A popular summer activity, beach or indoor volleyball, is enjoyed by many each year. However, repetitive jumping, turning, and side-to-side movements required in this sport can put a great deal of strain on our feet and ankles. It’s important to understand the various types of injuries that can occur and take measures to prevent them.
One of the most common injuries in volleyball is inversion ankle sprains. When the foot turns inward, the ligaments on the outside of the ankle can stretch or tear, resulting in swelling, pain and possible instability. Depending on the severity of the sprain, additional injuries such as peroneal tendon damage or fractures may also occur. It is essential to seek the attention of a foot and ankle surgeon, such as Dr Gilbert Huang DPM, for proper evaluation and treatment. As an expert in this field, Dr Huang can help determine the extent of the injury and develop an effective treatment plan. Proper rehabilitation is critical to prevent chronic ankle instability or recurring sprains.
Another common injury is plantar fasciitis or inflammation of the plantar fascia, a dense tissue that runs from the heel to the toes. Constant jumping and landing can cause micro-tears in this area, which can cause pain and heel spurs. Achilles tendonitis, which is inflammation of the Achilles tendon that attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone, is another possible injury. Sesamoiditis, which is inflammation of small bones under the big toe, or stress fractures, tiny cracks in the bone, can also occur due to overuse and excessive training.
Children and adolescents who play volleyball are especially susceptible to calcaneal apophysitis and posterior tibial tendonitis (PTTD). Calcaneal apophysitis is inflammation of the growth plate in the heel bone, and PTTD is inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon, which runs along the inside of the foot and ankle. These conditions can result in pain in the foot or ankle that worsens with activity and could lead to long-term damage if not appropriately treated.
The best way to prevent volleyball foot and ankle injuries is by adequately warming up before games or training sessions. Warm-up exercises should include stretches to improve flexibility and strength training for the lower leg muscles. Well-fitting shoes with adequate support and ankle stability are essential to reduce the risk of sprains, strains, and other injuries. Players should also use ankle braces for additional support.
In conclusion, volleyball is a fun sport that offers many physical and social benefits. However, like any other physical activity, it comes with its risks of potential injury. It’s crucial to seek the attention of a podiatric specialist, such as Dr Gilbert Huang DPM, for foot and ankle injuries to prevent long-term damage. With proper evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation, most individuals can return to the sport they enjoy without further complications!