How does tennis affect my feet?
Tennis is a great game. It is high-intensity and provides a great cardiovascular workout while burning calories and toning muscles. It can also bring its share of problems as a physically demanding sport. Avid or competitive tennis players are often on a tour or circuit for weeks at a time and foot injuries are very common. Week after week, players head out onto unforgiving concrete surfaces that are harsh and unrelenting on the body, especially feet. Players move fast across the court and the quick stops and starts, jumping, landing, turning and sliding put a lot of stress on feet.
How can Tennis Affect Feet?
With tennis being a weight bearing activity, it does help to strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. An average game lasts 60-90 minutes and its high-impact nature can put considerable stress on joints, ligaments and tendons. Foot injuries in tennis commonly arise due to the following factors:
- Worn out footwear
- Lack of warm-up
- A sudden increase in playing time
- Poor technique
- Playing on non-level courts
- Playing in hot and humid environments
Due to the stress feet and ankles endure while playing tennis, common foot and ankle injuries include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Toenail trauma
- Muscle cramps
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles tendonitis
- Heel spurs
How Can You Protect Feet While Playing Tennis?
There are several tips and treatment options that Dr. Danciger shares with his patients who are sports enthusiasts:
- Wear shoes that fit correctly and have good arch support and shock absorption.
- Choose socks with wicking properties that help to reduce friction and sliding around in shoes.
- Keep toenails trimmed properly.
- Be aware of hot spots and have them wrapped to prevent the formation of blisters.
- Observe proper warm up and conditioning exercises.
- Wear an ankle brace if ankle health is compromised.
- Use custom orthotics in your shoes to provide further support.
A tennis player cannot underestimate the importance of footwear. Proper shoes are crucial in keeping feet safe and preventing injury. A player should look for shoes designed for tennis. Tennis shoes have soles that allow for easier side-to-side sliding and padded toe boxes to protect toes that can get jammed with the quick movements involved in tennis. The heel should have a snug fit so feet do not slip around and cushioned to protect against blisters.
It is a good idea to have the health of your feet and ankles evaluated before getting intensely involved in a sport. Dr. Danciger can check your foot structure for pronation or any imbalance that could lead to possible injury. He can advise on the best footwear for your foot type and identify any potential problems to address.
Contact our office today if time on the court has resulted in foot pain or injury or if you need specialized foot care to keep you on top of your game. Call (760) 568-0108 or request an appointment online.