Playing baseball is a thrilling experience, but while at it, the feet and ankles take a beating. Baseball is characterized by lots of stops and starts, running, and sliding, putting tremendous pressure on the feet and ankles. This pressure is likely to result in various foot and ankle injuries that every baseball player should be aware of to stay in the game.
Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur while running, fielding balls, stepping, or sliding into the bases. These should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon to determine the extent of damage, such as peroneal tendon injuries or fractures. Failure to rehabilitate a sprain entirely might lead to chronic ankle instability and repeated sprains. It’s crucial for baseball players to have the right equipment to play safely and enjoy the game’s potential health benefits.
Injuries that are not far behind ankle sprains are overuse injuries, heel pain, and Achilles tendinitis, which arise from excessive training or overuse. Other common injuries that may occur from impact with the ball or contact with other players include contusions.
Cleats play an essential role in baseball because they give players the necessary traction for the surface in the diamond. They come in various materials, including leather, synthetic materials, rubber, and metal. To stay at the top of your game, ensure that cleats are fitted correctly and appropriately regulated by the league regarding the material allowed.
Baseball players are advised to stretch and condition their leg, ankle, and foot muscles before, during, and after playing to avoid these injuries. Stretching prepares these muscles to handle the pressure to create competency and enhance the enjoyment of the game. Also, conditioning helps to build up the muscles required in baseball to avoid injuries.
When choosing baseball shoes, comfort is the most crucial factor. Look for a shoe that has a roomy toe box for enough wiggle room for your toes, fit the widest part of your foot comfortably without stretching the upper, and a snug heel to help keep your foot steady. Inadequate stretching, improper shoes, and repeated motions lead to common foot problems among baseball players, such as shin splints, stress fractures, ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and bone fractures. It’s essential to replace your baseball shoes after 70 to 75 hours of active wear.
In conclusion, baseball players are likely to sustain foot and ankle injuries if they not properly warmed up, conditioned, or have the right equipment. If you suspect an injury, ensure you see a foot and ankle specialist like Dr. Gilbert Huang, DPM, to determine the extent of the injury and receive the proper treatment. The goal is to stay safe while enjoying the game, as baseball is the national pastime in America.