We know how important it is for our patients to be able to live an active, healthy life. It’s as true for us as it is for you—Dr. Leibovitz is an avid mountain biker (once upon a time, he even competed—or tried to—in road and track racing) and loves flying power kites.
Unfortunately, activity can lead to foot pain, and that in turn can keep you from staying active and reaching your personal goals—whether that’s weight loss, yoga, training for a race, or just being able to enjoy a game of tennis or a romp through the yard with kids or grandkids.
Dr. Jeffrie Leibovitz and his team are dedicated to providing the highest quality sports medicine for your feet and ankles. Whether you’re struggling with an overuse issue or a traumatic injury, we can help.
The vast majority of sports injuries or sports-related conditions of the feet and ankles—perhaps 90 percent—can be attributed to overuse. Repetitive, high-impact exercise involving running, jumping, cutting, and other activities gradually overstrain joints, ligaments, tendons, and even bones. At the same time, repetitive friction (say from a toe rubbing against the inside of a shoe) or poor hygiene (including re-using damp footwear) can also lead to issues.
Some of the most common sports overuse conditions of the feet and ankles may include:
- Adult and adolescent heel pain.
- Achilles tendinitis
- Chronic ankle pain
- Turf Toe (a stiff great toe joint)
- Stress fractures and Capsulitis (pain under the metatarsal head)
- Shin splints
- Athlete’s foot
Traumatic Injuries and Emergency Care
Other times, a sports injury is the result of a single traumatic episode. This would include things like ankle sprains, broken bones (whether ankles, heels, midfoot, toes, or otherwise), turf toe, dislocations, and other sudden accidents or injuries.
Time is of the essence with traumas such as these. Early treatment may return you to activity 50% faster. Even an ankle sprain—which many people underestimate due to how relatively common they are—can lead to chronic pain and instability and a greater chance of re-injury in the future if it isn’t treated and heals improperly. It’s imperative that you contact our office as soon as possible for emergency care.
Overuse injuries start off small and slow, but provide plenty of warning like a small crack in your windshield before it shatters. A stress fracture, for example, takes weeks or months before the pain escalates to an “I can’t run anymore” level. The end game takes you off your foot for 4-6 weeks, but if caught in the initial stage (before there are bone changes), there would be 1-2 weeks of modified activity or possibly no change in training.
The greatest preventative measure of overuse injuries is a flexibility program. It is not the most exciting part of being active and tends to be the first thing that is eliminated when time is tight. However, injuries result from a tug of war between muscle groups and the winner is the biggest and strongest. Stretching has to be specific for the injury and tendons like the Achilles (the largest in the body) may take 3-4 weeks to experience relief.
Getting the Best Care for Your Sports Injury
Jeffrie C. Leibovitz, D.P.M. has more than 30 years of experience in sports medicine, and treats athletes as well as teaches a sports injury course at a local university. He’ll put his training and experience to good use to help get you back on your feet and back to your athletic endeavors as quickly as possible. The recommended treatment course, naturally, will depend on the type and nature of the exact injury, as well as a thorough discussion with the patient about their goals and lifestyle.
Unlike many other podiatrists, we try to keep you as active as possible during the treatment and recovery period of your injury. We consider “stopping activity” a dirty word, but an injury like a stress fracture will require “rest” to heal. This will require a break from weight-bearing activity for a while, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck on the couch! Alternative activities such as swimming or cycling may allow you to keep up your cardiovascular fitness while protecting a healing injury from further damage. We’ll work with you to develop a safe, healthy exercise routine.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Leibovitz to address your sports-related foot or ankle pain, please give our office a call at 317-545-0505.