The South Plainfield Tigers and John P. Stevens High School Hawks have full spring sports seasons, fitting in baseball, softball, track, tennis, lacrosse, golf, and boys’ volleyball. We’re sure this keeps the athletic department on their toes, but it’s great that so many students can participate. Seasonal recreational programs mean many offering for adults as well, and that’s great, too—unless you are among the unlucky ones that fall victim to sports injuries.
Most common injuries are those that involve soft tissues, such as muscle strains, ligament sprains, bruises and cuts, and tendinitis or plantar fasciitis. However, it is not uncommon for fractured bones to show up, too. Here are four tips for keeping feet safe during sports participation:
- Warm up before you practice or play. Many injuries are caused by cold muscles and tendons that are too stiff to do what you require of them. A few jumping jacks or a short jog can get your circulation going and warm them up.
- Stretch before and after activity. Once you’ve warmed up, perform some dynamic stretches to get soft tissues loosened up for action. Then, after the meet or practice, spend some time doing longer static stretches to relax the tendons and muscles so they don’t stiffen up after their exertions.
- Wear the right shoes. By right, we mean right for your sport and for your feet. Shoes are designed for the specific movement of your sport and for traction and stability. This is all good, but if they don’t fit or support your particular arch style correctly, your risk for injury is higher.
- Focus on technique. There is a right way and a wrong way to slide into a base, for example, or to turn or twist your feet during a golf swing. A good coach will be just as concerned about safety and proper technique as he or she is about following the rules or winning the games.
At Ankle and Foot Specialist of New Jersey, we want our Edison and South Plainfield, NJ neighbors to stay safe while having fun. That’s why it may be important to have us examine you before starting a season, to make sure there are no foot or gait problems that would make you more vulnerable, and to give you stretching and shoe-fitting tips. Please call our office at 908-222-8980 to set up a visit, or use our online form to schedule. Once you know your feet are good to go, you’ll have even more fun enjoying your favorite sport!