Common Foot and Leg Problems That Athletes Face

by Milton Hayes

When you are an athlete, you often take more damage and hits to your body than other people. Among the different issues you might experience, your feet and legs probably take quite a bit of the damage. Here are some common foot problems to be aware of so you can get proper treatment.

Turf Toe

A very common foot condition that athletes get is called turf toe. This is caused by extending the big toe over and over again. Anyone who participates in an activity or sport where they keep hyperextending the toes are at risk of turf toe. Some exercises known to lead to this condition are a triple extension and box jumps, both of which are common for athletes that do track and field. The main symptoms are having discomfort and pain of the toe joint, usually worsening when pushing off and starting to extend the toe. Resting the area is usually the best treatment option for this condition.

Achilles Injury

If you are an athlete or get rigorous exercise on a regular basis, you are also at risk of injuring your Achilles tendon. This is one of the longest tendons in your body, located along the back of your legs. When running and playing contact sports, it can stretch too much and start becoming sore. You will usually feel the pain lower down your leg, including on your calf and in your heel. Every time you run or participate in the sport, you will notice the pain keeps gradually getting worse. If it tears, you have a condition called Achilles tendonitis.

Sprained Ankle

Many athletes are fully aware of the risks of a sprained ankle as they have dealt with more than one of them. A sprain may be less severe than a break, but that doesn't mean it doesn't cause any pain. With a sprain, your doctor will recommend being careful not to over-exert yourself until it has healed fully. If you try to do too much with a sprain, it could get much worse and take even longer to heal. Preventing a sprain means being extra careful where you run, being sure to avoid potholes and large rocks that might be in your path. Fortunately, rest and non-invasive treatments are usually enough to help with a sprain.

Skin Issues

Athletes may also face a variety of different skin issues from Athlete's foot and corns, to calluses and bunions. A common skin issue for athletes is the bunion, which is more common with people who have an over pronation. You are using the foot ligaments to support your steps instead of your leg muscles, which often leads to your big toe having pain and possibly a big bump as well. Bunions, corns, and calluses might be common, but they are also easy to treat.