Sports podology

The physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle so it is important that the right sport is picked and carried out correctly.

Regular visits to a podiatrist will help you monitor your physical health, help prevent injuries and provide rehabilitation for the athlete.

In order to do that the podiatrist will study functional biomechanics. This will enable the athlete to maintain an adequate body balance, prevent injuries and correct any pre-existing problems.

Podologia sportiva

Moreover, advice from sports podiatrist will help a sportsman to reach their full potential by recommending the most suitable choice of shoes.

The podiatrist with a medical team will try to define the necessary precautionary and curatives measures through a study of the biomechanical sporting gesture (jumping, running, step dance etc.), and advise on choice of shoes, application of rehabilitative procedures and the preparation of custom made orthotic insoles.

A visit at a podiatrist specializing in sport before commencing the activity will allow the athlete to prevent static and dynamic problems of sportsmen and correct all pathologies.

Before the race a podiatrist can advice on the necessary preventing measures to avoid formation of the corns and other skin problems associated with sporting activities. Then, after the competition the role of a podiatrist is to solve any pathology arising during the race.

Even in sports where the feet play a major role, such as, football and running, the foot is often neglected. The feet of an athlete have to work harder than another parts of the human body, and cope with more stress than average, for example: sudden acceleration, improvisation stops, repeated slippage, violent impact, and changes of directions.

Even in sports where the feet play a major role, such as, football and running, the foot is often neglected. The feet of an athlete have to work harder than another parts of the human body, and cope with more stress than average, for example: sudden acceleration, improvisation stops, repeated slippage, violent impact, and changes of directions.

For these and many other reasons, it’s the duty of a podiatrist to give the foot the right support, which will permit better load distribution and transmit positive impulses to the rest of the body.

These interventions are only some of the aspects a sports podiatrist must pay attention to in order to care for the welfare of the athlete and interact with the medical team.

A visit at the podiatry clinic can be divided into two parts: the clinical-biomechanical exam and instrumental analysis of the foot. We must consider the foot, not as a separate element, but as an integral part of the lower limb and the pelvic girdle. First the athlete will be subjected to a carefully designed questionnaire with specific questions regarding the symptoms in order to collect full medical history, which is necessary to picture the psycho-social profile of the patient.

Important questions include:

  • type of sport
  • frequency (daily or weekly)
  • role in the particular sport
  • type of footwear used
  • type of pitch.

We must investigate on previous injuries of the patient, possible preceding visit and suitable podiatrist therapy. We study the family history of the patient to assess possibility of congenital diseases.

After collecting the medical history we proceed to the clinical examination of the patient. We start with an inspection and palpation of both feet, and evaluation of the temperature.

A skin assessment is vital but is often unrecognized as a necessity by athletes. Moreover a neurological examination will allow us to discard or to find disorders of the nerves. Therefore we evaluate the patella reflexes, the Achilles and the superficial. We also consider the presence or absence of any intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

The intrinsic factors take into account the asymmetry of the lower limbs, the particular muscle imbalances. Abnormalities in movement such as overpronation or a cavus accentuated arch that can be the cause of Achilles tendinopathy or posterior tibial.

The extrinsic factors examined include the condition of the surface on which the athlete performs the activity, the footwear worn, environmental conditions, and also errors of training before and after the race.

Instrumental examination

The podiatry sports examination is an imperative part a thorough clinical analysis. The use of a camera allows us to store all images of the athlete and the photographs of his/hers shoes will be important to compare changes over time.

The baropodometric platform and biomechanical examination of the sporting gesture are used. The platform is an instrument which registers a force, a surface and a time of rest.

This instrumentation is used in the measurement of plantars pressures in both static and dynamic settings. The system is composed of a baro-sensitive platform, a data acquisition program, a computer and one or more video cameras support.

The platform is portable, so the exam can be performed directly in the field of athlete. The use of video cameras allows us to study the biomechanics of the sporting gestures in detail, with the ability to replay the images.

The register of the athlete in video must be done from the front, rear and sides while carrying out the sport activity.

 

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