Athletes need a variety of health practitioners to keep them in prime shape for competition, even at the youth level. For example, a chiropractor can help a young hockey player recover from back soreness after a game. A podiatrist is another health practitioner on whom hockey players of all ages can rely for their foot care needs. If you play hockey, your feet need to be in good shape to help you excel on the ice. Unfortunately, this physical activity can pose a threat to the health of your heels in a number of ways. A podiatrist is the perfect person to visit when you have heel pain of any type. Here are some ways that playing hockey can cause heel problems.
Blisters From Skates
Hockey skates aren't typically known for their comfort, which means that once you've successfully broken in a pair of skates, you may want to wear them for as many seasons as you can. However, whether you're young and your feet are growing or your skates are getting worn out, you'll need to get a new pair — and this is when blisters can arise. Stiff new skates can rub on the skin of your heels and leave you nursing blisters on each foot. You should always visit the podiatrist to ensure that the blisters aren't infected, as well as to get solutions on how to protect them from bursting.
Impact From Pucks
While hockey skates have a rigid exterior to protect your feet and ankles, you can still suffer injuries from pucks. If your foot gets in the way of a puck traveling at a high rate of speed, whether you're intentionally blocking it or you're just a little unlucky, the impact can hurt your heel. By the time you remove your skates, your heel may be swollen and discolored. It's a good idea to see your podiatrist, who will be able to tell you the extent of the injury, as well as send you for an X-ray if he or she is concerned about a fracture.
Warts From The Dressing Room
Hockey players go barefoot a lot, whether it's walking around the dressing room or showering after a game. The presence of so many players sharing the same space can potentially lead to warts, which you may notice on your heels or elsewhere on your feet. One of the best ways to prevent warts as an athlete is to always wear sandals, including in the shower. If you see signs of warts, however, you should go to the podiatrist to get them treated promptly.