When A Basketball Star’s Foot Won’t Flex

She jumps, she shoots, she scores! Playing basketball requires its own unique set of skills and physical abilities and the ability to jump off the ground is one of them.   A typical person can flex their foot up and down and side to side, but someone that is experiencing equinus lacks this ability.   When you are unable to flex your foot, it limits your ability to jump or walk in a typical manner. Often one will compensate for this lack of range of motion by either walking on their toes, putting excess pressure on the balls of their feet, or even taking smaller steps by bending their knees and hips.

Equinus is caused by several different possibilities.  It can come from having a tight Achilles tendon, it can be an inherited trait, if you’ve worn a cast for a while and even from wearing high heels!

Equinus is usually diagnosed after a patient seeks medical attention for other foot conditions ranging from: shin splints, ankle pain, hammertoes, calf cramping, metatarsalgia, flatfoot, arthritis and plantar fasciitis.

Thankfully there are nonsurgical treatments for someone suffering from equinus.  Stretching to help increase the range of motion; using heel lifts in your shoes to help alleviate pressure on the Achilles tendon; wearing orthotics to promote proper walking formation and evenly distribute weight onto the foot; and physical therapy.

In very severe cases, surgery may be necessary and is always determined on a case by case basis.

By adding a simple stretch routine before your basketball game, or before your start your day (such as calf raises, ankle flexes and heel drops) you can help to prevent a tight Achilles tendon.  If you are experiencing foot pain, please give us a call at (707) 578-1222- we want to help you put your best foot forward!

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