SUNDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Foot injuries are the talk of the NFL this season, sidelining such stars as quarterback Eli Manning and running back Willie Parker.
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Officials at the American Podiatric Medical Association and American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine are warning athletes to take care of their feet when they play fall sports like football and lacrosse.
"Many fall sports athletes look to compete their hardest on the field even after being diagnosed with a foot or ankle injury by a podiatrist or other medical professional," said Dr. Bruce Williams, past president of the podiatric academy, in a statement.
"However, not taking foot injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, sprains and turf toe, seriously and continuing to play a sport on an injured foot or ankle can aggravate and worsen these ailments and delay or significantly worsen the healing process," he said.
Here are some tips:
- Plantar fasciitis, a common foot injury, results from irritation to tissue on the bottom of the foot. Stretching before and after exercise can help prevent it, while rest, splints, orthotics and other treatments can help athletes recover.
- Turf toe, the hyperextension of the joint of the big toe, commonly occurs on artificial turf but can happen on grass too. Treatment includes rest, ice, compression and elevation -- known as RICE. Customized orthotics can prevent it by protecting the toes and foot, as can wearing a stiffer shoe.
- Sprains and strains can be caused by hard sprinting. If stretched or torn ligaments (sprains), muscles and tendons (strains) don't get better in three days, see a foot doctor. Warm-up exercises and stretching can prevent these injuries.
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SOURCE: American Podiatric Medical Association, news release, Oct. 9, 2009