The next few articles will outline specific ways to look after your feet and prevent the need for bunion and hammertoe surgery in the future. We’ll start with general team sports played on outdoor turf (baseball, soccer, football)
Team sports like these involve a lot of rapid changes in movement, stop-and-go’s, sliding and sometimes body contact. Needless to say, this puts an extreme amount of pressure on your feet. Luckily, bunions and hammertoes aren’t among the major foot problems that occur with team sports and therefore most team athletes may not require bunion or hammertoe treatment, but they are at risk for plantar fascilitis, shin splints, stress fractures, sprains etc. However, when athletes are not purchasing appropriate footwear or are not replacing their shoes regularly, they are at risk for developing bunions.
The first thing to remember when is stretching your legs, ankles, feet & toes before and after every practice and game. When you purchase shoes, make sure there is a spacious toe box when you are wearing thick sports socks. It also wouldn’t hurt to try the shoes in the afternoon when your feet are the most swollen. The widest part of your foot should fit comfortably in the shoe without stretching the shoe, but the heel should fit snuggly. The type of cleat you need for traction will depend on the playing surface and any regulations your league might have. Lastly, it is imperative that you change your shoes after 70-75 hours of active wear. Doing all of the above will not only maximize your performance, but it will also save you from the pain of needing any type of foot surgery or general bunion removal.