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Gymnastics and Your Feet

Gymnastics is a very popular sport – especially in the US. When it’s Olympics season, the interest is even more apparent. From the Magnificent Seven to the Fierce Five and now the Final Five, gymnastics has always been a great representation of US athletics at its best.

When Simone Biles stepped onto the Olympic stage and completely dominated the competition, it made young children everywhere want to be like her. Here are a few things to note if you’re a gymnast in relation to your feet and ankles.

  • There are over 100,000 injuries that are gymnastics-related every year in the US. This means that knowing how to prevent injury could mean the difference between being able to compete or sit out on the sidelines for a year.
  • There are specific shoes that are a necessity for certain movements. Apparatus shoes are used to help prevent sliding during dismounts while vault shoes are worn to absorb the shock from landing and protect your joints. Balance beam shoes have a rubber sole and are also used for traction on the balance beam.
  • Some of the most common injuries in gymnastics are ligament strains, stress fractures, arch pain, bruises and swelling. A lot of the injuries are similar to those of dancers.
  • Insoles can be placed inside of your shoes to help the impact be absorbed evenly throughout your feet. Insoles also provide cushioning to lessen pain from repeat motions.
  • Gymnasts may be walking around barefoot a lot. This means that there are risks for infections and foot fungus like athlete’s foot. Make sure you clean your shoes properly and regularly and wash your feet thoroughly. Also, if you have cracked heels or split skin, use a balm to soften and moisturize.

Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients with all different sports injuries for over eighteen years. If you have any questions, call our Centreville, VA office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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