Foot Pain After Sports? It Could Be Plantar Fasciitis

When you think of injuries during sports, people commonly think of conditions such as ankle sprains and ACL tears. However, there’s one type of injury that often affects athletes that is more common than people realize.

Behind closed doors, many athletes suffer from plantar fasciitis. This includes notable athletes such as Kobe Bryant and Pete Sampras.

What is plantar fasciitis?

In your foot, there’s a fibrous piece of tissue known as the plantar fascia that goes between the heel to the toes. When this band of tissue becomes inflamed, it causes pain in the foot. The condition is therefore called plantar fasciitis. It can occur in all types of patients, which is why it’s not known as a “sports injury”.  Since an athlete is naturally more active, he or she may stress the areas around the foot and lead to inflammation.

Here are two forms of pain relief that we recommend at BetterBraces (and you’ll want to check in with your doctor to make sure these forms of treatment are appropriate for your situation):

  • Wear a brace for plantar fasciitis when participating in sports. This can help reduce the stress on the foot and may relieve or prevent pain so you can keep playing.
  • Wear a plantar fasciitis night splint when you sleep. Plantar fasciitis night splints help with pain by keeping the plantar fascia stretched out overnight. (Typically the worst pain from plantar fasciitis occurs in the morning after waking up… night splints can help relieve this pain.)

If you’re experiencing foot pain after sports, you may want to check in with your doctor to see if it could be plantar fasciitis!

3 Tips to Prevent Volleyball Injuries

Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She shares her experience with us as she explores the world of sports.

I have several friends who actively play recreational volleyball. One friend in particular, Clarence, is fairly tall – great for volleyball, not so great for his joints. He has to be careful to not to overdo things when playing.

The lateral movement and repetitive jumping during volleyball sets up the perfect scenario for injuries to occur… especially with taller athletes whose body frames may put more strain on their joints.

Here are three tips to help prevent volleyball injuries:

1. Warmup before games – Make sure that you stretch and take a light jog before games. This gets your muscles and joints ready for action. Some trainers recommend a light stretch, then a light jog, then more stretching.

2. Ensure that you have the proper gear – Check the wear and tear of your shoes and socks. Wear knee pads and elbow pads to protect yourself when diving. (Check out our selection of knee pads and elbow pads for volleyball.)

3. Wear volleyball braces and supports – If you have previous ankle or knee injuries, it’s smart to wear a volleyball brace or support to help protect your joints from re-injury. They may also help prevent injuries from occurring the first time. While volleyball supports won’t guarantee that you won’t get hurt, they do help lower your risk.

Recreational volleyball is enjoyable – I’ve had the pleasure of watching Clarence participate in some intense games. But be sure to stay safe while playing!

Common Marathon Running Knee Injuries

In a recent blog post, we reported about the increased participation in marathon running and how the number of marathon injuries are also increasing as a result. These injuries occur because of the impact that your joints – in particular the knee – absorb during running.

Here are some common marathon knee injuries that may occur from excessive running:

Runner’s Knee (also known as chondromalacia or patellofemoral pain) – This condition describes irritation under the kneecap. The cartilage under the kneecap usually glides smoothly as the joint bends, but if it rubs against one side of the joint during movement, it can cause pain. Repetitive movement, most often associated with running, can increase your risk of runner’s knee – though this condition can be observed in non-runners as well. (Got runner’s knee or want to help prevent it? Check out knee braces for runner’s knee.)

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (also known as ITBS) – The iliotibial band is a long, thick mass of tissue that goes from the hip to the outside of the shin bone. It works with your thigh muscles to stabilize the knee. During repetitive movement, such as from marathon running, the iliotibial band may become irritated. This pain can sideline a runner so it’s best to take measures to prevent ITBS from occurring by having proper footwear. (Got Iliotibial Band Syndrome or want to help prevent it? Check out knee braces for ITBS.)

Patellar Tendonitis (also known as jumper’s knee) – This type of injury is an inflammation of the tendons around the knee joint. Though knee tendonitis is usually a stress injury seen with repetitive jumping, it’s also frequently seen in runners. Marathon runners who are often running on hard pavement are at an increased risk. (Got knee tendonitis or want to help prevent it? Check out the DonJoy Cross Strap, one of the best knee braces to alleviate patellar tendonitis pain and to help prevent occurrence.)

If you’re a marathon runner, take steps to protect your knee joints. Speak with your doctor at the first sign of knee pain to get the appropriate treatment for your injury.

Marathon Running Injuries on the Rise

Participation in marathon running has been steadily increasing since 1990. According to Running USA, the number of participants has nearly tripled between 1990 and 2011. At BetterBraces.com, we’ve noticed that with the increase in marathon running, also comes an increase in marathon running injuries.

Though marathon running is a relatively safe sport, the repetitive nature of running and jogging can cause stress injuries in the knees and ankles. There are some steps you can take to prevent marathon running injuries. If you’re a marathon runner, be sure to stretch before and after working out. Many runners also find it beneficial to stretch a bit, warm up, then stretch some more before going into full training mode.

It’s also important to have the right gear. Ensure your shoes (and even your socks) are the appropriate size and fit, and that the soles and padding have not worn out. You may want to consider wearing knee braces for running or ankle braces for running. These braces can help absorb the shock to your joints from the repetitive stress that comes with marathon running. It’s especially important if you’ve had a previous knee or ankle injury.

Remember to keep your joints happy and healthy!

Running USA: http://www.runningusa.org/statistics

Jogging Injuries – They’re More Common Than You Think!

Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She shares her experience with us as she explores the world of sports.

Recently, I’ve had several friends pick up marathon running as a hobby.  They are all fairly active in other sports as well.  But strangely enough, it’s the jogging that’s starting to give them issues with injuries.  Many joggers experience injuries in the first 4-6 months of running.  Risk of injuries increase as the distance and speed are increased as well.

Here’s some of the jogging injuries they’re starting to experience now:

Runner’s Knee – Also known as patellofemoral pain, runner’s knee is caused from repetitive bending of the knee.  That’s why it’s common in runners, but it can also occur in other physical activities and sports as well.  The pain occurs behind the kneecap and can make it aggravating to continue running.  Check out some knee braces that help prevent runner’s knee.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB or ITBS) – ITBS is another common injury in runners, which one of my friends is experiencing now. The iliotibial band connects from the hip all the way down to the shin. When it gets inflamed is when runners and other athletes start to experience pain in the knee. It can sometimes be prevented with better shoes and running techniques, as well as wearing knee braces for Iliotibial Band Syndrome.

Ankle Instability – Another one of my friends is experiencing ankle pain and instability since picking up jogging.  Because of the repetitive nature of the activity, and also the recurring force against a hard surface, jogging can cause old ankle injuries to come back full force. Athletes need to train carefully in order to make sure prior injuries don’t come back to haunt them from jogging.  Check out some braces for ankle instability.

If you’re a jogger and you’re experiencing injuries, check with your doctor to determine the appropriate treatment for your situation.  Don’t get fooled by the simple nature of jogging – make sure you protect yourself by wearing the appropriate gear and take the time to properly ramp up your training regiment!