3 Foot Care Tips For Athletes

Health & Medical Blog

Proper foot care is important for everyone, but when you're an athlete, you're at especially high risk of injuries to your feet. In many cases, these injuries are completely avoidable with proper precautions and training. Take a look at some tips that will help you take proper care of your feet so that you can continue to pursue your passions on the field, court, or ring.

Choose the Right Shoes

Proper athletic footwear can be expensive, but it's better to spend the money needed to get proper shoes than to risk a debilitating—and even more expensive—foot injury. Avoid discount shoe retailers or hand-me-down shoes. Instead, visit a store that specializes in athletic footwear and have a trained staff member give you a professional fitting. You should be sure to choose shoes that are designed for the particular sport that you play.

Use Proper Taping Practices

Athletic taping can allow an athlete to return to the game without further injuring themselves in the process, but only if it's done correctly. Improper taping can irritate the skin and may fail to provide the support needed to prevent an injury.

Athletic tape comes in two types: porous and non-porous. Porous tape is preferable for many situations because it allows heat and moisture to pass through the tape instead of trapping it against the skin. This reduces the risk of irritation and blisters. No matter what kind of tape is used, you should use a spray-on tape adherent to help keep the tape in place and provide an additional skin-protecting barrier.

Know the basic taping techniques for different foot conditions. For example, for plantar fasciitis, you should begin by taping around the ball of the foot, then wrap tape around the heel and attach it to the tape at the ball of the foot. Then make an X by placing a strip of tape around the ball of your foot, cross the foot diagonally, then wrap it around the heel and cross the middle of the foot diagonally in the other direction. Then tape horizontally across the foot. When you're finished with your athletic activity, remove the tape as soon as possible to allow your skin to breathe.

Avoid Foot Infections

College dorm showers aren't the only place that you should be wearing shower shoes or flip-flops. If you regularly shower in a locker room, you will want to protect your feet by keeping them off of public shower floors. Moist shower rooms used by multiple people are prime breeding grounds for slimy collections of microorganisms known as biofilms.

If you step on one of these biofilms when you have a cut, cracked skin, or open blister on your foot, you risk developing a foot infection. Not only is this bad for your feet, the infection can also spread to other parts of your body when you touch your feet—while putting on your socks, for example—then touch other parts of your body.

A podiatrist can help you develop a preventative plan to reduce your risk of foot injuries and infections while you participate in your chosen sport, as well as help you recover properly from any injuries that you do sustain. When you're an athlete, visiting a foot doctor should be an important part of your healthcare routine. Companies like Hartford Podiatry Group may be able to meet your needs in this area.


13 April 2016

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