A sports podiatrist specializes in the field of sports medicine, which deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of sports injuries. The term sports podiatrist is sometimes used in place of podiatric medicine, a branch of medicine that specializes in treating disorders of the skeletal system. Sports podiatry also deals with rehabilitation, physiotherapy, physical therapy, sports massage and exercise science. Sports podiatrists are well trained in all areas of sports medicine and frequently participate in hospital care teams for athletes.
How to Do a Sports Podiatrist Does
A sports podiatrist often treats foot, ankle and even leg ailments by correcting muscle function. Different methods used to correct muscle imbalances include: custom orthoses, prefabricated or flexible orthoses, therapeutic shoes, braces and stretches. In most cases, an athlete will receive custom orthoses, flexible or prefabricated units designed for his individual foot structure and injury history.
A sports podiatrist will recommend orthotic devices such as shoe inserts, arches and heel cushions. These devices help stabilize the spine, ankles and legs and correct postural problems, providing increased stability and comfort. They also reduce stress on tendons, muscles and ligaments by helping the individual maintain proper form during exercise or training. Sports Podiatrists often prescribe custom footwear for their patients, correcting deformities and enhancing the biomechanics of the foot and ankle. Some of these custom footwear prescriptions can include specialized cushioning for the ankles, arch and heel; footwear positioning for better balance, range of motion and shock absorption; specialty orthoses for sports in athletes such as tennis, golf, running and swimming; and custom orthoses for particular sporting activities.