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Sports Medicine: Podiatry

Sports medicine podiatryThere are many conditions that result from foot impact during exercise and sporting activities. Common foot ailments and injuries encountered during these activities include:

Treatment and prevention of sporting and exercise foot problems vary by patient and specific injury or ailment. Treatments may include traditional care remedies—such as rest, ice, compression or elevation—or may be treated more aggressively depending on the underlying cause of the injury and needs of the patient. The specific therapy selected will be tailored after discussion with the athlete and with consideration of his or her overall physical condition and goals.

Diagnosis of the foot problem by the podiatrist may include history and physical, clinical evaluation of the problem site, gait scanning, X-ray or MRI. Treatment options for foot injuries vary greatly depending upon the specific injury, but may include padding, strapping, taping and physical therapy such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation. Custom orthotics may be recommended, or prescription medication may be used. The podiatrist can advise upon correct shoe or cleat selection and evaluate abnormal gait. In more radical injuries, surgery may be advised or recommended.

The podiatrist can treat a vast array of athletes or recreational sporting individuals. From the professional to the beginner, foot injuries can occur at all ages and all levels of participation. For anyone from children in tee-ball to senior citizens to beginning runners, a podiatrist can be a vital part in getting an athlete safely back into competition as soon and as safely as possible. Podiatric physicians, specialists in care of the lower extremity, not only treat injuries of athletes but also help athletes get into a condition that minimizes their risk of injury to the foot and ankle. For more information, please visit podiatry, www.apma.org and www.aapsm.org.

Call (888) 503-ORTHO for a referral to a podiatric specialist at the Chicago Center for Orthopedics.