Kelsey Grammer (former star on "Cheers" and "Frasier", writer and producer) is getting a lot of publicity lately. He’s been in the news for having his second child with this wife, Kayte. On top of that, he and his co-star Martin Lawrence have been promoting their new FX comedy series "Partners," where they play personal injury lawyers who resemble the odd pairing characters in Neil Simon’s “Odd Couple.”
During his recent promotional campaign, Grammer revealed that he had a foot injury from playing tennis and was having a difficult time getting around. As it turns out, Grammer hurt his foot as far back as the '80s prior to joining Cheers when he was on the New York stage performing in "Macbeth." During his recent appearances on “Chelsea Lately” and at Dodgers Stadium, his injury became even more apparent. Even though Grammer was able to put on a smiley face in front of the cameras, it was painstakingly obvious he was suffering from a foot injury.
Tennis can be grueling on your feet primarily because the sport requires quick starts and stops and lateral movements. These movements are extremely stressful on your feet and ankles and can cause devastating injuries. The most common tennis injuries are ankle sprains, stress fractures and Achilles tendon damage.
The most effective way to prevent foot injuries from tennis is to condition yourself and your feet properly.
This includes strength conditioning, building flexibility, stretching the muscles (particularly in your calves), keeping yourself hydrated and wearing appropriate shoes.
Tennis shoes require a lot of cushioning and shock absorption to keep your feet and ankles stable and to deal with all the pounding and forces that your feet and ankles are subjected to during play. Make sure to wear shoes that are specifically designed for tennis. Running shoes, for example, are not designed to provide support for side-to-side movements possible in tennis shoes. Tennis shoes will have a reinforced toe, a little extra wiggle room in the toe box, additional padding for the ball of the foot, more sturdy sides, a lower, well-cushioned heel that is not flared and a firmer heel counter for support.
Most of my tennis patients have a pretty good idea of what type of shoes to wear, but here are a few more tips that I give them to help them to ensure that the shoes are fitted properly:
* Wear the same socks you normally wear when you play.
* Shop at the end of the day when your feet are larger. Select the size that fits the larger of your two feet.
* Select shoes that are comfortable right from the beginning. Do not expect them to become comfortable after you “break them in.”
* Your new shoes should be cushioned and supportive, flexible and provide some resistance in the heel for greater stability. Let your feet be the guide.
* Try on each shoe and give them a test walk/run on a hard surface (vs. carpet) in the store. If there is ample room in the store, try to simulate a couple of other tennis movements like moving forward to the net and stopping, pivoting and turning like you are returning a ball, pushing off the ball of your foot and pivoting like when you are serving, and crossing over like you are going for a baseline return (forehand and backhand). People might think you are crazy, but who cares? Give your new shoes a test before you make the purchase.
Foot and ankle injuries from tennis or any sport can be devastating if they are not treated properly, and in a timely manner. If you suffer from an ankle sprain, ankle fracture, or Achilles tendon injury consult with a podiatrist, board-certified foot and ankle surgeon or orthopedic surgeon. Feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sigle, who has of experience treating foot and ankle problems related to sports injuries. Innovative laser technology is offered at the Illinois Laser Center to treat ankle sprains and Achilles tendon injuries. Visit myfootandanklecenter.com to see laser technology that is used by several NBA, NFL, MLB and intercollegiate teams to get them back in the game. Call (217) 670-2160 to schedule a consultation for advanced laser treatment.