3 Podiatric Conditions That Can Diminish Your Sports Ability

Posted on: 23 July 2014

If you're a sports enthusiast who enjoys physical activity, your ability to participate in your favorite pastime may be severely limited if you have certain foot conditions. While many of these conditions are the result of local irritation to the actual structure of the foot, others are related to systemic disease. Here are three podiatric conditions that can diminish your sports ability:

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of foot pain. It results in severe discomfort and inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a thick band of tissue, that runs the length of the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel to your toes.

Plantar fasciitis can lead to stabbing pain that typically occurs with your first steps in the morning after getting out of bed. After your foot loosens up, the pain usually subsides, however, it may return if you stand for extended periods of time, or when you stand up after sitting for a long time.

Plantar fasciitis is very common among runners, and it is also seen in overweight people and those whose shoes don't have proper support. Your podiatric sports medicine professional can determine if you have plantar fasciitis, and recommend the appropriate treatment, including shoe inserts, anti-inflammatory medications or cortisone injections to minimize inflammation.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes can cause problems with your feet, especially if your blood sugar levels are poorly controlled. One of the most common foot manifestations of diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy. This nerve condition can cause pain, and numbness and tingling in your feet, and in certain cases, you may lose all sensation in your feet.

Diabetic neuropathy occurs as a result of nerve damage that is caused by persistently elevated blood glucose levels, and while it normally occurs in patients with long-standing or poorly managed diabetes, it can occur in newly diagnosed diabetics, and even those whose blood sugar levels are well-managed.

If you have diabetic neuropathy, it is important that you try to avoid injuring your feet because wound healing in diabetic patients tends to be slow as a result of vascular problems. Neuropathy can also raise the risk for infection, so after playing sports, always examine your feet to see if you have an abrasion or other injury.

Look at the soles of your feet, between your toes and your heels. Because of diabetes, your perception of pain may be diminished and you may not realize that you hurt yourself. This can lead to extensive injury and bacterial infection.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a neurological condition that you are born with. It was named after the physicians who described it, and can cause numbness in the arms, legs and feet, and can either cause high arches or flat feet.

Because of the structural foot deformities this condition often causes, playing sports can lead to abrasions, calluses and blisters as a result of the abnormal friction that occurs against your toes. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease can also lead to curvature of the spine, hip displacement and muscle wasting.

A condition known as foot drop is also commonly associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and refers to the inability to raise the front part of your foot, causing excessive tripping and an abnormal, unsteady gait. Treatment for this condition includes physical therapy, orthopedic devices such as leg braces, and pain medication to manage foot cramps.

If you have any of the above conditions, talk to your foot doctor about the risks and benefits of sports participation. While mild activity may be beneficial, excessive movement may result in an increased risk for injury. Working with your podiatrist helps ensure that you'll receive a customized treatment plan that will help maximize your endurance and perhaps even improve your sports ability. Check out the site for more suggestions.


could your feet be causing your problems?

Before my last pregnancy I never had any problems with my feet. Since the last pregnancy, however, I have not been able to wear the type of shoes that I loved and I could not go out for long walks like I used to. After my primary doctor told me that he could not explain the discomfort, I decided to visit a podiatrist to get some help. It was not until my first appointment that I realized how many problems feet can cause. My website is filled with examples of foot problems and what pains you may be experiencing due to problems with your feet.