Whether you are a professional athlete or play sports just for fun, the demands made on your feet and lower limbs can lead to a range of injuries, including blisters, sprained ankles, torn ligaments, shin splints (leg pain), knee pain, low back pain and other joint or muscle problems. Added to these are common complaints such as corns, calluses and Athlete's foot. Your running style, poor footwear and even minor limb length differences can also contribute to injury.
Tips to Preventing Foot Problems in Athletes
- Wash your feet every day, and dry thoroughly.
- Wear only good-quality, well-fitting cotton socks.
- Always use the correct shoe for each sport and surface.
- Get in shape. Being overweight or out of shape places added stress on the feet. Condition yourself gradually with stretching exercises for 15-20 minutes before starting and after any activity ("warm-up" and "warm-down").
- Wear correct shoes. Footwear should be given the same consideration as any other piece of sporting equipment. Sports shoes should protect as much as possible, be durable, and should be right for the sport and surface. If running, the shoe should have adequate cushioning in the mid-sole and a flared heel for stability.