People who enjoy sport, running and the majority of other forms of exercise need to keep their bodies in good condition to be performing at their best. This includes their feet. Unfortunately, feet are also the part of the body that take a lot of damage and overuse injuries, which can lead to aches, pains, discomfort and injuries in the foot, ankle, shins, knees and hips.
A lot of these foot problems can be avoided with a little extra love and care from a sports podiatrist. Whether you’re a professional athlete or you just meet up to play football with the boys weekly, read on to find out what exactly sports podiatry is and if you should consider seeking one.
What is sport podiatry?
Sport podiatry involves all lower limb disorders, particularly the feet and ankles. If an athlete suffers from weak ankles or a flat arch, it’s a sports podiatrist who will be prescribing supportive or appropriate footwear and guiding them through strengthening routines to improve their foot and lower limb health. Besides prescription footwear and rehabilitation, sports podiatrists are also able to give recommendations regarding the right footwear for different sports as well as other accessories that may help.
What is more, sports podiatrists are trained to assess the biomechanical capabilities of an athlete’s lower extremities. They evaluate leg stability, alignment, and functionality in terms of a certain sport or sports. If there are functional or muscle imbalances and weaknesses that have to be addressed, sports podiatrists will offer recommendations on how to strengthen and improve them. Sports podiatrists are trained to perform biomechanical assessments in order to gait malfunctions when walking, running or performing a specific activity and provide gait re-training tips.
How do I know if I should look for a sport podiatrist?
There are three main reasons that people look for sports podiatrists. Although an injury or debilitating pain certainly counts, these are common as well:
You want to improve performance
Endurance athletes often visit sports podiatrists in order to improve their game. Even those who don’t experience pain or aches while running can benefit because sports podiatrists can make sure that their lower extremities are performing at their best. Professional athletes need to ensure that they are always mobile, pain-free, and flexible.
You want to avoid injury
It’s always better to prevent an injury than deal with the aftermath of one. This is yet another reason why sports professionals and casual athletes have sports podiatrists before suffering from an injury. Podiatrists can help them figure out training programs and warm up routines to do on their own. They can also give recommendations on the appropriate footwear and if needed, customized orthotic devices. Sometimes being equipped with the tools of prevention is the best way of steering clear of an injury.
You want to treat an injury
Although it’s better to avoid an injury altogether, there is always a chance that you get hurt. Injuries, pain, and discomfort can severely affect a professional athlete’s performance, even after their feet has already healed. Sport podiatrists can aid the recovery process and ensure that they get back to peak performance.
Melville Wellness has a team of qualified sports podiatrists in Perth available to help, get in touch today to book a consultation!