Injuries to the foot and ankle in baseball are more common than you may think. Let’s take a look at four that happen most often.
- Ankle sprains and fractures
These types of injuries often occur while running or sliding to base, or fielding balls. If left untreated, these injuries could lead to arthritis or chronic ankle instability. If you suspect a sprain or fracture, go to the doctor for an x-ray and evaluation. In the meantime, you can stabilize this injury at home by rest, ice, compression and elevation – or RICE.
- Chronic heel pain
Also known as plantar fasciitis, this injury occurs when the fibrous band of tissue that connects the heel with the arch becomes torn and inflamed. Treatment involves rest, ice and getting shoes with proper arch support. You should begin to feel relief in about six weeks; however, if the pain persists, your doctor may recommend surgery.
- Peroneal tendinosis
Peroneal tendons attach the outer part of the mid-foot to the inside arch to maintain foot and ankle stability. Injuries to these tendons will heal with rest in about six weeks, but it may take more for severe cases.
- Achilles tendinopathy
Sudden increase in physical activity and over-training in baseball can cause Achilles tendon injuries. The injury can be treated with simple rest, medication, change of shoes, strength training or insertion of heel lifts. The healing process takes between six and nine months. In severe cases, surgery may be required.
To avoid the aforementioned injuries, warm up and stretch before playing, wear proper footwear for the game and take some time off if your feet and ankles bother you after a game. Continuing to play may just further the discomfort into an injury.