What is Sports Podiatry?
Sports Podiatry is a specialised area of Podiatry, dealing with all toe, foot, ankle and leg injuries associated with sport and activity. Our team of Podiatrists confidently manage sports injuries and can quickly help you to recover. It’s time to get back to playing at your best!
Why should I see a Podiatrist?
A Podiatrist is a foot and leg expert – there is so much more they can provide with treatment than purely cutting toenails. They have trained exclusively on the foot and lower leg and can help to provide you with clarity on diagnosis as well as a treatment plan to get you back to feeling 100%. Clients will often call and ask if they should see a Physiotherapist or Podiatrist. They want to know more about the pros and the cons! That’s understandable.
Our Podiatrists are highly skilled in assisting clients with a return to play. They are trained in movement assessment, including biomechanical assessment of the lower limb, and will provide hands-on treatment and tailored rehab to get you back to full activity. You’ll also be glad to know that with Podiatry extras cover you are able to claim your health rebate at the time of your appointment, exactly as you do for Physiotherapy and other allied health treatments.
Here are conditions that our Adelaide Sports Podiatrists see commonly present to the clinic:
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Shin Splints
- Ankle Sprains
- Stress Fractures
- CrossFit Foot & Leg Pains
- Biomechanical Assessments
Learn more about the foot, ankle, shin and calf pain presentations that our Podiatrists help with. We also offload traumatic sporting injuries including foot and ankle fractures, and stress fractures with moon boot fittings. Other sporting issues we treat includes skin and nail complaints, blisters, hard skin and ingrown or thickened toenails.
Common foot pain presentations that we see aggravated with sports include toe pains, arch pain or cramping, side of foot pain (lateral foot pain) and heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy).
There can be many reasons why these types of pains can appear and annoyingly can persist for people over a longer time than they would like!
Factors that can aggravate these types of pains can include:
- Muscle tightness and weakness
- Joint stiffness
- Poorly controlled movement patterns
- Biomechanical factors (excessively pronated or supinated feet)
- Previous sporting injuries
- Shoes that are not well fitted
- The amount, duration and intensity of the training and games
Foot pain is common for higher impact sports such as football, soccer, hockey, athletics, hockey, tennis and other such sporting activities.
Pod Fit Podiatry work closely with many local sporting clubs in Adelaide including Metro United Women’s Football Club, Tea Tree Gully Little Athletics, Woodville Little Athletics, Hectorville Football Club, Pulteney Football Club, Inglefarm Soccer Club, and North East Hockey Club to name a few! You’ll often find our team out and about volunteering at running and community events on the weekend.
Having your foot pain treated appropriately by a sports podiatrist means that you can run faster, further and be at the top of your game. Many different types of hands-on treatments are offered to alleviate pain including shockwave therapy, dry needling, and trigger point therapy through the foot and leg.
Ankle pain in sports is often associated with high impact activities. These types of sports involve more jumpings and landings, running for distances or sprints, quick stops and starts and contact sports. For this reason ankle pain is commonly seen in netball, runners, hockey, tennis, football and soccer.
Increased risk of ankle injuries can be due to many different factors. The most common risk factor for an ankle sprain is having done one or more ankle sprains before. This usually happens because of ligament laxity, ankle joint stiffness, lack of rehabilitation, and a relative difference in strength and control on the previously injured side.
While ankle pain can persist if left untreated, there can be a lot done to help improve symptoms and play sports without having issues. Our Podiatrists would assess affected structures within the joint, ankle joint mobility, muscle strength, and movement control patterns with hopping and landing.This can all be improved on with the right guidance.
Many of our ankle clients wonder why they did not come to see a Podiatrist sooner, as they are often able to play with no or reduced pain. This can result in no longer needing to wear an ankle brace because of improved stability around the joint – now that’s a win in our eyes.
Shin pain is often seen in high impact sports at the beginning of the sporting season. Shin pain (commonly called shin splints) is when the muscles in the shin and calf are at their capacity and are struggling to do what you are asking of them. For this reason, they often flare up in the pre-season or with new drills and changes in training loads.
Shin pain is classified as acute (short term) or chronic (long term, 3 months plus). It is important to treat shin pain early so that symptoms do not persist into a chronic type pain where the pain can then stick around for months or even years.
Common sports that shin pain is seen in can include football, soccer, netball, hockey and running.
Our Podiatrists use various strategies to help with shin pain, depending on what the aggravating factors of pain are. Hands-on treatment may include shockwave therapy, dry needling, custom foot orthotics, footwear recommendations, and exercise rehabilitation.
Calf pain can occur for many different reasons. With this in mind, it is important to have a proper assessment so that the diagnosis is correct and the treatment will be effective.
Common reasons for calf pain are:
- Muscle weakness and tightness
- Ankle stiffness
- Nerve pain (can come from spine, back, or hamstring)
- Circulation issues
- Mineral deficiencies (magnesium, potassium imbalances)
- Lack of hydration
- Unsupportive footwear
Calf pain is usually easily managed after finding out the correct diagnosis. Ideal treatment results in no pain, reduced tightness or discomfort, and less cramping both on and off the field with your sporting activity.
Children’s foot, ankle or leg pain can present at any ages however is most commonly seen during growth spurts. Pain in childrens feet and legs is often associated with active kids, however it can be present in children who do not participate in sport or activity much as well.
Common children’s sporting presentations include:
- Sever’s foot pain (heel pain)
- Intoeing (pigeon toeing)
- Out toeing
- Arch pain
- Ankle pain
- Toe pains and position changes
Parents often comment that they wish they had seen a Podiatrist sooner. Treatment is gentle and effective, and often we will see fast results in children’s pain relief and movement patterns. With children’s feet and legs it is important to provide early intervention where possible, to provide relief and better movements for the long term.
Traumatic Sporting Injuries
Traumatic sporting injuries can occur in many sports, particularly those with high impact or heavy contact sports.
Traumatic injuries that our Podiatrists see include:
- Stress fractures
- Toe, foot, ankle and leg fractures
- Ankle sprains
- Syndesmosis ankle injuries
A Podiatrist can provide helpful insight to management of traumatic injuries. X-ray, ultrasound and MRI referral can all be referred to directly from your Podiatrist. If offloading is required with use of a moon boot this is also a service that is provided at each of our Adelaide clinics in Modbury and Findon.
For traumatic and complex foot, ankle and leg injuries we have full on-site rehabilitation as part of your treatment plan. This is available at both of our Adelaide clinics in Modbury and Findon. Use of our anti-gravity treadmill works wonders for complex traumatic injuries, and results in a faster return to play with improved joint and muscle function. Your rehabilitation will be fully guided by your treating Podiatrist, who will also liaise with your coaches and Doctors.
Nail and skin Issues In Sports
Nail and skin issues can get flared up with sports, and are all easily managed by your sports podiatrist.
Nail issues that are commonly seen in sport include:
Skin issues that are commonly seen in sport include:
- Hard skin and calloused areas
- Corns on the toes and under the feet
- Tinea between the toes or on the soles of your feet
Podiatrists are highly skilled in providing nail and skin care, as well as looking at any preventative measures to stop your issues from coming back. Our clinics use sterilised or single use instruments to gently tidy up any skin or nail conditions. Clients often comment that they wish they had seen us sooner as the relief is instant for many skin and toenail issues. It certainly makes running, jumping and sporting activities a lot more comfortable too.
Sports Podiatrist Adelaide
No Doctors referral is required and you can simply book straight in to organise your sports Podiatry appointment at Pod Fit Podiatry. The team at Pod Fit Podiatry offers the full range of Podiatry services at both clinics. We are located at Findon and Modbury in Adelaide, South Australia for your convenience.