The following is a guest post. For the author bio, please see the bottom of the article.
Practicing martial arts is something you may do for any number of reasons, but always make sure that you are using safety equipment when necessary. You may be the most physically fit person in your class, and be very well trained, but that will not exclude you from the possibility of suffering an injury. Some of the more common causes of injuries from martial arts are direct blows, repetitive movements, and poor form. The correct form might seem tedious at first but it can be the difference that saves you from an injury.
Common Types of Foot Injuries Associated With Martial Arts
You have twenty-six different bones in each foot and these are all held together by thick tendons and ligaments, such as the plantar fascia ligament, which is what keeps your foot from simply flattening out with each step. Injuries to the ligaments and tendons in your feet like plantar fasciitis are often the result of overuse and can be a common irritation among martial artists.
Due to the nature of most martial arts, direct blows are not out of the norm. Neither is being on the receiving end of some hard hits from an opponent at a match or sparring session. These direct impacts can result in small fractures or cracks in one or more bones or severe breaks to the bones in the foot and lower leg. These types of injuries are usually pretty painful and can also result in long recovery times.
Treating Your Injured Foot
If you are training one day and you happen to notice a slight twinge of pain in your foot, you should take a moment to see what the cause is. As difficult as it may be, it is probably best to stop training for the time being, until the problem can be determined. Always use caution before going back into training and if the area continues to give you trouble get it looked at by a physician as soon as you can.
If you get the dreaded news from your doctor that you have a fracture, crack, or break in one or more of the bones in your foot/ankle area, be sure you listen to all the instructions you are given. At this point, you may get a cast or have a medical walking boot for broken foot recommended by your doctor. These are both tools to help support the bone while it heals as well as keep it immobilized for a period of time. If a boot is suggested it may be vital to your healing process that you wear it according to your physician’s instructions.
The amount of time you will need to recover from your injury will be determined by its type and severity. Keep in mind that you and your body are unique and everyone heals at different rates. During this period of time, there are a few things that you may be able to do that could aid in your recovery and/or reduce your pain level. Elevating whichever foot is injured can help to reduce pain and inflammation, placing a pillow under the foot when you sleep could help at night. If you are able to, icing the damaged area may also provide some relief. While you are recovering from an injury as traumatic on the body as a bone break or fracture, most of the time one of the best things that you can do is rest, and allow your body the time it needs to heal.
When Can You Get Back to Martial Arts Training?
Even the best fall sometimes, and that is okay. Whether you are the best in your class or brand new, if you do get injured do not allow it to keep you down. Learn from it and pick yourself back up again and keep at it. One of the more difficult things to do after an injury is to be patient enough to give yourself time to heal completely and properly. Jumping back in too soon can make things even worse.
The best people that can make the determination as to when you should train again are your doctor and yourself. Trust your doctor and have a little faith in yourself. One common lesson in many martial arts is patience. This experience will more than likely give you a tough lesson in patience but the reward will almost always be worth it.
Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is help others “rebel against age."