If you’re an athlete, you can consider healthy feet as an important investment. You use your feet to move around and perform your craft. If you injure your feet, you won’t be able to function well, which will affect your performance as an athlete. For this reason, you should regularly visit a sports podiatrist.
What Is a Podiatrist?
Podiatrists treat problems that affect the feet and lower legs. They can treat injuries or complications related to conditions affecting the lower legs, such as diabetes because their primary goal is to improve mobility. To help them reach this goal, they often have to work with other specialists.
While podiatrists can be considered doctors, they didn’t go to traditional medical schools. They take specialised training and classes to become highly-trained professionals. For this reason, they can perform surgery, prescribe treatments and medications, and order lab tests.
Podiatry has many sub specialisations, and one of them is sports podiatry.
What Do Sports Podiatrists Do?
Feet and the lower extremities have a unique interaction. Because of this, sports podiatrists can treat the ankles, hips, shins, and any lower back injuries. Sports podiatrists are passionate about sport and have undergone additional training to help them treat sports-related injuries.
They are more skilled than general podiatrists because they can tailor their services based on an athlete’s needs. They provide assessments for running and walking to evaluate posture and lower limb function.
Sports podiatrists can prescribe different kinds of treatment to their patients, including therapies, footwear, and medications.
Why Do You Need a Sports Podiatrist?
Athletes love pushing their bodies as they play their sports, making them more at risk of getting various injuries that can cause them to stop doing what they love.
For that reason, if you are an athlete, you need to see your podiatrist regularly, even if you think you feel well. If you experience the following, the more you need to visit your podiatrist at once.
Your Feet Have Skin Discolouration or a Weird-Looking Mole
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer that affects the feet. Discolouration and unusual-looking moles are typical signs of it.
If you see any discolouration on your feet and between your toes and nails, even if it’s not painful or you have no other symptoms, you should visit a sports podiatrist.
You Have Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause several complications throughout the body, especially to the feet. You can see its signs in different ways, as mild as dry skin or as severe as foot gangrene.
Your Feet Feel Cold
If you experience cold feet more often than usual or have been noticing discolouration in your feet, these could be signs of poor circulation.
Having cold feet is also a sign of a more serious health disorder caused by smoking, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Running is Your Sport
If your sport includes running, the more you should visit your sports podiatrist regularly. Runners are more prone to having foot and ankle issues.
Your feet are susceptible to shin-splints, aches, or pains. Sports podiatrists can stop these issues from happening. They can advise you on the right shoes or accessories to avoid injuries that could debilitate your career as an athlete.
You Have Feet Problems
As an athlete, your feet are susceptible to a lot of problems. That’s why you should see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any foot issues, such as the following:
- Nail problems (ingrown)
- Athlete’s foot
- Aching leg
- Fungal infection
If you are suffering from one or more of these issues, do not ignore them. Not only can they affect your performance, but ignoring them may lead to more severe issues that can be harder to treat.
Common Sports Injuries
You can classify sports injuries into two categories: acute and chronic.
Activities that can cause trauma, such as colliding with another player, running abruptly, or even falling while playing, can lead to acute injuries.
Acute lower limb injuries include:
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Knee injuries
- Rotator cuff tears
Chronic injuries or overuse injuries result from repetitive motion over long periods of doing a particular sport, such as swimming, long-distance running, and cycling.
Chronic lower limb injuries include:
- Shin splints
- Ankle sprain
- Achilles tendonitis
- Runner’s knee
Treatment for Sports Injuries
Sports podiatrists can recommend different kinds of treatments, therapies, and medications, depending on your issues. In the Footwork Clinic, we provide various types of approaches in treating your lower limbs issues. The following are examples.
- Foot mobilisation therapy
- Functional muscle neurology
- Western medical acupuncture
- Active release techniques
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation
- Shockwave therapy and heel pain
- Nail bracing
- Fungal nail laser treatment
- IntreX therapy
- Low-level laser therapy
- Orthotic therapy
- Corrective or rehabilitation exercises
- Kinesiology sports taping
Types of Athletes Podiatrists Commonly See
The podiatrist’s usual patients are all kinds of athletes who constantly use their feet to perform their sports. It includes the following athletes:
- Basketball players
- Football players
- Netball players
- Soccer players
- Martial artists
When to Visit a Sports Podiatrist?
If you’re one of the mentioned athletes who need their feet to perform well in their sports, you need to visit your sports podiatrist regularly for a check-up. Your podiatrist will perform some assessments to check if your lower limbs are functioning well. They will educate you on what to do and wear to avoid getting injured.
A visit to a podiatrist is especially crucial if you are already experiencing discomfort or any issues with your lower limbs. These issues might become severe and, if left untreated, can destroy your career. Do not wait for it!
If you need to see a sports podiatrist in Sydney, visit our website and book now!