Posts for tag: Running
Back-to-School Soccer Season: Prime time for foot and ankle injuries.
Parents and coaches should think twice before coaxing young, injury-prone soccer players to "play through" foot and ankle pain, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
"Skeletally immature kids, starting and stopping and moving side to side on cleats that are little more than moccasins with spikes—that’s a recipe for foot and ankle sprains and worse," cautions Christopher Hendrix, DPM, FACFAS, a Memphis, Tennessee foot and ankle surgeon.
"Kids will play with lingering, nagging heel pain that, upon testing, turns out to be a stress fracture that neither they, their parents nor their coaches were aware of," he said. "By playing with pain, they can’t give their team 100 percent and can make their injuries worse, which prolongs their time out of soccer."
Hendrix said he has actually needed to show parents x-rays of fractures before they will take their kids out of the game. "And stress fractures can be subtle—they don’t always show up on initial x-rays."
Stress Fractures, Achilles Tendonitis, Heel Pain, Ankle Sprains, Broken Toes
Symptoms of stress fractures include pain during normal activity and when touching the area and swelling without bruising. Treatment usually involves rest and sometimes casting. Some stress fractures heal poorly and often require surgery, such as a break in the elongated bone near the little toe, known as a Jones fracture.
Constant running in socer can place excessive stress on the foot. Pain from overuse usually stems from inflammation, such as around the growth plate of the heel bone, more so than a stress fracture, according to Hendrix.
"Their growth plates are still open, and bones are still growing and maturing—until they’re about 13 to 16. Rest and, in some cases, immobilization of the foot should relieve that inflammation," he said.
Hendrix added that Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis (heel pain caused by inflammation of the tissue extending from the heel to the toes) are other types of overuse injuries.
Quick, out-of-nowhere ankle sprains are also common in soccer.
"Ankle sprains should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon to assess the extent of the injury," said Hendrix. "If the ankle stays swollen for days and is painful to walk on or even stand on, it could be a fracture," Hendrix said.
Collisions between soccer players take their toll on toes.
"When two feet are coming at the ball simultaneously, that ball turns into a cement block and goes nowhere. The weakest point in that transaction is usually a foot, with broken toes the outcome," he explained. "The toes swell up so much the player can't get a shoe on, which is a good sign for young athletes and their parents. If they are having trouble just getting a shoe on, they shouldn't play."
Treat Injuries Immediately
If you think your child has suffered any sort of foot or ankle soccer injury, call Aurora Foot and Ankle Clinic to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stanford, DPM. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine and a member of the American College of Foot & Ankle Pediatrics.
When preparing for a big race, many runners and athletes will spend most if not all of the training season working on elements like speed, strength, and endurance. While finishing strong and meeting personal goals are certainly important parts of the process, taking the most obvious element - the feet - for granted will not only compromise performance, it can also lead to unnecessary pain and injury.
The Aurora Foot & Ankle Clinic in Langley, B.C. has established a set of basic foot care guidelines that can help professional and recreational athletes alike to prepare for a big race, and avoid pain and injury.
Sports Medicine in Langley, B.C.
The most basic principles of health and wellbeing for any part of the body typically begin with prevention. The feet are no exception. Taking care of your feet while training for a race, as well as in the offseason, is the best investment in meeting your personal goals. Following a few simple foot care guidelines is the first step:
- Pay attention to persistent foot pain. A little soreness is normal during physical activity, but pain that does not resolve on its own after a few days is usually a sign of a problem that may require medical attention.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash, dry, repeat often.
- Pay attention to changes in the toenails and skin on the feet. Trim toenails to a comfortable length to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Gear up With a Good Fit - Make sure that shoes are the right size and offer the proper support for your needs. Always wear shoes designed for your particular activity - running, hiking, cycling, etc.
- Mind the Gait with Orthotics - Some people need more arch support than others. Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to learn whether orthotics are right for you.
- If you are diabetic, always consult with a podiatrist for appropriate footwear and maintenance, and get regular check-ups (at least once a year, depending on the patient).
Getting Your Feet Race Ready
Keep Moisture at Bay - In addition to wearing proper footwear, seemingly small details like socks can make all the difference. Skip the cotton and opt for moisture wicking athletic fabrics that will keep the feet dry and prevent blisters, which are not only painful but can also lead to infection.
Warm up and stretch - With 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the feet and ankles need as much strengthening and training as the rest of the body for optimal performance.
If you are suffering from heel or foot pain, contact a Langley podiatrist at Aurora Foot and Ankle Clinic at (604) 248-8985 to schedule a consultation today!