It doesn’t matter if you’re a student player, professional athlete, or a weekend warrior, a sports injury sidelines you and can keep you on the bench for weeks — even months!
As an athlete himself, board-certified podiatrist Nathan Hansen, DPM, understands better than most the frustration that comes from an injury that stops you from participating in your favorite activities.
Dr. Hansen and the team at Hansen Foot & Ankle in Mill Creek, Washington, offer specialized care for sports injuries affecting your feet or ankles. If you’ve been injured, schedule an appointment to receive customized treatment recommendations for a fast and effective recovery.
In the meantime, keep reading to learn several ways we treat sports injuries to get you back in the game.
Custom orthotics are specialized shoe inserts specifically designed to fit your feet. They’re placed inside your shoes to improve balance and evenly distribute your weight and the stresses on your feet and ankles.
If you’ve been injured, Dr. Hansen may prescribe custom orthotics to help reduce your pain and offer extra support, encouraging balance and alignment. They can be especially helpful if you’re struggling with sports-related tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, ankle instability, or arch pain.
Dr. Hansen uses strapping and taping to help people recover from sports injuries or prevent sports injuries — especially if you’ve experienced a foot or ankle injury in the past. The application depends on the nature of your injury and your unique physique.
Strapping and taping offer many benefits, including:
Strapping and taping help you stay active while you recover, speeding the healing process and preventing muscle and bone loss.
To align your joints and give your injured foot or ankle extra stability, Dr. Hansen may prescribe a splint or brace. With the extra stabilization a splint or brace provides, the injured tissues experience less inflammation and pain. At the same time, because you’re able to keep using the injured foot or ankle, the muscles that work it are strengthened.
Walking casts or boots may be used to treat many sports injuries, including bone fractures, severe sprains, tears to your cartilage, dislocation, tendonitis, and even severe strains.
Dr. Hansen may recommend a walking cast because using the injured foot or ankle increases blood flow to the injured area. With improved circulation, injuries heal faster.
In addition, using the injured foot or ankle helps prevent the loss of bone mass. Losing bone mass can increase your risk of re-injury in the future, and walking on your foot for even brief periods can stop that from happening.
Even if your sports injury is relatively mild, it needs to heal properly. That helps you avoid long-term complications. For example, if it doesn’t heal correctly, a simple ankle sprain can develop into chronic ankle instability, increasing your risk of future injuries and chronic pain and inflammation.
Dr. Hansen helps you avoid this issue by prescribing physical therapy. During physical therapy, you learn rehabilitation exercises that help you strengthen the muscles needed to support your injury and promote complete healing.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) uses sound waves to boost collagen production, stimulate growth factors, and gently break up soft tissue calcifications. It also triggers your body’s natural healing processes, easing pain and inflammation so you can stay active while you recover.
Because it helps facilitate improved blood circulation, this therapy is especially helpful in treating musculoskeletal sports injuries, such as tendinopathy, tendinitis, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and strained or pulled muscles.
If you’re struggling with a soft tissue injury, Dr. Hansen may recommend steroid (cortisone) injections. These medications help reduce pain and swelling by interacting with your neural (nerve) receptors.
Depending on the nature of your injury, a steroid injection can provide relief for several months. It helps you engage in other healing therapies, like physical therapy, so you can heal faster.
For people with injuries requiring surgical intervention, Dr. Hansen uses minimally invasive arthroscopy whenever possible. The orthopedic procedure uses tiny incisions, rather than larger, more invasive ones, to access the damaged tissues, which means a quicker recovery.
Your provider inserts a tiny camera, called an arthroscope, into the incision to inspect the extent of the damage. The camera sends real-time images to a monitor so the team can repair or remove the damaged tissue.
Learn how Dr. Hansen and the team at Hansen Foot & Ankle can treat your sports injury by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone at our Mill Creek, Washington, office today.