Keeping Feet Safe on the Baseball Diamond

Whether you swing for the Hoosiers, run the bases with Smithville Diamonds Little League, or have your own friendly park league, baseball still remains loved by all ages. No matter the level of your play, taking some precautions to avoid sports injuries to your feet and ankles can help ensure you’ll be up for extra innings.

Sure, baseball might involve a lot of standing around at times. That might lead some to think warming up before play isn’t important, but if anything, having sudden starts and stops in the game makes performing some stretching and loosening up even more important. “Cold” muscles and tendons that make a sudden dash (such as to steal a base) are more likely to suffer strains, pulls, or tears than those that have warmed up.

Footwear is also important, and care should be taken when considering baseball cleats. While useful to the game, cleats and spikes can also increase the risk of ankle injuries and turf toe due to the way in which they embed in the ground. These shoes aren’t necessary for casual play, and younger players should start with more molded, flexible footwear until they can get a better feel for cleats or spikes. They should never be worn off the field.

Then, naturally, there’s technique. There are plenty of places where the feet can be exposed to trauma or overuse injuries: sliding into base, pitching motions, and catchers squatting to name a few. Players should be taught the proper methods and stances to reduce sports injury risks, and coaches should be mindful of when one of their players might need to sit out a bit.

If you or your child have a pre-existing foot or ankle problem, or you just want advice on the best way to gear up and train for sports, then Bloomington podiatrist Dr. Kevin Powers can provide the expert help you need. Call (812) 333-4422 to schedule an appointment.