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Arch Madness

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March Madness brings college basketball into the national spotlight. The excitement of the game inspires many to hit the court. This usually will start "Arch Madness" at FAANT in Grapevine and Keller.

Why arch madness? Basketball is a high-impact and physically demanding sport. Most people jump in with both feet, literally and figuratively. This leads to overuse and traumatic injuries. In fact, one study revealed that more than 1.6 million Americans sustain foot and ankle injuries every year while participating in basketball. The traumatic ankle sprains and fractures are the headliners, but there are also many repetitive stress induced injuries like stress fractures and arch pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

Shoes can also be the main culprit for many of these arch issues. Most basketball shoes are made for lower arched people. And most players do not change their shoes often enough. If you have a normal to high arch, the shoes are not supportive enough and fatigue will set in quickly. This fatigue leads to inflammation of your mid arch and plantar fasciitis symptoms. Playing without warming up accelerates this inflammation. A 5-10 minute light jog, elliptical, bicycle or fast walk will warm up your legs and feet to better take the stress of the court.

Arch pain happens. Rest, ice, stretching, over-the-counter arch supports, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can be helpful in the early stages. If your pain lingers for more than a week or so with home therapy, a visit to your podiatrist is recommended. You may need custom orthotics, physical therapy or more advanced therapy to permanently bench your pain.

Bottom line: Basketball can lead to arch madness so prepare yourself to hit the court with more supportive shoes, stretching, a warm up routine and arch supports. A visit to your favorite podiatrist is indicated if your pain persists.

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