|Are Your Kids Overdoing Sports? |
Fall not only means time to go back to school, it is also a time when kids' sports teams get back into action. Many young people are involved in several sports during a given season and it's not uncommon for a child to attend practices for two different sports in one day.
If your children are involved in sports activities - especially those that are hard on their feet such as soccer, basketball, track and football - it's important that you are the lookout for "overuse injuries." Kids' bones, ligaments and tendons in their feet and ankles are not fully developed yet, and damage can occur when they are stressed from hours of sports activities. Problems FROM OVERUSE that can occur when kids' feet are involved in a lot of activities include:
Calcaneal apophysitis - an inflammation of the heel's growth plate due to muscle strain and repetitive stress.
Achilles tendonitis - an inflammation of the tendon connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle.
Stress fractures - hairline breaks resulting from repeated stress on the bone.
Sprains - ankles can turn in when ankle ligaments and muscles are weakened or fatigued.
Shin Splints - inflammation of the muscle attachment along the bone of the shin occurs because of fatigue due to overuse, improper shoe wear, and the change of playing fields from one sport to another.
|Remember, pain is NEVER normal in a child’s foot or ankle. Some kids may insist on playing their sport even when they’re in pain. Parents should not allow this to happen. Continuing to play with an injury can result in serious injuries that can follow your child into adulthood.|
Best rule of thumb: If your child has any pain in their foot that lasts longer than a few days, or that is severe enough to limit the child’s walking or playing a sport, he or she should be evaluated in our office.
Help Your Child Avoid Overuse Injuries
• Use the correct shoe for each type of sport. Basketball shoes will protect the feet and ankles in the side to side motions of that sport, while running shoes cushion and stabilize the foot from repeated pounding on the track.
• Appropriate stretching and warm up for all sports activities should be done to help prevent injury.
• If your child is overweight, help him or her to shed some pounds. Extra weight puts additional stress on the feet.
• Limit wearing cleated shoes to the time actually spent on the field. Cleated shoes do not provide adequate support and may cause increased pressure on the soles of the feet.
• Make sure shoes are well-constructed and support the foot adequately. Have them professional fitted.
This patient information newsletter is courtesy of FootHealthFacts.org