Are Sports Orthotics Your Key To Preventing & Treating Injuries This Season?
As a country that is renowned for its love of sports, we’re no strangers to sporting injuries. In fact, with just under 60,000 Australians hospitalised for sports injuries in one year alone, some have come to almost expect injuries as a normal part of sports.
Where’s Dom? Oh, he put his shoulder out last week. Got it, who’s up next then?
The reality is that sports injuries can be devastating. One in ten of the 60,000 injuries we mentioned is life-threatening and if you are lucky not to be in that category, the high impact forces that accompany sports mean that injuries can still have lifelong consequences. A common example is the knee joint, where studies show both that knee injuries increase the risk of irreversible knee osteoarthritis six-fold, and that up to 17% of knees can have a rapid progression of osteoarthritis, changing the joint structure from one that is normal to one that has severe end-stage damage within four years.
With more Australians starting competitive sports at younger ages, there’s a desperate need to magnify the focus of injury prevention when it comes to sports. Here’s a look into some of the most common injuries sustained over a few of Australia’s favourite sports, what they mean, and a powerful tool our podiatrists use every day to help treat and prevent injuries: custom sports orthotics.
Both rugby league and rugby union are high-impact and fast-paced sports. The games are long, players are always stopping or starting, accelerating, quickly changing directions, sprinting, and often tackling, diving or holding firm in a scrum. That is a lot of force and tension that these players face both on the field, and in the many training sessions and practice games leading up to a competition game. This leaves rugby players vulnerable to a range of both overuse injuries and traumatic injuries, including:
When Australian T20 and T50 cricket injuries were reviewed over a ten year period, it was found the average injury incidence was 64 injuries per 100 players every season. Not only is that a staggering amount of injuries, but it also meant that up to one fifth of the team weren’t available for selection. With running between wickets and on the field, giving bowling your full force, the repetitive movements and long days on the feet, cricketers are prone to injuries including:
Soccer is fast-paced with players always on the go and loading their feet and legs. You’re always running, kicking, and shifting all your body weight on one foot as you kick and manoeuvre the ball. As a result, common soccer injuries include:
Tennis forces you to move from side to side rapidly and suddenly, quickly accelerating and decelerating, and working on various surfaces that may be tough on the feet. As a result, tennis players are prone to:
Additional Children’s Injuries In Sports
While children can sustain any of the sporting injuries we’ve mentioned, there is one category of injury that often occurs during or after sports that is unique to kids: growing pains. Specifically:
Treating And Preventing Sports Injuries With Orthotics
When it comes to treating and preventing sports injuries, custom foot orthotics are a powerful and specialised treatment tool. Orthotics are medical shoe inserts that work by adjusting the way that your feet are positioned and aligned when standing on them, which affects the way your feet and legs work together to produce movement, which we call biomechanics. By changing a person’s biomechanics, orthotics can offload painful areas of the foot, offer greater support in the areas you need it, add more stability to your ankle, help your feet better absorb shock, and act in many other ways that they are carefully designed to.
Custom foot orthotics are able to help treat a wide range of foot and leg pains across many different sports because they are uniquely and carefully prescribed for your specific condition, foot characteristics, biomechanics and using a 3D digital cast of your foot. This is much like how prescription glasses are prescribed to help with many different - and often opposite - vision disturbances.
Every aspect of your orthotics is carefully selected - from how many degrees your heel will be inverted or everted to help optimise your performance on the field, to how each joint at the ball of your foot will sit to help prevent a specific joint from being overloaded and painful, to how thick your heel cushion should be to help your body better manage the forces as you sprint along the field.
Better yet, by helping improve your biomechanics and foot alignment, custom foot orthotics aren’t just beneficial for recovering from injury but help you prevent injury too, by helping optimise the way your feet and legs move, and how you load your feet.
Keeping Brisbane At The Top Of Their Game
Our podiatrists work extensively with sports enthusiasts, professional players and weekend warriors to help them get the most out of every game, reduce their injury risk, and support them through their recovery when problems arise. Book your appointment with our podiatry team online or call us on 1300 993 338