Martial arts participants can experience various types of injuries with extended training. Many of these injuries deal with broken bones and muscle strains in the hands and feet from hard striking during sparring. If left untreated, these injuries can cause long term health problems and prevent athletic participation. There are a few things you can do to help prevent and treat orthopedic foot injuries. Here are some of the most common orthopedic foot injuries with martial arts and what you can do about them.
Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of a band of tissue supporting the bottom part of the foot. This can cause pain for martial arts students with standing or walking. Since martial arts is practiced barefoot, the bottom of the feet has no support. Jumping and pivoting can cause further strain and orthopedic foot injuries. Other martial arts activities during training sessions can lead to blunt force trauma to the foot area.
Stretching can help prevent plantar fasciitis inflammation. You can also apply ice after practicing or wear orthopedic shoes when walking or standing. Wrapping or taping the feet with athletic tape can help provide your feet with support during training. If pain persists, you may want to consult with an orthopedic specialist.
Sever’s disease involves inflammation of a growth plate at the bottom of the heel. This issue mainly affects children and adolescents because the growth plates turn into bone as they become adults. Excessive barefoot activities from martial arts and direct trauma can bring on the onset of these orthopedic foot injuries. Pain from breaking boards can create pain similar to broken bones in adults. Young children can develop orthopedic injuries easier because they have not fully developed their physical strength and balance necessary during sparring.
Heel cups or orthopedic inserts can be beneficial to reduce pain and inflammation along with rest and ice. It may take a few months of limited martial arts activity in order to achieve a full recovery. If your child has heel pain, you may want to have them rest for at least a week to see if the pain subsides. Physical therapy or strengthening programs may be recommended. A consultation with a board-certified orthopedic surgeon can determine the best treatment options for these orthopedic foot injuries.
Sesamoiditis Orthopedic Foot Injuries
With sesamoiditis orthopedic foot injuries, pain is commonly experienced beneath the big toe joint. Weight bearing while barefoot during martial arts can make it impossible to train. Sesamoids are two free-floating accessory bones within the flexor hallucis tendon. They help protect the first joint underneath the great toe while standing or walking. Overuse can bring inflammation and pain that can feel like severe tendonitis.
Supportive shoes along with rest and ice can be beneficial for reducing pain and inflammation. Pushing through or ignoring the pan can lead to decreased function and increased pain. Anti-inflammatory medication can help on a short-term basis. However, relying on medication can result in other health problems and concerns. It is best to consult with an orthopedic specialist immediately to eliminate discomfort and prevent further injuries.
Get Professional Help for Orthopedic Foot Injuries
While martial arts can be an excellent athletic activity, it can lead to orthopedic foot injuries. If rest and ice become ineffective for your foot pain, you may need to see an orthopedic specialist. At DOCS Health, our team of orthopedic and sports injury specialists can recommend the best treatment options for optimal recovery. We offer flexible appointments and video conference calls to answer patient questions and concerns. Achieve your best health by scheduling an appointment today.