Do you ever watch the cricket, NRL, AFL or other sports and wonder how some of the players do it? While hard work, dedication and plenty of training hours are a big part of it, these professional players also have a big advantage: their healthcare team, which includes their sports podiatrist.
Here in Melbourne’s Point Cook, our podiatry team at Sole Motion have the privilege of treating many of Melbourne’s finest athletes. And it’s not just professional sportsmen and women that we help – we’ve also partnered with many social teams and children’s sports clubs to help them keep enjoying the sports they love!
As sports podiatrists, we don’t just have a comprehensive knowledge of rehabilitating injuries that players sustain in sports, but also the ways to enhance a players performance and maximise their efforts on the field. This comes from the understanding of the sports themselves and the unique demands placed on a players body depending on their position on the field.
For example, when it comes to rugby, outside backs sprint a greater total distance, meaning they need to be comfortable with longer training distances compared to forwards. Forwards, on the other hand, engage in rucking, mauling, scrumming and tackling, meaning they require specific conditioning that focuses on total strength, power and force exertion on the field.
When you marry an excellent understanding of the biomechanics of the feet and legs with extensive knowledge of sports demands, you get a resource that is perfectly positioned to help both individual players and their teams succeed – and that’s exactly what we do!
Working together and understanding the demands placed on your body during the sports and positions you play in, as well as how the team is performing as a whole, we can help with:
A comprehensive foot exam and gait assessment involves a lot of testing to understand exactly what your vulnerabilities and risks are – in the context of the sports you play and your position – and why. For example if you’re rapidly accelerating and decelerating during basketball while making quick changes in direction, and you’ve got a level of ankle instability from weakened ankle ligaments, this is a risk for ankle sprains.
We use these screenings to dive deep and understand everything that happens from the moment your foot hits the ground, to the moment it leaves to take the next step – and everything that occurs with your joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments in between. There’s much more to this assessment than meets the eye as your foot anatomy is complex. We take the time, and have the skill and care to do this correctly, as opposed to taking the ‘an orthotic solves everything*’ approach.
*Note: orthotics are great, valuable tools, but only when deemed clinically necessary, and should be used as part of a holistic strategy that addresses all your lower limb problems.
Adjusting your foot biomechanics to optimise your performance
The biomechanics of your feet and legs can have a large impact on everything you do. From how much you use – and specifically overuse – certain muscles and tendons which may leave you feeling tired and achy at the end of your training, to how much force is placed through certain bones as you push off the ground, to how stable and confident you feel on your feet.
By identifying areas that need work and prescribing stretching routines, strengthening programs, completing foot mobilisation techniques or designing custom foot orthotics, we can help adjust how your foot functions to optimise your performance on the field.
Gait and technique retraining
When it comes to the way we run, squat or perform a number of other movements in sports, we often see athletes who have gotten into a habit of performing an action in a less than ideal way for so long, that it feels right to them. That’s why we can also look at your techniques of how your feet, legs and knees are moving during your sports, and help you retrain to get the most out of your workout.
Ensuring your shoes aren’t slowing you down
Let’s be honest: there’s a lot of hype around footwear that has a lot more to do with brands, colours and this elusive ‘new technology’ rather than ensuring shoes have the key features you need not just for your sport, but for your foot type too. Our sports podiatrists will assess your shoes independently, as well as your gait in your shoes, to ensure you’re receiving the support and power you need when you’re training and playing. If you’re recovering from an injury or working to prevent injuries from occurring, we’ll take this into consideration too.
Rehabilitation & injury treatment
We know that it’s important to you and your team to have you back on the field and feeling great as quickly as possible. We don’t just help you recover – but help you get back to sport, being very clear about what should be done and when to get the best results. We stay with you every step of the way and are always here to answer your questions. We adjust your plan based on real-time results, not just on what the ‘norm’ is.
More than this, we have unique recovery tools that are proven to help you get better faster. These include the Thor laser, NormaTec Hyperice compression, the Theragun – and much more. Sports recovery is what we’re all about!
And our sports podiatrists work hard to make this possible. We work with teams young and old, alongside coaches and individually, to help you feel great and perform your best on the field. We’ve got all the tools and knowledge – and helping others is our passion.
Do you want us to be on your team this season? Get in touch with us or book an appointment – either online by clicking here, or call us on 1300 FX FEET