Now more than ever, children are involved in competitive sports and are therefore more prone to athletic injuries.
While contact sports such as football and lacrosse are most frequently associated with injury, serious athletic injuries may occur in less physical sports such as soccer, volley, or track and field. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent pain and injury from athletic activities.
Proper shoe gear with adequate support is critical in maintaining the alignment and structure of the foot. While most parents spend time trying to find their child the proper cleat or athletic shoe, the everyday sneaker should not be overlooked. After all, this is the type of shoe that we spend the vast majority of each day wearing. Added support inside the sneaker with a custom foot orthotic will assist in arch support in place the foot in an alignment that will prevent pain, instability, and even injury.
Physical therapy can help relieve pain from injury, and it can even help to prevent certain athletic injuries. Injuries such ligament sprains are often caused by muscle weakness or ligament instability. By rehabbing and strengthening these structures, injuries such as sprains can be prevented.
Growing pain and growth inflammation commonly to as “apophysitis” is not a true injury, but is rather a physiologic process that causes pain and discomfort in many teenage athletes. This most commonly affects the heal bone, but any growth plate of the foot and ankle may be involved. This issue is self-limiting, because once the growth plate closes, all symptoms resolve. However, treatments such as orthotics, heel cups, and anti-inflammatory drugs can make the young athlete more comfortable and allow for faster return to play.
Evaluation and workup by a podiatrist are critical for all teenage athletes. We can offer these various treatments and interventions to both treat and prevent athletic injuries in the young athlete.