Since they hold the weight of the entire body, the feet are placed under a lot of stress on a daily basis, especially when an athlete is training. It is also very hard to strengthen the muscles in the feet, so they are very susceptible to injuries. One minor injury to the foot can prevent you from exercising for an extended period of time. These are the five most common foot injuries for athletes.

Stress Fracture

A small crack in one of the foot bones is called a stress fracture. Most athletes get stress fractures from running long distances on hard surfaces. Landing wrong on the foot while running can also cause stress fractures. This injury can cause a lot of pain, but it will heal on its own with a few weeks of rest.

Sprained Ankle

All it takes is one misstep to sprain the ankle joint. Sprained ankles occur when the ankle rolls inside the leg and towards the ground. The most common symptoms are stiffness and swelling. Every athlete is bound to deal with a sprained ankle, and there is no real solution to prevent them.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common injury that occurs when the tissues in the foot get overstretched. This injury causes severe heel pain in the morning that gradually improves throughout the day. Stretching the hamstrings and calves before any athletic activity is a great way to prevent plantar fasciitis.

Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis occurs when the tissue that connects the calf to the foot becomes inflamed. This commonly occurs when athletes try to run long distances without properly stretching the calves. You need to immediately stop when you feel pain in the Achilles because prolonged stress can cause the tendon to rupture.

Turf Toe

Turf toe is a sprain of the big toe that only occurs in athletes that play sports on grass or artificial turf. A shoe gets stuck in the playing surface while the body is still moving forward. This awkwardly bends the foot and forces the big toe out of its normal range of motion. Taping the toes together before putting on your shoes is the best way to prevent turf toe.

Every athlete is going to deal with an injury at some point in their life. While these common foot injuries may not be severe, they will all prevent you from training for your next big event. Since this is the last thing you want to occur, it is vitally important to take every precaution to avoid a foot injury.

References:

Active | Exercises to Prevent Foot Injuries

Craig Swapp | Personal Injury

Cigna | Toe, Foot, and Ankle Injuries