Our Melbourne Sports Podiatrists treat sports injuries

In Melbourne and Australia we love sport and with the high participation numbers sports podiatrists are seeing a rise in foot and lower leg sports injuries. These can be either acute or chronic and affect both male and female as well as children and adults.

Our sports podiatrists have knowledge in diagnosing and treating sports injuries that affect the foot and lower leg. All of our podiatrists are registered with Sports Medicine Australia and are experienced with athletes of all ages. If you are suffering from any lower leg sports injury, whether you are a professional or novice athlete, see a sports podiatrist at our Melbourne podiatry clinic today. Our friendly and professional team will help you get back on the sporting field and back to your best.

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What causes foot and lower leg sports injuries?

Acute sports injuries

Acute sports injuries are caused by a single traumatic event. This may be something like a fall when running or an awkward landing when jumping. A prime example of an acute sports injury is an ankle sprain. Poor footwear, poor biomechanics and poor strength are often factors that may increase the risk of an acute sports injury.

Chronic sports injuries

Chronic sports injuries affecting the foot and lower leg are generally caused by overuse and biomechanical faults. When we play sport the foot and lower leg often takes forces up to three times your body weight. The increased forces places increased loads on muscles, tendons and joints. If you have poor lower leg biomechanics these loads may be increased on certain muscles and this can then lead to injury. Examples of overuse injuries include shin splints or tendinopathies. Poor footwear, poor biomechanics, poor strength, poor conditioning,  and increased loads are often associated with chronic sports injuries.

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When should you visit a sport podiatrist?

You should visit a sports podiatrist for any non-emergency injury that affects the foot, ankle or lower leg. An experienced sports podiatrist can treat anything from an acute foot fracture of the foot to an chronic overuse muscle or tendon  injury of the lower leg.

An experienced sports podiatrist will use tools like computer gait analysis to help detect biomechanical faults and diagnose the cause of your sports or running injury. They will then implement the right treatment plan including rehabilitation to help get you back on your feet and to also prevent injuries from reoccurring.

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Treatment of foot and lower leg sports injuries at our Melbourne clinic

Our Melbourne sports podiatrists treat all sports injuries, both acute and chronic, that affect the foot, ankle and lower leg. They are experienced treating athletes of all ages and types, from children to adults, both professional and novice.

Treatment of acute sports injuries and foot fractures may involve the use of a CAM walker or moon boot. These boots help to stabilise a fracture site whilst allowing for rest by removing forces and loading. CAM walkers have a rocker sole to allow some weightbearing and this makes them a lot more patient friendly than crutches. These boots can be fitted by our podiatrists following consultation on either a hire or purchase arrangement depending on the length of immobilisation required.

Chronic sports injuries can be treated by our sports podiatrists with therapies like ultrasound and laser therapy, available at our Melbourne clinic. These modalities transfer heat into tissue, tendons and joints, allowing for increased blood flow to the injury site which helps with healing. Our podiatrists also use computer gait analysis to help identify biomechanical faults and the cause of an overuse injury. Orthotics can be prescribed to help iron out these faults and successfully treat a number of foot and lower leg related sports injuries. Finally rehabilitation along with important stretching and strengthening of key muscles can all be organised by our sports podiatrists.

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Common foot and lower leg sports injuries seen at our Melbourne clinic

There are many different sporting injuries that can result in the foot or lower leg pain. Thorough diagnosis and consultation with a sports podiatrist is recommended if you have a recent sporting injury of the foot, ankle or leg. Below are just some of the common foot and lower leg injuries that our podiatrists see at our Melbourne foot clinic.

Plantar fasciitis sports podiatrist Melbourne
Plantar fasciitis is a debilitating condition that causes pain in the heel or arch of the foot. It is caused by excessive load on the plantar fascia ligament on the bottom of the foot. Symptoms are most often felt at the plantar fascia attachment to the heel. Athletes or runners with poor foot mechanics or feet that excessively pronate (flatten or roll in) are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis as this can place more strain on the ligament. Athletes in sports that involve repetitive running or jumping are also more prone.

Plantar fasciitis is often misdiagnosed and confused with tarsal tunnel syndrome so thorough consultation with one of our sports podiatrists is essential. Treatment options at our Melbourne foot clinic range from strapping, ultrasound, laser therapy, stretching, footwear advice and orthotics.

Achilles tendinopathy sports podiatrist Melbourne
Achilles tendinopathy is a common condition that results in pain in the Achilles tendon which attaches the calf muscle to the back of the heel bone. Symptoms can either occur in the mid-portion of the tendon (approximately 5cm from the heel insertion) or at the tendon’s insertion into the heel.

Achilles tendinopathy is caused by excessive strain or load on the Achilles tendon. This can occur from an acute injury or an overuse (chronic) injury.  Once commonly known as Achilles tendonitis it is now mostly referred to as Achilles tendinopathy because research has found that it is most likely due to tendon fibre micro tears and degeneration rather than inflammation. Sports that involve repetitive running and jumping are more prone to Achilles tendinopathy and it is estimated that it accounts for 11% of all running injuries.

Poor foot mechanics and excess foot pronation are often causative factors that get overlooked as this places more strain on the Achilles tendon when he foot rolls in. Early diagnosis and treatment with a sports podiatrist can help treat this condition and prevent it becoming chronic. Our Melbourne podiatrists can use computer gait analysis to check your feet and gait and see if they may be causative factor in your Achilles tendon injury. Treatment options at our Melbourne Podiatry clinic may include, ultrasound, laser therapy, stretching, strengthening, footwear advice and orthotics.

Ankle sprain sports podiatrist Melbourne

An ankle sprain is an acute injury that causes damage to the ankle ligaments. This results in either a partial or complete tear of the ligaments and leads to pain and swelling around the ankle. Ankle sprains most commonly occur on the outside of the ankle (lateral ankle sprain) but can also occur on the inside (medial ankle sprain). If the forces during the acute injury are large then sometimes a bony fracture may result at the ligament attachment site as the ligament tears away from the bone.

The ankle is one of the most commonly injured body parts during sports. Athletes in sports that involve repetitive jumping and landing (e.g. Australian rules football, basketball, netball) or repetitive side to side movements (e.g. tennis) are more prone to ankle sprains. Athletes with poor foot biomechanics may suffer from chronic and repetitive sprains.

If you have suffered from any ankle injury acute or chronic it is important to see one of our sports podiatrists. Often other problems like fractures get overlooked  and a sports podiatrist is best placed at giving you the right rehabilitation for ankle injuries. At our Melbourne podiatry clinic our sports podiatrists diagnose and treat both acute and chronic ankle sprains. We can also refer for x-rays if required, without the need for a GP visit.

Treatment options for ankle sprains can include CAM walkers or moon boots which help to immobilise the ankle. These can be hired or purchased from our Melbourne clinic following consultation and are useful for the more painful injuries. Other treatment options include ultrasound, laser therapy, strengthening, ankle braces and orthotics, which can help make your ankles more stable and less prone to ankle sprains.

Shin splints sports podiatrist Melbourne

Shin splints are an overuse injury of the muscles that attach from shin bone (tibia) to the foot. It is also commonly referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome or MTSS.  Repetitive strain and load on these shin muscles result in muscle fatigue, pain and inflammation at the muscle’s bony attachment site on the tibia.

Symptoms range from mild discomfort to severe burning and generally occur in the middle to lower third of the tibia. Symptoms are most noticeable at the start of activity or sport and diminish as activity continues. Pain often returns following activity or sport and can be worse the next day. Shin splints can also be a factor in lower leg stress fractures, as weak shin muscles will transfer the load onto the bone.

Sports that involve repetitive loading like running are often associated with shin splints and they account for approximately 17% of running injuries. Causes include tight muscles, weak muscles and poor lower leg or foot biomechanics.

Our sports podiatrists are highly experienced in treating shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome.  We can use computer gait analysis to help identify biomechanical faults in your running which may be a cause of shin splints. Treatment options at our Melbourne foot clinic include, stretching, strengthening, footwear advice and orthotics.

Knee pain sports podiatrist Melbourne

For athletes the knee is a vulnerable joint. It is situated at the end of two long bones so the forces upon it, both bending and twisting, are great. There are many sports injuries that can affect the knee joint but patellofemoral pain is most commonly seen by a sports podiatrist. Patellofemoral pain causes pain behind the patella (knee cap) and is the result of poor knee  alignment or poor tracking of the patella in the knee joint.

Poor foot mechanics (e.g. flat feet) is a major cause of patellofemoral pain and other knee pain. When your feet excessively pronate or roll in it causes the tibia bone to excessively rotate inwards. This then leads to excess internal rotation at the knee joint and poor tracking of the knee cap resulting in patellofemoral pain. Poor knee alignment can also lead to future degeneration or arthritis within the knee joint and chronic pain. Poor foot biomechanics can also put extra strain on the knee joint itself and surrounding soft tissues during sport, leading to other types of knee pain.

Our sports podiatrists are experts in identifying poor foot and lower leg mechanics. We can use computer gait analysis to assess your walking or running style which may help diagnose the cause of your knee pain. Treatment options at our Melbourne podiatry clinic include orthotics, which help to improve lower leg and knee alignment, as well as stretching and strengthening.

stress fractures sports podiatrist Melbourne

Stress fractures are overuse injuries and results from fatigue of surrounding muscles. The fatigued muscles are unable to absorb shock and forces and this load is then transferred to the bone leading to failure within the bone, and a tiny crack or fracture.

95% of all stress fractures in athletes occur in the lower legs and feet. In the foot, the most common sites are the metatarsals (especially 2nd and 3rd); whilst in the lower leg it is in the lower third of the tibia.

Stress fracture symptoms are usually gradual in onset and progress to more focal localised pain with the onset of swelling. Pain is usually most severe during weightbearing and exercise but may also be present at rest.

Stress fractures are caused by overload and overuse, so sports that involve repetitive stresses like running and jumping are often more prone. Factors that can cause stress fractures include, increased training load, hard surfaces, poor foot or lower leg mechanics, poor footwear and diet deficiencies.

Our Melbourne sports podiatrists can help diagnose and treat all stress affecting the foot and lower leg. Treatment options at our Melbourne podiatry clinic include immobilisation in CAM walker or moon boots. We have both short and long CAM walkers depending on the fracture and these can be hired or purchased from our Melbourne clinic following consultation with a podiatrist. We can also prescribe orthotics to help treat and prevent stress fractures. Orthotics with specific padding can often safely offload and stabilise  forefoot fractures to allow healing without the need for CAM walkers and crutches. Following healing our sports podiatrists can also help you with rehabilitation and exercises to help get you back on your feet and prevent future stress fractures.

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Sports injuries and orthotics

Sports Orthotics Melbourne

Our Melbourne based sports podiatrists are experts in custom orthotic prescription for both children and adult athletes to help treat sports injuries. We can prescribe custom orthotics to suit any sport from athletics, running, football, soccer, cricket, netball and more. At our Melbourne podiatry clinic we take great pride in prescribing accurate sports custom orthotics and thats why our custom devices come with a 100% comfort guarantee.

Orthotics improve foot function and mechanics which helps to take load off important muscles and tendons whilst improving joint alignment and stability. This can help treat foot, ankle, leg, knee, hip and even back pain. Orthotics help address biomechanical faults which are often the cause of many chronic foot and lower leg sport injuries. By doing this orthotics can not only treat but also help prevent sports injuries from returning. A lot of high profile athletes and sports people across the world today use orthotics to help assist their on field performance.

Do you need to see a sports podiatrist?

Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics can help diagnose and treat all lower leg and foot sports injuries. All of our sports podiatrists are experienced with athletes of all ages and are members of Sports Medicine Australia.

If you suffer from foot or lower leg pain or need to seek consultation with a general, sports or children’s podiatrist book your initial consultation today with a member of our friendly team.