As the 2016 Olympic games is about to start in Rio De Janeiro with around 10,000 athletes competing in many different sports we thought we should take some time to look at common foot injuries in athletes.
The most common ankle sprain that many people experience from a variety of activities occurs on the outside of the ankle, due to the ankle been twisted under the leg. Ankle sprains are very common among soccer, hockey, basketball, and volleyball players. A twisted ankle will have visible swelling as well as bleeding under the skin (bruising).
If the injury is minor you can take care of the sprain by: Protection – Use a support or shoes that enclose your feet. Rest – Avoid activity for 48-72 hours Ice – Apply ice wrapped in damp towel for the first 48 – 72 hours for 15 min two to three hours a day. Compression – Compress or bandage the area throughout the day but remove before sleep. It is advised to move the foot as soon as you can without pain as this will help to heel the area faster. If the injury is severe you may be advised to keep the muscle still for a few days. Elevation – keep the ankle raised high on a pillow.
Generally, after an ankle sprain you’ll probably be able to walk a week or two after the injury. You may be able to use your ankle fully after six to eight weeks, and you’ll probably be able to return to sporting activities after eight to 12 weeks.
Kerri Strug won the 1996 Atlanta Olympics a Gold medal with an injured ankle, see her fight the pain in the video below:
Turf Toe is a sprain of the big toe joint and may involve damage to ligaments, tendons or bones.
Turf toe got it’s name in 1976 as a result of athletes who performed on artificial surfaces (astroturf). Turf toe is also caused by wearing lll fitting shoes or flexible shoes that don’t support the foot. The condition occurs due to repetitive hyperextension and hyeprflexion of the big toe (bending of the toe too far forward or backward which the ligament is unable to support). This is most common in gymnasts and dancers.
Symptoms of the injury are sudden pain in the big toe, pain and swelling when bending or stretching and sometimes a popping sensation is felt upon impact. These symptoms are usually diagnosed by a doctor or physiotherapist. Strenuous activity should be avoided and the RICE method should be followed (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate), Anti-Inflammatory medications may be taken to relive the pain.
Metatarsal Stress Fractures
The metatarsal bones in the toes are the five long bones in the mid/front foot that connect to the toes. A stress fracture is caused by the result of overuse of the toes, seen in runners and athletes or by a blow to the area common in contact sports such as rugby and hockey.
Symptoms of a stress fracture include pain and tenderness in the mid/front of the foot, swelling and bruising. The RICE method should be followed and activity should be avoided to prevent further damage and casting in severe cases.
The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs underneath the sole of the foot. Plantar Fasciitis is when this tissue thickens due to inflammation caused by many factors which is more common in women. Plantar fasciitis pain (Pain in the bottom of your foot, especially at the front or centre of the heel bone)
is usually worse in the mornings or after sitting down for long periods of time.
Athletes usually strain their plantar fascia in the early stages of training and is associated with running, jumping, and other repetitive stresses. Athletes who have tightness in the muscles of the calf, weakness in the supporting muscles in the foot and athletes who are overweight may be at more of a risk.
Keep active in your lower half to prevent Plantar Fasciitis and wear good shoes. People with flat feet or an unusually high arch are also more at risk. Most shops that sell trainers today provide a service to check if you have a normal foot or high arch, and sell trainers that support your feet accordingly.
When in doubt, seek out a podiatrist, orthopedist, or physical therapist. And if it keeps hurting – rest.
• Active 8-hour protection
• During barefoot activities
• Against cross-contamination from infected socks & shoes
• Effective, safe for children 2 years+
• Invisible, easy to apply, can be removed anytime
There are as many as 10 varieties of verrucas. The most common verruca is a raised wart with roughened surface, most common on hands, but can grow anywhere on the body.
How can I catch a Verruca?
The favourable environment requires warmth and moist surrounding and that is why a verruca is often transmitted in gyms, common bathrooms and swimming pools.
For a verruca to develop, the virus must enter the skin through an abrasion or a small wound. A verruca may occur as single or multiple or indeed as a mosaic pattern. It is well demarcated and tiny black dots, which are tiny blood vessels, appear within its surface.
In itself, the condition is with no symptoms unless it is positioned on a weight bearing area where it can be very uncomfortable and indeed painful.
The best way to treat a verruca is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. When visiting swimming baths, it is wise to make sure that there is no small lesion on your foot. If you find such lesion, cover it with a waterproof plaster. Also make sure to wear plimsolls in order to create a barrier.
A verruca is known to have a life span of about two years. Therefore, if you are not unduly distressed by its presence, you might decide to let nature take its course and hope it will disappear by itself. Just make sure not to aid the spread of the condition by avoiding handling the verruca and protecting any visible abrasions.
If you suffer with nail pitting then the surface of your nails will have small dents on the surface and the nail may become weekend and fall off. Its is always best to check with your doctor for underlying health problems.
Many people who suffer with Psoriasis also have pitted nails, but other health problems may be the cause such as a bad diet, digestive troubles (leaky gut, low absorption, inflammatory bowel diseases, hyperacidity).
Diet Tips for Nail Health:
Essential fatty acids such as oily fish, nuts, avocados etc
Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables
Eat good quality proteins.
It is fairly common for people with dark skin to have dark stripes running down their nails
The streaks in the nail are caused by an overproduction of melanocytes in that area of the nail and can be common in children.
Other reasons why the nail pigment branding occurs is: The dark stripe maybe a result of a traumatic injury whereby the blood clot will resolve on it’s own over time, or due to medication, systemic diseases, vitamin deficiencies and other skin conditions which may also appear as banding in more than one finger. A doctor should review your medical history for the best advice.
If the line/lines were only present on one nail this could be a sign of skin cancer that effects the nail bed, also the appearance of the line would change over time, becoming wider or darker, please consult your doctor if this is the case.
Vertical ridges on your nails can be a normal result of ageing. Horizontal ridges on the other hand, can be caused by diseases that affect the entire body, including malnutrition, heart attack, severe infections and metabolic disturbances, including poorly controlled diabetes.
A very common cause of ridges is malnutrition or malabsorption. Vitamin deficiencies cause ridges on fingernails, as the body’s production of the materials in the nail is interrupted.
Take the Podiatrists advice:
• Eat a healthier diet and supplement with vitamins
• Eat gelatin, which will also benefit your hair!
• Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to learn more about your specific condition.
A common nail abnormality is where the fingernails curve inwards like spoons. The nails can appear flat or concave and the outer edges of the nail can flare out, spoon nails are also known as koilonychia. This conditions can be harmless and perfectly normal in children but may be a sign of an underlying medical condition in adults. e.g.:
There are mild to severe cases of spoon nails and in the worst case the nails at the sides may flare out with the skin under the nail being very dry, cracked or split.
Spoon nails are mostly hereditary but sometimes caused by biting or rubbing the nails. If the matrix (root) of the nail has been damaged from picking of the nail and the nail is unable to grow back naturally or continues to split as it grows out, the person should consult a doctor.
Q: My nails are always SPLITTING. What’s wrong with them and how can I stop it?
A: Onychoschisis or lamellar dystrophy, is a condition that causes horizontal splits within the nail plate. Nail splitting is often seen together with onychorrhexis – long-wise (longitudinal) splitting or ridging of the nail plate – and these 2 diseases together are called “brittle nail syndrome.” Caused by the following:
Frequent wetting and drying of the hands. Common among house cleaners, nurses, and hairdressers.
Exposure to nail cosmetics (hardeners, polish, polish removers/solvents), gel nail procedures, and occupational exposure to various chemicals.
Medical problems, including gland (endocrine system) diseases, tuberculosis, Sjögren syndrome, and malnutrition.
Skin diseases, such as lichen planus and psoriasis, as well as taking oral medications made from vitamin A.
Are your nails weak and bendy, do they peel constantly and forever break?
Taking care of your nails does make your nails grow stronger, longer and much more healthier.
1. How to shape your nails.
When filing your nails with an emery board avoid filing back and forth as this weakens the nail. Filing your nails towards the centre encourages the nail to grow stronger.
2. Biotin Supplements
Biotin, or Vitamin B7 is recommended if you would like to strengthen hair and nails. Biotin is a water soluble vitamin which means it travels in the bloodstream and any excess or unused quantities present in the body are eliminated through urine.
The vitamin is part of the vitamin B complex — a group of key nutrients needed for healthy metabolic, nerve, digestive and cardiovascular functions.
It’s always advised to only take supplements in the dose that is listed unless speaking with your doctor.
You can also try increasing your daily intake of Biotin the old-fashioned way, by consuming foods rich in the nutrient such as eggs, almonds, mushrooms, tuna, turkey, berries and avocados.
3. Strengthen Weak, Brittle Nails
Use a nail strengthening treatment with added Biotin and Pentavitin. This is proving an excellent conditioner for brittle dry nails. It works by bonding water to the nail thus increasing the hydration significantly. Dr.’s Remedy Hydration Treatment should be used once or twice a week instead of a base coat. You will notice after two weeks that your nails will become stronger.
Dr.’s Remedy Hydration Treatment also contains organic ingredients, is safe for pregnant women and can help repair discoloured, brittle nails.
4. Adding Garlic to your base Coat
One of the old remedies for strengthening nails while preventing splitting and peeling is the addition of garlic in your base coat. Add minced garlic to a bottle of your base coat, let this sit for 5-10 days, to remove the door after painting wash your nails with lemon juice. Alternatively use Dr.’s remedy Base Coat as every product is infused with a special blend of ingredients: garlic bulb extract, wheat protein, tea tree oil, and lavender.
5. Use an Acetone-free nail polish remover like Dr.s Remedy Remover that doesn’t affect the natural oil protection film of your nails!
6. Protect your nails
Always wear gloves when doing the housework or washing up, this protects your nails from any damage.
‘Mortons Neuroma’, which is a nerve entrapment causing localised pain. In addition to pain, numbness between toes may be experienced, and in extreme cases swelling of the affected phalanges (toes) may occur.
Metatarsalgia is a general term used to describe pain in the ball of the foot. Usually the pain is located under the 2nd, 3rd or 4th metatarsal heads. Metatarsalgia is often caused by excessive pronation (arch collapse) and the resultant friction and shearing forces.
The underlying cause of Metatarsalgia and Mortons Neuroma is excessive pronation, which can weaken the soft tissue structures.
As the foot pronates the forefoot metatarsals plantarflex and rotate, resulting in loss of the transverse arch and shearing forces on the forefoot structures, causing pressure and pain to be experienced.
Metatarsalgia results in burning pain all over the ball of the foot. Patients may complain that it is like a stone bruise.
Mortons Neuroma is more localised pain, and in extreme cases the affected toe can swell and may need surgery to remove the entrapped nerve (surgery should however be the last resort).
Orthotics and Insoles may control pronation and reduce the rotation of the metatarsal shafts and elongation of the foot. An adjustable Toe prop and metatarsal pads can be used to redistribute pressure away from the damaged area.
Wearing tight fitting or high heeled shoes can escalate the pain, wide fitting shoes with a low heel or trainers are sensible everyday wear for sufferers of Mortons Neuroma. CLICK HERE for more products.
Our online store makes it easy to identify and purchase those foot care products you have been looking for to identify and treat foot problems. Our huge stock holdings & efficient and safe order processing mean that foot care products can be safely and confidently ordered and are always quickly despatched once we receive your order. If It's Feet We Can Help.