A large majority of athletes go through the overuse syndrome of injury during their career. Many injuries occur when an individual is fatigued or one's glycogen is depleted. Ten very common athletic injuries are as follows:
Shin Splints: Inflammation of the muscle. The most common areas are the front and inside muscles of the leg, tendon (tendonitis) or bone covering the lower leg (periostis), where the muscle attaches to the bone.
Achilles Tendonitis: An inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the lower leg.
Pronated Flat Feet: This is an inherited foot type, a mechanical weakness that can lead to ankle, knee, hip and lower back pains.
Pain Ball of Feet: Most common location of pain is under the head of the second metatarsal bone behind the second toe area, and under the first metatarsal head (sesamoid or accessory bone area) just behind the bottom surface of the big toe.
Stress Fractures: These can occur elsewhere other than the long bones of the foot.
Ankle Problems: Generalized swelling and sprains are most common.
Knee Problems: The majority of knee problems are due to dynamic imbalances in the foot and weakness in muscles such as the quadriceps muscles.
Heel Spurs: This spur is formed by tissue pulling the bones as the foot pronates (inward rotation).
General Foot Problems: Bunions and hammertoes. Bunions can occur either on the outside of the big toe joint or outside of the little toe joint. Hammertoes, contracted or claw-like toes, usually occur as a result of imbalances of bone structures or muscles making the toe stick up higher than normal.
Dr. Robert Weiss lives in Westport and has a sports-podiatry practice in Darien. He is a former marathon runner and was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and the 1988 Olympic Trials.