nicknamed ‘breaking ankles’ for nothing. Ankle injuries – including ankle sprains and broken ankles – are arguably the most common injuries among both pro and amateur basketball players. With a sprain, the ligaments of the ankle are stretched or torn resulting in pain, swelling, and reduced mobility and strength in the ankle. Most sprains heal on their own, but rehabilitation exercises may be used to strengthen and stabilize the muscles around the ankle. An ankle brace may be used for added support. Many basketball players prefer high-topped basketball shoes because of the increased ankle support they offer.

Heel Pain

Podiatrists and physical therapists that work with basketball players often hear complaints of pain in the heels. Typically, this is a result of overuse of the bone or overextension of the tendons at the back of the foot. The ailment, commonly known as plantar fasciitis, has also been nicknamed, “basketball heel”, since it occurs so often among basketball players. The average pro basketball player is over 6 feet tall and also has a large frame and larger-than-average feet. These factors are a perfect storm for developing plantar fasciitis. Players between the ages of 7 to 15 that experience heel pain and swelling may be diagnosed with Sever’s disease – a common condition among young athletes. With ice, rest, and flexibility exercises, most players can resume normal play in a few weeks at most.

If you’re experiencing foot problems after playing basketball or any other sport, be sure to contact your podiatrist as soon as you have symptoms. The team at the office of Dr. Jeffery LaMour is experienced in treating athletes of all kinds. Make your appointment today!

Original Source: http://www.drjefflamour.com/sports-injuries/dont-let-these-common-basketball-foot-problems-ruin-your-game/

Author Dr. LaMour

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