Don’t neglect your feet! The importance of routine footcare in sport

The role that our feet play in sports and leisure is often overlooked. Everyone who takes part in sporting activities at any level, from walkers to enthusiastic park runners, to Sunday league footballers through to elite athletes, depend on healthy feet.

The demands placed on our feet are huge – especially during sport.

According to the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, an 11-stone man will put approximately 112 tonnes of weight through each limb per mile!1

This is a lot of strain to put on the feet and lower limbs, even a small problem with the feet can have an impact on performance and can potentially lead to more serious issues.

At the first sign of any pain or niggle it is imperative that you seek professional advice, evidence shows that early diagnosis and treatment can lead to a quicker recovery, return to sport and a reduced risk of recurrence.

Newcastle podiatrist

At Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic, our specialist podiatrist is highly skilled in biomechanics and gait analysis, a correct diagnosis and supporting advice can keep you on track with your chosen sport.

A lot of conditions that show symptoms further up the body have their root cause in our feet. This is why our expert podiatrist will examine, diagnose and treat everything from knee pain, Iliotibial Band (ITB) syndrome, hip and back pain, forefoot pain, shin splints, Plantar Fasciitis and even arthritis.

Routine footcare, often referred to as chiropody, is also available at our Newcastle and Jesmond clinics and can help to prevent and treat common foot problems such as corns, verrucae, blisters and toenail issues.

There are some basic footcare maintenance steps that you can take to help keep your feet in the best possible condition.

Taking care of your feet

  1. Always use the correct footwear for the sport you are participating in, as the wrong footwear can cause injury. Always seek expert opinion – Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic podiatrists can advise on which footwear would be best for your foot shape, gait and activity.
  2. Make sure the sports footwear fits properly. Many people unknowingly wear footwear that are too small or too large for them, this can be due to using their day to day footwear size as a guide when buying sports shoes. Remember the rule of “thumb” – there should be one thumb’s breadth between the end of your longest toe and the end of your shoe.
  3. Always wear good quality, well-fitting socks made from synthetic material such as polyester, acrylic or cool max – all of which draw the moisture away from the foot. Wearing poorly fitting socks can be far more damaging than you might realise.
  4. Wear clean socks and dry shoes when training, playing or competing, moisture in socks and footwear can take time to dry and cause skin issues such as blisters.
  5. If your feet are known to perspire when taking part in sporting activities, special absorbent insoles or socks can help keep the moisture away from the foot and help reduce the risk of common foot problems.
  6. If you are prone to blisters make sure that the inside of your shoe fits correctly, is not worn, and your feet are kept as dry as possible.
  7. Always warm up and cool down properly before and after exercise.

Keep in mind how important your feet and lower limbs are. If you’re unsure, or believe you could benefit from expert guidance in this area, why not try our Lower Limb Circuits or Track, Trail and Tarmac challenges?

Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic’s expert Podiatrists are available Monday to Saturday for appointments and we have an advice session at our Jesmond clinic on Wednesday evenings for those who are unsure as to whether they require further assessments or treatment. Click the links to find out more about our podiatry and routine footcare services.