> Foot Strains and Sprains
What are Foot Strains and Sprains?
As the first part of the body that touches the playing
surface, feet are especially prone to a wide variety
of injuries, including foot sprains and foot strains.
A foot sprain occurs when one or more ligaments in the
foot are overstretched. A foot strain affects the muscles
or tendons in the foot.
Foot sprains are most commonly caused
by sudden imbalance, either when your body is out of
position when your foot contacts the ground. Direct
contact can also bend your foot into abnormal positions
and pull your tendons or ligaments. People with flat
feet or high, rigid arches may be more likely to suffer
foot sprains and strains, particularly if they wear
ill-fitting or worn out shoes during sports activities.
Immediately upon injury, use R.I.C.E. - Rest, Ice,
Compression, and Elevation. Apply ice intermittently
for at least the first 24 hours. A sandwich bag with
crushed ice or a bag of frozen vegetables can be placed
on the injured foot and wrapped with an elastic bandage
for compression. While icing, try to elevate your foot
above your heart level to help fluids drain away from
the injury. Weight-bearing on your foot should be limited
to your individual pain tolerance. If pain or range
of motion does not improve within a week, a doctor should
be consulted. For more severe injuries, crutches or
a walking cast may be prescribed. Stretching and strengthening
exercises can also help the recovery process.
You can help prevent foot sprains and strains by stretching
and strengthening the muscles and tendons around the
ankles and feet. It is important to wear proper socks
and shoes with good support. If you have been previously
injured, your physician may recommend ankle supports
before engaging in physical activity. Having your ankles
taped by a qualified athletic trainer also may help